Rural Romania – Where Time Stands Still

Collecting the milk in Bucovina, Romania - © Ramona Cazacu
Narrow gauge railway near Moldovita, Romania - © Ramona Cazacu
Biertan Church, Transylvania, Romania - © Ramona Cazacu
Moldovita Railway, Romania - © Alan Heywood
Sighisoara, Romania - © Alan Heywood
Biertan, Romania - © Alan Heywood
Haymaking in the meadow, Moldovita, Romania - © Alan Heywood
Rural life near Breb, Romania - © Alan Heywood
Sovata to Campu Cetatii train, Romania - © Alan Heywood

Holiday Highlights

  • Stunning mountain and forest scenery
  • Remote villages with a traditional way of life
  • “Homestay” accommodation, full of character yet with all necessary facilities
  • Sighişoara medieval citadel
  • Painted Monasteries of Bucovina
  • Three narrow gauge steam railways
  • Many meals from locally sourced organic produce
  • 12 Days from £2,255
BOOK NOWTailor this tour for independent travel

Tour Dates:
Sunday 13 October to Thursday 24 October 2019

UK’s Leading Specialist Operator to Romania

Relive a bygone age when rural life meant working fields with horses, stacking hay in haystacks and preparing meals from home grown produce. Visit remote Saxon villages with their fortified churches in Transylvania, enjoy village life in Maramureș and the painted monasteries of Bucovina. Stay in family run “homestay” accommodation and ride three steam narrow gauge railways.


Day 1 – Flight to Cluj Napoca

Afternoon flight from London for a late evening arrival in Cluj. Overnight hotel stay.

Day 2 – Saxon Villages

Morning train to Mediaş arriving in time for lunch (included). We stay for 2 nights in homestay accommodation in the remote village of Copşa Mare. (All our homestay accommodation has been specially converted for tourist use and includes en-suite facilities). Dinner at the accommodation.

Day 3 – Biertan, Richis and Malancrav

We explore Saxon villages with their fortified churches and have lunch with a village family.

Day 4 – Sighişoara Medieval Fortress

We visit the fortified citadel of Sighișoara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and birthplace of Vlad the Impaler (better known to us as Count Dracula), then continue into Eastern Transylvania, an area settled by Hungarian peoples. Accommodation with dinner for 2 nights at a homestay in Praid.

Day 5 – Hungarian Villages

Optional visit to the Praid salt mine, before driving to Corund, famous for its ceramics. We continue through a remote area with several small Hungarian villages, stopping en route for lunch with a village family.

Day 6 – Sovato Narrow Gauge Steam Railway

We ride the narrow gauge steam line from Sovato to Campu Cetatii, then cross the mountains into the district of Maramureș, a remote region where life has remained almost unchanged for centuries. The feudal system dominated here until the mid 1800s and, even today, strip farming is practised. We stay for one night in Vișeu de Sus, centre of the logging industry. Lunch included.

Day 7 – The Last Forestry Railway in Europe

There is no road access to much of the Vaser Valley and so the timber is removed by train. We take a ride along the 20km route behind steam. BBQ lunch provided at the upper terminus. In the afternoon we drive to our next homestay in Hoteni. Dinner at our accommodation included.

Day 8 – Merry Cemetery

Today being Sunday, the local people wear their colourful traditional dress. We visit the famous Merry Cemetery where the gravestones have been painted by local artists to depict the lives of those who have passed away. We then take an afternoon tour of some of the local villages before returning to Hoteni for dinner and overnight.

Day 9 – Bucovina

We now leave Maramureș, cross the Carpathian Mountains twice and have lunch (included) in Salva. Our destination is the province of Bucovina where we stay for 2 nights with a village family (evening meal included).

Day 10 – Painted Monasteries

We visit the Painted Monasteries at Sucevita and Moldovita and take a trip on another former forestry railway. Lunch included and dinner at our accommodation.

Day 11 – Return to Cluj

A trip to the Voronet Monastery before catching the early afternoon train across the mountains to Cluj, arriving mid-evening.

Day 12 – Cluj to London

Transfer to airport for flight to London, arriving early afternoon.

Due to the limited number of rooms in “homestay” accommodation, this tour will be limited to 12 persons.

Tour Route

Tour route map

Selected Hotels

Grand Hotel, Cluj Napoca

Copşa Mare Guesthouse, Copşa Mare

Pensiunea Stefania, Praid

Mirage Resort, Vişeu de Sus

Popica Guesthouse, Hoteni

Pensiunea Crizantema, Moldovita

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • Flights in Economy Class by scheduled airline
  • Rail travel as specified
  • Other travel by private mini-coach
  • Hotel accommodation in Cluj and Vişeu de Sus
  • Other accommodation in good quality guest house or family “homestay” with en-suite facilities
  • All breakfasts, 7 lunches and 8 evening meals
  • Admissions to monasteries, fortified churches and Merry Cemetery
  • Airport and other transfers
  • Services of a tour leader from London and throughout the tour plus local professional Romanian Guide

Price per person

Escorted holiday: £2,255
Single room supplement: £230
Deposit for this holiday: £200
Rates of exchange used are as at 1st August 2018

Booking form

Download your tour booking form here.


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