Transylvania

Highlights:

 

– Closely connected to the legend of Dracula, Transylvania is that perfect surreal destination where you can go vampire hunting and listen to the howling wolves.

– A special city-break destination. Come and wander the streets of gorgeous Cluj-Napoca, Sibiu, Brasov, Alba-Iulia and Oradea.

– Visit the Castle of Dracula and explore the other less known charming castles and Saxon villages of the region.

– Nature-lovers who would rather spend their time outdoors, will not be disappointed by Transylvania, thanks to the richness and uniqueness of its geography.

Framed by the Carpathian Mountains and still relatively “undiscovered” compared to other tourist destinations in Europe, stepping into Transylvania feels like taking a step back in history. The region is one of the three major historical regions of Romania and it includes the areas: Banat, Crisana, Satmar and Maramures.

Throughout history, the territory of Transylvania was populated by Dacians and it belonged to the Dacian Kingdom. In this region, it was located the old capital of the kingdom of Dacia, called Sarmizegetusa Regia. We all know how it ended: Dacia was conquered by the Roman Empire and then the story changed.

In The Medieval Ages, the Voievodate of Transylvania appeared. At the beginning of the 11th Century, the Kingdom of Hungary started the annexation of Transylvania, a process that was finished at the end of the 12th century. The Romanians remained the main bearers of public tasks, however, they were considered second-hand inhabitants, with limited rights.

Romanians rebelled many times against the regime, demanding justice, as they were the largest population of all ethnicities in Transylvania. One of the two most important uprisings was the one that took place 1437 in Bobalna, led by Horia, Closca and Crisan, and the second one took place in 1784 and was led by Avram Iancu.

After Austro-Hungary’s defeat in World War I, the Romanians of Transylvania demanded the principality’s union with Romania. Thus, Transylvania joined the other principalities of

Romania and became one with them on December 1, 1918 in the Resolution of the Grand National Assembly at Alba Iulia.

“Why is this region called Transylvania?” “Transylvania” is a Latin word and it means “the country beyond the forests”. Nowadays, Transylvania equals about 42.1% of Romania’s total surface.

“What is the language spoken in Transylvania?” The official language of the region is Romanian because 89% of the population is Romanian. 7% speak Hungarian and 1.5% are German speakers.

“Is Dracula’s castle located in Transylvania?” Somehow, yes. The most known castle in Transylvania is the Bran Castle due to its link to Dracula. Bram Stoker, the famous Irish writer, placed his fictional story of Dracula, inside the Bran Castle. The story is, however, a legend. The real Dracula, Vlad the Impaler, never lived at Bran Castle. Vlad lived in the Poenari Castle.

“How many castles are there in Transylvania?” Transylvania has become in the past few years the most popular tourist destination in Romania. In the most recent ranking, Lonely Planet placed Transylvania on the 1st place in the top of the regions to be visited this year. In Transylvania, there are several beautiful castles. The most famous ones are the following: Banffy Castle, Bran Castle, Corvinilor Castle, Teleki Castle and Kendy-Kemeny Castle.

Transylvania is home to both beautiful landscapes and impressive cities. From the vibrant cultural life in Cluj to the charming Brasov, from the cobbled streets and baroque buildings in Sibiu to the Art Nouveau architecture in Oradea.

Top cities to visit in Transylvania:

Cluj-Napoca is the capital of Transylvania and one of the largest urban centers in Romania. Cluj is an important university center and the headquarters of numerous IT companies. The city boasts its rich cultural life, majestic cathedrals, a lot of stunning monuments and some of the best museums in the country. Cluj is called “the city of festivals” due to the large number of events that take place here throughout the year.

Sibiu. Initially inhabited by Saxons, Sibiu was the capital of Transylvania between 1692-1791 and 1849-1865. It preserves many examples of authentic Saxon architecture, and due to its vintage look, with cobbled streets and baroque buildings as well as idyllic surroundings, Sibiu has been included in a list of the most beautiful places to live in, in Europe. In 2007, Sibiu gained the title of “the European Capital of Culture”. 

Brasov. Gothic towers, medieval gates, Baroque buildings, lovely churches and a huge Hollywood-style sign: welcome to Brasov! As you walk around the Council Square, you will be fascinated by the rich history of this city. The best example of Saxon heritage is represented by the splendid Black Church, a Gothic-style masterpiece which got its name from the fire that blackened its walls centuries ago.

Sighisoara. One of the best preserved inhabited cities in Europe, Sighisoara is famous for being the birthplace of Vlad Tepes, the ruler of Wallachia from the 15th century and the inspiration for the book “Count Dracula”, written by Bram Stoker. Built in the 12th century by the Saxons, Sighisoara was later fortified with twelve towers and five bastions. Nine towers and two bastions still surround the fortress, dominating the city with their imposing figures.

Alba Iulia. A place of great historical importance for Romania, Alba Iulia hosts a well-preserved medieval fortress whose walls surround great monuments and museums, glittering churches and archaeological treasures. The 6 gates of the White Carolina Fortress and its imposing ramparts are excellent examples of the Vauban military architectural system.

Oradea. Located between the low hills of western Romania, Oradea is an important economic and cultural center. Fans of art nouveau architecture will be delighted to discover that many beautiful buildings have been restored to their former glory. In Union Square, there are a lot of special buildings: the Palace of the Greek Catholic Episcopate, the City Hall Palace with its Clock Tower, and the Black Eagle Palace.

Best Festivals in Transylvania

Did you know that Transylvania also hosts amazing festivals each year? Here are the most important ones:

TIFF Transylvania Film Festival – Founded in 2002, it is the first and largest festival dedicated to feature film in Romania. Due to the remarkable selection of films, the effervescent atmosphere and the variety of events, TIFF attracts numerous tourists annually from all over the world.

Electric Castle – the second biggest festival after the Felsziget Peninsula, taking place in Transylvania annually, in July, at Banffy Castle. It perfectly combines musical genres such as electronic music, rock, hip hop or indie and offers, in addition to great shows, several experiences that integrate art, technology and sports.

UNTOLD – the largest annual electronic music festival in the country, Untold has had a huge success since the first edition in 2015. Cluj Arena is the main place where big names like Armin van Buuren, Tiesto, Afrojack or Steve Aoki entertain the crowds until sunrise.

JAZZ in the Park– Held in the Central Park of the city of Cluj, it is an event much loved by the locals, who gather in the park to enjoy long evenings with family and friends.

Sports Festival – another type of festival, with a mix of sports, entertainment, education, competition and fun, the lineup being diversified and accessible to all tastes.

Seriously, you need to check out Transylvania. This European region is home to some of the most entertaining festivals in the world.

The identity and spirituality of Transylvania are influenced by the traditions of the minorities living in this region, so there are various traditions with unique meanings. Transylvania has a mix of traditions and customs meant to bring luck, health and prosperity.

Romania is a country full of beautiful traditions, customs, and superstitions. Whether they are real or simply invented, the Romanian traditions are fascinating and worthy to be mentioned:

Strigoi / Vampires – Transylvania is often considered the land of Dracula and of bloodthirsty vampires, who sleep during the day and go out at night to drink the blood of their victims. But in Romanian folklore, vampires did not exist before Bram Stoker’s novel. They were not called vampires, but strigoi. Strigoi are evil souls who rise from the graves during the night and haunt the villages. Strigoi were usually believed to be the souls of the people who have suffered a violent death. They are thought to be afraid of the smell of garlic and incense. In the villages that are supposed to be haunted by strigoi, the locals adorn their doors and windows with garlic.

Martisorul. This is by far one of the most beautiful customs in Transylvania. After wearing “martisorul” on your chest for an entire month, on April 1st you should tie it on the branch of a tree. The tradition says that, if you do so, you’ll have a prosperous year. It’s really nice seeing all those trees covered in martisoare during the first days of April. You definitely don’t want to miss the view!

Sanzienele, celebrated on June 24th, is a religious holiday of pagan origins. Sanzienele are fairies full of grace, which protect nature. They are represented by yellow flowers that bloom around this date.

Ielele, charming fairies appearing in forests, or on lonely rocks or meadows. They mostly appear at night by moonlight, dancing the Romanian dance of Hora. They are often considered evil, enchanting young men with their voices and abducting them or casting magical spells upon the ones who refuse their invitation to dance.

Deochiul is one of the most well-known superstitions in Romania, which says that a person can mentally or spiritually harm another person, especially young children or women who have just become mothers, with a single glance of admiration or envy.

Ursitoarele are three fairies meant to shape the destiny of any newborn, from the first days of life. Tradition says that they will visit the child in the first week of life on uneven days.

Babele, symbolized by Baba Dochia, are nothing more than the representation of the last battle between winter and spring. Legend has it that Baba Dochia set off in search of spring, dressed in 9 coats, taking them off one by one on the way due to the rising temperature. It reaches the top of the mountain where it freezes, due to the unfavorable weather.

Dragobetele – is the celebration of love and the cyclical renewal of the world. It is celebrated on February 24.

Gastronomy

Transylvania boasts unique gastronomic flavors. In the Carpathian arc, the Romanians, Hungarians, Saxons, Armenians and Jews – as well as the other ethnic communities that lived here – managed to enrich each other’s gastronomic culture, while maintaining their own identity.

The slaughter of the pig is a culinary ritual that is part of Transylvanian culture. Among the traditional dishes “like the ones we cook at home” we mention: goulash, bread with potatoes, chicken soup, cabbage, tarragon soup, sarmale, Hungarian cake (baigli) with poppy or walnuts, plum dumplings, donuts, tart sweet, apple cake, kurtos kalacs – Szekler cake, Dobos cake.

The local drinks are: palinca – strong and aromatic, made from apples, plums or apricots – and wine. According to historians, Transylvanian viticulture is six millennia old, and the original varieties are Feteasca and Grasa.

There is actually a festival dedicated to Transylvanian gastronomic culture, called The Transylvania Gastronomic Festival in Sibiu that supports and promotes the authentic gastronomic culture of southern Transylvania, an event that attracts a lot of visitors from abroad.

Crafts

The traditional crafts, inherited from the ancestors, are preserved or revived in more and more local families, who want to pass on the tradition of pottery, wood carving, fabrics or braids from flakes and twigs, sewing laces s.o. Other crafts include the sewing of carpets and blankets made of spun and dyed wool; the embroideries of intense colors from the Mures Valley symbolize the beauty of the local folk costume and can also be found on towels, napkins, ornamental pillows.

The Craftsmen’s Fair in Sighisoara is a special event that introduces visitors to the secrets of different crafts: making rustic clothes, sculpture or painting on wood, or gingerbread decorations.

In Transylvania, you can find the largest variety of folk costumes specific to Romanians, Saxons, Szeklers and Hungarians, a variety of vivid colors and different cuts, specific to each region.

The landscape of the fortified churches in Transylvania

Transylvania is famous for its over 160 fortified churches, whose history begins in the Middle Ages. Many of them have survived to this day, becoming the hallmark of many villages in the region.

The fortified churches were built, used and maintained mostly by Transylvanian Saxons. For centuries they have been the religious and cultural center of rural communities, being included in the UNESCO cultural heritage. Among these, we can name the fortified churches in Prejmer, Viscri, Saschiz, Biertan, Valea Viilor. 

Castles and Citadels in Transylvania

Transylvania can also be called the land of stories, due to the castles with hundreds of years of history and fortresses in UNESCO heritage:

  1. Bran Castle,
  2. Corvin Castle,
  3. Alba Carolina Fortress,
  4. Deva Fortress,
  5. Rupea Fortress,
  6. Sighisoara Fortress (Unesco),
  7. Sarmizegetusa Fortress Regia, the former capital of Dacia (Unesco).

No matter what your interests are, Transylvania has something super interesting to offer. So be sure to add this amazing region to your bucket list.

From a geographical point of view, Transylvania means the territory that overlaps the Transylvanian Depression, Banat, Maramures, Crișana, the Western Carpathians, the northern Southern Carpathians and the eastern Eastern Carpathians. In addition to its rich history, Transylvania has got impressive natural landscapes, but also many spectacular tourist attractions, some of them unique in the country or in the world.

The Western Carpathians can be easily recognized by the multitude of karst formations: Pestera Vantului, Meziad, Ursilor, Ghetarul de la Focul Viu, Scarisoara, Cheile Rametului, Valisoarei, Turenilor si Turzii. Numerous protected areas are also worth mentioning: Apuseni Natural Park and the Padiș tourist area complex, Râpa Roșie, Grădina Zmeilor, Groapa Ruginoasa. 

The Eastern Carpathians have a lot of reservations and parks with special flora and fauna, among which the Rodna Mountains Biosphere Reserve and the Calimani National Park stand out. Besides the mountain massifs, we should mention: Sfânta Ana Lake – the only volcanic lake on the entire territory of Romania, Tinovul Mohos, Cheile Bicazului, Lacul Rosu, and Valea Zânelor. 

The Southern Carpathians include many peaks of over 2000 m altitude, as well as many protected areas:

  1. Bucegi National Park,
  2. Piatra Craiului,
  3. Retezat,
  4. Valea Cernei-Domogled. Here is another famous Transylvanian fairytale destination.
  5. Transfagarasan – is the road that winds spectacularly through the Fagaras mountains and offers breathtaking views. Remember that the road is open to tourists only between June 1 and October 31 each year.
  6. Lake Balea and Balea Cascada.

 

On the territory of Transylvania there are numerous salt mines that were formed more than 13 million years ago and salt exploitation sites:

  1. Praid Salt Mine and Salt Mountain,
  2. Ocna Sibiului,
  3. Turda Salt Mine or Salina Turda with healing properties due to its underground salty air. A visit to Salina Turda is a real therapy for the respiratory system.
  4. Dej Salt Mine.

 

The richness of mineral springs on the territory of Transylvania has led to the development of spa tourism with a wide range of services from medical to wellness & spa tourism:

  1. Ocna Sibiului Spa (with its salt waters and sapropelic mud),
  2. Ocna Sugatag,
  3. Sovata (with chlorinated and sodium waters),
  4. Băile Tușnad Balneoclimateric Resort (with carbonated waters, chloride sodium, bicarbonate and moffette),
  5. Baile Felix (with high temperature of hyperthermal oligomineral waters, bicarbonate, calcium, silicon and blown),
  6. Baile 1 (with mineral waters and sapropelic mud),
  7. Baile Herculane (with sulfurous, iodized, brominated or bicarbonate springs),
  8. Geoagiu Băi (with thermal, mesothermal, bicarbonate, calcium and magnesium waters with traces of iron and hydrogen sulfide),
  9. Covasna Resort (with carbonated mineral springs, bicarbonate, chlorinated-sodium, hypotonic and hypertonic mineral mud and skunks).
  10. Borsec Balneoclimaterica Resort (with Carbonated mineral water springs bicarbonate, calcium, magnesium, alkaline-ferrous, hypotonic),
  11. Bazna spa resort (with salt mineral waters – iodized, Bazna mud, Bazna salt),
  12. Buzias spa resort (with carbonated mineral water, bicarbonate, chlorinated, sodium, calcium, hypotonic magnesium, with a total mineralization of 2.0 – 6.6 g)
  13. Sangeorgiu de Mures;
  14. Sangeorz Bai.

There are many beautiful places to see and explore in Transylvania during your visit. This region is one of the most unique and mysterious attractions in Romania! Transylvania has something to offer to everyone. If you’re looking to be mesmerized by stunning landscapes, beautiful buildings, medieval towns, and natural richness, Transylvania is the perfect destination!

SOMETHING OLD

Throughout history, the territory of Transylvania was populated by Dacians and it belonged to the Dacian Kingdom. In this region, it was located the old capital of the kingdom of Dacia, called Sarmizegetusa Regia. We all know how it ended: Dacia was conquered by the Roman Empire and then the story changed.

In The Medieval Ages, the Voievodate of Transylvania appeared. At the beginning of the 11th Century, the Kingdom of Hungary started the annexation of Transylvania, a process that was finished at the end of the 12th century. The Romanians remained the main bearers of public tasks, however, they were considered second-hand inhabitants, with limited rights.

Romanians rebelled many times against the regime, demanding justice, as they were the largest population of all ethnicities in Transylvania. One of the two most important uprisings was the one that took place 1437 in Bobalna, led by Horia, Closca and Crisan, and the second one took place in 1784 and was led by Avram Iancu.

After Austro-Hungary’s defeat in World War I, the Romanians of Transylvania demanded the principality’s union with Romania. Thus, Transylvania joined the other principalities of

Romania and became one with them on December 1, 1918 in the Resolution of the Grand National Assembly at Alba Iulia.

“Why is this region called Transylvania?” “Transylvania” is a Latin word and it means “the country beyond the forests”. Nowadays, Transylvania equals about 42.1% of Romania’s total surface.

“What is the language spoken in Transylvania?” The official language of the region is Romanian because 89% of the population is Romanian. 7% speak Hungarian and 1.5% are German speakers.

“Is Dracula’s castle located in Transylvania?” Somehow, yes. The most known castle in Transylvania is the Bran Castle due to its link to Dracula. Bram Stoker, the famous Irish writer, placed his fictional story of Dracula, inside the Bran Castle. The story is, however, a legend. The real Dracula, Vlad the Impaler, never lived at Bran Castle. Vlad lived in the Poenari Castle.

“How many castles are there in Transylvania?” Transylvania has become in the past few years the most popular tourist destination in Romania. In the most recent ranking, Lonely Planet placed Transylvania on the 1st place in the top of the regions to be visited this year. In Transylvania, there are several beautiful castles. The most famous ones are the following: Banffy Castle, Bran Castle, Corvinilor Castle, Teleki Castle and Kendy-Kemeny Castle.

SOMETHING NEW

Transylvania is home to both beautiful landscapes and impressive cities. From the vibrant cultural life in Cluj to the charming Brasov, from the cobbled streets and baroque buildings in Sibiu to the Art Nouveau architecture in Oradea.

Top cities to visit in Transylvania:

Cluj-Napoca is the capital of Transylvania and one of the largest urban centers in Romania. Cluj is an important university center and the headquarters of numerous IT companies. The city boasts its rich cultural life, majestic cathedrals, a lot of stunning monuments and some of the best museums in the country. Cluj is called “the city of festivals” due to the large number of events that take place here throughout the year.

Sibiu. Initially inhabited by Saxons, Sibiu was the capital of Transylvania between 1692-1791 and 1849-1865. It preserves many examples of authentic Saxon architecture, and due to its vintage look, with cobbled streets and baroque buildings as well as idyllic surroundings, Sibiu has been included in a list of the most beautiful places to live in, in Europe. In 2007, Sibiu gained the title of “the European Capital of Culture”. 

Brasov. Gothic towers, medieval gates, Baroque buildings, lovely churches and a huge Hollywood-style sign: welcome to Brasov! As you walk around the Council Square, you will be fascinated by the rich history of this city. The best example of Saxon heritage is represented by the splendid Black Church, a Gothic-style masterpiece which got its name from the fire that blackened its walls centuries ago.

Sighisoara. One of the best preserved inhabited cities in Europe, Sighisoara is famous for being the birthplace of Vlad Tepes, the ruler of Wallachia from the 15th century and the inspiration for the book “Count Dracula”, written by Bram Stoker. Built in the 12th century by the Saxons, Sighisoara was later fortified with twelve towers and five bastions. Nine towers and two bastions still surround the fortress, dominating the city with their imposing figures.

Alba Iulia. A place of great historical importance for Romania, Alba Iulia hosts a well-preserved medieval fortress whose walls surround great monuments and museums, glittering churches and archaeological treasures. The 6 gates of the White Carolina Fortress and its imposing ramparts are excellent examples of the Vauban military architectural system.

Oradea. Located between the low hills of western Romania, Oradea is an important economic and cultural center. Fans of art nouveau architecture will be delighted to discover that many beautiful buildings have been restored to their former glory. In Union Square, there are a lot of special buildings: the Palace of the Greek Catholic Episcopate, the City Hall Palace with its Clock Tower, and the Black Eagle Palace.

Best Festivals in Transylvania

Did you know that Transylvania also hosts amazing festivals each year? Here are the most important ones:

TIFF Transylvania Film Festival – Founded in 2002, it is the first and largest festival dedicated to feature film in Romania. Due to the remarkable selection of films, the effervescent atmosphere and the variety of events, TIFF attracts numerous tourists annually from all over the world.

Electric Castle – the second biggest festival after the Felsziget Peninsula, taking place in Transylvania annually, in July, at Banffy Castle. It perfectly combines musical genres such as electronic music, rock, hip hop or indie and offers, in addition to great shows, several experiences that integrate art, technology and sports.

UNTOLD – the largest annual electronic music festival in the country, Untold has had a huge success since the first edition in 2015. Cluj Arena is the main place where big names like Armin van Buuren, Tiesto, Afrojack or Steve Aoki entertain the crowds until sunrise.

JAZZ in the Park– Held in the Central Park of the city of Cluj, it is an event much loved by the locals, who gather in the park to enjoy long evenings with family and friends.

Sports Festival – another type of festival, with a mix of sports, entertainment, education, competition and fun, the lineup being diversified and accessible to all tastes.

Seriously, you need to check out Transylvania. This European region is home to some of the most entertaining festivals in the world.

SOMETHING SPECIAL

The identity and spirituality of Transylvania are influenced by the traditions of the minorities living in this region, so there are various traditions with unique meanings. Transylvania has a mix of traditions and customs meant to bring luck, health and prosperity.

Romania is a country full of beautiful traditions, customs, and superstitions. Whether they are real or simply invented, the Romanian traditions are fascinating and worthy to be mentioned:

Strigoi / Vampires – Transylvania is often considered the land of Dracula and of bloodthirsty vampires, who sleep during the day and go out at night to drink the blood of their victims. But in Romanian folklore, vampires did not exist before Bram Stoker’s novel. They were not called vampires, but strigoi. Strigoi are evil souls who rise from the graves during the night and haunt the villages. Strigoi were usually believed to be the souls of the people who have suffered a violent death. They are thought to be afraid of the smell of garlic and incense. In the villages that are supposed to be haunted by strigoi, the locals adorn their doors and windows with garlic.

Martisorul. This is by far one of the most beautiful customs in Transylvania. After wearing “martisorul” on your chest for an entire month, on April 1st you should tie it on the branch of a tree. The tradition says that, if you do so, you’ll have a prosperous year. It’s really nice seeing all those trees covered in martisoare during the first days of April. You definitely don’t want to miss the view!

Sanzienele, celebrated on June 24th, is a religious holiday of pagan origins. Sanzienele are fairies full of grace, which protect nature. They are represented by yellow flowers that bloom around this date.

Ielele, charming fairies appearing in forests, or on lonely rocks or meadows. They mostly appear at night by moonlight, dancing the Romanian dance of Hora. They are often considered evil, enchanting young men with their voices and abducting them or casting magical spells upon the ones who refuse their invitation to dance.

Deochiul is one of the most well-known superstitions in Romania, which says that a person can mentally or spiritually harm another person, especially young children or women who have just become mothers, with a single glance of admiration or envy.

Ursitoarele are three fairies meant to shape the destiny of any newborn, from the first days of life. Tradition says that they will visit the child in the first week of life on uneven days.

Babele, symbolized by Baba Dochia, are nothing more than the representation of the last battle between winter and spring. Legend has it that Baba Dochia set off in search of spring, dressed in 9 coats, taking them off one by one on the way due to the rising temperature. It reaches the top of the mountain where it freezes, due to the unfavorable weather.

Dragobetele – is the celebration of love and the cyclical renewal of the world. It is celebrated on February 24.

Gastronomy

Transylvania boasts unique gastronomic flavors. In the Carpathian arc, the Romanians, Hungarians, Saxons, Armenians and Jews – as well as the other ethnic communities that lived here – managed to enrich each other’s gastronomic culture, while maintaining their own identity.

The slaughter of the pig is a culinary ritual that is part of Transylvanian culture. Among the traditional dishes “like the ones we cook at home” we mention: goulash, bread with potatoes, chicken soup, cabbage, tarragon soup, sarmale, Hungarian cake (baigli) with poppy or walnuts, plum dumplings, donuts, tart sweet, apple cake, kurtos kalacs – Szekler cake, Dobos cake.

The local drinks are: palinca – strong and aromatic, made from apples, plums or apricots – and wine. According to historians, Transylvanian viticulture is six millennia old, and the original varieties are Feteasca and Grasa.

There is actually a festival dedicated to Transylvanian gastronomic culture, called The Transylvania Gastronomic Festival in Sibiu that supports and promotes the authentic gastronomic culture of southern Transylvania, an event that attracts a lot of visitors from abroad.

Crafts

The traditional crafts, inherited from the ancestors, are preserved or revived in more and more local families, who want to pass on the tradition of pottery, wood carving, fabrics or braids from flakes and twigs, sewing laces s.o. Other crafts include the sewing of carpets and blankets made of spun and dyed wool; the embroideries of intense colors from the Mures Valley symbolize the beauty of the local folk costume and can also be found on towels, napkins, ornamental pillows.

The Craftsmen’s Fair in Sighisoara is a special event that introduces visitors to the secrets of different crafts: making rustic clothes, sculpture or painting on wood, or gingerbread decorations.

In Transylvania, you can find the largest variety of folk costumes specific to Romanians, Saxons, Szeklers and Hungarians, a variety of vivid colors and different cuts, specific to each region.

The landscape of the fortified churches in Transylvania

Transylvania is famous for its over 160 fortified churches, whose history begins in the Middle Ages. Many of them have survived to this day, becoming the hallmark of many villages in the region.

The fortified churches were built, used and maintained mostly by Transylvanian Saxons. For centuries they have been the religious and cultural center of rural communities, being included in the UNESCO cultural heritage. Among these, we can name the fortified churches in Prejmer, Viscri, Saschiz, Biertan, Valea Viilor. 

Castles and Citadels in Transylvania

Transylvania can also be called the land of stories, due to the castles with hundreds of years of history and fortresses in UNESCO heritage:

  1. Bran Castle,
  2. Corvin Castle,
  3. Alba Carolina Fortress,
  4. Deva Fortress,
  5. Rupea Fortress,
  6. Sighisoara Fortress (Unesco),
  7. Sarmizegetusa Fortress Regia, the former capital of Dacia (Unesco).

No matter what your interests are, Transylvania has something super interesting to offer. So be sure to add this amazing region to your bucket list.

SOMETHING GREEN

From a geographical point of view, Transylvania means the territory that overlaps the Transylvanian Depression, Banat, Maramures, Crișana, the Western Carpathians, the northern Southern Carpathians and the eastern Eastern Carpathians. In addition to its rich history, Transylvania has got impressive natural landscapes, but also many spectacular tourist attractions, some of them unique in the country or in the world.

The Western Carpathians can be easily recognized by the multitude of karst formations: Pestera Vantului, Meziad, Ursilor, Ghetarul de la Focul Viu, Scarisoara, Cheile Rametului, Valisoarei, Turenilor si Turzii. Numerous protected areas are also worth mentioning: Apuseni Natural Park and the Padiș tourist area complex, Râpa Roșie, Grădina Zmeilor, Groapa Ruginoasa. 

The Eastern Carpathians have a lot of reservations and parks with special flora and fauna, among which the Rodna Mountains Biosphere Reserve and the Calimani National Park stand out. Besides the mountain massifs, we should mention: Sfânta Ana Lake – the only volcanic lake on the entire territory of Romania, Tinovul Mohos, Cheile Bicazului, Lacul Rosu, and Valea Zânelor. 

The Southern Carpathians include many peaks of over 2000 m altitude, as well as many protected areas:

  1. Bucegi National Park,
  2. Piatra Craiului,
  3. Retezat,
  4. Valea Cernei-Domogled. Here is another famous Transylvanian fairytale destination.
  5. Transfagarasan – is the road that winds spectacularly through the Fagaras mountains and offers breathtaking views. Remember that the road is open to tourists only between June 1 and October 31 each year.
  6. Lake Balea and Balea Cascada.

 

On the territory of Transylvania there are numerous salt mines that were formed more than 13 million years ago and salt exploitation sites:

  1. Praid Salt Mine and Salt Mountain,
  2. Ocna Sibiului,
  3. Turda Salt Mine or Salina Turda with healing properties due to its underground salty air. A visit to Salina Turda is a real therapy for the respiratory system.
  4. Dej Salt Mine.

 

The richness of mineral springs on the territory of Transylvania has led to the development of spa tourism with a wide range of services from medical to wellness & spa tourism:

  1. Ocna Sibiului Spa (with its salt waters and sapropelic mud),
  2. Ocna Sugatag,
  3. Sovata (with chlorinated and sodium waters),
  4. Băile Tușnad Balneoclimateric Resort (with carbonated waters, chloride sodium, bicarbonate and moffette),
  5. Baile Felix (with high temperature of hyperthermal oligomineral waters, bicarbonate, calcium, silicon and blown),
  6. Baile 1 (with mineral waters and sapropelic mud),
  7. Baile Herculane (with sulfurous, iodized, brominated or bicarbonate springs),
  8. Geoagiu Băi (with thermal, mesothermal, bicarbonate, calcium and magnesium waters with traces of iron and hydrogen sulfide),
  9. Covasna Resort (with carbonated mineral springs, bicarbonate, chlorinated-sodium, hypotonic and hypertonic mineral mud and skunks).
  10. Borsec Balneoclimaterica Resort (with Carbonated mineral water springs bicarbonate, calcium, magnesium, alkaline-ferrous, hypotonic),
  11. Bazna spa resort (with salt mineral waters – iodized, Bazna mud, Bazna salt),
  12. Buzias spa resort (with carbonated mineral water, bicarbonate, chlorinated, sodium, calcium, hypotonic magnesium, with a total mineralization of 2.0 – 6.6 g)
  13. Sangeorgiu de Mures;
  14. Sangeorz Bai.

There are many beautiful places to see and explore in Transylvania during your visit. This region is one of the most unique and mysterious attractions in Romania! Transylvania has something to offer to everyone. If you’re looking to be mesmerized by stunning landscapes, beautiful buildings, medieval towns, and natural richness, Transylvania is the perfect destination!

Favourite experiences in Transylvania

friendtriptoromania website

Moldavia and Transylvania – Lucky Trip

Transylvania

from €1.115,00

  • | 7 days/6 nights

0/5
friendtriptoromania website

All around the Southern Carpathians

Transylvania

from €910,00

  • | 5 days/4 nights

0/5
friendtriptoromania website

A Golden Triangle in Romania

Transylvania

from €1.040,00

  • | 7 days/6 nights

0/5