* See the traditional blue printed pottery center and the UNESCO Orthodox monastery from Horezu.
* Be awestruck by strange architectural design of Curtea de Arges monastery’s columns and legend.
* Explore the largest gorges complex of the country.
* Taste and shop for traditional homemade delicacies.
* Enjoy a lunch in the village where Sharon Stone and Andy Garcia filmed in 2012 scenes from “What About Love”
* Stop on Vidraru Dam to take some amazing photos.
* Transfagarasan highway takes you on top of the majestic Carpathian Mountains. With a lunch at a trout farm.
* Heritage, Art, Gourmet, Family, Relaxing, Wellness, Cars
* Arges – Olt – Valcea
* At least 5 days
* All year round
* Customized itinerary planning and travel arrangements
* Private sedan / minivan with professional English speaking driver (-guide) at disposal
* Personal tour manager at disposal (available on request)
* Complimentary rooms and restaurants reservations
* Rooms, meals, entrance fees
* Varies depending on season, tour length, number of guests, included special activities and other custom preferences
Golescu family played an important role in Romanian history. Find out about their good deeds while wondering through the family’s lordly mansion. Built in 1640, this is the only laic medieval fortified building in the country.
On the same estate you will discover a traditional village from mid 19th century. It is the most important sector of Dinicu Golescu Museum, founded in 1939 by the order of King Charles II. Organized in open air, the 35 households here were brought from the main fruit-growing and wine-growing areas of the country.
After you listened and saw all details about the history and civilization of Arges county, relax with a ride by a horse drawn carriage.
Curtea de Arges monastery
One of the most famous Romanian legends relates to the monastery from Curtea de Arges. It serves as necropolis of the Romanian Royal Family. Here Kings Carol I, Ferdinand and Carol II, as well as Queen Ana rest. In the 16th century (1514) the Prince Neagoe Basarab founded a halidom of unmatched beauty, with some Georgian and Armenian architectural elements. After studying in Italy and Constantinople he administrated the construction of a mosque ordered by the sultan Bayezid II. The chief-builder of the mosque was the Armenian master Manoli from Niaesia.
Master Manole's legend In Dambovicioara village’s area your sight is caught by the houses ornated with sculpted wooden pillars and multicolored tall roses. No, Romanians don’t spend too much of their time wetting them. Nature takes care of roses to have flowers as big as the head of a new born. From the comfortable sedan the villages veiled among mountain ridges gently reveal to your eyes. The landscape looks as if a child drew here and there on a piece of green paper some trees, stones, small houses and a winding asphalt ribbon among them. You are heading to the largest gorges complex of the country: Dambovicioara Canyon, within Piatra Craiului National Park. The climax is when, following the road, a straight domineering mountain suddenly arise in front of you like an impetuous wall as if the world ends here. You shyly approach and at the turn, amid two edgy cliffs, the deep and narrow entrance inside the mountain opens. It’s chill. You have the sensation that you feel the breath of the mountain and even hear it. Daring to look up you are shivery by the bouncers of cliffs hung by the canyon walls. They look like wild beast lying in ambush to hurtle on you.
Explore the largest gorges complex of the country
In Dambovicioara village’s area your sight is caught by the houses ornated with sculpted wooden pillars and multicolored tall roses. No, Romanians don’t spend too much of their time wetting them. Nature takes care of roses to have flowers as big as the head of a new born. From the comfortable sedan the villages veiled among mountain ridges gently reveal to your eyes. The landscape looks as if a child drew here and there on a piece of green paper some trees, stones, small houses and a winding asphalt ribbon among them.
You are heading to the largest gorges complex of the country: Dambovicioara Canyon, within Piatra Craiului National Park.
The climax is when, following the road, a straight domineering mountain suddenly arise in front of you like an impetuous wall as if the world ends here. You shyly approach and at the turn, amid two edgy cliffs, the deep and narrow entrance inside the mountain opens. It’s chill. You have the sensation that you feel the breath of the mountain and even hear it. Daring to look up you are shivery by the bouncers of cliffs hung by the canyon walls. They look like wild beast lying in ambush to hurtle on you.
Traditional homemade delicacies from Rucar-Bran Couloir
After Dambovicioara Canyon, before leaving the Rucar – Bran Couloir you notice, on both sides of the road, tables with traditional Romanian delicacies.
Stop at the penultimate on the right. Here an over 70 years old lady with clear blue eyes and 3 children – a priest, a Romanian language teacher and the other daughter working for European Funds – will welcome you. Then she will kindly invite you to taste for free all the products. The old lady herself makes them, right in the house behind the temptress table.
Despite the rain outside, under the large umbrella, the flavours of smoked sausages and forest fruits syrups tantalize your senses. Bear, deer, and boar dry sausages, wild strawberry, raspberry, underbrush, fir buds and fir cones thick syrups, cheese in fir tree bark, smoked cheese, forest fruits sherbet, honey, blueberry brandy…
The driver is quite passionate about homemade drinks. He prepares his own elder juice, so he asks about the quantities in the recipe of this amazing blueberry brandy. The answer surprise and make us all laughing: as many ripe blueberries and some palinca (traditional local brandy), no sugar, no any other add-ons. Honey is another local delicacy you don’t wish to miss. Especially the one made of acacia. Some says in Romania you find the most flavored and tasty one. Maybe because of the unknown natural mix of fertile soil, clean air and weather conditions.
Watch for the storks nests on the beautiful Olt Valley while riding on E81 (European Road 81).
Crossing the Pasul Turnu Rosu (Red Tower Pass – 352 m), this is one of the most beautiful roads in Romania.
It is also one of the most important communication ways between Bucharest and the cities from North and West of Romania.
Starting with the 16th century, the boyars from Western Wallachia and Oltenia built tall fortified mansions to defend themselves against the Turks attacks. Their names – culas – come from the word kula which means tower in Turkish. Made of solid stone and painted in dazzling white, these have veranda and doors with huge wooden pillars. In the walls, there are holes for rifles to banished uninvited visitors if needed. Inside they features solid cellar, interior stairs and simple rooms with clean floors and wooden beams. Let’s start your incursion into the beautiful history of this region at
Maldaresti old church (1790)
Its slender shape pops up among flowers, serene and beautiful. It has extraordinary exterior paintings by Olga Greceanu. And from here you can see the imposing white culas shining in the sun.
I. Gh. Duca Memorial House (1912)
It welcomes you with the warm light and serenity of peasant houses.
The cula’s pleasant exterior has harmonious proportions while the interior impresses with sober but intimate rooms. The old furniture of an extraordinary good taste has an inestimable value. Politician’s desk looks like he just left it several minutes ago and will soon return to use the papers, ink pot and nib. There are Oltenian carpets on the floors and bedspreads cover the chambers’ beds. I. Gh. Duca’s portrait and family photo hanging on the wall, a straws hat and the window looking towards the green garden give you the feeling of tranquil pleasant afternoons in the countryside.
Duca Cula (1812)
This was built by Gheorghita Maldarescu.
Greceanu Cula (1516)
The oldest construction of this kind in Romania, built by Nan the Cupbearer, was initially only a defence tower against robbers.
The old architectural elements specific to Brancoveanu style demonstrate one’s more the cula’s age. For example, the cellar has windows carved in perforated stone and 4 rooms. Verandas have arcades and penetration vaults. One of the rooms has vaults painted in 1934 by Olga Greceanu. Their frescoes represent old times images and portraits of Maldarescu family. Did you know that the key of the cula’s oak door is over 200 years old ? Don’t miss the occasion of keeping it in your hand even if only for a minute !
The cellar does not communicate in any way with the floor. This particularity also confirms the cula’s age and was an advantage in case of danger. First, the enemies – thinking the entrance was the cellar’s mouth – ended under the bullets rain. And second, because the rest of the house was perfectly insulated from the most vulnerable place of it. Now let’s check the mobile stair that is a real rudimentary elevator ! Tied with string, it used to be lifted by boyars after getting in the hiding place. The disadvantage was that the first floor’s windows and veranda could be easily conquered by villains.
In 1590, Maldarescu family estate spread from mountains to Danube, being the attacks’ target of pashas from the river. Countless battles must have been given under the now immaculate walls of the two culas. This is the reason why it has loopholes for muskets and a castellated turret, after the Serbian style. Each room have tile stoves with such different models. One of the most beautiful and important pieces of furniture and unique in our country is a little table. Velvety brown, it has the 12 zodiac signs encarved.
Due to its very well preserved autenticity Greceanu cula served as setting for the famous Romanian movies “Bones Road”, “Yellow Rose” and “Iancu Jianu”.
Maldar Lordly Mansion
This old Oltenian cula intactly preserves all architectural details of these.
Where to spend the night
“La Conac is a quiet little house away from the town area. Here, we were treated to lovely sunsets and sunrises. There’s no restaurant here, or nearby. We drove back to town to pick up some pizza takeaways and cold beer, to be enjoyed from the verandah.”