MURES – SIBIU – ALBA
Medieval Transilvania – Old Cities and Saxon Fortresses !
Let’s travel back to medieval times ! Discover the charm of Romania’s northwestern province, Transylvania. The perfect mixture of resplendent landscapes, ancient history and cultural jewels make it a perfect destination for your long week-ends. This tour reveals you medieval Romania, history’s dust and legends’ mysticism in the ravishing flavor of traditional meals and inebriating wine.
Just for You: Rhubarb Jam. That’s Right.
Two words: rhubarb jam. Okay, a few more: it’s the perfect blend of refreshing and slightly sour taste in a Saxon delicacy.
It’s delicious. And it’s made just for you by the crazy food geniuses at the Foodstuff Barn, inaugurated in 2009 by Prince Charles of Wales. It’s only available for the royal family, few other British, and now, for you. Right this way to rhubarb glory…
Tasting and shopping of traditional local delicacies
This Saxon village - with a XIV century fortress listed in UNESCO patrimony - keeps little secrets for unsuspected pleasures.
Here an old barn have been transformed in a processing center for the local farmers which use traditional recipes and who were instructed through a course of the Royal Society of Public Health.
Under the logo Saxon Village Preserves the members of the Foodstuff Barn – inaugurated in 2009 by Prince Charles of Wales – are selling (especially to clients from Great Britain, inclusively to the royal family): jams, pickles, salamis, sausages, fine chesses with noble mold, products made of plants, cakes, bread, drinks and oils.
The highlights seem to be the:
* Saschiz elder syrup,
* Transylvania spring honey
* and Rhubarb jam
(Rheum rhabarbarum – a refreshing and slightly sour Saxon delicacy which is safer to buy directly from a Saxon housewife than to cook it yourself at home. The parts of the plant must be carefully chosen as the leaves contain toxic oxalates. It probably reached in Transylvania due to the Saxon merchants to whom it has been brought around the middle of the 16 century most probably from Asia).
Europe has only few still inhabited Middle Age citadels and one of the most beautiful and best-preserved is in the old historical center of Sighisoara.
You will be driven to this UNESCO World Heritage Site (since ’99) where an exciting day and evening full of entertainment awaits you. Once there, stroll on the alleyways to feel like walking through the rainbow. Of course all your history related curiosities will be satisfied.
The medieval jewel of Romania, Sighisoara fortress was built in the 12th century, on the banks of Tarnava Mare River, by Saxon merchants and craftsmen.
Its Latin name was Castrum Sex and for several centuries it played a significant strategic and commercial role at Central Europe’s border. While tasting the nectarious local fruits brandies you will find out that the small fortified town was visited by Nicole Kidman, Jude Law and Renee Zellweger during the production of Cold Mountain (released in 2003, with 7 Oscar nominations).
Dinner will be served right in the house where Prince Vlad Tepes (the Impaler) was born.
You will enjoy spending the night in one of the oldest houses of this outstanding example of typical medieval German architecture.
You can also stay overnight and enjoy good food at Sighisoara Hotel.
It holds 3 world records:
* the largest helio-thermal in the world (and unique in Europe),
* the only one with salt water surrounded by a lush vegetation, due to the volcanic soil deposited in time,
* and the only natural lake in the world whose date of birth is known with a precision of a minute: May 27, 1875, 11:00 o’clock.
Historians say here there was a meadow with 2 streamlets disappearing into a hole dug in the salt mountain.
On that day, two salt guardians were gathering the hay when a shower came and took the hay covering the mountain’s hole where the streamlets flowed.
The salt mountain – having 3 km depth and covered by vegetation – is called the Timbering from the Saltings (Arboretele de pe Saraturi).
If people would not bathe into the lake, its temperature would reach 80 Celsius degrees during September – Octobeperfr due to the helio-thermal effect (the temperature was measured by an academician at the beginning of the 1900).
The reservation Ursu Lake and the Timbering from the saltings (~ 80 ha) includes 6 lakes: Ursu (Bear) and Alunis (Nut-grove) – arranged – and Mierlei (Blackbird’s), Rosu (Red), Verde (Green), and Paraschiva (unarranged).
Mures Canyon & Thermal Waterfall
Join the Mures River as it makes the longest breakthrough the volcanic mountain chain of Romania and in the end see with your own eyes the waterfall that never freeze.
Perfectly tailored to your taste, this culinary journey through the select wines made at the feet of the Carpathians starts with a guided tour of the vineyard.
Then, in the cellar, you will discover few of the winemaking art secrets. But the climax is yet to come: on a plateau at the top border of the vineyard hill, a charming lodge invites you to linger gazing to the fantastic panorama view across the rolling hills… Enjoy unforgettable moments in this small but elegant hideaway while tasting 6 of the top Liliac wines accompanied by a plate with cheeses, smoked ham and fruits. This is what we call relaxing !
Biertan village off-the-beaten-track tour ~ UNESCO site
You can easily spend half day exploring one of the first and biggest Saxon fortresses in Romania and the first listed on UNESCO World Patrimony – in 1993.
Among top 10 unreal destinations in the world according to Cosmopolitan (2016): “Biertan seriously looks like a town from a Disney movie”.
The legend says the spouses who were fighting and wished to divorce were locked into a room of the fortress with only 1 spoon, 1 fork, 1 table, 1 bed, 1 chair and thus they were forced to bear each other. From the heavy crops harvested 200 years ago from the estate of Baron Samuel von Brukenthal’s summer residence they cooked in the palace kitchen sophisticated dishes, comfitures, pies and cakes, juices and wines. But the Baron’s favorites were the creations based on asparagus, a vegetable considered to be the secret of longevity, with important aphrodisiac benefits and a delicacy which cuisine experts say it is the tastier during springtime. To delight all your senses to the full we invite you to the Baron’s candle light dinner ! Asparagus cream soup, asparagus and pesto salad, pork loin with asparagus, potatoes in butter and parsley and Hollandaise sauce, having as dessert strawberries with vanilla foam and for drinks lemonade with honey and strawberries, elder juice and red wine from Recas. The menu can be adjusted depending on season fresh ingredients and guests’ preferences.
Enjoy Baron von Brukenthal’s candle light dinner
From the heavy crops harvested 200 years ago from the estate of Baron Samuel von Brukenthal’s summer residence they cooked in the palace kitchen sophisticated dishes, comfitures, pies and cakes, juices and wines.
But the Baron’s favorites were the creations based on asparagus, a vegetable considered to be the secret of longevity, with important aphrodisiac benefits and a delicacy which cuisine experts say it is the tastier during springtime. To delight all your senses to the full we invite you to the Baron’s candle light dinner ! Asparagus cream soup, asparagus and pesto salad, pork loin with asparagus, potatoes in butter and parsley and Hollandaise sauce, having as dessert strawberries with vanilla foam and for drinks lemonade with honey and strawberries, elder juice and red wine from Recas. The menu can be adjusted depending on season fresh ingredients and guests’ preferences.
Visit one of the top 10 most idyllic places in Europe
Sibiu – 3* Michelin Green Guide (means it is worth a visit) – is one of the best cities to visit and one of the most charming one in Europe.
In 2012 Forbes included it in top 10 most idyllic places in Europe.
Marvelously preserved, Sibiu is nicknamed the “sharp city” due to its cathedrals’ steeples and arrows.
For this you have to step within the most beautiful and largest open-air museum in Europe, which precisely reconstructs the villages from all corners of Romania to the smallest details: little houses, churches, mills, traditional objects and means of transportation…
A thoroughly prepared travel to the atmosphere of the former Romanian village that will familiarize you with the way natives used to live in the past centuries, how our grandparents and great grandparents organized their households, the little secrets from the day-to-day existence, their beliefs and the church function, the taste for art…
Where to dine & spend the night
Lunca Sibielului is a cosy little space, tucked away from the main city, but still near enough to travel to. It’s a family friendly place, which makes the place very homely and cosy. They serve good food, especially sarmale (minced meat in cabbage leaves).
Italian architect Giovano Morando Visconti made the plan of fortress erected between 1714 – 1738 . Marechal Vauban, engineer to King Louis XIV of France, invented its 7 pointed star shapped design. With 7 bastions and 6 gates, the imposing citadel stretches over more than 100 ha. It is the most representative Vauban fortification with bastions in Romania.
Its Gates Tour is a must…
...as it includes the 5th gate erected at base of St Michael's ravelin.
In the ’60s they closed access to it with a brick wall and filled gate’s arched passageway with dirt. A major segment of original stone floor was preserved as well as the gate frame that allowed drawbridge to operate. Many myths and legends relates to this citadel, 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. Apulum Roman castrum was the largest fortress in Roman Dacia. Its construction started under Emperor Hadrianus, probably about 125 AD. For over one century without interruption Apulum was headquarters of Legio XIII Gemina.
Among artifacts uncovered here in 2011 there was an 1,800-year old inscription reminding a political episode from ancient Rome. Emperor Septimius Severus had 2 sons: Publius Septimius Geta and Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Caracalla. These started to rule together as joint emperors in 211 A.D. During same year Emperor Caracalla killed Geta and ordered his brother’s name to be crossed out of history. This is why Emperor Geta’s name is crossed out on the uncovered inscription.
Here archaeologists also discovered ruins of Aurelia Apulensis colony (around 3rd century). You can see the hundreds of tiny pieces uncovered during excavations at Union National Museum.
Restaurants and hotel recommendations
The restaurant is situated in the old gunpowder storehouse of the fortress within the Southern wall.
This is really a great restaurant with panoramic views of the Vauban citadel.
You can feel like royalty, listening discreet music while enjoying savoury dishes served by staff in epoque costumes. Highly recommended.
If you wish to also stay here overnight, kindly note that they get fully booked with 4 months in advance !
Roman Galleries Gold Mining Museum
The most active gold mining center of Western Carpathians was Rosia Montana. This was also one of the most long-lasting traditional gold mining sites known nowadays. Here the excavations began in the Bronze Age. The traditional gold mining ended in 1948 along with the nationalization, but the industrial mining continued until 2006.
A significant interaction between man and nature generated one of the richest and most spectacular cultural landscapes of Romania.
Heritage, Art, Gourmet, Family, Relaxing, Wellness
Bucharest (Henri Coanda / Ion Tiriac / Aurel Vlaicu), Sibiu
At least 7 days
All year round
* Customized itinerary planning and travel arrangements
* Private sedan / minivan with professional English speaking driver (-guide) at disposal
(Helicopter / jet transfer available on request)
* 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