Meet your guide and climb into a private vehicle after morning pickup at your Bucharest hotel. Enjoy the ride as you escape city limits and enter the tranquil landscapes of the Romanian countryside. After about 2 hours, stop at the Curtea de Arges Monastery, an impressive Byzantine-style church that dates back to the 16th century and houses the tombs of several Romanian kings. Admire the Moorish arabesques and ornate interior while learning of the many dark legends that surround the monastery’s construction.
Continue on to Poenari Citadel, a crumbling medieval fortress once occupied by infamous Wallachian prince Vlad Tepes. While other castles may claim ties to the bloodthirsty man who inspired the Dracula legend, this is the real deal. Reaching the hilltop fortress requires good physical condition for a climb of more than 1,000 stone steps; you’ll be rewarded with commanding views that ‘Vlad the Impaler’ himself once set eyes on.
Finally, get a dose of the area’s natural beauty at Vidraru Dam, also known as Vidraru Lake. Be sure to keep your camera handy for stunning shots of this man-made lake framed by the majestic Carpathian mountains, and taste traditional cuisine during a lunch stop at a local restaurant (own expense). Relax on the return drive to Bucharest, where the full-day tour concludes in the early evening. Throughout the day, you can set the pace of the tour, lingering at certain stops that interest you for a customized day in the country.