The journey through Transylvania starts with it’s heart city, the medieval Sighișoara , where the by UNESCO maintained center offers a time-travel into one of the last untouched architecture since centuries now. From the Clock Tower- where the possibility of climbing to the top, in the History Museum, offers an unique experience of seeing the city with its legendary rooftops from above and, at the same time, observing how the ticking mechanism of the clock works, producing mystical sounds during day and night- to the Fortified Church on the Hill, with its cemetery- an ideal place to watch the sun go down and catch golden tones, above panoramic views- where the traces of Germans settlers are forever capsulated. In order to reach the church, one can climb the 176 stairs of the Scholar’s Stairway, built in 1624, for the safety of the pupils, the school being located on top as well and the traditional, yet rather unpractical roads getting slippery during snowy winters.
The house where the well renowned Vlad Țepeș (some are maybe more familiar with the name of Count Dracula) was born, in the year 1431, is to be visited as a museum, offering after the tour traditional meals, in the garden-restaurant.
The towers with suggestive names, which once kept the inside safe from outer attacks offer guidance and bring a homage to the history of the fortress.
Where to Stay:
offers an elegant accommodation in palatial rooms, right in the heart of the medieval city center, in front of an always green park, hence the name of the hotel.
Besides this, the city is filled with medieval-themed boutique hotels, each one being unique in its own way and most of them being also open as galleries (Art&Crafts, Haus Klein Klementine), restaurants (recommending Casa Cositorarului), gift shops (Etnic Art) or celeries, so a tour from one house to another is a MUST.
At a stone’s throw (118 km) from Sighișoara is Brașov,the mythical city, considered the most ideal Romanian urban location for living. Fast to be reached by car, another option would be to search for a BlaBla car, or opt a train ride, where I personally recommend going for the more expensive ticket, for it can get crowded, and now it’s not the ideal time to spend hours in a place, where safety measures are not fully taken in consideration…
Main point is that Brașov, placed not so far away from Bran Castle and alpine scenery is a must for every Transylvanian excursion. The city not only has one of the best restaurant with vegetarian options I have found in the last couple of years (vital information comes first), but the historical, well-maintaned architecture, with romantic, Italian-style streets (here being one of the narrowest street in whole Europe to be found- Strada Sforii- built in the 17th century to function as a passage for firemen), home of electric cultural activity and pulsing, entertaining nights is located between Tâmpa Mountain- where Brașov sign reigns over daily life, among innumerate hiking trails- and the hill of Brașovia Citadel, dating back to first historical mentions in 1434.
Prince Charles Of Walles knew well to buy a house in the tiny, Saxon village Viscri, Brașov County, for the scenery offered by colourful, picturesque houses, leading the pathway to the fortified church transform the hilled ambient into a royal dream
Despite the fact that a climb at the Citadel is quite difficult to be done, the site also being closed, The Evangelic Fortified Church, where religious service is offered in German language and the picturesque Saxon houses (Schwaben), the roads leading to the forests and the perfumed orchards deserve the attention of every passerby.
Where to Stay & Where to Eat:
Cartref Pension warmly offers accommodation in rustic, spacious rooms, in a Saxon house built in 1909, while promising at the same time local experiences of life in the countryside.
Ripped from Heaven, Tei Teehouse is the initiative of a creative couple of teachers, who transformed an old Saxon house, with a complex garden, where each and every single kind of fruit and vegetable is to be found, in an explosion of color, as a contrast to the river flowing through, into a paradisiac universe of local products, from natural, handmade juices and syrups to jams. Definitely a highpoint of the excursion, something not to be missed!!
Last but not least, Hanul Cetății is the ideal place to embark on a Romanian culinary adventure, in a medieval castel, with a magical garden of roses.
As if snatched from an American road-movie, the landscape of this alpine resort city mixes idealistically with the pure air of the mountains, where one can ski in the winter, warming up in steamy jacuzzis, experimenting with volcanic steams in fumaroles, while also enjoying the hiking in the cool woods, when running from the summer heat, in one of the chilliest Romanian ares.
Definitely the most fabulous village, not only in Transylvania, but in the whole Romania, Rimetea, also knwon as Râmetea, or Torockó in Hungarian, the main language of this region of Székelys (secui in Romanian). With the support of Budapest and fundings from European Union (Transylvania Trust) every single house in the village has been rehabilitated, as they function today, not as idillic homes for locals, but also as museums, workshops, cafes and boutique hotels for the large number of tourists, coming from every country of this world.
Rupea Citadel & Racos Volcano
There would still be so many locations to be visited and to mention just two more stops on my Transylvanian Escapade, I will recommend a visit at Rupea Citadel, considered to be one of the oldest archaeological sites in Romania, first mentioned in sources dating back to 1324, and the deep redsite of Racoș Volcano, at only 70 km from Brașov, where the youngest signs of eruption on the platform of the country are to be found and where one can dream of old legends of premonitions and supernatural phenomena, while glancing in the turquoise water of Lacul de Smarald. (Emerald Lake).