Transylvania in winter is as beautiful as in summer, if not more beautiful. If it snows. And it usually does. :) And you don't have to worry about too much snow, as the roads are usually opened, no matter how much is snowing.
Transylvania is protected by the Carpathians Mountains like a fortress, so we don't have to worry about blizzards or really low temperatures. What has Transylvania more to offer in winter, compared with summer?
Well, the Christmas markets and winter holidays traditions, the snow sleigh rides, the Ice Hotel, the mulled wine, and all the other attractions that can be visited in summer. Excepting the Transfagarasan road
which is covered by snow in winter. And last, but not the least, the charming hibernal landscape.
We are highly adaptable in planning the tour based on our visitors' flights. For an optimal itinerary, we can begin and end the journey in Sibiu, Bucharest, Brasov, or Cluj-Napoca, with overnight stays in Sibiu and Brasov.
Please find below the list of the day trips from which our guests can choose. It can be just one excursion or multiple-day trips.
The first day we will explore Sibiu, where we can have a tour of the Old Town, with the Christmas Market, if the visit is in December or early January. If there is enough snow we will have a sleigh ride in the Open Air Museum. Other possibilities for the day would to explore the traditional villages located at the foothills of the mountains, in the vicinity of Sibiu. Lunch or dinner can be a home-cooked meal at one of the guesthouses in the area. We will spend the night in Sibiu.
On the second day of our Transylvanian trip we will go up in the mountains for the unique Ice Hotel experience. This hotel is made entirely from ice blocks cut from the frozen Balea Lake, at 2000 meters altitude. In order to reach the hotel, we will drive on the Transfagarasan road up to 1200 meters altitude. The road is closed there, and we'll have to take the cable car to go to the Ice Hotel. The cable car ride, which is 15 minutes long, will get us to 2000 meters and it is an experience by itself. We can admire from above the Balea Waterfall, the steep mountain peaks or the curves of the Transfagarasan road, covered in snow. At the Ice hotel we can visits the rooms that can be rented during the night, and we can enjoy some cold drinks in the hotel or a hot tea in the chalet nearby. Besides visiting the Ice Hotel, we can enjoy several winter activities on the frozen Balea Lake, such as tubing or snowmobiling.
On this day, we will be awestruck by the beauty of the mountains, which have been adorned in a hibernal setting. We'll take it slowly, hiking or snowshoeing depending on the amount of snow. We will determine the trek difficulty based on our guests' physical condition, so they may appreciate the pure splendor of the mountains without any strenuous exertion. Depending on the route, we can stop for a hot soup at a mountain cabin or grill a few sausages over a outdoor fire.
On this day, we may go to the magnificent Corvin Castle, which was erected in the 15th century in Hunedoara, around 130 kilometers west of Sibiu. The fairytale-like gothic castle is one of Romania's most popular tourist attractions, and we'll see it in winter splendor. On the way back, we'll take a walking tour of the Alba Iulia citadel, a hidden gem of Transylvanian history and architecture.
On this day we will discover Sighisoara, the enchanting medieval citadel, one of the last of its kind still inhabited, listed on UNESCO World Heritage list. On the way to Sighisoara from Sibiu, we will pass through the charming Saxon villages, hidden in the valleys of the Transylvanian plateau. We will visit the another UNESCO site, the fortified church Biertan. If our guests are interested, we will be able to enjoy a home cooked lunch, prepared by skilled housewives in one of the villages in the area. On the way back to Sibiu, if time permits, we can have a short walking tour in the historical quarter of Medias.
We couldn't conclude our Transylvania itinerary without seeing Bran Castle. As a result, one of our day trips will take us to the iconic castle recognized across the globe as Dracula's castle. We will take advantage of the chance to visit Brasov, one of the most significant Saxon cities in Transylvania. On this day, depending on client desire, we may also see bears from the Zarnesti Bear Reserve
1. Sibiu Old Town
2. Sleigh Ride
3. Local Food
4. Ice Hotel
5. Corvin Castle
6. Alba Iulia fortress
7. Sighisoara Citadel
8. Medias Old Town
9. Astra Museum
10. Biertan fortified church
11. Brasov Old Town
12. Bran Castle