7 reasons why you should visit Transylvania this year… and yes, it’s a real place!

We all dream about travelling to some far-away land where we can truly discover the meaning of life and find inspiration. There are certain destinations that go beyond the usual travel routine and offer a deeper experience that makes people fall in love with them forever. Such a magical land is Transylvania, a place of legends and myths where time seems to remain frozen and a more traditional and authentic way of life prevails.

Famed for its cultural and natural heritage and receiving a worldwide attention lately as one of the last places in Europe where pristine natural beauty and authentic cultural sense can still be found, Transylvania is slowly becoming one of the most attractive destinations in the world. Where other places have to stage their old traditions and truly wild nature can only be found in protected areas, the villages and forests of Transylvania offer authentic and raw travel experiences.

There are certainly many things to see and do in this amazing region of Romania, with countless attractions and activities to discover. From majestic castles where legends catch life to small traditional villages where one can feel the warm hospitality of Romanians and from the vibrant cities that still bear their proud history to the snowy peaks of the Carpathian Mountains, Transylvania is truly a pleasure and inspiration to explore and experience. Beautiful cities with fascinating cultural and historical landmarks can be found all over Transylvania, inviting travellers to discover their heritage. Places like Brasov, Sibiu, Cluj-Napoca, Sighisoara and more can make for excellent destinations, featuring old historical centres with churches and museums, beautiful architecture and vibrant nightlife.

Transylvania is also famous for its castles and fortresses, fortified churches and other magnificent historical attractions that go back for hundreds or thousands of years. The Bran Castle is known around the world as the castle of Dracula, but the whole region is filled with impressive landmarks. Leaving the charming cities and mighty castles, the villages of Transylvania preserve something lost elsewhere, the traditional way of life of the Romanian peasant, with horse-drawn carriages and diverse livestock, authentic rural architecture and old traditions. Beyond the human settlements, the wild nature of Transylvania is truly astonishing, offering some of the last virgin forests of Europe, majestic mountains and stunning landscapes. It is an excellent destination for hiking and trekking through breathtaking scenery, exploring the countless natural wonders. Overall, Transylvania truly is an amazing destination, a fascinating land of infinite beauty and meaning.

Here are the main reasons you really should visit:

Castles

Transylvania has some of the greatest castles in Europe, the infamous Bran Castle, creepy Corvin Castle and fairy-tale Peles. There are also some fantastic ruins that are worth a visit, including those at Poenari.

Medieval Cities

Transylvania has some of the best preserved Medieval cities in Europe. Sighisoara’s citadel is a World Heritage Site and the only one in the world that is still occupied. Brasov features a beautiful square full of bars and restaurants and Sibiu was the 2007 European City of Culture.

Dracula

The world’s most famous vampire was a real person! Or was at least based on a real person – Vlad III, often given the nickname Tepes or ‘Impaler’. He ruled with an iron fist and a wooden stake in the 15th Century. His birthplace can be visited in Sighisoara, although Bran is commonly referred to as Dracula’s castle as it was an inspiration for Bram Stoker when writing his novel.

Villages

The villages in Transylvania have remained largely unchanged for centuries and still have an agricultural base. It is this culture that prompted Prince Charles to invest in some properties there. He visits regularly and has set up a charity to help protect the rural heritage. Transylvania also features over 150 fortified village churches of which 7 are listed as World Heritage Sites.

Forests & Mountains

As soon as you start travelling through Transylvania you can see why ‘forest’ is in the name, the land is dominated by a swathe of the Carpathian mountains and the forests that cover it. This gives not only spectacular views but the opportunity for skiing and other mountain activities.

Food & Wine

The region has changed hands many times over the centuries and has been ruled by the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires amongst others. Their influences are felt in the cuisine, as is the abundance of local agricultural produce. It is also one of oldest producers of wine in Europe and produces some delicious and great value local wines.

Seasons

Transylvania has very defined seasonality and each brings their own joys. Spring brings the meadows to life, and the Summers can be beautifully hot and sunny. Autumn fills the forests with colour and Winter covers the land with a blanket of snow. It’s a destination that has something to offer the entire year.

Transylvanian Touring

With three itineraries covering all the major sights of the region, Transylvanian Touring are your first choice for discovering the land beyond the forest.

Using qualified, registered local guides and modern, air-conditioned minibuses, the tours will show you the heart of the land.

See the full itineraries and inclusions at www.transylvaniantouring.co.uk

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