This trip provides a string of interesting visits to unique places. The tour gives a picture of 3 countries, their past, as well as the similarities and differences that exist in nature and culture as well as construction. We get to see the big cities Bucharest and Odessa, the fantastically beautiful and cozy Romanian cities of Brasov, Sighisoara and Iasi, Moldova with its wine culture and some of the most beautiful and exciting castles in the world.
Day 1. Departure to Bucharest
After arriving in the Romanian capital Bucharest, we are met by our guide who takes us to the hotel for check-in. Then we begin our city tour, when we will pass the country’s huge parliament building, which is the world’s second largest administrative building and a very large complex with 12 floors, hundreds of meters large lobby, fantastic halls and 1100 rooms. In addition, there are 4 floors in the underground including a huge bunker, all adorned by the country’s best artists. We then come to the former president Ceausescu’s farm Vårpalatset. The farm was for a quarter of a century the president’s private residence, but is now a museum with an impressive collection of paintings by Octav Bancila, Camil Ressu, Rudolf Cumpana, Dumitru Ghiata, George Baron Lowendal and a large collection of handmade rugs. In addition, there are a large number of mosaics designed by Prof. Olga Porumbaru and Prof. Florin Parvulescu. In the evening welcome dinner with Romanian folk dance. Overnight in Bucharest. (Dinner)
Day 2. Bucharest – Sinaia – Bran – Brasov
After breakfast we depart for Sinaia. Today we visit two magnificent, legendary castles, both of which are a delight to the eye. In Sinaia we visit Pele’s castle, which was built by King Carol I of Romania (born Prince Charles of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen) as his summer residence. Here is a large collection of art, rare furniture, weapons, valuable books and more than 2000 paintings distributed in the 160 rooms. The castle is built with an abundance of wooden decorations on the outside and inside, combined with stone, brick and marble. The outline of the castle, with the snow-capped mountain peaks behind, is a very powerful sight. One of the most beautiful castles ever, it is considered to be. After lunch we continue to Bran, which is very interesting, partly due to its beauty, but also because it is associated with the legendary tale of Count Dracula. The castle is already described in writings from the 14th century, and then as a garrison base in the defense against Turkish invaders. Authorities in the nearby city of Brasov donated the castle to Queen Mary of Romania to show gratitude for her accession to the Romanian Greater Union in December 1918. The following year, 1919, the Habsburgs opened the restored castle to the public as the country’s first private museum. Then we head to Brasov, where we take a tour of the beautiful city with both Gothic spiers, medieval streets, Soviet-built neighborhoods and a large welcome sign a la Hollywood. Brasov’s skyline is undeniably fascinating and varied. A number of medieval watchtowers still guard the city, with beautiful Baroque buildings and churches in between, while modern cafés are scattered around Piata Sfatului Square. Overnight in Brasov. (Breakfast and dinner)
Day 3. Brasov – Prime Minister – Sibiu – Sighisoara
We leave Brasov and head for Premjmer, which has the best-preserved and most powerful medieval fortified church in Eastern Europe. Prejmer’s fortified evangelical church was built in the 13th century on top of an ancient Roman basilica. The church consists of: the fortified area of the church, including a moat, two towers, two bastions and a gate tower. The church is built in the Gothic Burgundian style, which was introduced by the Cistercian monks. The church cows are considered to be the oldest in Transylvania. We then continue to Sibiu, a bus ride of about 3.5 hours. After arrival lunch. Then a city tour in the beautiful city, which was the European Capital of Culture in 2007. Here is a great mix of Romanian, Saxon and Hungarian cultures, and the architecture is also an interesting mix of various styles. The historic center of the city is a labyrinth of medieval squares, narrow atoras, churches and bridges. Sibiu is loved for the city’s medieval charm, and for many cozy restaurants, and is surrounded by beautiful scenery. The citadel in Sibiu should not be missed, as it is one of the best fortified citadels in Europe. After Sibiu, we go towards Sighisoara, where we also take a walking tour past the city’s pastel-colored buildings, stone streets and ancient towers. Fortified walls protect the city’s merchants’ houses, which now house cafes, hotels and craft shops. Behind medieval houses in the UNESCO-listed old town lies the bloodthirsty Vlad Tepes, a Wallachian prince from the 14,500s, buried. Overnight in Sighisoara. (Breakfast and dinner).
Day 4. Sighisoara –Crisiseni – Bicazului ravines / Red Lake –Agapia ‐Iasi
After breakfast we go to Crisiseni, with a visit to the straw hat museum in Criseni. Then we go to Lacu Rosu, the Red Lake, which was formed in 1837 after a landslide in the Bicaz Valley. The lake is 93 meters deep and the color comes from the reddish alluvian. We stop at the Bicazului Gorges before we reach the monastery of Agapia. This nunnery was built in the 17th century and here you can admire frescoes painted by Nicolae Grigorescu, one of the greatest Romanian painters. Overnight in Iasi. (Breakfast and dinner)
Day 5. Iasi ‐ Chišinau
From Iasi it is not far to the Moldavian border but first we will after breakfast do a city tour in Iasi. This former Moldovan and Romanian capital, with a very interesting past, is one of the most beautiful Romanian cities. The Palace of Culture, the Three Hierarchs Church, the Metropolitan Cathedral and the National Theater are just some of its jewels. After lunch at a very special restaurant from the 18th century, we travel further into Moldova and to its current capital Chisinau. After arrival we do a city tour and you can hardly find a greener, more attractive and welcoming city. This can be easily proven during our tour, where you will see the most important cultural, historical and commercial sights. The famous architect Bernardazzi played an important role in architectural development. Overnight in Chisinau.
Day 6. Chisinau ‐Cricova ‐Trebujeni –Orheiul Vechi –Chisinau
After breakfast we make a trip to the famous wine town of Cricova, for wine tasting at Cricova Winery. Cricova is the largest underground city in the world with a 120 km long wine cellar that goes all the way down to a depth of 80 meters. Cricova stores a variety of legendary wines, both local and foreign. Wine storage in Cricova began with the capture of the Nazi officer Göring, who was transferred to Moldova as compensation for war damage. There are currently 1.2 million bottles and 640 types of wine. The oldest wine in the collection and the only one of its kind in the world is the wine “Easter Jerusalem”, produced in only one batch in 1902. Then we go on to Trebujeni, where we visit the Orheiul Vechi complex. Overnight in Chisinau. (Breakfast and dinner)
Day 7. Chisinau ‐Capriana – Milestii Mici ‐Chisinau
After breakfast we go to the monastery Capriana, one of the oldest monasteries in Moldova, located 35 km northwest of Chisinau, on the banks of the river Isnavat. The first official document containing information about the Capriana Monastery is Alexandru cel Bun’s Royal Statute dated April 25, 1420. Today, the monastery complex consists of three churches: Adoption of the Virgin Mary (1545, medieval Moldavian style), St. Nicholas (1840), St. George (1907, late Baroque style). The complex also includes the abbot’s house, dining room and the monks’ cells. The Summer Church, Assumption of the Virgin Mary, is the oldest preserved in the territory of Moldova. Metropolitan G. Banulescu ‐ Bodoni is buried here. The monastery also has the largest religious library in Moldova, preserved in the monastery along with gifts from various kings. We then go on to Milestii Mici, where there will be wine tasting and lunch at Milestii Mici Winery’s cellar extends an impressive 200 km and goes down to a depth of up to 85 meters. This is the ultimate playground for wine lovers. The wine cellars contain more than two million bottles of wine and have been listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest wine collection. Milestii Mici is like an underground wine town: the winding tunnels have been given street names to
should find the right one down there and all the streets are named after different wines. In fact, the tunnels are so large that you can travel around there by car or bus, and the staff cycle through the tunnels to get there. In the afternoon we go back to Chisinau and visit the central market. Each city has its own lifestyle and if you want to feel the real vibes of a city, the city markets are the best place. Chisinau Central Market is a huge outdoor market that occupies several blocks in the city. Since 1825, this market has been the scene of lively pricing of almost anything, including fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and dairy products. And of course, nothing compares to shopping in the market and chatting with local suppliers. Then a few hours of free time in leisure in Chisinau before dinner with folk dance performance. Overnight in Chisinau. (Breakfast and dinner)
Day 8. Chisinau –Bender –Tiraspol ‐Odessa
Today we go after breakfast to Bender, known for his warlike past. We visit the Tighina Fortress. Here, in the 16th century, the medieval fort of Tighina was built by the princes of Moldova. It was occupied by the Ottomans in a raid, led by Sultan Soliman the Magnificent. The fort was fortified in 1541 and became the center of an Ottoman raya or sound people. Later, the fortress saw fierce fighting between Turkish and Russian forces, before it fell to Tsarist Russia permanently in the early 1800s. Until just a few years ago, this was a functioning Russian army base, to which the public did not have access. Now the base is just south of the fortress, so you can walk freely inside. From Bender we go to Tiraspol or Terespol, where you quite quickly notice that here it is full of Soviet monuments. Therefore, the city is usually called an open-air museum or a Soviet theme park. Get ready for an exciting journey into the past and take a walk down Tiraspol’s main street to see the parliament building with the impressive Lenin statue. Take a look at Soviet-style banners and the armored Russian T34 tank before visiting the war memorial, where you will also find the tomb of the unknown soldier, flanked by the flame of eternity. You will not miss the neoclassical Soviet House at the eastern end of the boulevard. Just keep in mind that it is not allowed to take pictures of certain places, including monuments and roads, or that it should be taken very carefully. After lunch continue the journey to the Black Sea City Odessa. Overnight in Odessa. (Breakfast and dinner) After lunch continue the journey to the Black Sea City Odessa. Overnight in Odessa. (Breakfast and dinner)
Day 9. Odessa – Nerubay ‐ Odessa
The morning is spent on a city tour in Odessa. The city center was designed according to a classic plan with wide tree-lined streets stretching south from Prymorsky boulevard. Its beauty lies in the buildings from the early 19th century, the shady promenade, the park facing the sea and the impressive Potemkin stairs. The 193 steps take you down from a statue of Duc de Richelieu in a Roman Toga. At the eastern end, a Pushkin statue and a British Tiger Gun, taken as booty in 1854 during the Crimean War, stand in front of the pink-and-white town hall with columns. At the western end of the boulevard is the Vorontsov Palace – a former governor’s residence, built in 1826 in a classical style, with surprising Arabic details about the interior. It is possible to arrange a visit to the Odessa Opera & Ballet Theater, which was designed in the 1880s by the Viennese architects Felner & Gelmerin, in today’s Habsburg baroque and was considered one of the most beautiful in Europe. Then lunch and then departure to Nerubayske. Here we visit Odessa’s catacombs. The city rests on sandstone, and is surrounded by around 1000 km of tunnels that were excavated to be used as building materials in the 19th century. In the catacombs, there is permanent humidity and a temperature of + 15 °. They have been used by smugglers, revolutionaries and World War II partisans. We will see a network of tunnels that protected a group of partisans during World War II and have now been transformed into the Museum of Partisan Glory but they are also called the Catacombs. Then return to the hotel. Overnight in Odessa. (Breakfast and dinner)
Day 10. Odessa
All day for your own adventures to discover Odessa on your own before transfer to the airport and return to Scandinavia. (Breakfast)