TRANSYLVANIA (Transilvania) travel guide

TRANSYLVANIA / BUCOVINA / MARAMURES / DANUBE DELTA / BLACK SEA / BUCHAREST

"I come from...Transylvania!" that's the chilling line you'll hear in all the vampire movies. In her book Emily Gerard after having been in Transylvania says: "More decidedly evil is the nosferatu, or vampire, in which every Romanian peasant believes as firmly as he does in heaven or hell." (The Land Beyond The Forest, published 1888)

But Transylvania is more than Dracula, vampires and scary mouvies, it's a land of spectacular landscapes, hills and river valleys, wild Carpathians and Alpine lakes, a land of ancient villages dominated by beautiful medieval fortresses, a land of traditions, religious practices and gastronomy.

Transylvania (the land beyond the forest) is the largest region of Romania, situated in the heart of the country, all surrounded by mountains: the Carpathians. Here you will find a mix of cultures, nature and history due to its several invasions especially Hungarians and Saxons (Germans). All this multi ethnic heritage is reflected in the folk costumes, architecture, cuisine, music and festivals.

Transylvania is rich in myths and misty medieval sites: there about 100 castles and fortresses and about 70 fortified churches. Dont's miss the Peles castle (eclectic style), the Bran castle (teutonic style) and the Hunedoara castle ( gothic style) and also the Prejmer citadel ( the biggest in Transylvania), the Biertan citadel (the Episcopal Seat for 300 years) and the Sighisoara citadel (inhabited from 1300 till today).

In Transylvania you will also find probably the biggest myth ever: Dracula. Generally tourists come for Dracula and return home forgetting about is. Romania is much more. If instead of chassing legends you prefer to get in contact with locals then you'd better visit the many small vilages with their old saxon houses and fortified churches. People still make a living at such time - honored occupations as shepherds, weavers, blacksmiths and carpenters. Here the rithm of life is complettely different from what we used to know and the charm of these places will quickly conquer you.

Transylvania is circled by the Carpathian mountains so the national parks are everywhere. Transylvania is the perfect place for hiking, climbing, trekking, biking, paragliding, rafting, skiing, caving, camping and much more. The Apuseni Mountain range, in the western Carpathians, is a landscape of exquisite beauty and mystery. Here, you’ll find ancient legends of mountain spirits and rare species of wildlife, along with 4,000 caves, many of which can be explored. Scarisoara Glacier, a national monument, shelters the second largest underground glacier on the continent.

For those inlove with cultural cities and night life, you can visit the cities of Brasov, Sibiu, Alba Iulia, Cluj Napoca, Targu Mures etc. They are offering a lot of interesting places to explore, museums to visit, open air festivals, bars and restaurants.

Transylvania's cuisine displays a variety of flavors with dishes spiced with thyme, red pepper or tarragon. Meats, such as pork, mutton, veal, are among the most popular ingredient in Transylvania’s cuisine. The soups, to which sour cream and egg yolk are ofted added, also include flour dumplings or homemade pasta. Don’t leave the region without trying the delicious 'sarmalute' or the 'mititei' accompanied by a good glass of wine of Jidvei.

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