24 May to 1 June 2019

Romania is an enchanting land of surprising cultural contrasts. The capital, Bucharest, has the exotic flavour of the Orient while the Saxon towns and villages of Transylvania, transport us to medieval Germany. The celebrated painted monasteries with their active communities are of yet another world.

This 9-day tour starts in Bucharest, recently voted Europe’s coolest capital, where East meets West and, despite Ceausescu’s best efforts, the city remains a rich mix of architectural styles reflecting Romania’s often violent and tragic but always vibrant history.

The former royal city of Iasi, is the starting point to explore the painted monasteries of Bucovina. The churches are painted both inside and out. They gleam like jewel boxes among the forests and gentle rolling hills. Driving south the scenery remains spectacular through a region still home to Hungarian speakers. Once in Transylvania it is difficult not to seek out the Pied Piper and the children of Hamelin.

In the countryside around these medieval towns and villages of poignant beauty we will explore uniquely rich flower meadows (best seen on foot or by horse and cart, and in the company of a botanist). To the West, we return to the Orthodox world to visit some of the most significant 17th-century monasteries in Romania and stay in a fortified manor house, or cula of this region.

More extraordinary art and architecture awaits in Târgu Jiu – Brancusi’s masterpieces surprise in a municipal park. On our final day we visit one of the most significant Roman sites in the country – Sarmizegetusa Ulpia Traiana.

This tour will be led by writer, lecturer and editor, Bronwen Riley, twice a contributor to the Transylvanian Book Festival, who is an experienced lecturer and guide with extensive knowledge of Romania.

Cost per person £2025, single room supplement £250

The price includes all accommodation, transport during the tour by private coach, entries to museums, etc, all meals, tips, taxes and local guides. Not included are airfares to join the tour, personal expenses and drinks.

Visit our booking page or email Lucy for a full itinerary.