From  £1499
per person
Tour Highlights
  • A Regent Small Group Tour – one of our unique tours created by our team of destination experts to include more off-the-beaten track elements, alternative experiences and authentic cultural exchanges
  • Minimum 8 persons/maximum 16 persons
  • Admire Bucovina's beautiful wooden churches
  • Spend time with local families brandy tasting and learning to cook
  • Take a ride on Romania's longest steam train
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Hidden Romania Group Tour

8 Day Tour, from £1499 per person
Itinerary Dates
2020
11 Sep  -  18 Sep

Delve deeper into Romania’s wonders on this eight-day tour, new for 2020, which puts Romania’s people at the heart and soul of the trip. Visit ancient monasteries, an unusual brightly-painted cemetery, and take an exciting train ride on a steam train from the 1920s. Above all, though, get to know local Romanians. Cook with them, see the creation of their traditional handicrafts, and learn about their lives and histories.

Tour Itinerary

DAY 1
FLY TO CLUJ NAPOCA
FLY TO CLUJ NAPOCA

Fly to Cluj Napoca and transfer to the guesthouse near Sighet. (D)

DAY 2
MERRY CEMETERY & GULAG MUSEUM
MERRY CEMETERY & GULAG MUSEUM

This morning, you have the opportunity to receive an informal cooking lesson, with the option to help your hostess to prepare some traditional Romanian dishes for tonight’s dinner. Mid-morning, set off to the Merry Cemetery. Begun by Stan Ioan Patras from the small village of Sapânta in the 1930s, the cemetery was originally founded to create a space where people could celebrate the lives of their loved ones and find joy rather than grieve their loss. The cemetery now contains over 800 brightly-coloured graves. Each tombstone is painted a stunning blue and then detailed with vibrantly-coloured lines and patterns and inscribed with silly epitaphs and meaningful lyric poems about their lives. After leaving the cemetery, there is free time for lunch in Sighet before visiting the Romanian Gulag Museum, located in a former communist prison. In the evening enjoy the dinner you helped prepared back at the guesthouse. (B,D)

DAY 3
DESESTI
DESESTI

As today is Sunday we will visit the recently-renovated wooden church in Desesti, which features stunning paintings directly on the wood. After looking around and admiring local people dressed in their traditional costumes attending church, we will drive on to visit three local families who each create traditional products. The first family makes plum brandy and owns a small traditional watermill. Move on to a family who makes traditional Romanian hats which are still worn today, and lastly visit a family who weave and create woollen carpets on a traditional wooden loom. Enjoy a hearty lunch in the home of one of the families and then driving back to Sighetul Marmatiei. In the evening enjoy a local singing and dancing show during dinner. (B,L,D)

DAY 4
STEAM TRAIN EXPERIENCE
STEAM TRAIN EXPERIENCE

Today, set off to Viseu and enjoy the longest steam train ride in Romania. The line is around 24 kilometres long and climbs up the Vaser Valley, deep into wild forests and through narrow gorges. In the early morning, the Mocanita is prepared for the trip. Tourist and forestry wagons are attached to the old steam locomotive, which dates from the 1920s. Today the journey takes around two hours, and you can enjoy a picnic lunch at the other end as they prep the train for the return journey. In the evening, return to the guesthouse for a lively dinner with local guests. (B,L,D)

DAY 5
MARAMURESH TO BUCOVINA
MARAMURESH TO BUCOVINA

Depart the famous, traditional region of Maramuresh and head for the historic Bucovina region. Driving through the Iza Valley, stop at Bogdana, where you’ll find one of the most beautiful churches in the whole Maramuresh region, and enjoy plum brandy and cake with the local priest and his wife, who teaches at the local community school. Cross the mountains and arrive in Bucovina. (B,L,D)

DAY 6
CACICA & SUCEVITA MONASTERY
CACICA & SUCEVITA MONASTERY

Today is a day largely dedicated to monasteries, with the chance to visit three of Romania’s five most famous painted monasteries. As you explore them, learn why and how they were originally painted. Visit a Roman Catholic church in Cacica and then move on to the nearby salt mine, founded in the 18th century by a Polish population who came from the region around Krakow during the time of the Austrian empire. Head back to Gura Humor and enjoy a dinner with a local family. (B,L,D)

DAY 7
BUCOVINA TO IASI
BUCOVINA TO IASI

In the morning, begin the journey to Iasi. Stop along the way at Agapia Monastery and visit their fascinating workshops, where they paint icons, bake, and weave. Best of all, you can have a cup of tea and sample fresh cake from the bakery. Continue on to Iasi, where you will check in to the hotel and then head out on a tour of this wonderful city. Enjoy free time for lunch with the chance to explore an excellent shopping centre near the hotel. In the evening, your farewell dinner will be held in a local monastery in the company of the abbot, with whom you can discuss life in Romania and as a monk. (B,D)

DAY 8
FLY TO THE UK
Transfer to the airport for the flight back to the UK. (B)

Pricing Information

8 day tour, from £1499 per person
(Single person supplement + £250)

Price Includes

  • Return international flights from the UK to Romania
  • All airport taxes and security charges
  • Accommodation in guesthouses and three-star hotel as specified
  • Meals as specified (B= Breakfast; L= Lunch; D= Dinner)
  • All transfers and transportation
  • Excursions with English speaking guides
  • Entrance fees on sightseeing tours

Price Includes

Price Excludes

  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Optional excursions
Itinerary Dates From Price Single Room Supp.  
11 Sep 2020
-
18 Sep 2020
£1499 £280

Tour Route Map


  1. Romania, Cluj Napoca
  2. Romania, Merry Cementary
  3. Romania, Desești
  4. Romania, Vișeu de Sus
  5. Romania, Bucovina
  6. Romania, Gura Humoruliu
  7. Romania, Iasi

Image Gallery

Reviews

This looks like a fantastic holiday. I've visited most of these places over the course of the past five years during the course of independent cycling trips with a couple of friends and each year there have been some memorable places and experiences. The painted monasteries are breathtaking, though not for the faint hearted as probably every way of being burnt burnt to death is depicted as well as beheadings. The cities of Brasov, Sibiu and Sighisoara are so beautiful and relatively unspoilt. Make sure you get to rural Romania without delay before modernisation and and compliance with European Union regulations destroys their way of life.

Mr Hugh Gibson

This looks like a fantastic holiday. I've visited most of these places over the course of the past five years during the course of independent cycling trips with a couple of friends and each year there have been some memorable places and experiences. The painted monasteries are breathtaking, though not for the faint hearted as probably every way of being burnt burnt to death is depicted as well as beheadings. The cities of Brasov, Sibiu and Sighisoara are so beautiful and relatively unspoilt. Make sure you get to rural Romania without delay before modernisation and and compliance with European Union regulations destroys their way of life.

Mr Hugh Gibson
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