Exquisite landscapes. Gourmet dining. Old world hospitality. Contemporary conveniences and comfort.
Tell us how much free time you have and what you like.
We’ll tell you how to best spend it in Transylvania (Romania).
With complimentary tips, gifts and VIP treatment !
FOR TRUFFLE LOVERS
There’s something overpoweringly alluring about truffles, and it’s not just the smell.
The power they exert over food lovers is strong.
These grow in some oaks, hazelnuts and pins forests, 10 to 40 cm underground.
Truffles require special soil with a particular pH.
French and Burgundy truffle are suitable in Romania.
The firsts in the south and west of the country and the lasts in the north.
With its still unaltered soils, Romania has perhaps the cleanest agricultural land in Europe.
European Union provides funding for forestation or hazelnut culture.
So indirectly it funds the truffle culture in Romania, which is still a baby.
Among many other advantages, truffles culture:
- do not require fertilizers (so it is fully eco-friendly),
- is green (since it is primarily a land – forest),
- has a lifetime of 40-50 years,
- involves quite low maintenance costs and
- has twofold profit: the harvesting and sale of truffles, and the sale of hazelnuts or wood from plantations.
Culture truffle starts producing from the 4th year, becoming really profitable in the 10th year after plantation.
Truffles hunting with trained dogs and cooking
Truffle hunting is a truly recreational activity for all nature lovers.
During this, trained dogs from Lagotto Romagnolo breed search a certain specie of mushroom.
This indicates the place of the truffles.
Now that we finished the briefing, are you ready for adventure?
In this wonderful experience, we’ve crammed in:
- a full day truffles hunting with trained dogs and ride from Aiud in the forest,
- a cooking class in open air,
- a delicious truffle dish (Truffle dish cost depends on the amount of consumed truffles and their market price which varies daily upon supply and demand.)
- a medieval lunch within Marshall Vauban’s 7 pointed star-shaped citadel
- a diner in an old gunpowder storehouse
- and 8 days of sightseeing tours of Wallachia’s and Transylvania’s highlights.
Last but not least you will also see the sun rising twice in the same morning to ensure you get the most out of your truffle experience.
When to come
July – November, 2020
TAILOR MADE ITINERARY
SAMPLE: Alba County: TransAlpina Highway ~ Alba Iulia ~ Aiud
Day 1 ~ Craiova
- Welcome and greetings at Craiova Airport.
- Drive to Polovragi.
- Visit Polovragi Monastery, worship place for over 500 years.
Best time to visit is on July 20 during St. Elijah celebration.
- Walk through Oltet Canyon (not accessible on rainy days due to stones falling).
The spectacular canyon has only 1.5 km.
But its fascinating vertical stone walls make you feel small and insignificant in front of nature.
Both climbing enthusiasts and passionate photographers frequently come in this place.
- Lunch, dinner and overnight at Polovragi Monastery.
Day 2 ~ King’s Road: Transalpina Highway
- Drive along Romania’s highest winding picturesque road.
Romania's highest road - Transalpina (2,145 m in Urdele Pass) or DN 67C - dates from Dacians time.
At the beginning, this was only a path in Parang Mountains (Southern Carpathians).
Only shepherds from nowadays Marginimea Sibiului used it.
During Dacia’s invasion, 2000 years ago, on their way to Sarmizegetusa,
Romans armies built this superb road.
Under the reign of Carol II, in 1930, it became practicable being cobble stoned.
This is the reason why locals call it King’s Road.
German troops rebuilt it during World War II.
In 2007 the spectacular TransAlpina road became a modern highway.
Now it allows fast transfer (148 km) between Oltenia (Bengesti, Novaci, Gorj county, Wallachia) and Ardeal (Sebes, Alba County, Transylvania).
If no rainy weather, this is a great alternative to the heavy traffic on Olt Valley.
Due to the high altitude, unconsolidated versants and missing parapets on large portions, TransAlpina is not an extremely safe road.
So, upon snow layer thickness, it is closed during cold months: between November 1 and April 15 at the soonest.
The sector between Ranca and Curpat is open only between July 1 and October 31.
Along the winding road there are plenty of attractions: from fir forests to the lakes and dam from Oasa area.
The turns and upward slopes are a real challenge for drivers whom give emotions but also for… cars.
- Have lunch in Ranca, one of the most popular mountain resorts in South Romania.
Quite newly developed, this is located towards the south end of Transalpina road.
- See Oasa Lake and Dam.
- Dinner and overnight at Golden Lion Hotel in Sebes.
Day 3 ~ Alba Iulia Citadel
- Drive to Alba Iulia city.
Step into the incredibly well preserved medieval world of Alba Carolina !
Habsburg authorities built the citadel to strengthen their rule in Transylvania and defend empire's borders from Turkish invasions.
Italian architect Giovano Morando Visconti made the plan of fortress erected in the 18th century.
Marechal Vauban, engineer to King Louis XIV of France, invented its 7 pointed star shaped design.
With 7 bastions and 6 gates, the imposing citadel is the most representative Vauban fortification with bastions in Romania.
Many myths and legends relates to it, some closer to reality than other.
They say it was a forbidden city until 2005 because it was a military unit.
They also say there is a Mathew bible from year 800 in the library.
* Its Gates Tour is a must…
...as it includes all 3 military fortifications from historical area of Alba Iulia:
- Roman Castrum of XIII Gemina Legion,
- Medieval White Fortress of Balgrad and
- Vauban Fortress.
It also includes the entire route of Alba Carolina Fortress Ditches.
You can still see a major segment of original stone floor of the 5th gate’s arched passageway.
Several mobile bridges allow access connecting some of the gates, as it was 3 centuries ago.
Manutanta’s building is one of the first buildings raised by Austrians within citadel.
* Apulum Roman castrum ~ the largest fortress in Roman Dacia
Constructed under Emperor Hadrianus, for over 100 years without interruption, Apulum was headquarters of Legio XIII Gemina.
Principia Site – the former headquarters of Apulum Roman Castrum – became a museum unique in Romania.
Guides dressed in Roman uniforms tell you about the Roman garrison artifacts.
And kids have the occasion to wear the Roman uniform.
Enjoy a journey through history from the Middle Ages to the present.
For this you only have to pass the citadel’s bridged gates before the spectacular Changing of the Guard.
This happens promptly at 12 pm every day so make sure you have an unobstructed view of the Royal Guards.
In the stunning medieval surrounding an unique show starts.
On the fortress main alley, Royal Guards march in procession, completing an elaborate changeover in the sound of drums, horses and cannons.
- Have lunch at The Beautiful View Hall Restaurant within the fortress.
In a historical stylish milieu, staff dressed in period costumes will serve you with medieval specialties.
Visit the imposing Reunification Cathedral
In 1922, King Ferdinand and Queen Marie’s coronation took place within this imposing Romanian Orthodox Cathedral.
Alba Iulia Unification Museum
Stolen, scattered and moved twice, museum's collections still include: prehistoric, medieval, ethnographic and numismatic exhibits.
On December 1st, 1918, Union Hall – located within former Austrian-Hungarian Army House – accommodated 1228 delegates.
These voted for the union of Transylvania, Banat and Maramures with Romania.
During the 1968 restoration, communists plated Union Hall with Romanian marble.
They removed all details reminding of Romanian Kingdom, replaced the French canvas paintings with Romanian frescoes.
They also unveiled nearby the Voivode Michael the Brave’s equestrian statue.
The exhibition open here features:
- belongings of famous outlaw Avram Iancu,
- Union Documents,
- photo camera used to take the only 5 photos of the Union and…
- the photos !
City’s official photographer was missing under suspicious circumstances.
So the only one of the 100,000 attendees who had a photo camera, a war veteran, became the unofficial photographer.
In the evening, breath the history’s air during an original medieval feast held in the former Gun Powder Hall of the fortress within Southern wall.
Set right in the heart of the citadel, Pub 13 Restaurant has authentic medieval atmosphere.
The original basic architecture of the hall – still preserved and unique in South-Est of Europe – is of remarkable technical ingenuity.
A column shaped like the foot of a mushroom supports the vault of the almost circular hall.
The vault itself has the interior shape of the mushroom hat going down flared to the contour of the floor.
Lots of officials and celebrities have passed its threshold looking for the special ambiance here:
~ Romanian actors, writers and singers, sportsmen and designers, prime ministers,
~ foreign commercial attaches, mayors, ministers, parliamentarians, State Secretaries, UN representatives, consuls.
Lonely Planet says this is one of 10 best restaurants in Romania and probably the best restaurant in Alba Iulia.
- Overnight within Alba Iulia medieval citadel at Medieval Hotel.
Kindly note that they get fully booked with 4 months in advance !
Day 4 ~ Catch a peak at village life
- Drive to Tecsesti village.
The truly sublime Living Museum Village of Tecsesti exudes a typically old Romanian charm.
First living museum in the country opened in a secluded, formerly self-sufficient mountain shepherds village with only 14 old inhabitants.
Village’s delights will make your head turn !
Boasting spectacular scenery and views towards the mountains peaks, Tecsesti is the hidden gem of Alba County.
- a clay house with hay roof,
- a clay oven for bread, an ecological garden,
- Neolitic huts and
- a shepherd household (from the 20th century, with its original furniture).
And while it enjoys a quieter pace, there’s no shortage of things to do.
You have the unique opportunity to experience the life of our ancestors.
Farm, engage and nourish yourself like in the old times.
Enjoy a variety of cultural activities, camps and Nedeia Festival !
- Dinner and overnight at Edelweiss Boardinghouse.
Day 5 ~ Truffle hunting in Transylvanian forests
- Drive to Aiud.
Carpathian Mountains, the lung of Europe, hides in its western side Trascau Mountains.
For Norbert, the truffle hunter that will accompany you all the time, the forest here has no more secrets.
- From Aiud, Norbert takes you to discover the deep forest of Apuseni Mountains without worrying about wild animals or other dangers.
His amazingly intelligent dogs are the stars of this truffle hunting.
Take advantage of Norbert’s expertise and get all the information about truffles you like.
He has lots of stories for you, in English, Romanian or Hungarian.
- Later, Norbert will cook a truffle dish for you in the open air.
- He will also show you Cheia, a very special place due to its buildings, way of living and only 5 inhabitants !
Just follow Norbert, relax and have fun.
For sure you will love the very wild beauty of this Transylvanian forest.
- Drive to Coltesti.
- Dinner and overnight at Hungarian’s Mansion.
Day 6 ~ Rimetea Village
- Visit Trascau Fortress.
Raised in the 13th century on a steep rock, this served villagers as place of refuge from Tatars invasions.
- Stop at the Cheese Bar.
- Go to Piatra Secuiului (Hungarian’s Stone, also called the Giant Lying on the Back, because of its look at night).
- Dinner and overnight in Rimetea Village.
One of the most beautiful villages in the country is on the 4th place on the list of Romanian landscapes unique in the world.
This tiny magical village is the only place in the world where the sun rises twice a day.
The steep slopes bordering this spectacular place create this impression.
Hidden in an immense granite bucket, the settlement with white houses has a privileged natural position.
Its picturesque steeps are more forested in the western part than where Piatra Secuiului (1128 m) dominates.
Named after nearby Trascau Mountains until 1960s, the village name changed into Rimetea in the last 20 years.
Famous for its troubled history, extraordinary architectural heritage and wonderful landscape opening as far as you can see.
Awarded in 1999, for conservation of cultural and architectural heritage, the village now awaits the inclusion in UNESCO World Heritage List.
Day 7 ~ See the sun rising twice
- Then drive to Raven’s Nest for the day and night.
Day 8 ~ Cluj
- Drive to Cluj Airport and fly back home.
This tour is completely tailor made to best fit all your own preferences.
Kindly contact us for pricing and availability.