Mulled wine, gingerbread, and the music of carols: as the winter holidays are approaching, cities across the country are getting ready to open their Christmas markets.
Since its first edition in 2007, the year the city held the European Capital of Culture title, the Christmas Market in Sibiu has become a successful event, to which the city owes a second tourist season. Started in a partnership with the Embassy of Austria in Romania, it is held in the Grand Square (Piața Mare or Großer Ring), at the heart of the old city.
Brașov holds the Christmas Market in Piața Sfatului, the center of its old town, and the starting point for exploring many of the tourist attractions in the area. Since Nuremberg is one of Brașov’s twin cities, one of the 40 market stalls at the market will be allotted to sellers coming from the German town.
We invite you in a 5-days adventure to discover the magic of winter holidays on Romanian realms.
Bran Castle & Rasnov Fortress
• We visit the most emblematic tourist symbol of Romania, Bran Castle. Bran Castle is the only castle in all of Transylvania that actually fits Bram Stoker’s description of Dracula’s Castle; it is known throughout the world as Dracula’s Castle
• Traditional lunch
• Rasnov Fortress is located on a rocky hilltop in the Carpathian Mountains, 650 ft. above the town of Rasnov. First mentioned in an official document in 1331, the fortress was built by Teutonic Knights as protection against invading Tartars and was later enlarged by the local Saxon population
Ice Hotel & Christmas Market in Sibiu
• The Ice Hotel. In the grandiose ridges of the Carpathian Mountains, every year, the Icicles Palace of Romania, the Hotel of Ice, revives. In a storyline, hundreds of guests cross the threshold and find themselves at high heights, tranquility above the world. Let yourself be carried away by the white magic of this special place, building new memories and unforgettable experiences with your loved ones. Since 2005, in the heart of the Fagaras Mountains, is built yearly the most distinguished hotel of Romania, the Hotel of Ice. The hotel is built entirely of snow and ice blocks that are extracted from the largest glacial lake of the Fagaras Mountains, Balea Lake. Ice blocks reach 70 centimeters in height and weight almost 70 pounds. In less than a month the ice artists manage to raise a home for winter lovers, their work being rewarded by over 8,000 annual guests
• Lunch at the ice restaurant that is part of the Ice Hotel complex
• Christmas Market in Sibiu, one of the most beautiful Christmas events of this kind in Romania. Sibiu Christmas Market offering visitors a wonderful shopping experience full of magic and culture. As always, the Christmas market is set in Sibiu’s awe-inspiring Grand Square (Piata Mare), in the heart of the city, and that’s probably a big part of its charm. Being surrounded by such magnificent Baroque architecture makes you feel like you stepped back in time into a smaller, cozier Vienna. More than 100 exhibitors from the country and abroad are present at this year’s edition, presenting a diverse selection of products such as Christmas decorations, sweets, accessories, toys, and a rich gastronomic menu. The attractions of the Sibiu Christmas Market include spectacular projections on the buildings in the city’s Piata Mare (Main Square), a natural ice-skating rink, and a new tourist train. Moreover, the children can have fun at Santa’s Park, where they can also try one of the four workshops organized especially for them. The highlight of the evening will be the moment we will climb into the Tower of the Council where we will have the most spectacular view to the whole Christmas fair
• We check-in in Sibiu at a guesthouse where we will enjoy relaxation, dinner and boiled wine
Wine tasting & Nocrich pottery center
• We move on to the surprise of the day: wine tasting in the Old Town of Sibiu!
• We will serve lunch in a special place in the heart of the Saxon villages
• After lunch we will head towards a typical old Saxon village from the region - Nocrich. Here we will meet the Nocrich scouts. The Nocrich pottery center and the scouts center are two of the methods used for promoting and teaching the old values and traditions of these communities
• We will finish the day with a pottery painting workshop in which you will get to test and improve your creative abilities. The workshop is situated in a traditional barn; thus, we will find ourselves surrounded by an authentic atmosphere, perfectly resembling the original 100 years ago
• We end the day with boiled wine and a delicious dinner
• In the first part of the day we make a visit to Kraft Made, a unique project, a network of creative craftsmen dedicated to the recovery, cultivation, development and integration of the craft skills of the national cultural heritage in everyday life
• Next stop will be at the Evangelic church from Alma Vii, one of the most spectacular churches in Romania, and maybe the most romantic place as well. We will also take part in a complete guided tour
• The lunch will be served in a totally special setting - in the defense tower of the fortress. The food will be traditionally cooked and served, for us, just as for medieval noblemen
• The second part of the day finds us in Sighisoara. Sighisoara is a small city in the Transylvania region of Romania, with a history dating back to the 1100s. Back then, the Hungarian king was begging Saxons to move to this part of the world in order to help defend his borders. German craftsmen and artisans took him up on it, and what resulted is today a fairy-tale-like fortified city in the heart of Romania. It's no wonder this whole place is a UNESCO World Heritage site. With cobbled streets, colorful buildings, and a pedestrian-friendly Old Town, it's difficult not to fall in love with Sighisoara. Climbing up the Clock Tower is an absolute must in Sighisoara, because the views are very beautiful. Parts of this building date back to the 14th century, and I'm sure you can understand why it was built — as a lookout point over the city walls. Sighisoara Citadel is the last inhabited fortress in Europe
Brasov Christmas Market
• Clay Castle of the Valley of Fairies (Castelul de Lut din Valea Zânelor) is a fantastic house in the middle of Romanian fairytale landscapes and a dream for any traveler. This incredible construction is built purely from organic materials and is inspired by the “dwarf house”. It is a breathtaking construction, that started in the year 2014. It is inspired by the Snow White fairytale and the castle will soon give visitors the possibility to stay overnight
• Brasov. Fringed by the peaks of the Carpathian Mountains and resplendent with gothic, baroque and renaissance architecture, as well as a wealth of historical attractions, the medieval city of Brasov, located just three hours north of Bucharest, provides a great introduction to the region. Among Brasov's best known historical and cultural attractions are the Council Square, the beautiful St. Nicholas Church, the Black Church – the largest Gothic church east of Vienna – so named because of its dark walls which survived a devastating fire in 1689, and the Brasov Fortress. We will visit the historical center of the city and the line of the old fortifications
• Optional lunch in the city historical center
• Brasov Christmas Market. With its cobbled medieval streets, awe-inspiring Gothic architecture, and the dramatic Tâmpa Mountain towering above, the handsome Transylvanian city of Brasov provides the perfect backdrop for your winter holidays. During the Christmas season, Piata Sfatului (the city’s main square) comes to life with joyful Christmas music, German-inspired stalls, and a giant, sparkling Christmas tree. Shops transform their window displays into glistening winter scenes, churches hold special services, and most of the restaurants around serve up mouthwatering traditional menus with vin fiert (mulled wine), tuica fiarta (hot plum brandy with sugar, pepper, and spices), and dishes like sarmalute cu mamaliguta (rice and meat stuffed cabbage rolls with some sort of polenta), carnati (homemade sausages), cozonac (the local version of panetone), or papanasi (cheese doughnuts with sour cream and jam)
• Arrival to Bucharest and transfer to the hotel
What is included in the price:
- 4 nights guesthouse accommodation (single and double rooms)
- 2 meals/day (breakfast and dinner at the guesthouse). We can also offer alternatives for other types of diet
- Lunch in traditional households
- All the activities presented above
- Two professional tour guides (fluent English speaker), rangers, local guides and support staff for the activities
- English guided tours for the entire period
- Pick up from any city in Romania
- Transfer from and to the hotel
- Transport with bus or mini-vans for the entire duration of the adventure – fuel included.
What is not included in the price:
- Extra accommodation nights. Optionally, depending on the flight schedule, we can arrange extra accommodation with extra costs regardless the city
- Entrance tickets to all touristic attractions
- Airport transfers
- Flight tickets (optionally we can reserve the flights)
- Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
- Other personal spending
- Sometimes, some of the places we intend to visit may be closed at that time. But don’t worry. We have prepared tourist attractions at least as interesting as the previous ones.
- We can organize this tour from 1st of December to 3rd of January.
- The tour can be customized depending on the number of days you have available.