Five Ideas for Your Holidays in Transylvania

If you’re looking for one day trips or longer tours to Transylvania, check our offers on

Transylvania is a destination of almost mythical dimensions. Located inside the Carpathian arc – with a rich history and strong multicultural heritage, countless fortresses, castles and ruins – this magical place is often the first place travelers want to explore in Romania. If you’re visiting the region for the first time, and you’d like to make the best of your time, we give you five hand-picked ideas for your dream holidays in Transylvania from hiking tours to urban discoveries.

Tour the fortified churches

Even if you’re going on an adventure vacation, make time to see at least one fortified church during your holidays in Transylvania. Veritable architectural and cultural masterpieces, these monuments are the surviving memory of the region’s tumultuous past when villagers fortified local churches with strong walls so they could protect their lives in face of Ottoman invasions.

Vacations in Transylvania

Hundreds of fortified churches were built in Transylvania centuries ago and most of them are still standing today, some – Prejmer, Viscri, Saschiz, Biertan, Darjiu, Valea Viilor, Calnic – being even included on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Visiting them is not only a rare history lesson, but also the best way to explore some of the finest villages in the region.

Go on a hiking trip

Transylvania is the most privileged region in Romania when it comes to its many and spectacular hiking trails whether you’re looking for the most challenging routes in the country or easier itineraries for the entire family. Your options are so many that it’s better to have the plan set before actually traveling to Transylvania.


For the avid hikers, we recommend Fagaras Mountains and Retezat National Park, two areas of the Carpathians with peaks over 2,500 meters. If you’re looking for somethings less intense, but very bucolic, try Apuseni Mountains and their many caves. Piatra Craiului National Park is the best option if you’re based in Brasov, its trails cover the longest and highest limestone ridge in the Carpathians and the traditional villages from the Bran Valley.

Urban discoveries

Transylvania’s traditional and almost surreal villages started receiving a lot of well-deserved attention in the past years, but even so, you shouldn’t skip a visit to one or two of its most beautiful cities: Sibiu, Brasov, Cluj-Napoca, Alba Iulia or the small, but medieval charming Sighisoara. All these cities have enough historical monuments to keep you occupied and many more attractions to keep you entertained. Plus, Sibiu and Cluj-Napoca have well-connected airports if you’d like to land directly in Transylvania.

Things to do in Cluj Napoca

If you have at least 10 days for your holidays in Transylvania, try driving from Brasov to Sighisoara-Cluj-Alba Iulia-Sibiu and back to Brasov. On your way, you’ll come across many famous places like Bran Castle or Rasnov Fortress, the fortified churches from the UNESCO list and scenic Saxon villages.

Walking and cycling

The region has plenty of options if you’d like to enjoy an active vacation without going hiking. The Saxon villages from its south-east part are connected by many cycling trails, some short and easy and others longer and more difficult. It’s up to you to choose the one that fits best with your plans. You can also cover a lot of distance walking from village to village, it’s often the best way to get to know the authentic lifestyle from these small location so many travelers cherish. Tarnavelor Plateau, Bran Valley and the low-altitude Apuseni Mountains offer many opportunities of easy walking routes for the entire family.

Cycling in Transylvania

If you’re choosing a walking itinerary through the traditional mountain villages from the Bran Valley, don’t miss the Inn on Balaban, an authentic guest house built according to local traditions, located in a dreamy landscape between Bucegi Mountains and Piatra Craiului National Park.

Inn on Balaban

Take one day trips

If you don’t have enough time for a long vacation in Transylvania, take at least two or three one day trips. Brasov, Sibiu and Cluj are great starting locations, but even the capital will do in most cases. If you land in Bucharest, the best option is to drive or take the train to Brasov and spend the night there.

Besides the city itself, you can take one day trips and visit the fortresses from Rasnov and Rupea, the fortified churches from Prejmer, Harman and Viscri or Bran Castle. You can even take a one day tour to Sighisoara and Biertan. Transylvania is one of the best places in Europe to spend your holidays, it’s even Lonely Planet’s number 1 region to visit in 2016. There are so many things you can do and so many amazing places you can see that for sure you’ll want to come back again and again.

Have a great time uncovering Transylvania.

If you’re looking for one day trips or longer tours to Transylvania, check our offers on

About the author

Diana is a tourism consultant, tour guide, travel writer and amateur photographer, focusing on sustainable tourism practices and destinations. You can find Diana Condrea on Twitter and Google+

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