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Romania

Although it is perhaps best known for being home to Dracula, Romania holds many landmarks and scenic delights that may surprise you. Our range of Romania tours will allow you to venture deep into this vast nation of contrasts, from the lush green mountains to medieval fortresses.

Transylvania is one of Europe’s most beautiful natural areas and is, in fact, home to the continent’s largest concentration of bears, wolves and lynx. A journey into the Brasov forest will provide the unique opportunity to watch bears in their natural habitat from within a safe hide. Alternatively, Libearty Bear Sanctuary is Europe's largest and is home to over 100 bears which have been rescued from captivity.

No visit to Transylvania would be complete without visiting Bran Castle, which is situated in Walachia where Vlad the Impaler, who provided the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s gothic tale, once ruled.

Active explorers may choose to explore Romania by bicycle and venture deep into the Carpathian Mountains. Over the course of nine days, you will be able to delve into Saxon history by visiting historic landmarks and admiring spectacular views.

Did you know?
The Romanian Palace of Parliament in Bucharest is the second largest building in the world, next only to the Pentagon in the United States.
highlights

Culture

Elaborate customs and folklore are a big part of Romania's culture. Literature especially poetry, and art in Romania have given much to the world scene. Perhaps their most famous poet is Mihai Eminescu; who penned 'Luceaferul'. In the modern era some of Romania's finest works of art are credited to the talent of Stefan Luchian. Romania's finest period of literature was post-war twentieth century, which also saw the rise to prominence of Romanian philosophy. For more than a decade its film industry has been receiving critical acclaim and a number of awards; with Cristian Mungiu's 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days winning both the FIPRESCI and prestigious Palme d'Or awards at the 2007 Cannes Film festival.

Food and Drink

Romanian cuisine is a blend of ideas and ingredients from the Austria, France, The Orient and The Baltic's, which it mixes with its own history. Soups, especially lamb and cabbage are popular. Meat is a staple part of the diet, steak bacon, sausages- including a spicy barbequed variety, and heart-warming stews being some of it best. To round off a meal, pies and the sweet pastry baklava are perfect. Street vendors are also excellent. Customers can try a variety of food ranging from kebabs to pretzels and pancakes. Romanian wine making is steeped in tradition. It is the nation's most popular drink, and its varieties are grown in the Black Sea coast and Moldavia regions. Having made wine for more than two thousand years, it is one of the world's largest producers. Among its best are local varieties such as Feteasca Alba, a dry white, which it marries with the production of more well known vintages such as Merlot and Riesling.

History

Romania's early history dates back to the first settlers, believed to be the Dacian Tribe, before it was ruled by the Romans. After giving up rule centuries later, Romania split. It wasn't until medieval times that it was again ruled as a whole, when the Ottoman's took charge. The 15th century saw Romania fall under Turkish rule, which continued until the Russo-Turkish war, when Russia took over, which marked the start of its historical influence over Romania. Decades of war between Russia and Turkey ended in a revolutionary split, and Russia continued to occupy Romania in the years leading up to the Crimean War. In 1857 Wallachia and Moldavia took the decision to become one state. Although still being part of the Turkish Empire the new state was named Romania and in 1878 it was recognised as an independent nation and three years later became a kingdom. The Ottomans finally retreated from Romania in the nineteen century but the 1940's saw it return to communist rule. Three decades later Romania entered a period of mass industrial and economic investment. The 1990's, saw the country adopt a more democratic philosophy, and a more modern approach to business. Despite a further decade of financial struggles, in 2000 the economy started to grow again and Romania's tourist industry started to flourish and in 2007 Romania was confirmed as a member of the European Union.

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