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Transylvania Castle Cultural Experience

Tour ID: 1043
Tour Theme: Historic and Cultural Tours
Regions: Transylvania
Duration: 8 Days / 7 Nights
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Introduction:

Transylvania Castle Cultural Experience Travel to a land that time forgot. Discover how you can contribute to the restoration of Transylvaniaâ™s heritage and help to conserve its unspoilt nature.  Be our guest in unique cottages furnished in the traditional Szekler and Saxon styles and experience the slow-paced charm of Transylvanian village life.

Those who visit Transylvania soon forget its association with Bram Stoker's literary creation, Count Dracula, and instead become fascinated by its true history and culture. Transylvania offers a dynamic visual experience from living rustic homesteads to forts dramatically perched on mountains.

The history of the Saxons in Transylvania is a long sad story best told to you by the handful of persons who still remain in their native villages. The cultural achievements of this people are unmatched. In the Saxon areas you will find the medieval cities of Brasov (Kronstadt) and Sigisoara (Schäßburg), Transylvania Castle Cultural Experiencefairytale fortresses such as Bran (Törzburg), and fortified churches (Tartlau, Honigberg). Many of these fairy-tale-like places are listed as UNESCO "World Heritage".

Unlike the Saxons, the Hungarian-speaking Szeklers still populate their ancestral region. They had to defend Transylvania's and Europe's eastern border for a millennium and all Szeklers had the status and privileges of nobility. Miklósvár is one of our oldest settlements and mirrors ancient Szekler history. Visit more of this unique region and find medieval churches covered inside with frescoe, discover old manor houses of Szekler noblemen in ancient villages still throbbing with life. Meet a family of woodcarvers and furniture painters who have been handing down their profession from father to son since the 1500s (oldest in Europe), and visit kilns where limestone and wood-coal is still being burned like in the middle ages.

Transylvania Castle Cultural ExperienceTransylvania was the first country in the world to guarantee by law religious freedom (1568). You will find several churches of different faiths in every village. The Szeklers even produced a separate faith: 'Unitarianism'. This reformation did not recognize Jesus or the Holy Spirit as being of godly origin: God being one and unique. As reformation expanded in Transylvania in the 16th and 17th century, the interior decorations of the churches were painted over. As layers of white chalk are peeled off the walls by archaeologists, original frescoes from the 13th - 15th centuries appear. Many churches also have beautifully painted wooden ceilings

Accommodated in heritage cottages in Miklosvar, you will see village life first-hand. Depending on the season, you will meet cows returning home from the valley in the evening, see farmers working in the fields with traditional tools, and even attend a harvest festival ball and join in with traditional Szekler folk dancing.

 

Transylvania Castle Cultural Experience!!!


 

Day by Day Itinerary:

Day 1: Friday
ROUTING: MIKLOSVAR
- Private transfers are available from Tirgo Mures Airport, Brasov (Hotel or Train Station), and Bucharest, inquire for more details
- On arrival in Miklósvár you will be greeted by one of our team, who will provide you with information on the activities available during your stay. Before dinner in the cellar of the main house, you might want to take a stroll around the village.
- Overnight in Miklosvar
ACCOMMODATION: Count Kalnoky Guesthouse
D


Day 2: Saturday
ROUTING: MIKLOSVAR AND SURROUNDING AREA
- Breakfast
Day Tour options...

OPTION A: BRASOV, HONIGBERG and TARTLAU
On the way to Brasov, you will be able to visit the amazing fortified church in Prejmer (Tartlau). This buildings was used to house the population of an entire village during invasions by the Turks, and contain numerous storerooms to hold a sufficient amount of food to survive a siege. Brasov City is one of the seven major Transylvanian Saxon towns. Here you will find a plethora of architectural delight and lush colours, which contrasts perfectly with the green wooded hills that surround it. In the company of our cultural guide you will stroll around the beautiful Town Hall Square and visit the famous Black Church, take the cable car to the top of Tampa Mountain and have a coffee in the panoramic restaurant.

OPTION B: The FOSSIL TRAIL AND FOREST HIKE
This walk will lead you to famous fossil sites rich in Ammonites, Belemnites and different molluscs as well as beautiful countryside, secluded forests and panoramic views. You will start from Ürmös, the village situated opposite Miklósvár, on the other side of the River Olt. Here you can observe the Saxon influence on local Transylvanian architecture. At the edge of the village there is a famous fossil site in cretacic sandy marls rich in shells and ammonites. Next, you will walk through hay meadows until you reach well-preserved woodland pastures with mature oak trees. The total length of the trip is around 20 km, but it can be shortened depending on your fitness level. This nature tour is not set in stone and the guide will discuss your walking preferences and particular interests.

- Return to guesthouse at the end of the day
- Dinner
- Overnight in Miklosvar
ACCOMMODATION: Count Kalnoky Guesthouse
B, L, D


Day 3: Sunday
ROUTING: MIKLOSVAR AND SURROUNDING AREA
- Breakfast
Day Tour options...

OPTION A: A WALK in the WILD
After a hearty breakfast, you will be taken by our wildlife guide for a gentle hike in the area surrounding Miklósvár. Together, you will walk through beautiful countryside with wild flower meadows, pastures and forests, without meeting any humans except the occasional wandering shepherd and his flock. Depending on the season, you might discover yellow-bellied toads in forest pools or a fire salamander hiding under a rotting log. You will also learn about Transylvaniaâ™s bears and wolves, and be shown how to identify signs and tracks of mammals and birds, including wild boar, bear, wolf, deer, and woodpeckers. A picnic will be provided.

OPTION B: HORSE & CART, FOREST WALK & PICNIC
After breakfast, you will be taken by traditional horse and cart through rolling pastures to the edge of the forest. During the trip you will see beautiful wild flower meadows and possibly spot a grey heron or an eagle flying over head. You will also have the opportunity to sample mineral rich water from a natural spring. On reaching the edge of the forest, we will stop for a traditional picnic. After lunch, the guide will take you for a short walk through the beech forest so typical to Transylvania to discover native flora and fauna. You may be lucky enough to find the tracks of a wolf of bear, as well as other forest animals. From late summer to autumn, a plethora of mushrooms and fungi can be found in the woods.

- Return to guesthouse at the end of the day
- Dinner
- Overnight in Miklosvar
ACCOMMODATION: Count Kalnoky Guesthouse
B, L, D


Day 4: Monday
ROUTING: MIKLOSVAR AND SURROUNDING AREA
- Breakfast
Day Tour options...

OPTION A: The LAND of the SZEKLERS
The eastern Carpathians is the traditional home of the Szekely, a people closely related to the Magyars who speak a distinctive Hungarian accent and cherish a special historical identity in Transylvania. During this excursion you will meet a family of woodcarvers and furniture painters who have been handing down their profession from father to son since the 1500s (oldest in Europe), see the totem poles in Fules graveyard, and visit a church in Bibarcfalva with historic frescoes and sample natural mineral water. In the afternoon, you will visit a Unitarian fortified church in Nagyajta, before returning to Miklosvar to see the Kalnoky Family Chapel and Crypt. Finally you will be taken to the Hunting Manor, where you will see the restoration work that is taking place.

OPTION B: SEVEN STAIRS WATERFALL
The spectacular Seven Stairs Waterfall can be found 15km south of Brasov, in a valley lined with fir, spruce and beech trees. A gentle walk alongside a pretty stream will bring you to the Seven Stairs waterfall and gorge. Named for the seven sets of metal ladders (stairs) that enable you to climb through the gorge, close to some beautiful and dramatic waterfalls. Once you emerge invigorated on the other side, you can return the same way or walk around the gorge. Those interested in a more serious hike can go further, up to the Piatra Mare peak, upon which you will have a breathtaking view of Transylvania's Carpathian mountain range. After our walk, we will enjoy a picnic in a forest glade.

- Return to guesthouse at the end of the day
- Dinner
- Overnight in Miklosvar
ACCOMMODATION: Count Kalnoky Guesthouse
B, L, D


Day 5: Tuesday
ROUTING: MIKLOSVAR AND SURROUNDING AREA
- Breakfast
Day Tour options...

OPTION A: The BIRD WALK
Today, you will take a bird walk in and around Miklósvár. Our wildlife guide will introduce you to a wide variety of habitats (forests, wetlands, riparian woods and parklands). These places harbor a multitude of different birds, including the beautiful Golden Oriole, the Great Grey Shrike, the Fieldfare (only found in the Carpathian part of Transylvania), the Little Owl, and Skylark. Just outside the village, a protected nature reservation can be found; a wetland with important botanical value and a valuable hunting ground for birds of prey, such as the Lesser Spotted Eagle. The bird walk is suitable for anyone with an interest in nature, as well as more serious birdwatchers.

OPTION B: A CASTLE and a FORT
Bram Stoker immortalized Transylvania in his book â˜Draculaâ™, but he never actually visited the region. Castle Bran, which has become synonymous with Count Dracula, towers dramatically on a crag overlooking the village. Our culture guide will help you to sort fact from fiction. There is also a reconstructed village nearby with traditional barns and houses, which provides an insight into rural life in mediaeval Transylvania. After Bran, we will visit Râsnov, where a ruined fort founded around 1225 by the Teutonic Knights, sits high amongst fir-clad forests, commanding a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains.

- Return to guesthouse at the end of the day
- Dinner
- Overnight in Miklosvar
ACCOMMODATION: Count Kalnoky Guesthouse
B, L, D


Day 6: Wednesday
ROUTING: MIKLOSVAR AND SURROUNDING AREA
- Breakfast
Day Tour options...

OPTION A: SIGHISOARA
In the company of our cultural guide, you will visit Sighisoara and learn about the history of the Saxons in Transylvania. Sighisoara is one of the seven major Saxon towns dating back to the 13th century and is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is also the birthplace of Vlad Tepes, âœThe Impalerâ�. The old town or citadel dominates the newer quarters from a rocky massif. During this tour you will visit the Citadel, the Clock Tower, the Monastery Church, some of the fourteen Guild Towers, and climb the Scholarâ™s Stairs to reach the newly restored Church on the Hill and the atmospheric Saxon cemetery. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant in the cobbled town square.

OPTION B: VALLEYS, FORESTS and WETLANDS
Today, you will explore the beautiful landscape of Transylvania in the company of our wildlife guide. You may, for example, be taken by land rover or by traditional horse and cart through the spectacular Ajta Valley, where you will cross the river many times! You will visit the charcoal burners whose continue to use a process perfected during the medieval ages. They will provide us with charcoal, which will be used to grill meat or vegetables at the picnic. After, we will able to go for a gentle walk alongside the river. Depending on the season, you may catch sight of a grey heron, a lesser spotted eagle, or a black stork (breeding in the valley forests).

- Return to guesthouse at the end of the day
- Dinner
- Overnight in Miklosvar
ACCOMMODATION: Count Kalnoky Guesthouse
B, L, D


Day 7: Thursday
ROUTING: MIKLOSVAR AND SURROUNDING AREA
- Breakfast
Day Tour options...

OPTION A: The GORGE
Around 25 km north of Miklósvár is the Almas cave in the gorge of the Varghis river, a system that continues for 7.3 km on four levels and where the Pied Piper legendarily surfaced with the children of Hamlin (who became the Saxons colonists of Transylvania). This is one of Transylvaniaâ™s most important speleological sites. After traversing the river, we will enter and explore the cave, with its impressive halls populated by colonies of bats (only in winter). Our guide will explain the history and unique structure of the cave and the habits of these fascinating animals. For those interested in hiking, it is possible to climb the summit and walk through wild flower meadows with panoramic views of the gorge.

OPTION B: HORSE & CART, FOREST WALK & PICNIC
After breakfast, you will be taken by traditional horse and cart through rolling pastures to the edge of the forest. During the trip you will see beautiful wild flower meadows and possibly spot a grey heron or an eagle flying over head. You will also have the opportunity to sample mineral rich water from a natural spring. On reaching the edge of the forest, we will stop for a traditional picnic. After lunch, the guide will take you for a short walk through the beech forest to discover native flora and fauna. You may be lucky enough to find the tracks of a wolf of bear, as well as other forest animals. From late summer to autumn, a plethora of mushrooms and fungi can be found in the woods.

- Return to guesthouse at the end of the day
- Dinner
- Overnight in Miklosvar
ACCOMMODATION: Count Kalnoky Guesthouse
B, L, D


Day 8: Friday
ROUTING: MIKLOSVAR AND SURROUNDING AREA
- Breakfast
Day Tour options...

OPTION A: The SAXONS
Around 25 km north of Miklósvár is the Almas cave in the gorge of the Varghis river, a system that continues for 7.3 km on four levels and where the Pied Piper legendarily surfaced with the children of Hamlin (who became the Saxons colonists of Transylvania). This is one of Transylvaniaâ™s most important speleological sites. After traversing the river, we will enter and explore the cave, with its impressive halls populated by colonies of bats (only in winter). Our guide will explain the history and unique structure of the cave and the habits of these fascinating animals. For those interested in hiking, it is possible to climb the summit and walk through wild flower meadows with panoramic views of the gorge.

OPTION B: The VOLCANIC LAKES
After breakfast, we will drive through spectacular mountainous scenery to reach the summit of Mount Csomad. Here you will discover St. Annâ™s lake, the only intact volcanic lake in Transylvania and Europe. A small chapel is situated close to the lake. Our culture guide will explain the legend of St. Ann and its association with the lake. You will also enjoy a picnic at the lakeside. The rare Mohos peat bog can also be found at this site (situated in a secondary crater, with glacial relics such as Drosera insectivorous plants). A local guide will accompany you to explain the unique flora and fauna which is found in the area during your walk. There is also the possibility to visit the remarkable sulphur caves, which provide an unforgettable sensory experience.

- Transfer to location desired; Tirgo Mures, Brasov, Bucharest...
B, L


End of tour services

NOTES: The guesthouse offers a wide range of cultural and nature tours each week, therefore you can design your Transylvanian holiday according to your interests and length of stay. During a two-week stay, for example, you will be able to participate in nearly all the tours on offer. Mountain bikes are available for the use of the guests. For those interested in hiking, we offer walking activities (for different levels of fitness), which can also be combined with culture/nature tours to suit your preferences.

Please note this due to circumstances beyond our control; the following itinerary may be subject to change. In particular, some of the nature activities may vary in accordance with the season, the weather and the opportunities available to observe wildlife. No sightings of wild animals, such as wolves and bears are guaranteed, and we cannot restrict their natural movements nor indeed would we wish to.


 

Prices, Dates & What's Included:

Prices available upon request...
 

The Tour Includes:
- 7 nights accommodation
- Full Board (B) Breakfast daily, except on the day of arrival (L) Lunch daily, except on the day of arrival, (D) Dinner daily, except on the day of departure (meals à la carte with wine)
- Tours and Activities described in the itinerary
- Entrance fees when with guide
- Local Taxes

Not Included:
- Airfare
- Transfers to accommodation (inquire for details)
- Gratuities
- Extra charges of hotel, eg. Laundry, telephone or fax charges, room service, etc..
- Insurance


For more details please fill out the Inquire/Book It form which you can access from the button below.
 

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