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8-Day Tour of Transylvania’s Castles and Bucovina’s Monasteries

8 days private tour, available from Bucharest, Brasov or Suceava

Availability

All year round

Time

8 days

Distance

1650 km

Group size

Private

Price range

585 - 1140 Euro/ person

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Tour Description

Our 8-Day Tour of Romanian History, Culture & Architecture offers an ideal itinerary for those that want to spend a little more time seeing all that our beautiful country offers. Most often, the tour will start in Bucharest, but it could also begin in Iasi or Suceava–ultimately exploring, among other locations, multiple UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Transylvania’s Bran Castle fortress (aka Dracula’s Castle), the extraordinary history and architecture of Brașov and Sibiu, and the remarkable Putna Monastery, which houses the tomb of Stephen the Great. The truly exceptional 8-Day Tour allows guests to become fully immersed in Romanian culture for a truly unforgettable experience focusing on Romania’s most admired monasteries and religious sites.

Both diversity of experience

This 8-day adventure offers travelers the advantage of both diversity of experience and the opportunity to more fully engage with Romania’s unique culture and history. You will be accompanied by the same highly experienced and reputable guide throughout the 8-day adventure, and all travel will take place in our top-of-the-line, Euro 6-ranked vehicles. We’ll handle all the transportation details and accommodations so you can rest comfortably and focus exclusively on enjoying your once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Whichever Boutique Romania tour you choose, we guarantee you that you will be impressed with your guide’s unparalleled hospitality and knowledge of Romania’s extraordinary history. You will be surprised to discover just how unique Romania really is–and just how much of our rich, multi-ethnic legacy has remained intact and untarnished over all these years. His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales is a frequent visitor in Romania, Prince Charles notes, “It’s the timelessness of [Romania] which is so remarkable, almost out of some of those stories one used to read as a child.”

We invite you to discover just how remarkable Romania truly is!

 

Itinerary

Bucharest, Sinaia, Bran, Brașov (Total Travel Distance: 220 km)

Brașov, Red Lake, Bicaz Gorges, Agapia, Suceava (Total Travel Distance: 340 km)

Suceava, Humor, Voroneț, Moldovita, Sucevita, Marginea, Suceava (Total Travel Distance: 190 km)

Suceava, Dragomirna, Patrauti, Putna, Suceava (Total Travel Distance: 170 km)

Suceava, Bistrița, Târgu Mureș, Sighișoara (Total Travel Distance: 345 km)

Sighișoara, Biertan, Sibiu (Total Travel Distance: 110 km)

Sibiu, Transfăgărășan Highway, Curtea de Arges, Bucharest (Total Travel Distance: 290 km)

Bucharest

Day 1

Bucharest, Sinaia, Bran, Brașov (Total Travel Distance: 220 km)

Your adventure will most likely begin in Romania’s capital: Bucharest (although you do have the option to customize the journey to start in Cluj, Brașov or Suceava). In Bucharest, your guide will greet you at the airport—and this same guide will remain with you throughout your tour.

Your guide will first lead you on a personalized tour of the Palace of Parliament. Nicolae Ceauşescu built this enormous edifice—the single largest civilian administrative building worldwide and current home of Romania’s Senate, Chamber of Deputies, Legislative Council and Constitutional Court. We’ll continue exploring with a walking tour of Bucharest’s Old Town. After exploring the city together, you will travel approximately two hours to Sinaia, a mountain resort town located in the historical region of Muntenia.

Named after Sinaia Monastery, the picturesque town is nestled between the Danube, the Carpathians (aka Transylvanian Alps), Moldavia and the Olt River. Prince Mihail Cantacuzino founded Sinaia Monastery, named after the great Saint Catherine's Monastery on Egypt’s Mount Sinai in 1695. The monastery houses two churches: (1) a small Byzantine style edifice (Biserica Veche) that dates back to 1695 and (2) the larger “Great Church,” which was built in 1846. The Sinaia Monastery is particularly famous for its library containing—among other things—the first known Romanian translation of the Bible.

While in Muntenia, you will also visit King Carol I’s stunning Peleș Castle. This landmark palace dates back to 1873 and blends Neo-Renaissance and Gothic Revival architecture, with a heavily Baroque-influenced interior loaded with luxurious linens and intricately carved woodwork.

You will then travel a short drive (less than 50 km.) to Bran Castle. Located just outside of Brașov, this landmark is a favorite among visitors because of its inaccurate association with Vlad Țepeș, aka Vlad Dracula. In reality, there is no evidence that Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula, was influenced by Bran Castle; and the fortress has no proven associations with Vlad the Impaler.

Despite Bran Castle’s questionable connection with the literary legend, the historic structure remains a worthwhile destination. In fact, the original fortress on this site dates back to the early 13th century; however, Mongols destroyed the first wooden castle in 1242. Louis I of Hungary granted local Saxons authority to build the stone castle at their own expense and labour in 1377. It is now a museum housing Queen Marie of Romania’s furniture and art collection.

You will conclude the evening traveling 25 km. to Brașov and are free to explore the bustling activity and plentiful dining options within the city’s Council Square. Encircled by beautifully preserved 18th and 19th century homes, Piata Sfatului has served as Brașov’s town market since the mid-14th century—hosting merchants from all over the world.

Day 2

Brașov, Red Lake, Bicaz Gorges, Agapia, Suceava (Total Travel Distance: 340 km)

Your guide will meet you at your hotel to lead a walking tour of Brașov’s many historically significant sites. Brașov is located in the heart of Romania, encircled by the Southern Carpathian Mountains. As a significant stop along historic trade routes between Western Europe and the Ottoman Empire, Brașov is widely regarded as the capital for the region’s Transylvanian Saxons, who were highly involved in crafts and trading.

Archaeologists in Brașov have unearthed evidence of advanced civilizations dating back to 9500 BCE, the Neolithic Age, and this region holds some of Romania’s earliest artifacts. After hearing more about the rich history of Council Square—which includes public humiliation of accused witches and the late 17th-century beheading of a guild leader, you’ll see the city’s famous Biserica Neagră. Named after Saint Mary, the celebrated church became known as The Black Church as a result of smoke damage sustained in The Great Fire of 1689. The original church was built in 94 years (between 1383 and 1477) and was the biggest church between Vienna and Constantinople.

Your walking tour will take you down Rope Street, the narrowest passageway in Romania—and possibly all of Europe: Strada Sforii’s width varies between just 111 and 135 centimetres and continues 80 metres. You will see both Black Tower and White Tower, two of the city’s Old City Watch Towers, as well as Brașov’s only original city gate that has remained intact since the Middle Ages. Catherine’s Gate, aka Șchei Gate, sits immediately beside Poarta Ecaterinei.

After exploring Brașov, you will cross over the Oriental Carpathians—traveling west to enjoy the Gorges of Bicaz. Part of the beautiful Cheile Bicazului-Hășmaș National Park, this road certainly ranks as one of Romania’s most dramatic; and the Gorge’s most narrow extreme is also known as “The Neck Of Hell”: Gâtul Iadului.

On a somber note, the rather treacherous nature of this route and its proclivity to rock slides has led to a legend that the Red Lake, aka “Killer Lake,” is stained with the blood of local villagers that perished in a terrible earthquake that devastated this region in 1838. In reality, the natural dam—the largest barrier lake in the Eastern Carpathian Mountains—formed as a result of that earthquake-related collapse, and the red tint is the result of iron oxides and hydroxides deposited in the lake by nearby Red Creek.

You will also visit the Agapia Monastery—one of the country’s most important Orthodox Christian nunneries. Built between 1641and 1643, this convent is well known for its stunning interior frescoes, which Nicolae Grigorescu painted in 1858. Following your departure from the Agapia Monastery, your guide will take you northeast to Moldovia’s Suceava, where the day’s tour will beconcluded and you can enjoy dinner in this beautiful historic city.

Day 3

Suceava, Humor, Voroneț, Moldovita, Sucevita, Marginea, Suceava (Total Travel Distance: 190 km)

Your tour will begin in Suceava, a beautiful and historic town nestled in Northern Romania. Suceava is home to many ancient destinations, including the 14th century Princely Court fortress and Saint George’s Church. Suceava was the capital of Moldavia between 1388 and 1564. In the 15th century, the city became a vibrant trading capital. Following attacks by Turkish armies in the 16th century, Suceava was ceded to Austria with the rest of Bukovina, and eventually Romania reoccupied the historic city in 1918. Suceava’s rich history makes it an ideal destination for those touring the country.

After exploring Suceava, you will continue to Mănăstirea Humorului to visit the Humor Monastery. Constructed in 1530, Chancellor Theodor Bubuiog founded this monastery under the Moldavian prince, Petru Rareş. The Humor Monastery contains a litany of incredible features within its walls, including the tombs of both Chancellor Bubuiog and his wife, and the monastery also showcases exquisite depictions of Scripture—including St. Nicholas’ life and performed miracles, Judgement Day and the Prodigal Son. The numerous paintings also hold a portrait of the Virgin Mary and a depiction of the 1453 siege of Constantinople.

Although this monastic community was originally founded in 1530, it was closed for some time and did not reopen until 1992. A year later, Humor Monastery was added to the World Heritage List, and it is truly a treat for all who experience its ancient glory. Following your departure from Humor Monastery, you will travel to the village of Voroneț, which is equally well known for its monastic significance. The village is home to the medieval Voroneț Monastery. Stephen the Great constructed the monastery in 1488 to commemorate an astounding military victory.

Located in Southern Suceava County, the monastery sits in the scenic Voroneț River valley, an ideal destination for tourists. Voroneț Monastery has many striking features, including the tombstones of Saint Daniel the Hermit, Grigorie Roșca and many other notable noblemen. Voroneț Monastery served as a calligraphy school, among other things, where Holy men learned to read, write and translate Scripture. Voroneț Monastery was deserted in 1775 following the annexation of Northern Moldavia, but it was reopened in 1991.

Next on the list of destinations is Moldovita, which is home to Moldovița Monastery, aka Mânăstirea Moldovița. This Romanian Orthodox monastery was constructed in 1532 under the authority of Petru Rareș, who controlled Moldavia sporadically from 1527-1546. Moldovița Monastery is best known for its gorgeous frescoes, which were painted in 1537. These frescoes are stunningly preserved, and they are sure to amaze all who visit this striking monastery.

You will then travel to northern Romania to visit the lovely town of Suceviţa. Surrounded by the Carpathians, Suceviţa is an ideal stop for travelers who appreciate natural beauty as much as historic sites. Suceviţa is also home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Suceviţa Monastery. The Suceviţa Monastery was built in 1583 by Ieremia, Simion and Gheorghe Movilă; and the destination is best known for its stunning murals. The church on this site bears a great deal of resemblance to other painted churches of Northern Moldavia; but with paintings dating as late as 1601, it was one of the last churches to be decorated in this classic Moldavian style. Suceviţa Monastery also stands out as a result of its defensive measures and fortifications. Today, the monastery holds a remarkable museum which showcases art and other historical artifacts.

The next stop is Marginea, a commune in Suceava County. Marginea, although special in so many ways, is best known for its unique style of pottery known as “black ceramics.” In the village, you will have the opportunity to both purchase a unique souvenir and witness a prehistoric method of pottery making. During the 12th through 15th centuries, ceramics became wildly popular in the Moldova region, particularly Suceava, and this regional practice has remained authentic throughout the years.

Your day’s tour will conclude back where you started: in Suceava.

Day 4

Suceava, Dragomirna, Patrauti, Putna, Suceava (Total Travel Distance: 170 km)

After departing from Suceava, your guide will take you to Botoşani County to experience the Dragomirna Monastery. Located near the beautiful village of Itcani, this monastery dates back to 1609. It was built by Metropolitan Bishop Anastase Crimca and is famous for being the tallest and most narrow church in Romanian history. After some time, the Orthodox people outgrew this monastery; therefore, it was expanded to the breathtaking edifice that we see today.

Dragomirna Monastery is stunningly decorated with mostly floral and geometric patterns, and it also features and interior catwalk, which allows guests a unique view of the church. Inside, there is a museum which features historic manuscripts and other precious treasures.

After the Dragomirna Monastery, you will visit Pătrăuți, a commune located in Suceava County just southeast of Suceava. The Pătrăuți Monastery was built in 1487 and is known as the oldest intact religious site founded under the authority of Stephen the Great. The monastery features magnificent murals that date as far back as the 16th century. The church also houses an astounding wooden bell and interior magnificent frescoes. The frescoes, which are highly regarded for the realistic depictions of saints, are thought to have been painted by an artist from Byzantium because of their unique Byzantine style.

After visiting the Pătrăuți Monastery, your guide will take you to the Romanian Orthodox Putna Monastery. Construction of this church began in 1466, and unlike the other monasteries you will visit, Putna actually contains the tomb of its founder, Stephen the Great—along with several of his family members. For many decades, this monastery was considered one of the most important religious sites in Romania, and following its fall into disrepair, Putna Monastery was twice rebuilt in the 17th century. Another notable feature of this monastery is that it contains an ancient 14th century embroidery by a Serbian nun.
This day will once again end with a return to the city of Suceava.

Day 5

Suceava, Bistrița, Târgu Mureș, Sighișoara (Total Travel Distance: 345 km)

Your guide will take you to northern Transylvania to Bistrița, the capital of Bistrița-Năsăud County. The town was named after the beautiful Bistrița River, which it rests on. Transylvanian Saxons settled this land in the early 13th century; since then, the region has fostered a large Jewish community, as well. Bistrița is home to one of Romania’s largest and most impressive synagogues. The town is also home to the Tăușoare Cave—the deepest in Romania at 478.5 meters—as well as several stunning national reservations and a healthy collection of museums. Your guide will take you to a number of remarkable destinations in Bistrița before continuing onto the next stop: Târgu Mureș.

Târgu Mureș, located in Mureș county in Northern Central Romania, lies along the banks of the Mureș River—the second largest in Romania after the Danube. Târgu Mureș is known to many as the “City of Roses,” and it boasts a seamless fusion of Romanian and Hungarian culture. The town was founded in 1322, and since the 16th century, it has formed an identity as a cultural and academic hub. In Medieval times, the city was best known for its artisan guilds. In 1620, members of these guilds took part in building the town fortress, an essential part of any medieval community. Târgu Mureș is also home to the iconic Roses Square, aka Piata Trandafirilor, which is home to beautiful top of the line cafes and restaurants, along with monuments and churches. The town also boasts the striking “Culture Palace,” which is the stunningly gorgeous city hall, adorned with early 20th century stained glass.

Târgu Mureș is also home to the magnificent Târgu Mureș Medieval Fortress, which was constructed by Prince Stefan Bathory to protect an ancient Franciscan church. The fortress contains six bastions, each of which features firing holes for both cannons and smaller weaponry. Târgu Mureș is also home to St. Michael’s Wooden Church, which is well known as the oldest Orthodox Church in all of Târgu Mureș. The church was completed 1794 and is a uniquely Romanian destination, unlike anything that can be found in North America or other parts of Europe. Your guide will take you to a number of destinations, all of which are sure to delight your party.

Today’s tour will conclude in the UNESCO World Heritage Site citadel town of Sighișoara that evening in plenty of time to stroll the medieval stone streets and find the perfect dining venue.

Day 6

Sighișoara, Biertan, Sibiu (Total Travel Distance: 110 km)

Your guide will meet you at your hotel to begin your tour of this small Medieval city of Sighișoara. The city sits perched on top of a hill, peaked by a citadel on the highest summit and fortified by a formidable 930-meter ring of walls, 14 defense towers and five artillery bastions.

After being invited by the King of Hungary, Transylvanian Saxons built their fortress on the Tâ rnava River during the 12th century in order to populate and defend the region. They were so successful here that Sighișoara became one of Transylvania’s culturally rich and profitable cities. Sighișoara’s Historic Center features opulent, well-preserved merchant houses, complete with charming pastel colors, Medieval German architecture and local craftsmen peddling their artistry. The Clock Tower looms as the tallest point in this magnificent city and dates back 700 years. The engineering masterpiece was built with walls more than two meters thick to safely store residents’ ammunition, historical archives and treasury.

During your walking tour of Sighișoara, you’ll also climb the 180-step Covered Staircase, Scara Şcolarilor or “Scholars’ Stairs,” to reach the Gothic-style Biserica din Deal, or Church on the Hill, and Saxon Cemetery. Most visitors will want to spend a good deal of time wandering the peaceful paths in this austere, sacred setting—reading well-preserved, artistically stunning headstones.

Of course, no visit to Sighișoara would be complete without seeing the 1431 birthplace of Vlad Tepes, the 15th century Prince of Wallachia that inspired Bram Stoker’s fictional Count Dracula. The historic site has since converted its ground floor into Casa Vlad Dracu, a restaurant that offers the opportunity for a lunch break and visit to the second-floor rooms that once housed the young prince.

From Sighișoara, you will drive northwest to another UNESCO World Heritage Site citadel town. Biertan is one of the region’s most important Saxon villages protected by fortified churches. In fact, Biertan’s Fortified Church served as Transylvania’s Lutheran Evangelical Bishop’s seat from 1572 to 1867. Transylvanian Saxons founded the town sometime between 1224 and 1283, and it served as an economically significant commerce role until declining in significance with the rise of the nearby cities of Mediaș, Sighișoara and Sibiu. Now recognized as one of the most frequently visited villages in Transylvania, Biertan hosts an annual reunion of the Transylvanian Saxons, many of whom now live in Germany, as well as the Luna Plină (“Full Moon”) Horror and Fantasy Film Festival.

Finally, you will arrive in Sibiu and your guide can recommend several highly rated and culturally rich dining options near your top-of-the-line accommodations in the city.

Day 7

Sibiu, Transfăgărășan Highway, Curtea de Arges, Bucharest (Total Travel Distance: 290 km)

Your day will begin in Sibiu. Settlers built this architecturally rich medieval city, which is defined by cultural legacy that spans more than 900 years. Sibiu (aka Hermannstadt) served as the region’s German settlers’ capital. The Transylvanian Saxons’ trade guilds amassed great wealth here, ultimately growing Sibiu into the largest, most prosperous of the nation’s seven walled citadels.

Sibiu’s Old Town remains strikingly German in appearance, and the area is still encircled by portions of the ancient medieval wall that once protected its citizens. Three of the city’s original 39 towers remain standing today. In Sibiu, you will also see other extraordinary landmarks, which include Great Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; Brukenthal Palace, a late-Baroque architectural masterpiece housing one of Romania’s most impressive museums; the hopelessly romantic Bridge of Lies, Podul Minciunilor; Haller House, a beautiful preserved Renaissance residence with Sibiu’s trademark window structure; multiple visually striking and historically significant Churches and countless other potential destinations. Sibiu offers much to see and enjoy, and your guide will customize your experience around personal preferences.

If your trip takes place during July through September, we’ll then travel through Romania’s infamous Transfăgărășan Highway. This aesthetically striking mountain road crossing though the southern section of the Romanian Carpathian, dissecting the nation’s highest peaks—Moldoveanu and Negoiu—and unifying Transylvania and Wallachia. Again, if traveling during the summer months, you will have the opportunity to visit Poenari Citadel.

This formidable 13th-century Wallachian castle once housed Vlad the Impaler, aka Vlad Țepeș or Vlad Dracula. Dating back to 1453, Țepeș later recognized the fortress’ geographic advantages and used the edifice as a primary residence. Used as a dramatic backdrop for several movies and television shows, many supernatural stories enhance the fortress’ legendary status. The castle sits on Mount Cetatea, perched on a canyon facing the west side of the Transfăgărășan and remains accessible only via its 1,480 concrete steps. Because of its isolated location and somewhat treacherous ascent, visits to Poenari Citadel are only possible during summer months.

If the Transfăgărășan Highway is not open—or if visitors prefer not to climb the 1,480 steps to reach Poenari Castle—your guide can instead take you through the scenic Olt Valley, which is nestled between the Căpăţânii, Lotru and Făgăraş mountains. Romans forged this ancient trade route, which was later used by merchants of the Middle Ages as they journeyed deep into Transylvania; and you will have an option to visit the beautiful Byzantine Orthodox Church of Saint Nicholas of Curtea de Argeș, aka “The Princely Church.” Completed in 1352, this UNESCO World Heritage Site exemplifies medieval Romanian architecture and boasts interior wall paintings from the mid-14th century. Regardless of your route, you’ll experience a rewarding day of sight-seeing.

Next, your tour will take you to the famous Curtea de Argeș, which appropriately translates to “the Court upon the River Argeș.” Located in Argeș County, the city has a rich and vibrant history. The city is also home to the iconic Vidraru Dam, which creates the beautiful Vidraru Lake, an extremely popular destination among tourists. The monastery of Curtea de Argeș is another destination you will not want to miss. Built between 1512 and 1517, the Curtea de Argeș Monastery is famous for its stunning murals and saintly relics. The church also houses the remains of Kings Ferdinand, Carol I, Queens Elizabeth, and Maria, giving it important historical relevance as well as religious. Many legends revolve around the construction of the monastery, most notably the “Legend of Manole,” which gives the church a chilling backstory. Whether you appreciate the superstitious or natural world, the Curtea de Argeș Monastery is a destination you will not want to miss.
Your day will conclude back in the beautiful capital of Bucharest.

Day 8

Bucharest

On your final day in Bucharest, you will have some free time to explore the city before your guide brings you to the airport.

Price

8    persons – 585 Euro/person
6    persons – 680 Euro/person
4    persons – 830 Euro/person
2    persons – 1140 Euro/person

What’s included:

  • Accommodation for 7 nights, 3* hotels&pensions, centrally located, in double rooms with BB basis
  • Tour guide’s accommodation
  • Private english speaking tour guide
  • Airport transfers
  • Private transportation with modern vehicle (AC)
  • Fuel, road taxes and parking fees
  • Pick up and drop off from your hotel
  • 24/7 Assistance

Not included:

  • Flights tickets
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Entrance&photo fee
  • Food and beverages unless stated differently

Extras:

  • Half Board basis 135 E/person
  • 4* Hotels 100 E/person
  • Single supplement 150 E/person

Tour FAQ

How do we know you are a legitimate business?

To avoid frauds and for your own safety please visit the official website of the Romanian Ministry of Tourism and choose only a licensed tour operator.

Boutique Romania, property of Explore Bucovina Travel and Tours SRL is a fully licensed tour operator (license no. 1454) and insured (inssurance no. 2996) and all our tour guides are professional licensed tour guides.

Is this a private or a group tour?

This is a private tour. However if we have specific requests from our guests we can provide a small group tour or a shared tour.

At what time does the tour start?

The best time to start this tour is at 09.00 am, but we can also start at a mutually agreed time.

Which are the pick-up and drop-off places?

The pick-up/drop-off can be at: your hotel or in any other point in Bucharest, Brasov or Suceava city and even nearby area.

How long does the tour take?

The tour takes 8 days, each day approximately 7-11 hours but we can adapt to fit 100% your individual requirements.

When do I have to pay?

At least 30% of the entire amount due, within 7 (seven) days after obtaining the traveler’s written confirmation for the reservation.

The remaining 70% will be paid at least 14 days before the trip.

The acccommodation is included in the price?

Yes, you have included the accommodation for 7 nights, 3* hotels, centrally located, in double room with BB basis.

The entrance fees are included in the tour price?

No, the entrance fees are not included in the tour price. You will have to pay them on the spot.

What currency can we use?

For our tours, we accept both Euro and the local currency known as: Leu or Ron.

For all the other expenses (eg:entrance fees, lunch, souvenirs) we recommend you use the local currency.

When is the best time of the year to visit Romania?

We recommend visiting Romania all year round.

All four season bring a unique touch to Romania and Transylvania region that should not be missed.

    Lets talk!


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    What our guests say

    Thanks for making the Bucovina and Maramures part of our recent tour with our INSEAD colleagues so special.

    Now the we are back in the rainy UK, Peta and I want to record our thanks for making the Bucovina and Maramures part of our recent tour with our INSEAD colleagues so special.  It was a pleasure to get to know you and share in the passion and hope you have in your country.

    This is the review I posted on TripAdvisor, which explains better our appreciation.  As you know, I have some professional experience in the tourism industry and I genuinely believe that you have an exceptional gift for engaging your customers:

    Ovidiu has detailed knowledge of all the paintings on the churches we visited in Bucovina and the wooden churches and monasteries we visited in Maramures.  However, his special talent is to read his guests – in our case an international group of retired business school executives, and tailor his contextual description (history, art, culture…) to their interests.  He was able to give us a living insight into the seesawing history of Romania and its invaders and occupiers as well of the minorities which still manage to thrive in this country.  We gained a deep insight into the place of the Orthodox Church in Romanian society. We were able to share in his pride in his country and his hope for the future. As we returned back to our home countries, he had turned us into “Romanian Ambassadors”! Ovidiu is a truly outstanding designer of a visitor tour and an exceptional guide.  We would recommend him and his company to anyone planning an “out of the ordinary” tour.

    May we wish you and your family every blessing in the future and we hope that our paths may cross again in the future.

    David and Peta Guillebaud

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    David and Peta Guillebaud

    UK

    Trip of a Lifetime

    I just returned home from a vacation to Romania and Ukraine. I was with my 2 sisters and 2 nieces from the US. We spent several days touring Bucovina and surrounding areas in Romania with Ovidiu, our tour guide. I had been a bit reluctant to visit Romania, as I was unsure if the climate or culture of this Eastern European country would be friendly or hostile. I was in for an extraordinary surprise. Not only is Romania a very welcoming country to visit, but it has a history that will give you an appreciation for the strong spirit of the Romanian people. The diverse landscape of Romania will take your breath away. Be prepared to fall in love with this fascinating country, as demonstrated by your excellent tour guide.

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    October 2018

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    Coburn

    Bellingham, Washington

    Ten Special Days with Ovidiu in Romania

    Ovidiu led group of friends around Romania on a very special and enjoyable custom tour in summer 2018. Our itinerary was crafted by two of the tour members – one Romanian, one French, who had long dreamt of sharing the wonderful Romanian landscape, people and cultures with friends from Europe and the USA. Ovidiu met us off the night train from Bucarest to Sighet, then led us as guide and driver through stops in Maramures, Bucovina, and Transylvania. We stayed in private accommodations full of character in villages and castles as we wound our way to churches, monasteries and other attractions including stops in Breb, Viseu de Sus, Viscri, Suceavita, Sighisoara, Crit, Brasov and Peles. Ovidiu is a charming, patient and highly knowledgeable guide with a deep love and understanding of Romanian culture and history. Highly recommended.

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    July 2018

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    Steve

    Worcester, Massachusetts, USA

    I recommend Ovidiu with the highest enthusiasm possible.

    We recently had the good fortune to have him lead my family on a personalized tour of several regions in Romania. I was travelling alone with my three children (aged 6-17). Ovidiu managed to keep all of us engaged and entertained while sharing his abundant and impeccable knowledge of history and the area. He is kind, professional, witty well-informed, accommodating and an overall extraordinary host. In addition to a wonderful tour, I sincerely feel that we have gained a friend from the experience. We miss Ovidiu and cannot wait to come back for another visit. If you are travelling in beautiful Romania, you would be very fortunate to have Ovidiu show you the sights!!!

    Review listed on facebook

    April 2017

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    Brandy Elser Chetsas

    Boston, USA

    We could spend weeks with him!

    We spent part of two days with Ovidiu Botoni, of Explore Bucovina, when we visited Transylvania. He proved to be an extremely intelligent guide who had done his research and was enthusiastic about his subjects. He welcomed our questions and showed great patience with our fascination with the Dracula story. The first day we arrived in Brasov in the afternoon, and Ovidiu was our guide for The Pelles Castle. He knew everything about the Castle, the woodwork, the history, the artwork. He even got us tickets to go to the upstairs where few tourists see. On the way to and from the Castle, he gave us valuable information about the region and the people. On the second day, he gave us a tour of Bran Castle. He knew how to time our arrival to miss most of the crowds, and he also found out that it was the first day of an added attraction: an elevator and hallway full of Dracula lore. He brushed away the Gypsies selling things we didn’t want and guided us to the souvenirs we were looking for. Later, he took us through Brasov and made the city interesting enough that we spent the next few nights exploring it. There were no mailboxes to mail postcards back to the U.S., so Ovidiu took the time to drive around and around the post office so I could run in and mail the postcards. After we were home, he sent us some additional information he had found about some of the things we discussed. My husband said, ” I could spend 2 more weeks learning about Romania from Ovid.”

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    July 2018

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    Elaine Carolyn

    Houston, Texas

    Bucovina & Maramures Excursion

    We visited the four famous painted monasteries and, moreover, we did a 2-day excursion to the wooden churches of Maramures. Mr. Sorin was an excellent guide with a broad knowledge of all the paintings – and he was a very good driver. He also selected the local dishes and gave us a real overall Service. i highly recommend him as driver/guide for the Region mentioned.

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    April 2019

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    Peter Gehringer

    Viena, Austria

    Great Entrance to The Heart of Moldavia

    I booked their tour last minute. Fairly streamlined and transparent communication. A guide, Adrian, was more just a guide but someone who you’d hang out with. He was very knowledgeable and made my otherwise very difficult to maneuver monastery exploring a breeze.
    Sights were very cold but it made the experience more interesting.

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    January 2019

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    Sung Chon

    New York, USA

    Bucovina / Maramureş

    100% recommended! We had great time with Ovidiu in bucovina and maramures. The best was his knowledge about frescos in the differents monasteries and we are very greatful because he made our wishes true. We visited everything we wanted and more in record time. Thanks a lot for the efforts!

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    October 2018

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    Rocio Lopez

    Santiago, Chile

    Florin is an exceptionally knowledgeable guide

    Our tour with Florin was great. We went to four painted monasteries and the pottery workshop. He knows a great deal about the monasteries, their history, and their art. He is a very pleasant and friendly person, and we enjoyed spending the day with him.

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    September 2018

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    Kevin O

    Toronto, Canada

    Maramureș: where you’re given time back…

    As we longed to visit Maramureș, just west to Bukovina, we contacted Mr. Ovidiu who planned a wonderful two-days tour to this region. A comfortable car, many kms run, but we were rewarded by the amazing wooden churches, monasteries, historical sites, the merry cemetery in Săpânța and two different though welcoming guesthouses on their suggestion to dine (local products and lavish meals) and spend the night. A professional, patient (very patient with us, indeed) and kind guidance going out of his way to surprise us. We’ll never forget Maramureș thanks to him. Until next time!

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    August 2018

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    Marco D'Agostino

    Roma, Italia

    A Fascinating Ride through the Unique Nature, History and Traditions of Romania’s Jewels

    Romania has treasures well hidden in the countryside – from its imposing Carpathian mountains to the superb traditions and heritage that were declared UNESCO sites – and this boutique tour take you through an informative and fun alike exploration where you will have the opportunity to meet the people in their true unspoiled environment, observe how they have preserved their customs and learn about their history. Ovidiu is an amazing guide, extremely knowledgeable and very very passionate of sharing his love for these places with his tourists! Very friendly, professional, patient and approachable – with a degree in political history and international life experience, Ovidiu was for us the ideal guide! We feel so grateful to have been with him on this fascinating journey!!!!

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    June 2019

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    Mihaela U

    Canada

    Excellent tour guide

    Ovidiu was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic while showing us around Brasov. He had all the maps of how the town used to be, made it easier to visualize while he gave us a history of the town, the people, and the culture. He is a proud Romanian and it showed how much he wanted to show us his country. It was infectious because it made us wanted to absorbed all the knowledge that he possessed. Highly recommend him.

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    June 2018

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    IamRS

    USA

    Excellent tour operator in Bucovina

    I took a day trip to the Bucovina Monasteries with Explore Bucovina and it was excellent. Gabriel, my guide, was an extremely nice person and very knowledgeable about the history of the region. Definitely recommended!

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    June 2018

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    Giulia

    Italy

    To see and share beautiful Romania with Ovidiu is a lifetime experience I am not going into great detail but do yourself a favor and do it with Explore Bucovina I guarantee you will have memories to last forever

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    June 2017

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    Mike Youlden

    Australia

    Brasov and Gura Humorului


    On a recent trip to Romania and Ukraine with my family, we spent two wonderful days with Ovidiu as our tour guide. He was so open and funny and showed us a wide variety of attractions. From mountain tops to castles to recommending local dishes, he was smart with a broad understanding of the area. I would very highly recommend his services.

    Review listed on Tripadvisor 

    October 2018

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    loborn68

    Colorado Springs, Colorado

    Exactly and more than what we wanted from our visit to Romania 

    Out tour was aimed at finding the roots of my family in a very small village. Time was very limited. Our fantastic guide researched and took us straight to the village where with his help we were able to find exactly what we wanted to know. Our guide was knowledgeable about the history, a very safe driver, flexible with the timetable, booked great accommodation, and restaurants and entertaining. We felt very confident in his guidance and suggestion. Saw some great scenery and historic buildings and learned so much about România The trip was much more than we had hope for such a short trip. We highly recommend our guide and look to a future longer visit with him .

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    August 2019

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    Dina Breen

    Australia

    We spent a wonderful three days with Sorin Fodor as our guide. He figured out quickly how to adjust the planned itinerary to best meet our interests and had the contacts and detailed knowledge of the area to show us much that we would never have discovered on our own. We were particularly interested in Jewish life in the area, and saw the interior of four synagogues instead of one, plus three cemeteries, and the exteriors of at least six other synagogues. We didn’t neglect the other sites or learning about other aspects of Romania — Sorin just put in long and very full days with us.

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    July 2019

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    Ruth L.

    Florida, USA

    Excellent way to discover the Bucovina Monasteries

    We had great communication with Explore Bucovina and felt confident our tour would be suitable. Our guide, Mr Florin arrived on time and he took us on a relaxed and informative tour around the major sights. It was a professional service and we had a fabulous day. Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this tour operator.

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    August 2019

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    Petrus Z.

    New Plymouth

    Great way to see the Painted Monasteries

    Mr Sorin Fodor from was an excellent guide for my day trip to the Painted Monasteries with Boutique Romania. He was the driver and knew the region well. This meant, for example, that he was able to guide us to a family-run restaurant in a village for lunch. But above all, he was knowledgeable about the monasteries, both their history and the motifs represented. He knew the details, but also the bigger picture He was not only well-rehearsed, but also ready to answer follow-up questions in depth.
    I am used to travelling independently, but I could not have understood the monasteries in the same way if I had hired a car and visited the monasteries by myself. Mr Sorin’s knowledge certainly meant that I enjoyed my visit to the region much more.

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    August 2019

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    Anne G.

    Prague, Czech Republic

    Discover the wonderful Romania

    I traveled with two friends and we concluded that this trip was a wonderful experience. We had a very personalized trip trough Prahova Vally, Bucovina, Maramures and Transylvania.
    Ovidiu was an excellent guide: professional, knowledgeable ,passionate and fun to travel with.His history knowledge is impressive.The accommodation for the 9 days trip were chosen with care .
    Not only that it left us with the taste of an “ encore”, but I will highly recommend this agency and guide to all my friends that want to discover the marvellous Romania.

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    September 2019

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    Carolina F.

    Quebec. Canada

    The Best of Brasov’s Guides

    Ovidiu is the best guide we’ve met! He is very knowledgable, articulate, and personable with a sense of humour. He has historical facts and figures and wonderful legends fables and quips. I cannot day enough about his wonderful services., Tom Taylor, Boston Mass.

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    October 2019

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    Tom Taylor

    Boston, USA

    Sorin was a great tourguide!

    We had a really good day this week with Sorin at the Classic tour. It was around 0 degrees this week, so if you come in “winter” time, make sure you wear warm clothes as you will spend some time outdoors. Car was heated to warm up though :-). Sorin gave us an in-depth explanation of the monasteries, the meaning of all the stories painted on the walls and we used the time in the car to talk about the Romanian society in general. It was a fantastic way to get to know this area of Romania and we can highly recommend the tour and Sorin as a tourguide, thanks a lot!

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    November 2019

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    Gijs V.

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    Talk to our expert

    Our story goes back to 2009, with the founder of the agency: Ovidiu Boțoni, a very enthusiastic, passionate traveler that spent a lot of his young years in Western Europe. As a Romanian, Ovidiu was surprised to see that a lot of people who lived outside his country, didn’t really know many valuable things about Romania. They often associated his native country with different stereotypes such as:“the Communism / Ceaușescu”, “Dracula” or even “Gypsys”.
    All of these reasons, made Ovidiu really determined to change how everyone perceived Romania. His started his journey as a travel guide working for different agencies but soon, he felt like he could offer much more on his own, so he decided to take everything to the “next level” and start a high quality travel agency with integrity and a focus on the client’s needs.

    Today we are proud to say that we changed the perception of Romania for travelers coming from 5 different continents and over 100 countries.