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.
Tour 1: The winter tour in Transylvania can start in Sibiu or Bucharest. If your flight connections allow, we suggest starting the trip in Sibiu, in order to avoid the hectic traffic of the capital of Romania. So, the first day we will spend in 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, or all kind of winter activities in Paltinis sky resort, which is just 30 min from Sibiu. Other possibilities would be a short drive through the villages in Marginimea Sibiului. Lunch or dinner can be a home-cooked meal at one of the guesthouses in the area. We will spend the night in Sibiu.
Tour 2: on this 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, on the Transfagarasan road. The road cannot be seen, as it hidden under a thick layer of snow. In order to reach the hotel, we need to drive for about one hour from Sibiu and then, another 15 minutes with the cable car. In the hotel we will see 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 cottage nearby. Overnight in Sibiu.
Tour 3: This day will be dedicated to castles and fortress. The biggest in Transylvania. I'm talking about the Corvin Castle, the imposing 15th-century gothic castle, located in Hunedoara county and Alba Iulia, the largest fortress in South-Eastern Europe still standing.
Tour 4: We will leave Sibiu for 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 famous fortified churches and we will be able to taste authentic food cooked using local ingredients by skilled housewives. We will walk in the footsteps of Prince Charles, who comes in this part of Transylvania regularly. Overnight in Sighisoara.
Tour 5: We will leave Sighisoara for Brasov. On the way to Brasov, we will stop to visit Rupea fortress and witness the vastness of the Transylvanian scenery from the top of the medieval stronghold. Before reaching Brasov, we will have the possibility to visit another UNESCO site, the fortified church of Prejmer, who served as a shelter for all the inhabitants of the village during the hard times, centuries ago. In the afternoon, we will explore together Brasov, the Saxon Old Town and the Romanian quarter outside the medieval walls, or we will have a lovely walk at the foothills of Tampa mountain, from where we can have a top-notch view of the Old Town. Overnight in Brasov.
Tour 6: This is dedicated to Bran Castle, the gothic castle who probably inspired Bram Stocker to create the fictional residence of Count Dracula, but in reality, a century ago being the romantic summer residence of the most popular Romanian Queen. For this tour, the possibilities are varied. We can fill the day with another fortress - Rasnov, the Bear Sanctuary from Rasnov or a short walk through the mountain villages near Bran. We will spend the night in one of the many guesthouses on the foothills of the Carpathians mountains.
Tour 7: On this day we will visit the official residence of the first Romanian King, The Peles - a lovely eclectic castle hidden in the forest, which at the moment of its construction was among the most modern building in the world. On the second part of the day, we will have the transfer to Sibiu or Bucharest, for the preparation of the departure of our guests.
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. Mosna fortified church
12. Malancrav Village
7. Prejmer fortified church
8. Brasov Old Town
9. Bran Castle
10. The Bear Sanctuary
11. Rasnov fortress
12. Peles Castle