Venture into Dracula’s lair, a wild landscape fringed by towering mountains and dotted with medieval villages, lush pastures and Gothic castles.
Few can think of Transylvania without imagining Count Dracula, Bram Stoker’s famous vampire. While the imposing Bran Castle may have been the inspiration for the tale, there is more to the region than this mighty Gothic fortification. Discover a landscape studded with medieval towns and bucolic villages nestled amid the towering, verdant Carpathian Mountains.
Many people start their Transylvania explorations in the irrepressibly pretty town of Braşov, the gateway to the region. Cobbled streets, Old Saxon architecture and charming little cafés create opportunities for a delightful stay. Visit other medieval towns as well. In Sibiu see pastel-colored houses and Brukenthal Palace art museum. Shop for handmade products in the tiny stores of Sighișoara. Tour the Saxon fortified churches at Hărman. These include the largest church of this kind in southeastern Europe, Prejmer.
Bran Castle might be the most famous castle in the region, but it most certainly isn’t the only one. Visit the romantic Corvin Castle, which dates from the 14th century and is located near Hunedoara. Spend several hours at Râșnov Fortress, once used by the Teutonic Knights.
Transylvania is a wild place, where the villages are nestled in the abundant greenery, peaks and valleys of the mountains. Get out and explore wildflower-filled meadows and hardwood forests. Discover the secrets and legends of the region. Wildlife abounds, so watch for brown bears and wolves. Hike in the Apuseni Mountains in the western Carpathians to view some astounding scenery. The Scărișoara Glacier is one of the largest underground glaciers on the continent and is well worth a visit. The area is also pocked with caves, such as Chiscau Bears' Cave and Vartop Cave.
Catch one of the flights arriving at Transylvania’s Cluj International Airport or fly into Bucharest and travel to Transylvania from there. Trains are an efficient way of getting around within Romania. Take advantage of the excellent guided tours that set off from the larger towns, as these include many of Transylvania’s key sights.