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An Esoteric Quest in Bulgaria: At the Crossroads of the Mysteries

In Plovdiv, Bulgaria, the Oldest Living City in Europe
August 22-27, 2019

The Heart of Medieval, Folkloric Romania: Transylvania, Maramures and Bucovina
August 27 - September 2, 2019

Northern Romania is a place of timeless beauty, and one of the last remaining medieval landscapes in Europe - castles perched on rocky hilltops, pine-forested valleys and villages where centuries-old folk traditions remain strong. We begin our journey into the heart of Romania with a flight from Sofia to Bucharest, where we will spend the night.

The following morning we travel by coach to the town of Sinaia, tucked into the Bucegi Mountains, to visit Peles Castle, with its Gustav Klimt frescoes and stained glass windows.

After lunch, we journey further into Transylvania, a region of towering fortresses held in the embrace of the wild Carpathian Mountains. We first visit the 13th century city of Brasov for a walk through its cobblestoned streets and town square and a visit to the neo-Gothic synagogue that remains home to its Jewish community. We then drive on to Viscri, one of the most beautiful and unspoiled of Transylvania’s Saxon villages and a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its serenity.

After a night here, we travel on to Sighisoara, the evocative, colorful town famed today as the birthplace of Vlad Tepes, the prime inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Our evening will be spent in Cluj, the capital of Transylvania, with its medieval towers, baroque buildings and Gothic cathedrals, where we will take a walking tour of the old city and enjoy the bohemian nightlife.

The next morning we drive further north to Maramures, a fairy tale world of horse-drawn carriages, haycarts and iconic wooden churches, long seen as Romania’s most traditional region. We will spend the first of two nights in a pension in the village of Breb, meeting with local people, enjoying home-cooked cuisine and a taste of the local folk music.

The following day we will visit Barsana Monastery, an enormous, enchanting complex of all-wooden churches set amongst rolling hills and wildflowers, the unique Merry Cemetery, with its brightly painted grave markers which celebrates life as much as death, and the Sighet Memorial, dedicated to those who died fighting communism.

On our final full day we travel to the bucolic idyll of Bucovina, with the pasturelands, beech groves and Byzantine-frescoed monasteries for which it is famous, and continue on to Suceava, a Romanian city at the crossroads of Central and Eastern Europe, where we will spend our last night in this entrancing and complex country.

Price: $1599 per person in double accommodations; $1695 in single accommodations

Includes one-way airfare between Sofia and Bucharest, six nights’ accommodations, all meals through breakfast on the 2nd, fully-guided tour, all entrance fees, all ground transport and coach transfer to Suceava Airport in the early morning of the 2nd of September

Click HERE for the full itinerary.

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