Explore two of Transylvania’s most impressive citadels and discover why the region is steeped in mysterious lore. Your professional guide will pick you up in central Braşov for the ride south to Râșnov, situated among the stunning Bucegi Mountains.
Learn about the storied history of Râșnov Fortress (admission at your own expense), a walled stone compound designed to ward off attacks by the fierce Tartars and used as a refuge for local villagers during medieval warfare. Explore the time-worn courtyards, ramparts and well of the 13th-century fortress built by the Teutons. Opt to have lunch in Râșnov if you like (own expense).
A short drive brings you to Bran Castle, nicknamed ‘Dracula’s Castle’ for its ties to Bram Stoker’s 1897 Gothic tale and its bloodthirsty villain. The high stone walls and red turrets of this hilltop citadel come into view as you approach the secluded castle, set among the dramatic backdrop of the Carpathians.
Enter if you dare, after paying the site fee (own expense), and wander through the castle’s many well-preserved rooms and chambers with your guide. Gothic furnishings and details help set the scene for ghastly legends of all that happened here, including the imprisonment of Vlad the Impaler. This 15th-century prince was notorious for his bloodthirsty campaigns against invading Turks and is said to have inspired Stoker’s malevolent Count Dracula.
If you’ve had your fill of vampiric lore, your guide will drive you back to Braşov at this point. If you’ve booked the upgrade for more, continue on to the nearby Peleș Castle.
The expansive, Bavarian-style Peleș Castle was built among a lush forest to house Romania’s royalty in the 19th century and is among the most beautiful in Europe. A guide will lead you through many of its immaculate, ornate rooms, still adorned with luxuriant furnishings and décor.