DARK LEGENDS OF THE EAST
Eastern Europe tour - Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania
Prague – the capital city of Czech Republic, surnamed the golden city, and the city of the 1000 towers.
Sedlec Ossuary in Kutná Hora - a small Christian chapel decorated with human bones.
Cachtice Castle - the ruins of the castle of the bloody countess Elizabeth Bathory.
Bratislava – the capital city of Slovakia.
Budapest - the capital city of Hungary, known as the capital of spas and the “Pearl of the Danube”.
Visegrad (Hungary) – the famous medieval Hungarian Citadel which served as a prison for Vlad the Impaler, also known as Dracula.
Dracula’s Castle in Transylvania - Bram Stoker’s imaginary castle in Borgo Pass where he placed the Bloody Count Dracula; accommodation, candle lit dinner and a camp fire with all the right stories.
Sighisoara Medieval Citadel - the best preserved and still inhabited medieval citadel in Europe, a UNESCO World Heritage site and Vlad the Impaler’s birth place.
Bran Castle - also known as Dracula castle, a legendary Transylvanian fortress dating back to 1377.
The Saxon City of Brasov – a city with an outstanding medieval ambiance which has played a vital role in Romania’s history both old and new.
The fortified city of Sibiu – containing the largest concentrations of tourist attractions in Romania.
Snagov Monastery – where according to the legend Vlad the Impaler was buried after his assassination.
Bucharest – the capital city of Romania, once surnamed “the little Paris”.
Day by day itinerary:
DAY 1 Friday, Prague
Welcome to Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic. Our English speaking guide will collect you from Prague Airport. Enjoy a brief city tour of one of Europe’s finest cities. Located on River Vltava, Prague is the largest city of the Czech Republic, with an impressive historic city centre included in the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Prague has its share of dark legends – The Golem of Prague is maybe the best known. The Golem, a statue of clay, was brought to life by Rabbi Judah Loew to protect the Jewish community from harm, so be sure you do come to Prague as a friend not as a foe!
Accommodate in a 3* hotel.
DAY 2 Saturday, Prague
In the morning enjoy a city tour including major highlights: Prague Castle, the largest ancient Castle in the world dating back to the 9th century and covering 7 hectares, the castle concentrates the history of the city. Charles Bridge is one of the most visited sights in Prague, a Gothic stone bridge connecting the Old Town (dominated by the magnificent Old Town Square) with Mala Strana (Little Quarter). Enjoy an Absinth tasting! Witness the process, learn about the herbs and spices and dare to taste the mysterious potion. Initially considered a powerful natural remedy and widely used in medical purposes Absinth was eventually banned almost all over the world and considered an evil potion, with psycho active properties, who could alter one’s behaviour and lead to murder. It was mainly used by writers to enhance their creativity. The Absinth produced in Prague is recognized as one of the best, prepared based on ancient recipes. Accommodate in a 3* hotel.
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Day 3 Sunday, Prague - Terezín - Prague
Today take a step back in time and visit a historic site connected to one of the darkest period of the Czech Republic, and not only. Visit Terezin former fortress dating back to the 18th century. During the Second World War the fortress became a political prison camp. Terezin Memorial is the only institution of its kind in the Czech Republic commemorating the victims of the Nazi political and racial persecution during the occupation of the Czech territories in World War II. A tragic symbol of suffering, Terezin is one of the most important memorial sites in Europe. In the evening return to your accommodation in Prague.
Day 4 Monday, Prague – Kutná Hora – Sedlec – Kutna Hora
Drive to Kutná Hora, the second most important city, after Prague. The town developed as a result of the exploitation of the silver mines. It then became a royal city, considered the jewel of the country. One of the most bizarre, yet very popular tourist attractions is the Sedlec Ossuary, a small Christian chapel decorated with human bones. The ossuary contains approximately 40 000 human skeletons which have been artistically arranged to form decorations and furnishings for the chapel. Both the city centre of Kutná Hora and Sedlec are recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Accommodate in Kutna Hora in a 3* Hotel.
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Day 5 Tuesday, Prague – Cachtice (Slovakia) – Budapest
Transfer to Slovakia, to the village of Cachtice to visit the ruins of the castle of the bloody countess Elizabeth Bathory who lived here at the turn of the 16th and 17th century. She allegedly killed 600 young girls to bathe in their blood to stay forever young. For her sadism she was condemned to a lifelong prison. Her castle, burnt during a rebellion is today a picturesque ruin. Drive next to Bratislava the capital city of Slovakia and enjoy a city tour including the Bratislava castle, Virgin Tower, St Michael Gate and Tower, the Fountain of St.George. Transfer for accommodation in Budapest, the city of spas and hot, spicy goulash. Overnight in a 3* hotel.
Day 6 Wednesday, Budapest
Visit Budapest's House of Terror, an impressive memorial museum of the victims of totalitarian terror. containing exhibits related to the fascist and communist dictatorial regimes. Hundreds of testimonial footage from survivors, jail cells and torture chambers. After such a visit a prayer will do you good. Visit the exquisite Matyas Church and the Fishermen’s Bastion, built in 1895 in neo-Romanesque style. Have a walk in the beautiful Castle District and enter the famous Labyrinth of Buda Castle. Accommodate in a 3* Hotel.
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Day 7 Thursday, Budapest – Visegrad – Budapest
Today you'll visit Visegrad, the famous medieval Hungarian castle, standing on a hill top overlooking the Danube, which served, for 12 years, as a prison for Vlad the Impaler, the Romanian rulers also known as Dracula.
Head back to Budapest and enjoy some time on your own: shop, take advantage of the generous spa offer or simply stroll around the streets and enjoy the remarkable examples of medieval architecture. Accommodate in a 3* Hotel.
Day 8 Friday, Budapest – Baile Felix (Romania)
Just like Bram Stoker’s main character, Jonathan Harker, your Transylvanian adventure starts from Budapest. You will be collected by the English speaking Romanian guide from your hotel. Transfer to Baile Felix, a Transylvanian spa resort, well known the curative effects of its thermal springs. Accommodate in a 4* hotel in Baile Felix.
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Day 9 Saturday, Baile Felix – Oradea – Baile Felix
In the morning you can choose to relax in a swimming pool with thermal water or you can try the services of the wellness centre of the hotel.
In the afternoon take a trip to Oradea to visit the old town and admire the Secession style buildings that give a special elegance to this town. Oradea is located in North West Romania and dates back to the Roman period when it was known under the name of Varadinum Citadel.
Return to your hotel in Baile Felix.
Day 10 Sunday, Baile Felix – Sunset Mountains – Turda
Today you'll cross the Carpathians through Vartop Pass and enter Motzilor Land. You’ll enjoy breathtaking natural sceneries as you arrive at Turzii’s Gorges, one of the most important natural reservations of the Apuseni Mountains. Located in Trascau Mountains, Turzii’s Gorges are well known among mountain lovers and rock climbers in Romania for the number and diversity of their climbing routes. In addition to the climbing, you will have opportunity to see various species of butterflies and plants, some of which unique in the world. Accommodate in a 4* hotel, often described a medieval fantasy with beds.
For dinner you could enjoy a Vampire Menu in the restaurant of the hotel decorated in an authentic rustic style.
Optional: Attend the Ritual of Killing of the Living Dead – meant to reveal who was dwelling the magic realms of Transylvania prior to Bram Stoker’s vampires. The event, performed according to the old burying rituals in Transylvania, will introduce you to the genuine local folklore
Day 11 Monday, Turda – Cluj – Bistrita – Borgo Pass
Morning transfer to Cluj Napoca, an important Transylvanian cultural and economic centre, the former Hungarian provincial capital, tracing its origins back to the 2nd century. The Main Square, Piata Unirii, home to beautiful Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neo-Classical buildings is dominated by the 15th century Saint Michaels’s Church. Next stop is Bistrita Citadel where you’ll meet Misiuga, the Baron of Dracula who looks remarkably young for an 84 year old. He will welcome you in his windswept Coopers’ Tower.
Lunch could be enjoyed in Golden Crown Restaurant. You could delight yourself with the same meal Jonathan Harker had when in Bistrita.
You will overnight in Dracula’s Castle in Borgo Pass, a 3* hotel built in accordance to Bram Stocker’s imagination on the border between Transylvania and Moldavia, in a breathtaking natural setting. A candle lit dinner at the Castle is recommended.
Day 12 Tuesday, Borgo Pass – Tirgu Mures – Sighisoara
Today you will get acquainted with Transylvania’s Szeckler influences by visiting the city of Targu Mures. You can treat your self with delicious Hungarian recipes in the famous Laci Czarda Restaurant. Next stop is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sighisoara Medieval Citadel. Founded by Saxons during the 12th century, Sighisoara still stands as one of Europe’s most beautiful and still inhabited fortified cities. Sighisoara is also the place where Vlad the Impaler, known as Dracula, was born. Accommodate in a charming 3* hotel located in the heart of the medieval citadel.
Dinner could be enjoyed in Casa Vlad Dracul Restaurant, the very place where Dracula was borne turned today into a cosy restaurant where one can enjoy the delicious Count’s dishes.
Day 13 Wednesday, Sighisoara – Bran – Rasnov – Brasov
Today you’re introduced to Transylvania’s iconic image, Bran Castle. The edifice owes its fame both to its unique charm and to the myth Bram Stoker created around Dracula. In 1920, Queen Maria, the niece of Queen Victoria of Great Britain, turned the castle into a beautiful summer residence. Close to the castle there is a shrine set in a wall of a mountain which once sheltered her heart. The best preserved peasant fortification in Transylvania and one of the largest one in Eastern Europe first documented in the 13th century is your next destination. Drive to the medieval Saxon city of Brasov, a city with an outstanding medieval atmosphere which has played a vital role in Romania’s history, both old and new. The most famous landmark of Brasov is the Black Church, the largest Gothic edifice in South – Eastern Europe. Accommodate in a 3* Hotel.
Day 14 Thursday, Brasov – Sibiu – Sibiel
Explore today Sibiu, the European Capital of Culture (in 2007). The fortified city of Sibiu has been the centre of Romania's German minority since medieval times and it is one of Romania’s most beautiful cities, containing the largest concentration of tourist attractions in the country. Visit the Village Museum, the second-largest open-air museum in the world, exhibiting peasant settlements from all over Romania. Drive next to the traditional Saxon village of Sibiel. Enjoy a carriage ride to your welcoming guest house accommodation, and delight yourself with delicious traditional home cooked Saxon dishes, a strong recommendation for dinner.
Day 15 Friday, Sibiu – Cozia – Tirgoviste – Bucharest
Morning drive to Targoviste, former capital of Walachia County situated on the right bank of Ialomita River, to visit the ruins of Vlad Tepes Old Court. Vlad spent here 7 years as ruler of Walachia. On the way to Targoviste you will stop to pay a visit to Cozia Monastery, situated on Olt River in a picturesque Carpathian landscape. Transfer next to the capital city of Bucharest, once surnamed the “little Paris”. Accommodate in a 3* hotel.
Day 16 Saturday, Bucharest – Snagov – Bucharest
Continue your journey with Snagov Monastery, where, according to the legend, Vlad Tepes was buried after his assassination. The monastic establishment is located on a small island of Snagov Lake so you’ll also enjoy a boat trip across the lake. The architectural style of the monastery follows the architectural pattern that is characteristic to the monasteries on the Holy Mount Athos in Greece. Return to Bucharest to visit Vlad's Old Princely Court and to enjoy a panoramic tour of the city. Accommodate in a 3* hotel.
Day 17 Sunday, Bucharest
The end of your Eastern Europe adventure. Say good - bye to Romania. Transfer to Bucharest Airport for the return flight.
I just wanted to thank you for all that you have done for my mother and me. We had such an amazing time on our vacation. Thank you for making sure we were taken care of and comfortable at all times and locations. Each and every detail you had waiting for us was such a treat. Every one of our guides (from Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania) was very helpful, courteous, and knowledgeable. Romania was my favorite and I am anticipating my next trip there. Thank you, Amy White, Dallas Texas, USA.
Over 20 years of experience as a guide recommend Sorin as a perfect travel companion. From cultural, sightseeing tours to private journeys, Sorin has always managed to leave his guests with a unique impression of Romania
I enjoy guiding very much; it’s more than a job or hobby, it is a real passion. Romania is a great country with a fascinating history and it’s a great satisfaction for me to see that, at the end of a tour, tourists feel the same!
Born in Prague, he travelled a lot around Europe and United States of America. He studyed at Prague University two Slavic languages: Polish and Serbian.
I work as a tour guide of Prague / Czech Republic since 1998 in English, Polish, Serbian and Croatian. I like my job a lot, no doubt! I am trying to make my tours very enjoyable for amateurs and professionals both.
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