Romania is a mysterious land on the edge of the Balkans that never fails to spark the imagination and which you can discover on a number of Explore tours to Romania. When you think of Romania it, probably conjures up images of Bran Castle and the rolling hills of Transylvania, which are ideal to discover on foot by walking among the Transylvanian Alps. This area is said to be home to Vlad the Impaler or Dracula as he’s better known - a 16th century Wallachian prince immortalised by the author Bram Stoker.
Thanks to Stoker’s book, a trip to Romania allows you to enter into the realms of folklore. Steeped in old world traditions and superstitions, its vivid mythology includes creatures such as vampires, werewolves, shape-shifting sorcerers and indestructible old hags, who, according to some, still roam the countryside. Lurking in the forests now days it is possible to find a majestic large fanged being – the European Brown Bear, which we aim to spot from the bear watching hides. There are estimated to be around 6000 brown bears in Romania, which makes it one of the few healthy populations left in Europe.
Today, rural Romania is a land punctuated with gothic spires, fortified churches and fairy tale castles, but it’s truly a place where old meets new with the younger population seeking to gain all the Western mod-cons which they were denied during the communist years of the country’s history. On an Explore adventure to Romania you will still be able to see villagers riding horse drawn carts to the local mineral springs to collect water for their farms, now travelling alongside big flashy modern cars. In the lost-in-time villages of Romania you can listen to folk songs accompanied by jovial music and dancing and also see traditional textiles, ceramics and metal work being produced in the same way as it has been for generations.
On Explore’s trips you can experience the Romanian way of life and see first-hand the unspoilt countryside, wonderful wildlife, mythical castles and age old culture of this underappreciated and fascinating country.