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Treasures of Romania: Enchanting Castles and Painted Monasteries

Program No. 19208RJ
Discover Romania’s legendary culture and charm as you enjoy wine with locals, revel in art and explore pristine forests that boast some of the greatest biodiversity in the world.

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DATES & starting prices
Apr 28 - May 8, 2024
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Sep 15 - Sep 25, 2024
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Oct 6 - Oct 16, 2024
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Oct 20 - Oct 30, 2024
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DATES & starting prices
Filling Fast!
Apr 28 - May 8, 2024
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Sep 15 - Sep 25, 2024
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Oct 6 - Oct 16, 2024
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Oct 20 - Oct 30, 2024
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At a Glance

Romania is one of Europe’s most dynamically changing nations — a hauntingly beautiful land set apart by the Carpathian Mountains, great plains, deep forests, ancient cities and villages with architecture of many periods. Three major ethnic groups and half a dozen religions blend influences of East and West. Delving into this intriguing society, explore the capital, Bucharest; Moldavia’s painted monasteries; the Saxon area with its preserved medieval cities; and Transylvania’s remarkable landscapes.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking and standing up to 3 miles and 4 hours per day on city streets, cobblestone streets, rough terrain, in museums and sites, and with some uphill walking. Unavoidable stairs. Getting on/off a motorcoach. Some extended bus travel. Elevations up to 3,000 feet.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Explore the Castle of Dracula in Bran and learn the true story behind the myths.
  • Join an expert in the famous painted monasteries of Gura Humorului, including the World Heritage sites of Voronet, Moldovita, and Sucevita monasteries.
  • Taste Romanian foods and the famous wines of the Aiud wine region as you lunch with a local family in Rimetea.

General Notes

Give us a call to combine this learning adventure with select dates of "Treasures of Bulgaria: Ancient Ruins, Roses and Revival" (#19207) for even more learning in Europe! We’ll even transfer you for free between locations.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Viktória Barazsuly
After studying art history, Viktória Barazsuly is completing the Cultural Heritage Studies MA program at the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. She also works in a cultural organization promoting the historical values of the city. Viktória has led many themed tours in Cluj-Napoca for both adults and children. She says, “I love showing people my perception of the world, a curious place with so many treasures to see. I adore giving voice to the historical monuments as they are the silent guardians of past stories.”

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Viktória Barazsuly
Viktória Barazsuly View biography
After studying art history, Viktória Barazsuly is completing the Cultural Heritage Studies MA program at the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. She also works in a cultural organization promoting the historical values of the city. Viktória has led many themed tours in Cluj-Napoca for both adults and children. She says, “I love showing people my perception of the world, a curious place with so many treasures to see. I adore giving voice to the historical monuments as they are the silent guardians of past stories.”
Profile Image of Attila Szikszai
Attila Szikszai View biography
Attila Szikszai has a degree in mathematics and worked as a teacher until 2007. Since then, he has been working in a publishing house for school and university textbooks. He has been involved in organizing Road Scholar programs in Transylvania since 1995, and has many years of experience with walking, hiking and cycling programs. His motto is “The success of a trip depends on the attention to details.”
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Blue Guide Travels in Transylvania
by Lucy Abel-smith
With maps, plans and photographs, this accessible guide to Transylvania's "land that time forgot" focuses on its small towns, cultural heritage and wondrous landscapes.
In Europe's Shadow
by Robert D. Kaplan
In this engaging personal account of more than three decades of visits to Romania, prolific writer and journalist Kaplan presents a comprehensive portrait of an often overlooked country, which he argues is key to understanding Europe as a whole.
Romania Moldova Map
by Freytag & Berndt
This handy fold-up map at a scale of 1:500,000 includes a multilanguage legend and city plans.
Rough Guide Romania
by Rough Guide
An informative, up-to-date guide that combines general information on the country with practical travel details.
Bucharest Map
by Cartographia
Full-color map at a scale of 1:20,000.
The Balkans, A Short History
by Mark Mazower
With eloquence and clarity, Mazower addresses issues of geography, nationalism and nation in this indispensable survey.
The Color of Smoke, An Epic Novel of the Roma
by Menyhert Lakatos
First published in Hungarian in 1975, this epic novel provides both a sweeping glance of World War II-era rural Hungary and an intimate glimpse into the interior life of an adolescent coming of age within the harsh but resolutely light-hearted Roma community.
Language and Travel Guide to Romania
by Rosemary Rennon
This personal, comprehensive guide includes the history and culture of Romania, language essentials and practical travel information.
Bury Me Standing
by Isabel Fonseca
This marvelous portrait of the Roma, also known as the Gypsies, offers insight into their music, foods, religions and folk traditions and also examines their influential but complex relationship with Eastern Europe.
Balkan Ghosts, A Journey through History
by Robert D. Kaplan
Kaplan interweaves history, art and culture with his travels through Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania and Greece in this regional portrait.
Just a Bite, A Transylvania Vampire Expert's Short History of the Undead
by Istvan Pivarcsi
Based on his experiences spent in the lands of vampire legend, Transylvania, Istvan Pivarcsi explores the fascinating development of the modern-day vampire from its sources in Transylvanian oral tradition.
The Romani Gypsies
by Yaron Matras
Matras delves into the history of the Romani, an ancient and misunderstood European culture that has survived through modern times.
The Mountains of Romania
by James Roberts
This practical guide, with 40 color maps and photographs, includes the Carpathians, Bucegi Massif and monasteries of Bucovina.
A Concise History of Romania
by Keith Hitchins
Beginning with the Roman conquest of Davia, this exhaustive overview of Romania helpfully divides the course of history into four distinctive periods: medieval, early modern, modern and the so-called return to Europe.
by Bram Stoker
The vampire novel that started it all, based on the legend of "Vlad the Impaler." The gothic shocker is set within the dank castles and misty forests of Transylvania and the foggy streets and staid country houses of Victorian England.
The Historian, A Novel
by Elizabeth Kostova
In this wildly popular historical thriller, Kostova traces a 16-year-old woman's harrowing journey across Europe to find the notorious 15th-century prince of Wallachia, Vlad Dracul, completing her father's research in the medieval monasteries and dusty libraries from Istanbul and Budapest to Romania.
Bradt Guide Transylvania
by Lucinda Mallows
This comprehensive guide focuses on culture, nature and responsible travel. Mallows includes sights and activities throughout the region.
Between the Woods and the Water
by Patrick Leigh Fermor
In this sequel to A Time of Gifts (CEU30), Leigh Fermor's classic account of his adventure on foot to Constantinople in 1933, Paddy relates his youthful travels in Hungary and Romania, culminating with his arrival at the Iron Gates on the Danube.
Palgrave Concise Historical Atlas of the Balkans
by Dennis Hupchick
The changing borders and complex history of the Balkans are clearly and concisely shown through 50 double-page maps and accompanying essays, organized chronologically.
All Rivers Run to the Sea
by Elie Wiesel
Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel recounts his remarkable life, from his childhood in Romania to the horrors of Auschwitz, his days as a young writer in post-war France and New York and his many pilgrimages to Israel.
The Broken Road, From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos
by Patrick Leigh Fermor
Assembled from Leigh Fermor’s manuscripts by friend and biographer Artemis Cooper, with the travel writer Colin Thubron, this is perhaps the most personal of all Leigh Fermor’s books, catching up with young Paddy in the fall of 1934 and following him through Bulgaria and Romania to the coast of the Black Sea.
In Search of Dracula
by Raymond McNally
This history of Vlad Tepes (AKA Vlad the Impaler), the Romanian warrior prince and inspiration for Bram Stoker’s infamous blood-drinking count, draws on oral histories and archaeological evidence and also examines Dracula’s many incarnations in film and literature.
Painter of Silence
by Georgina Harding
An exquisite historical novel set in the somber desolation of postwar communist Romania, the story opens with the arrival of a deaf and mute man at the hospital in the provincial city of Lasi. A nurse at the hospital befriends the man and as their relationship unfolds a secret history is revealed that binds the two characters both to one another and to the suffering of their stricken homeland.
The Dance at Mociu
by Peter D. Riley
A collection of stories, prose poems and meditations on Old Europe, drawn from the author's many visits to Transylvania.
Romania, An Illustrated History
by Nicolae Klepper
An illustrated primer on Romania's eventful history, from the bronze age to the period of the Dacians before and during Roman rule, the principalities from the 14th century until 1821 and modern times.

Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.