Private Tour to Poienari Citadel; on the trail of the real Dracula: Vlad the Impaler (1-day tour)
A close and exciting encounter with history through this day tour whose main destination is Poienari Citadel, the secluded refuge of the ‘real Dracula’, the Romanian prince and hero Vlad the Impaler. The historical figure of Vlad III Dracula the Impaler was the inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s fictional character Count Dracula.
For some people, visiting Poienari Citadel is a lifelong dream, but getting there without personal transportation is nearly impossible. This private tour is an easy and comfortable way to reach the site of Poienari, located on Transfagarasan Road in the Carpathian Mountains.
Of no less interest, this tour is a great occasion to see the rural countryside and Romanian traditional life, as our road to Curtea de Arges and Poienari Citadel will be passing through villages and farms, in the hilly area of the Sub-Carpathians.
For history buffs, this tour takes you to the origins of the medieval Principality of Wallachia, through an area scattered with historical vestiges, as we pass the first three capital cities Campulung, Curtea de Arges and Targoviste set up by the ancient founders of Wallachia.
Tour type: historical, rural, nature
- • the ruins and the stories of Poienari Citadel, the ancient fortress reinforced by Vlad the Impaler as a defense and refuge point
- • amazing panoramic views from Poienari over the canyon of Arges River, Transfagarasan road and surrounding mountains
- • the vestiges of the Princely Court of Targoviste, medieval capital city of Wallachia, where Vlad Dracula-the Impaler established his earlier residence before moving it to Bucharest
- • discover rural Romania and the local traditional life, as still preserved in this part of Europe
- • the iconic Curtea de Arges Monastery, linked to a fundamental Romanian myth
Duration 1 day (around 12 hours; total driving distance 400 km)
Price 230 EUR/ tour/1-2 persons, 250 EUR/tour/3 persons, please send your inquiry for larger groups
Activity level medium physical demands – please be aware that reaching Poienari Citadel may be challenging, as there are some 1480 steps to climb (a 30-40 min climb at relaxed pace; there are benches along the way, where you can sit and rest)
What is included
– guide & driver fee
– transportation by 2014 Volkswagen Golf, air conditioned, fully insured
– entry fees to the Princely Court Museum in Targoviste and Poienari Citadel (18 Lei/person in the local currency, or 4 Euros/person)
– the cost of photo fees (15 Lei/camera at the Princely Court Museum)
– meals and drinks you wish to buy throughout the day (the cost of a two course meal and a drink at a local traditional restaurant is approx. 70 Lei/person, equivalent of 16 Eur)
Pick-up, Drop-off at your hotel or other agreed-upon location
Early set off from Bucharest heading north-west, toward the mountains. After about 1h30 drive, first stop in Targoviste, former Princely seat of Wallachia, where Prince Vlad Dracula ‘The Impaler’ held residence. Recently restored, the vestiges of the Princely Palace in Targoviste are more impressive and better preserved than those in Bucharest. Visit of Chindiei Watchtower, where a display highlights the life of Vlad Dracula, and learn about the fascinating prince and hero. For lovers of art and architecture, the Princely Church boasts wonderful Brancovenesc style frescoes (a late medieval local development of the Byzantine style).
We resume our tour through hilly countryside with fruit-growing villages, passing the town of Campulung, the oldest Romanian urban settlement.
Between Campulung and Curtea de Arges, the road winds up through villages, farms and hilly countryside, in the Arges region of the Sub-Carpathians. This is an occasion to see the local rural life with horse-drawn carts, cows, sheep grazing on the hills, rural houses including surviving examples of traditional local architecture.
We reach Poienari Citadel around noon, and get ready to tackle the climb. Poienari Citadel stands high atop a steep rock, above the Arges River valley and overlooking the Transfagarasan Road. A meandering path with concrete steps leads you up the hill to the citadel. You will have the time to explore all the nooks and crannies, and learn the history of the place.
After descending from the citadel, well deserved lunch and rest at a local traditional restaurant.
On return to Bucharest, last stop to visit the iconic Curtea de Arges Monastery, splendid monument of Romanian sacred architecture, necropolis of the Romanian Royal family and place of legend: the creation of the monastery gave birth to one of the most beautiful Romanian legends, the Legend of the Curtea de Arges Monastery, linked to one of the fundamental Romanian myths.