For some, it’s easy to think of Romania as nothing but fortresses and strongholds commanding the tops of the darkly forested Carpathian Mountains, with ties to infamous tyrants and vampires. Far from being a one-note country, Romania is a land of rich landscapes and history. The country is fairly well divided equally between lowlands and mountainous, hilly regions, which are well looked after and offer up a variety of wildlife and opportunities for travel.
One of the most visited areas of Romania is the coast of the Black Sea. And sitting like glittering jewels on the Black Sea, the cities of Constanta and Mamaia make up part of what is often referred to as the Romanian Riviera, with Mangalia, Saturn, Venus, Neptun, Olimp rounding out the list. Being two of the most important cities in Romania, just behind Bucharest, Constanta and Mamaia are well-developed and travel friendly. Resorts line the beaches and fantastic restaurants nestle in the city’s side streets waiting to be discovered. Places like MCM and Restaurant Chevalet are definite destination-food restaurants when you visit. While in Constanta, be sure to see the Grand Casino for it’s architecture and the romantic atmosphere around sunset. In fact, the whole of the Romanian Riviera is a definite must-see if you happen to be there in summer.
Snow and mountains more your style? Since the 1990’s, Romania has seen many mountain resort towns in the Prahova Valley grow to support more and more tourism with an emphasis on winter sports. Which, they have become very involved in and Predeal, a city in the Prahova Valley, was even host to the cross country skiing and snowboarding events of the 2013 European Youth Olympic Winter Festival. The Prahova Valley is also considering putting in a bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, so you know that the winter activities to be had and resorts to stay in are worth the trip!
Of course, Transylvania comes up when talking of Romania thanks largely in part to Bram Stoker but beyond the superficial vampire links, the region is soaked in history and beauty. Sighisoara is perhaps the most well-known city in Transylvania. The Historic Centre of Sighisoara is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as the city has preserved many of the features of a small fortified medieval city spectacularly. The last weekend of every July, the city hosts a medieval festival in the citadel exhibiting everything from theater, arts, poetry to street animation shows. The whole medieval atmosphere spreads throughout the city and could not be better backdropped than against such an ancient city. Any renaissance festival you’ve been to, or Medieval Times you’ve visited seems almost comic after being there. The city is also the supposed birthplace of Vlad Dracul, more infamously known as Vlad the Impaler.
Outside Sighisoara, northern Transylvania hosts another eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites too, believe it or not — they are the wooden churches of Maramures and they are truly beautiful. Most of the country is in fact, very beautiful and has quite a few unique sites that should be on any travel itinerary. One of the nice things about touring European countries is that they are relatively small and you can take in a lot of what a country has to offer versus traveling in the United States, Russia, China or Australia which are all truly vast. So be sure to see the beauty and culture Romania offers in places like Scarisoara Cave, an ice cave in the Apuseni mountains, the Berca mud volcanoes and the Merry Cemetery.
On a final note, if you happen to be driving to Romania and you have a love of motorsports, or majestic scenery, you must drive the Transfagarasan in the southern Carpathians. Made famous by the BBC program Top Gear, when Jeremy Clarkson said of it, “this is the best road… in the world.” The Transfagarasan is a “bucket-list” drive for anyone with a passion for cars.
Want to spend some more time in Romania?
Read the real-life love story “The Unsinkable Mister Brown” by Brian David Bruns.
“The Unsinkable Mister Brown” tells the tale of an American man who follows the love of his life to her hometown of Sighisoara, Romania — A must Read!
It looks really beautiful. I almost visited once and find myself now wishing that I had. Excellent post. 🙂
Hopefully one day you will have the chance to visit. Thank you 🙂
l appreciate your blog.Very interesting.Thank you so much for following my website.Warm regards.jalal
Thank you so much!
It looks like an incredible place.
I would really love to see all this one day. Is is safe for woman tourists travelling alone?
forestwoodfolkart, Romanian Women are very strong women, and the men are quite respectful. They do have gypsies still in those parts, and they are wanderers and scammers, and they beg for money and try to sell you stuff. But, all-in-all, it is a tourist country… they put great effort forth to make sure visitors of Romania are safe and would return and recommend visits.
That is good to know. Thanks
Thanks for following my blog but thanks even more for this post. I am heading to Romania in a few weeks for a wedding in Transylvania. This post was most enlightening and I am more excited than ever to see the country.
Well thank you as well! I hope your trip was everything you wanted 🙂
Reblogged this on Travel Specialist Weblog and commented:
As I am heading to Transylvania, Romania for a friend’s wedding in a few weeks, I found this information to be invaluable. I thought it might be helpful for anyone thinking about visiting this country. Enjoy
Merci beaucoup! A great post. Romania is now on the LIST!
Thank you! Definitely worth a visit 🙂
My family are from Hungary (not the unpleasant sort of Hungarians: We have good friends from Romania!), with some roots in Romania and Czechoslovakia. I have been to Hungary many times, but this post adds fuel to my fire to visit Romania. What a fascinating and beautiful country, and with such a noble history!
Thank you! It is a must see! 🙂
Beautifully done photos!!!!!
Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed them so much 🙂
Love this post! I already wanted to go to Romania, but this just pushed it higher up my list. 🙂
Thank you! Glad we could help! 🙂
Seems interesting and beautiful. Looking forward to going one day
Great photos! Thanks, too, for visiting/following my blog – wishing you all the best for yours. Bon weekend!
Thank you, the same to you as well! 🙂
Reblogged this on Lenora's Culture Center and Foray into History.
Thank you for following my blog. I always laugh to myself when I meet people who come here to visit the first time and really cannot fathom how vast the United States is and many of the best sites are far from each other, e.g. Grand Canyon and Sequoia, both of which I drove to this summer.
Arizona, Colorado, Utah, and California are wonders-in themselves.
Absolutely gorgeous country! Love the pics u post! Will be trading an Italy trip for Romania! Thanks for following chocolatecastles
NICE PICS…LOVE THEM 🙂
Thanks so much.
Hey, thanks for this great post. My friend Omar loves Romania, he vacations there all the time. Did you take all of these pictures? They are really beautiful, I especially like the ones of the town with all the blue and orange tones. Thank you for visiting my blog over at Sun, Spirit and San Diego. I look forward to your future posts.
Romania is wonderful! We are always in the market to buy photography and Photojournalism pieces. Our articles are written by real writers and designers and lovers of travel; as Bellhops, we can serve fellow travelers — and have fun doing it.
Oh my goodness. These pictures and descriptions gave me a serious case of wanderlust. I’ve got to travel here!
Wanderlust can be cured — by reading more travel articles 😉
Somehow, a review always seems more genuine when you know that the writer does not have commercial interest in it. Thanks for the detailed write-up.
Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂
Thank you for following my blog!
Just checked out your blog – love it! Love the theme, the writing, layout and the pictures. Great work! Will be reading old posts and new!
Well thank you as well! Glad you are enjoying it 🙂
Stunning shots. Great to be able to glimpse the world beyond my little corner. Thanks for the follow on my other blog My Holistic Table. I regret not being able to post often, juggling the Journey which has been a breathtaking one, along with homeschooling. Thanks for your patience. Keep up the great work. Diana
Thank you so much! 🙂
I just traveled to Romanian, beautiful. Thank you for following my blog vafarriawritings.com.
Love, light, and blessings
I’m glad you enjoyed your trip! 🙂
Wonderful. Romania is high up on my list of places to go…
I hope you have the chance to visit this wonderful place 🙂
Reblogged this on ulearn2bu and commented:
More to it than vampires….
Reblogged this on RomeoMilea.