Transylvania is the largest and the most famous region in Romania. It is very diverse, a mix of culture, nature, history and endless posibilities for an unforgetable vacation. Transylvania has many legends, myths and misterious medieval sites: around 100 castles and fortresses and about 70 fortified churches. Also, there are a lot of outdoor activities available as Transylvania is surrounded by the Carpathian mountains.
The villages of Transylvania
In our opinion, the best part of Transylvania is represented by the colorful traditional villages. The old traditions are still alive here and people still keep the old customs and professions: shepherds, weavers, blacksmiths, carpenters. The most beautiful villages of Transylvania are Rimetea, Biertan, Valea Viilor, Viscri, Cartisoara, Breb, Magura, Sirnea etc.
The castles of Transylvania
Transylvania is well known for Bran Castle in Brasov county, often associated with 15th century Walachian Prince Vlad Tepes, the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Close to Bran Castle are the fortified churches like Harman, with its massive 13th Saxon towers, and Prejmer, the largest fortified church in Southeastern Europe.
Another impressive castle is the 15th-century Corvinilor Castle, located nearby Hunedoara.
Also, Râşnov citadel, built in the 13th century, is an impressive complex with living houses and small streets and is located on a mountain top in Râșnov, close to Bran. On the way up to the citadel you will also see an adventure park with huge dinosaurs, for families – Dino Park.
Events and festivals
There are plenty of events and festivals happening in Transylvania throughout the year. Here’s some of them:
- Electric Castle – Bonțida, Cluj
- Untold – Cluj Napoca
- Nedeia Munților (traditional shepherd festival)- Fundata
- Haferland week – in the saxon villages
- Transilvania International Film Festival – Cluj Napoca
- CibinFest – Sibiu
- Oktoberfest – Brasov
- Medieval Festival – Sighisoara
- Pastoral Fest (Ravasitul Oilor) – Bran
- Sibiu Jazz Festival – Sibiu
- International Theatre Festival – Sibiu
- And many others…
The food in Transylvania
Transylvania’s cuisine has some hungarian and saxon influences. Besides the traditional Romanian food, you will find “Varza a la Cluj” which is originary from Cluj, prepared from several layers of shredded cabbage (fresh or sour) and minced pork or veal mixed with rice and bacon and baked in the oven. Also, in Transylvania you will find the strongest varieties of brandy: palinca, horinca, rachie.
Hiking in Transylvania
Transylvania is surrounded by the Carpathian mountains so the hiking posibilities are endless and very diverse. There are easy hikes for beginers or families with children but also difficult hiking trails for the experienced ones. Apuseni mountain range, in the West, is a great place for those who enjoy easier hikes, with rural views, gorges, caves and traditional villages. Here you can visit Scarisoara cave with the second largest underground glacier on the continent. Also Piatra Craiului National Park is more attractive for those who enjoy climbing and virgin forests with many wild life photography opportunities.
Transylvania offers a variety of things in terms of outdoor activities in Romania. One can enjoy biking trails, caves exploring, climbing, fishing, hiking, trekking, rafting, skiing, wildlife watching and photo tours.
The most beautiful cities
The biggest part of the most beautiful cities of Romania are in Transylvania: Alba Iulia, Bistrita, Brasov, Cluj Napoca, Medias, Miercurea Ciuc, Sebes, Sibiu, Sighisoara, Targu Mures. Each of them deserves at leat 2-3 days of exploring and we are ready to guide you!
It’s very accesible
Transylvania is very accesible for tourists as there are plenty of airports in this region or close to it. Major airports are located in:
Cluj (CLJ) – www.airportcluj.ro
Sibiu (SBZ) – www.sibiuairport.ro