7-Day Romania Tour: Moldova & Bukovina
This journey through the historical Romanian region of Moldova and Bukovina opens a window into Romanian culture, spirituality and history. Here there are picturesque villages and some of the most iconic monasteries in Romania, sacred places of spirituality, faith and touching beauty.
Moldova is extremely rich in Jewish history and there are many old cemeteries and synagogues, powerful reminders of the significant Jewish presence.
The beauty of nature is impressive everywhere in Romania. This itinerary will take you across the Carpathian Mountains and the eastern part of Transylvania, and further across the rolling hills of Moldova, to the north, to the historical Bucovina.
Peles Castle – essential Romanian landmark, emblematic of the Romanian royalty, regarded as one of the most beautiful 19th century European royal residences
Bran Castle – famous due to its links with Count Dracula’s story, but fascinating for what it truly is, a genuine feudal castle, testimony of the turbulent history of the region
Brasov – a 13th century Saxon settlement, major city and important cultural center in Transylvania, famous for its medieval charm
The stunning Painted Monasteries of Bukovina – masterpieces of mural painting considered of ‘outstanding universal value’. 8 of them are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the monasteries of Voronet, Humor, Moldovita and Sucevita all part of the tour.
Iasi – the historical capital city of the region of Moldova, a charismatic, lively city with rich living heritage, culture and history
Outstanding Jewish Heritage – visit of the wooden synagogue of Piatra Neamt, dating 1766, unique in Romania and Europe, and the 17th century Great Synagogue of Iasi, recently restored, the oldest synagogue in Romania
Scroll down the page for full program and description of the tour!
Duration 7 days (6 nights)
Prices 2380 EUR/tour/1-2 people
Activity level this is a moderately intensive tour; please consider that visit of Bran castle requires climbing quite a number of stairs
What is included
– guide/driver fee
– transportation by personal car, a 2014 Volkswagen Golf, fully insured, air conditioned
– all parking fees and fuel
– accommodation at good, centrally located 3 stars-4 stars hotels
What is extra
– meals of your choice are not included (except the breakfast which is included in the room rate). Consider around 18 EUR/person a two-course meal with drink to a traditional local restaurant.
– the entry fees to objectives (around 40 Eur/person)
– photo fees to objectives or any personal expenses (souvenirs etc)
Meeting location at your hotel or other agreed-upon location
Day 1 Bucharest – Sinaia – Bran – Brasov (total driving distance 216 km)
Set off in the morning heading for Transylvania – arrival in Sinaia, elegant mountain resort in the Carpathian Mountains two hours north of Bucharest – visit of the Peles Castle in Sinaia, former residence of the Romanian Royal family, major Romanian landmark – lunch break in Sinaia or the area, then resume the journey as the road crosses the mountains to Transylvania passing popular mountain resorts – visit of the Bran Castle famous for the connections with the myth of Dracula, but important for what it is, a genuine medieval citadel evocative of the turbulent history of the region – transfer to the Transylvanian city of Brasov, hotel check-in and city tour followed by evening at leisure. Brasov, founded by the Saxon settlers in the 13th century, was a very prosperous trade and cultural center in the medieval ages and has been one of the largest and most popular cities in Transylvania.
Day 2 Brasov – Lacul Rosu – Cheile Bicazului – Piatra Neamt (total driving distance 245 km)
Today we resume our journey to the north, through the valleys that lie between lower slopes of Eastern Carpathians. This is a historical and ethnographic region known as the Szekely Land, inhabited mostly by a Hungarian speaking population. Scenic drive as we pass Lacul Rosu (the Red Lake) and Bicaz Canyon, a narrow pass serving as a passageway between Transylvania and the historical Romanian region of Moldova.
Day 3 Piatra Neamt – Agapia Monastery – Gura Humorului (total driving distance 108 km)
In the morning, visit of the town of Piatra Neamt. See the vestiges of the Princely Court and Church established by Stephen the Great, and the wooden synagogue dating 1766, unique in Romania and Europe; if interested, it is possible to visit the Museum of Neolithic art Cucuteni; the Cucuteni culture originating in the region is the last great culture with painted ceramics in Europe. Later, stopover at Agapia monastery, in a region of gentle hills, peaceful villages and old monastic tradition – in the late afternoon, arrival at Gura Humorului in Bukovina
Day 4 Bukovina: Humor, Voronet, Moldovita, Sucevita (round trip 150 km)
We are in Bukovina, land of the splendid Painted Churches with external mural paintings. Particularly well preserved, these churches are masterpieces of mural painting considered of ‘outstanding universal value’ (8 of them are UNESCO World Heritage Sites). Colors are amazing, as well as the harmony between the mural decoration, architecture, and the surrounding landscape. The churches illustrate the cultural and religious ambiance of the Balkans from 15th-17th century, a significant historical period when the country faced the encroaching Ottoman Empire. Visit the monasteries of Humor, Voronet, Moldovita and Sucevita. Voronet Monastery is a crown jewel among the painted monasteries of Bukovina, masterpiece of medieval art. The dominant color of the frescoes is a vibrant blue, known as Voronet blue.
In Bukovina everything is colorful, from the folk costumes, the painted eggs (a local tradition), to houses and churches. If time allows, visit of the interesting Wood Art Museum in the town of Campulung Moldovenesc, a suggestive image of the universe of peasant life and of a true civilization of wood created in Bukovina.
Day 5 Gura Humorului – Suceava – Botosani – Iasi (total driving distance 200 km)
Today we travel to Iasi, with stops in two of the historical towns of Moldova. First stop in Suceava to see the vestiges of the Princely Seat of Suceava. Suceava Fortress was the most important fortification in the heydays of medieval Moldova and is linked to Voivode Stephen the Great, iconic national Romanian hero. Resume our tour to Botosani where we spend the entire afternoon for lunch and exploring the town. Botosani is one of the oldest cities in Romania, documented since 1350. Great medieval center of Moldova, it used to be home to prosperous Romanian, Jewish, Armenian and Greek communities. Botosani is the only city in Moldova that preserved its historical town, recently rehabilitated, a unique architectural reserve. Botosani highlights: stroll around the pedestrian area of the Old Town; Uspenia Church; Sfanta Maria (c 14th) the oldest Armenian Church in Europe!; Armenian street; visit of the Great Synagogue (‘Hoihe Sil’), 1834, with delightfully decorated interior. Arrival to Iasi in the evening and hotel check in.
Day 6 Iasi
We allow a full day in Iasi, the historical capital city of the region of Moldova, a charismatic city with rich living heritage, culture and history, animated and full of greenery. Highlights: Palace of Culture (sheltering a history museum with ceramics dating 3500 BC, an ethnographic museum, an art museum with works of Romanian paintings and a technique museum with a remarkable collection of musical instruments), The National Theater and its park, The Metropolitan Cathedral, Ticau neighborhood, Trei Ierarhi Church and The Great Synagogue of Iasi, the oldest surviving synagogue in Romania (c. 17th).
Day 7 Iasi – Buzau – Bucuresti (387 km)
Return to Bucharest. Stopover in the town of Buzau, to visit the local farmer market, have lunch and buy the famous ‘pretzels of Buzau’.