- Transylvania and Bucharest
Magical, mythical Transylvania, 'the last truly medieval landscape in Europe', takes you back in time to a world of Saxon villages and hilltop citadels. Discover the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, delve into the legend of Dracula at Bran Castle, and delight in the fairytale landscape of dark forests surrounding colourful towns and fortified church steeples poking through the treetops. Conclude with a visit to the Romanian capital of Bucharest, taking in the historic yet dynamic Old Town.
Depart from London on your scheduled flight to Bucharest. On arrival transfer to your hotel in the ski resort of Poiana Brasov. Relax with a welcome dinner.
After breakfast head for nearby Brasov for a morning walking tour around the wonderfully well-preserved medieval and baroque old town. Start at its heart, in the venerable main square (Piata Sfatului) - also known as German Square - where modern cafe life buzzes against a background of stunning Saxon architecture. You can't miss Brasov's most prominent landmark, the 'Black Church', so called after being charred in a great fire in 1689. Travel back in time at the First Romanian School Museum, then marvel at the adjacent Gothic spires of the 16th century St Nicholas Cathedral. In the afternoon enjoy an excursion to the 14th century Bran Castle, built as a clifftop defensive fortress and cloaked in Dracula legend. Under the direction of Queen Marie in the 1920s, it was transformed into a modern summer residence fit for royalty
This morning it's off to UNESCO-listed Sighisoara for a walk around the cobbled streets of one of Europe's oldest citadels. The first thing to hit you is the riot of colour, with buildings painted in bright oranges, yellows, blues and pinks creating a dazzling canvas. It has a colourful history too, being the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler. The 14th century Clock Tower offers a spectacular panorama from the top and a covered stairway leads to the 'Church on the Hill', a fine example of Gothic architecture. Move on to the Saxon village of Biertan, home to the finest and largest fortified church in Transylvania.
Today we head for Bucharest, stopping first to see the impressive UNESCO-listed Saxon citadel of Prejmer. With walls 40 ft high and 15 ft thick, plus bastions, drawbridges it's perhaps no surprise that in 500 years it was besieged 50 times but only captured once. Then on to Sinaia, first to marvel at the unashamedly opulent neo-Renaissance masterpiece that is Peles Castle, commissioned by King Carol I in 1873 as a summer residence. Then visit Sinaia Monastery, with a history dating back 300 years and a dual function as a shelter for the needy and a strategic lookout over the Prahova River valley below.
Breakfast & Dinner
Romania's capital city has seen some turbulent times but has re-emerged as a dynamic, vibrant and welcoming city. Today's walking tour will give you a fascinating glimpse into its historic old town, the Lipscani District, an area that was neglected by the communist regime because of its bourgeois merchant roots and has been slowly regenerating since 1989. Besides the main arteries of Lipscani Street and Covaci Street, a warren of side streets reveal antique stores, fashionable boutiques and hidden courtyards. You'll also see the beautiful 18th-century Stavropoleos Monastery, with stunning ceiling frescoes in the Brancovenesc style. In the evening a farewell dinner can be enjoyed at a local restaurant.
After breakfast the morning is yours to explore Bucharest at your own pace. In the afternoon transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
Ann Houghton28 Oct 19
We really enjoyed this tour in spite of the long distances. Our driver Valentin was excellent. Our guide Dan went above and beyond, showing us extra things as well as everything on the itinerary, even organising a pub to watch the rugby on the Sunday evening for people staying on the extension. The time was filled but with plenty of time to see everything.
W James31 May 19
Very good itinerary, lots of walking as you expect to see everything. Excellent guide Dan and driver Boris a well planned holiday. I was a solo traveler on this trip and found the tour and hotels very good. Looking forward to the next holiday.
Wendy James26 May 19
Hotel Brutal in Brasov lovely setting, quiet location, good food, staff very friendly and helpful enjoyed my three nights very comfortable stay. Hotel Europa Royale in Bucharest good location close to everything, good food, comfortable rooms, enjoyed my two nights stay, staff friendly and helpful enjoyed my stay. This trip was very good it gave a great insight into the Romanian culture everything about the trip was perfect we saw so much in the six days enjoyed every moment and we had plenty of time at each place to see everything.
Karen Phillips22 May 19
This is the second guided tour we have taken with Mercury and both have been excellent. Particularly the guides. In Romania our guide Dan was excellent. His calm, relaxed manner made you feel at ease. He dealt with any issues quickly & confidently. He went over and above, ensuring that we were well cared for and happy. I honestly can't praise him highly enough.
Teresa Thorniley20 May 19
Both hotels in excellent positions for the tour,both exceeded expectations. Cleanliness,space,welcome of staff and room facilities all wonderful.
Dawn Morrison30 Apr 19
Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and went over and above to make out tour as enjoyable as possible.
A visa is not required for your trip to Romania. Further advice should be sought from the applicable tourist authority for other nationalities and for general queries. We strongly advise you check your destinations? Tourist Board or Embassy for the most up-to-date guidelines regarding passport validity.
We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are suitably insured as soon as you book your holiday. It is a condition of booking that you must have suitable travel insurance. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that suitably covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. To assist you with this, we have arranged travel insurance in partnership with Holiday Extras. To arrange your travel insurance with Holiday Extras, please call 0800 781 4237 and quote 'WK830' for preferential rates. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24-hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Holidays will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.
If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.
Your initial flight is to Henri Coanda International Airport with British Airways (BA), departing from London Heathrow Terminal 5. IMPORTANT: Please note that final flight details will be confirmed on your e-ticket and final documentation which will be sent to you approximately 10 days before departure. Each passenger is entitled to 23KG of hold luggage plus 1 item of hand luggage not exceeding (Max 7kg - 50cm/37cm/ 25cm) in size and 1 personal item such as a handbag, briefcase or laptop case. Weight restrictions will be finalized on E-ticket receipt. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check ? in. Check-In should be at least 3 hours before departure. If you wish to arrange Airport car parking or accommodation at preferential rates, we recommend you book this in advance with Holiday Extras on 0871 360 2000, quoting HX313.
It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, www.travelhealthpro.org.uk, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.
This tour is accessible to most people with a good level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves climbing of steep stairs and getting on and off coaches. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 10, and the maximum will be 40. If in the unlikely event there are less than 10 people booked on your tour date, we will endeavour to reduce any disruption to your holiday and try to operate your tour with lower passenger numbers. If we are not able to operate your departure date, then you may be asked to change to a different date and a full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.
The currency in Romania is the Romanian Leu. We recommend that you exchange your currency before you leave the UK. It is important that you budget carefully and ensure you have the right form of currency before you arrive in the country. Cash machines will also be available throughout the tour in order to withdraw money in your local currency.
You will need to take money with you to cover any personal purchases such as souvenirs, laundry, any meals not included in the itinerary as well as drinks and any additional snacks; Approximately £200- £300 per person will be sufficient for the duration of the tour. It is a good idea to try and maintain a supply of small notes and change in the local currency for tipping or small purchases. It is customary to tip both your driver and guide approximately 2 euros per person per day in total. Tips will be collected at the end of your tour.