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19208
Romania

Treasures of Romania: Enchanting Castles and Painted Monasteries

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.
Rating (5)
Program No. 19208RJ
Length
11 days
Starts at
2,999
Flights start at
1,000
Romania

Treasures of Romania: Enchanting Castles and Painted Monasteries

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.
Length
11 days
Starts at
2,999
Flights start at
1,000
Length
11 days
Rating (5)
Starts at
2,999
Flights start at
1,000
Program No. 19208RJ

Your well-being is our #1 priority

To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

Enroll with Confidence

We want your Road Scholar learning adventure to be something to look forward to—not worry about. Learn more

Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
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Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Sep 18 - Sep 28, 2022
Starting at
2,999
Special Offer

Enroll in this program preceded by the corresponding Sept. 08, 2022 departure of “Treasures of Bulgaria: Ancient Ruins, Roses, and Revival” (#19207) and receive free air from one program to the next, plus a free airport transfer from Sofia to your first hotel in Bucharest.

Oct 9 - Oct 19, 2022
Starting at
2,999
Special Offer

Enroll in this program preceded by the corresponding Sept. 29, 2022 departure of “Treasures of Bulgaria: Ancient Ruins, Roses, and Revival” (#19207) and receive free air from one program to the next, plus a free airport transfer from Sofia to your first hotel in Bucharest.

Apr 30 - May 10, 2023
Starting at
3,249
Special Offer

Enroll in this program preceded by the corresponding April 20, 2023 departure of “Treasures of Bulgaria: Ancient Ruins, Roses, and Revival” (#19207) and receive free air from one program to the next, plus a free airport transfer from Sofia to your first hotel in Bucharest.

Sep 17 - Sep 27, 2023
Starting at
3,249
Special Offer

Enroll in this program preceded by the corresponding Sept. 07, 2023 departure of “Treasures of Bulgaria: Ancient Ruins, Roses, and Revival” (#19207) and receive free air from one program to the next, plus a free airport transfer from Sofia to your first hotel in Bucharest.

Oct 8 - Oct 18, 2023
Starting at
3,249
Special Offer

Enroll in this program preceded by the corresponding Sept. 28, 2023 departure of “Treasures of Bulgaria: Ancient Ruins, Roses, and Revival” (#19207) and receive free air from one program to the next, plus a free airport transfer from Sofia to your first hotel in Bucharest.

Oct 22 - Nov 1, 2023
Starting at
3,249
Special Offer

Enroll in this program preceded by the corresponding Oct. 12, 2023 departure of “Treasures of Bulgaria: Ancient Ruins, Roses, and Revival” (#19207) and receive free air from one program to the next, plus a free airport transfer from Sofia to your first hotel in Bucharest.

DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Sep 18 - Sep 28, 2022
Starting at
3,449
Special Offer

Enroll in this program preceded by the corresponding Sept. 08, 2022 departure of “Treasures of Bulgaria: Ancient Ruins, Roses, and Revival” (#19207) and receive free air from one program to the next, plus a free airport transfer from Sofia to your first hotel in Bucharest.

Oct 9 - Oct 19, 2022
Starting at
3,449
Special Offer

Enroll in this program preceded by the corresponding Sept. 29, 2022 departure of “Treasures of Bulgaria: Ancient Ruins, Roses, and Revival” (#19207) and receive free air from one program to the next, plus a free airport transfer from Sofia to your first hotel in Bucharest.

Apr 30 - May 10, 2023
Starting at
3,719
Special Offer

Enroll in this program preceded by the corresponding April 20, 2023 departure of “Treasures of Bulgaria: Ancient Ruins, Roses, and Revival” (#19207) and receive free air from one program to the next, plus a free airport transfer from Sofia to your first hotel in Bucharest.

Sep 17 - Sep 27, 2023
Starting at
3,719
Special Offer

Enroll in this program preceded by the corresponding Sept. 07, 2023 departure of “Treasures of Bulgaria: Ancient Ruins, Roses, and Revival” (#19207) and receive free air from one program to the next, plus a free airport transfer from Sofia to your first hotel in Bucharest.

Oct 8 - Oct 18, 2023
Starting at
3,719
Special Offer

Enroll in this program preceded by the corresponding Sept. 28, 2023 departure of “Treasures of Bulgaria: Ancient Ruins, Roses, and Revival” (#19207) and receive free air from one program to the next, plus a free airport transfer from Sofia to your first hotel in Bucharest.

Oct 22 - Nov 1, 2023
Starting at
3,719
Special Offer

Enroll in this program preceded by the corresponding Oct. 12, 2023 departure of “Treasures of Bulgaria: Ancient Ruins, Roses, and Revival” (#19207) and receive free air from one program to the next, plus a free airport transfer from Sofia to your first hotel in Bucharest.

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.
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.
Bucharest Map
by Cartographia
Full-color map at a scale of 1:20,000.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dracula
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rough Guide Romania
by Rough Guide
An informative, up-to-date guide that combines general information on the country with practical travel details.
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.
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Map details are not available for this location.
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11 days
10 nights
23 meals
9 B 8 L 6 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Bucharest, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Bucharest
D
Hotel Berthelot

Activity note: Check-in available from 2:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Breakfasts will typically be European-style buffets with cold cuts, cheeses, cereals, yogurt, fruit, breads, milk, juice, coffee, tea, water. Unless noted otherwise, lunches and dinners will typically be 2 or 3-course set meals. Water is included in the program cost at all meals. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At the hotel dining room, we’ll have a plated welcome dinner with one alcoholic beverage, coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
3
Bucharest Sightseeing
Bucharest
B,L
Hotel Berthelot

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving short distances within the city; up to 2 hours total through multiple transfers. Walking up to 3 miles; approximately 4 hours; periods of standing; city streets, some stairs.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers choices such as cold cuts, cheeses, cereals, yogurt, fruit, and breads, plus milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Setting out via motorcoach from the hotel, we’ll begin our exploration of Bucharest with an expert-led walk to Revolution Square where we will learn about the Romanian Revolution of 1989 against communism, one of the last in Eastern Europe. Nicolae Ceausescu was Romania’s communist leader at the time who, for years, had quashed all political opposition through promotion of fear tactics including the use of a ruthless secret police force. Next, we’ll board a motorcoach and travel to Patriarchy Hill where Romania’s Parliament building resides, which was designed to be the office of the former dictator and is the second largest building in the world. The 17th-century cathedral on Patriarchy Hill is also the center of the Romanian Orthodox Church. While on site, we’ll learn how government works in Romania, how the Parliament was built, and where the money came from for the massive project.

Lunch: At a downtown restaurant, Caru cu Bere – once a meeting point for writers and politicians – we’ll have a tasty plated meal with coffee, tea, water included.

Afternoon: With our Group Leader, we will continue exploring the historic center of the city including the Ceausescu area and how the family got involved in the life of the country. Afterward, we will continue with our Group Leader for a field trip to the open-air Village Museum where we will learn about Romania’s diverse population and its multi-cultural heritage, including emphasis on folk traditions and rural architecture.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
4
Peles Castle, Transfer to Brasov
Brasov
B,L,D
Hotel Ambient

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving about 118 miles; approximately 3 hours to Brasov. Walking about 2 miles; up to 2 hours in Sinaia; some stairs to negotiate.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we will board a motorcoach and begin travel to Transylvania and our next destination, Brasov. On the way, we will stop in Sinaia where we will enjoy an expert-led field trip through Peles Castle – summer residence of the Royal Family. The castle was built according to Western-European fashion by using the best possible materials: Murano crystal chandeliers, German stained-glass windows, Cordoba leather wall coverings, Meissen and Sevres porcelain. Many people believe this to be the most beautiful castle in Europe.

Lunch: At the castle in Sinaia, including coffee, tea, water.

Afternoon: We’ll check into the hotel upon arrival in Brasov, a nicely preserved Saxon (German) city with the largest Gothic cathedral in the region. Its former German community is the birthplace of Transylvanian Protestantism. Later on at the hotel, we’ll attend a lecture given by a local expert to learn more about the history of Romania.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Historic Brasov, Bran, The Castle of Dracula
Brasov
B,L
Hotel Ambient

Activity note: Walking up to 3 miles; up to 4 hours; periods of standing; city streets, many stairs inside/outside of castle, uphill walk to Bran Castle. Getting on/off bus; driving about 21 miles to Bran; approximately 1 hour.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Setting out from the hotel, we’ll enjoy a walk in the historic center of Brasov led by our Group Leader. Brasov is one of the most picturesque historic cities of Romania. Established by Saxon (German) settlers at a strategic crossroad of trade routes in the 12th century, it was the gate of the Hungarian kingdom towards the southeast. Surrounded by high mountains one can always enjoy the clean air and the nice streets, squares, towers, and churches. One of the highlights that we will visit is the Black Church, the largest Gothic structure of Eastern Europe.

Lunch: At a restaurant in the historic center, we’ll have lunch with coffee, tea, water included.

Afternoon: Next, we will take a bus transfer to Bran, known as the Castle of Dracula, for a field trip. The castle was originally built in the 14th century by the citizens of Brasov to protect their trade routes. Later, it was owned by Hungarian kings and the Romanian royal family. While on site with our Group Leader, we will become more acquainted with the myths of Dracula.

Dinner: On your own to explore local fare.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
6
Transfer to Gura Humorului, Bicaz Gorge, Lacu Rosu
Gura Humorului
B,L,D
The Gerald's Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving about 300 miles; approximately 7 hours from Brasov to Radauti. Walking about 1 mile; approximately 4 hours on our feet; periods of standing, city streets with some stairs.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Once checked out of the hotel, we will begin our journey from Brasov to Radauti. Along the way, we’ll stop in Simleu Ciucului, which is a Roman Catholic pilgrimage site that was recently visited by the pope. With our Group Leader, we will see the church, the statue of the Holy Mary, and hear the story of a 500-year-old tradition. Continuing our transfer, we’ll cross the magnificent Bicaz Gorge and stop at Lacu Rosu (Killer Lake) to admire the beautiful lake.

Lunch: At a local restaurant at Lacu Rosu with coffee, tea, water.

Afternoon: Continuing our transfer, we will arrive at the hotel in Radauti for check-in.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Voronet, Moldovita & Sucevita Monasteries, Pottery Workshop
Gura Humorului
B,L,D
The Gerald's Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving about 100 miles total with multiple stops; approximately 3.5 hours. Walking about 2 miles; approximately 2 hours; periods of standing, city streets with some stairs.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: We’ll set out for an all-day field trip via motorcoach to some famous painted monasteries including those listed as World Heritage sites. At each location, we’ll learn about the history and architecture of the monasteries, and study the iconography and specific meaning of the wall paintings. The morning will include field trips to Voronet and Moldovita Monasteries. Afterwards, as we cross a picturesque mountain en route to Sucevita, we will admire great views and see Ukrainian farms.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Sucevita with coffee, tea, water.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll travel to the Sucevita Monastery for a field trip to the religious museum. Continuing, we’ll make our way to a famous black pottery workshop in Marginea and learn how the pots are made.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
8
Transfer to Cluj-Napoca, Bistrita, Dracula Castle Restaurant
Cluj-Napoca
B,L
Hotel Beyfin

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving about 200 miles; approximately 5 hours from Radauti to Cluj-Napoca. Walking up to 2 miles; approximately 1.5 hours; periods of standing, cobblestone streets with some stairs.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Return to Transylvania, to Cluj-Napoca - the educational and cultural center of the region. Enjoy a coffee stop at the Dracula Castle Restaurant, Hanul Tihuta.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Bistrita, a formal Saxon town, with coffee, tea, water.

Afternoon: While learning about Saxon heritage and culture with our Group Leader, we’ll take a walk in the town of Bistrita, during which we will see the historic city center, an example of a typical Saxon settlement with Gothic and Renaissance buildings. We’ll then complete our transfer to Cluj-Napoca where we will settle into the hotel.

Dinner: On your own to explore the local fare.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Rimetea, Salt Mine at Turda, Meeting locals
Cluj-Napoca
B,L,D
Hotel Beyfin

Activity note: Getting on/off subway, motorcoach; driving about 76 miles; approximately 1 hour one-way to Rimitea. Walking about 3 miles; approximately 4 hours; periods of standing; city streets, some stairs.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Setting out for a full-day field trip, we will go to Rimetea, a historic village with stunning natural and architectural heritage. It was awarded the Europa Nostra Medal in 1999, which recognizes places that have put significant effort into conservation of historical sites. First, with a local expert, we will visit the five-hundred-year-old salt mine at Turda, which has since been turned into a museum. With our Group Leader, we’ll learn about the history of mining, the machinery used to mine, and the health benefits of the microclimate in the salt mine.

Lunch: At the home of a local family in Rimetea, we’ll eat local meals and taste the famous wines of the Aiud wine region.

Afternoon: Continuing our time in Rimetea, we will then visit the local museum to learn from our Group Leader about folk traditions, local costumes, embroidery, and the local iron mining and manufacturing.

Dinner: We’ll enjoy a dinner arranged by the Teodidactos Foundation, during which we can meet locals and discuss any questions you might have. Coffee, tea, water included.

Evening: We’ll continue chatting with locals and carrying on informal conversation as we discuss any questions you might have before returning to the hotel.

DAY
10
Romanian Sociology, Cluj Landmarks, Free Time
Cluj-Napoca
B,L,D
Hotel Beyfin

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving about 20 miles; less than 1 hour. Walking up to 3 miles; approximately 3 hours; periods of standing; city streets, some stairs.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: A local expert will join us at the hotel for a lecture on what life is like in Romania today, including emphasis on the sociological statistics of the state. After the lecture, we’ll have a Q&A session during which we can compare what we’ve learned about both countries through discussion. Then, we’ll take an expert-led walking field trip to see the most magnificent landmarks in Cluj including two historical city centers, the Gothic Franciscan Monastery, the birth house of King Mathias, and the Baroque Bánffy Palace. We will end our walk on the picturesque Wolf Street where we will view former palaces, a great heraldry collection in the Protestant church, and one of the medieval bastions of the walled city.

Lunch: At a local restaurant with coffee, tea, water.

Afternoon: Free time. This period of time has been set aside for your personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: At a restaurant in the nearby village of Savadisla, we’ll have a farewell dinner featuring traditional food, plus local beer and wine, coffee, tea, water.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.

DAY
11
Program Concludes
Cluj-Napoca
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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.