1. Transylvania: Two-Day Castle Tour
Join your guide for a two-day tour through the castles of Transylvania, from early medieval stone fortifications to modern, lavish royal summer residences. Depart from Cluj and head to Sighișoara. Admire the most beautiful medieval townscape in the country, so picturesque and authentic that it's often used as a film set. Visit the Clock Tower, the Church on the Hill, the Citadel, the fortified walls and towers of the town, as well as the birthplace of the Wallachian leader Vlad Dracul, who later became known as Count Dracula in Gothic literature and film. Then travel to Râșnov Castle, a 14th century fortress built by Teutonic Knights to withstand invasion from Turks and Tartars. More a fortified village than a military outpost, Râșnov was built to protect common people from attacks and contained everything a small community of village people would need in order to survive a long siege. Learn how the castle was put to use through the centuries, undergoing several periods of reconstruction. Afterwards, head to Bran Castle, also known as Dracula's Castle. Let historical fact and fiction combine as you take in the atmosphere of the place where Bram Stoker's famous early 20th century novel was set and learn about its history as the homestead of Vlad the Impaler and an important defense of the trade route between Transylvania and Walachia. Enjoy plenty of time to explore the most visited attraction in Romania, including the Bran Castle Museum. Afterwards, have dinner and head to your accommodation in Bran for the night. On day two, things get more modern with a visit to Peleș Palace, the summer residence of the Romanian royal family (and one of the most beautiful royal summer residences in Europe). Wander through a unique a modern palace built at the end at the 19th century to resemble castles from the late Middle Ages. Spot artistic masterpieces like the fresco by Gustav Klimt scattered throughout its generously furnished rooms. Then head to Kalnoky Castle, a 17th century countryside castle belonging to a family of Hungarian noblemen. Admire the true melting pot of styles that coalesce in a castle built with a mixture of late Renaissance and neoclassical architecture, surrounded by a 19th century English-style park. Drive back to Cluj later in the afternoon where your tour ends.