0845 3000 247
+44 (0)1539 531258


Roving România holidays
support local people,
small businesses, and
ecology and conservation
projects in Romania


DATES


March - December 2006
Subject to Availability


HIGHLIGHTS



Off the Beaten Track
Tailor-made Adventure Tours
throughout Romania

Nature, Heritage
Landscapes, People,
Folklore & Traditions

Founder Member of
Association for Ecotourism
in Romania




FLIGHTS


Recommended Flight Schedule

British Airways
Heathrow 09:45 – Bucharest 15:00; Bucharest 15:50 - Heathrow 17:15

Times are local and are subject to change; 2 hour time difference - UK & Romania
Alternative quality airlines include
Swiss, Austrian, Lufthansa or KLM
Regional departures on request


ROVING ROMÂNIA 2006
Adventure Travel and Exploration

Small group tours and adventures off the beaten track by Land Rover or Minibus
designed to introduce you to the REAL Romania


...

Maramures - Land that Time Forgot BRASOV

Bucovina - the Painted Monasetries BUCOVINA

Gllery of Maramures
MARAMURES



Flights to Bulgaria FLIGHTS

BEYOND THE FOREST RAIL


CONTACT US CONTACT US






0845 3000 247
+44 (0)1539 531258

In the Fagaras Mountains with Roving Romania
(Photo: Colin Shaw)
ROVING ROMÂNIA specialises in tailor-made, personalised itineraries and exploring Romania off-the-beaten-track. Roving Romania's aim is to provide a highly personalised, individual service to each traveller or group, to show visitors the REAL Romania, and to support local providers (home stays, small guesthouses and pensions, craft workers, etc.) and ecology projects, around this fascinating country. On one of these adventure holidays you will travel by country lanes, mountain and forest tracks and footpaths, and only use main roads when you wish to travel further afield and when time is limited. In this way you experience the real Romania, a land that time has almost passed by.
Roving Romania take you to meet farmers who still plough by hand, villagers who dress every day in traditional costume and foresters who are more used to meeting bears than tourists. They can take you to see some of the most superb, unexplored scenery in Europe: the vast ranges of the Carpathian Mountains; the dense, wild forests of Transylvania; immense gorges; lush green valleys; extraordinary painted monasteries; fortified citadels, and medieval towns. Most of these tours are fully-escorted by Land Rover or by minibus, but you can also walk, cycle, climb, explore caves, photograph, watch wildlife, ride old trains, try your hand at traditional crafts, and picnic in fields of wild flowers. Or you can just relax in the home of a village family and sample wholesome, country fare and locally made wine and plum brandy.

The majority of these tours are tailor-made to each individual's or group's requirements. This means we they can undertake any tour, trek, expedition or other travel service within Romania that is legal, supports local services, and respects local culture and wildlife. This is the nearest thing to independent travel - with the added security of having your own driver, guide and translator (fluent in English and Romanian) who knows the country, the Romanian people, and their way of life - like the back of his/her hand. They take you to the places many tour operators have never heard of!

Tailor-made travel means Roving Romania can offer you a tour or expedition designed to your specific requirements, from 1 day to 2 weeks or longer, anywhere in Romania, for groups of 1 to 6 persons (and occasionally more), and to suit any budget. They use a wide range of home-stay, bed & breakfast and small guesthouse/pension accommodation, which offer you a warm welcome and excellent home-made cuisine. Roving Romania specialises in accommodation with village families, pensions and cabanas where the welcome is warm and generous and where you will be served with delicious home-prepared food. All the facilities we use have indoor bathrooms with running hot and cold water, however where we stay with village families the bathroom is usually shared with them, and occasionally you may have to walk across a courtyard to reach it. Also on occasions your bedroom may be accessible only through a bedroom being used by another person in our group. However village families and private guesthouses show a far greater concern for your well being than many hotels. Self-catering camping tours or more up-market small hotels are available if you prefer. Travel is by Land Rover, car or minibus depending on group size, and have access to horseback riding, horse-drawn carts, and mountain bikes for local trips. Roving Romania specialise in very small group tours and expeditions - their vehicles offer comfortable travel for up to 4 passengers & luggage on longer journeys, and 6 people for day trips. For larger groups they run the two 4x4’s together, or use a small minibus if the rough road potential is not needed. They can also accompany you as guide/translator on tours with your own car, a hire car driven by you, or by train.


The Team: Roving România is owned and run by Colin Shaw, with the help of friend and colleague John Matthews, and a network of local guides and contacts. Colin has lived and worked in Romania since 1994, but is originally from Sussex. He speaks and writes fluent Romanian and knows the country well. He is a keen photographer – you can find his photos in various Lonely Planet and Rough Guide guidebooks. Colin runs a 1998 Land Rover 110 Defender, specially adapted for travel in Romania. His specialist areas include: the Carpathian Mountains, Maramures, Saxon Transylvania, Bucovina, the Danube Delta, rural culture, crafts, monasteries, bird watching, and railways.

John Matthews is from Derbyshire and has been in Romania since 1996. With his Romanian wife and young son, John runs a small pension in Bran, a central heating company, and works with Roving Romania when needed. He speaks good Romanian and runs a 2003 Hyundai 4x4. His specialist areas are: the Brasov area, Saxon Transylvania, castles and forts.




ROVING ROMÂNIA is a founder member of the Association for Ecotourism in Romania (AER) - www.eco-romania.ro






PRICES

Prices for tailor-made tours depend totally upon number of people in your group, length of stay, distance
to be covered, type of accommodation required, and type of tour (walking costs less than visiting palaces!).
To give you an idea of the kind of toursRoving Romania offer, please contact us for a quote.
In the meantime, to give you an idea of costs and what is possible, we show here 3 sample itineraries
designed for previous clients.

Prices are fully inclusive of almost everything within Romania. However we don't include the following:
travel insurance, visas (not required for UK/EU passport holders), alcoholic drinks, or video permits (where applicable).
We have excluded flight prices in some examples (£ 180- 220 average return UK - Bucharest including air taxes).
Pretty much everything else IS included, so you won't need much spending money on our tours!
Itineraries can be created to link up a more extensive holidays or can form your entire holiday in Romania.

If flights are included and your holiday is booked through Transylvania Uncovered, your holiday is ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority.
Our ATOL nrmber is ATOL 3319. ATOL protection extends primarily to customers who book and pay in the United Kingdom.


EXAMPLE 1: PAINTED BUCOVINA (From Brasov)
A 5-day tour by Land Rover starting and finishing in the Brasov area, showing you selected parts of the Eastern Carpathians, Saxon Transylvania, and the stunning "Painted Monasteries" of Bucovina.

Day 1: We collect you at 10am from your hotel (accommodation not included) in Brasov, Moeciu, Bran, Zarnesti or nearby. Morning - choose from the following visits:
Prejmer Citadel - the largest and most impressive fortified church in Saxon Transylvania.
Rasnov Fort - a fascinating Saxon hilltop fort with stunning mountain views in all directions.
Bran Castle - the famous castle mythically connected with Vlad Tepes "The Impaler", and "Dracula".
Carpathian Large Carnivore Project – meet the 2 semi-tame wolves that worked as part of the former CLCP team.
Zarnesti Gorge - explore on foot the spectacular limestone canyon, made famous by the film “Cold Mountain”.
Magura & Pestera - explore the twin villages and their outstanding scenery, on foot or by Land Rover.
Afternoon: Drive from Brasov via Sfantu Gheorghe, the interesting St. Ana volcanic lake, Miercurea Ciuc and Gheorgheni to Lazarea. Overnight with village families.

Day 2: Visit the Lazar Castle in Lazarea. Drive via the Bicaz Gorge, the pretty Lake Bicaz, a strange wooden church at Grozavesti, the Golden Bistrita river, and the Tarnita Pass, to Humor in Bucovina. Dinner and overnight with a village family or at a pine chalet guesthouse.

Day 3: A day to visit the 5 extraordinary "Painted Monasteries" of Bucovina, at Moldovita, Sucevita, Arbore, Humor and Voronet. Together, these five monasteries combine to make a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit the "Black Pottery" at Margina. Overnight as Day 2.

Day 4: From Moldovita / Humor, drive west via the Mestecanis Pass, the spa town of Vatra Dornei and the Tihuta (Borgo) Pass, to the attractive market town of Bistrita. Continue via Targu Mures to Sighisoara. Overnight at a good pension in town.

Day 5: Explore on foot the fascinating medieval town centre of Sighisoara. The rooftop views from the clocktower museum must not be missed! Visit the fortified Saxon church at Apold and climb the rickety stairs to the bell-tower. Continue on gravel lanes through excellent bird watching country via Bradeni, Retis and Soars to Fagaras. Return to your hotel/guesthouse in the Brasov, Moeciu, Bran, Zarnesti area.


Sucevita Monastery
GUIDELINE PRICES:

ROVING ROMANIA ONLY: £ 550.00 per person for 2* people sharing a double/twin room Price does not include; flights, airport taxes, travel insurance, visas (not required for UK/EU passport holders), alcoholic drinks, or video permits (where applicable). Pretty much everything else IS included, so you won't need much spending money! Start dates NOT Monday or Thursday.

INCLUSIVE HOLIDAY OPTION: 7 days / 6 nights - from £ 840.00 per person based on 2* people sharing a twin/ double room. Comprises Roving Romania tour (as above), scheduled return flights from London plus taxes, return road transfers from Bucharest to Brasov, 1 night, bed and breakfast at the beginning and end of your Roving Romania in the excellent 4-star Hotel Casa Cranta

* Lower prices for groups of 3-8 people


EXAMPLE 2: TRANSYLVANIAN EXPLORER (Inclusive tour from UK)
A 9-day tour by Land Rover and on foot, starting and finishing at Bucuresti Otopeni airport and exploring South Eastern Transylvania in detail - Saxon villages and fortifications, rural culture, wildlife, stunning scenery, and high mountains.

Day 1: Scheduled flight to Bucharest. Meet & Greet Service. Drive to Campina for dinner and overnight at an excellent family-run guesthouse.

Day 2: Visit the interesting museum of paintings by Romania's national artist: Nicolae Grigorescu. Drive up the Prahova Valley via Sinaia to Brasov. "Pied Piper" city tour of Brasov on foot, visiting Orthodox and Lutheran churches, the old fortifications, and learning about the city's fascinating history. Dinner in town and overnight at a family-run guesthouse on the hill above the town (or similar).

Typical village street in Saxon Transylvania - Atel (Hetzeldorf)
(Photo: Colin Shaw)
Day 3: Morning visits to Rasnov Fort - a fascinating Saxon hilltop fort with stunning mountain views in all directions, and Bran Castle - the famous castle mythically connected with Vlad Tepes "The Impaler" and "Dracula". Afternoon visit to meet the 2 semi-tame wolves that worked as part of the former Carpathian Large Carnivore Project, located in the pretty Barsa Valley. Walk in the nearby forest with a local guide, looking for tracks and markings made by wolves, lynx and bears. Overnight at guesthouse in or near Zarnesti.

Day 4: Drive over the Rucar Pass to visit the narrow Dambovicioara Gorge. Walk from Dambovicioara village via Ciocanu and Sirnea to the delightful twin villages of Pestera / Magura. This walk can be as long or short as you wish (between 4 and 16 kms)! Overnight as Day 3.

Day 5: Morning walk in the spectacular Zarnesti Gorge – made famous by the film “Cold Mountain|”. Again this walk can be as long or short as you wish. Afternoon drive from Zarnesti via Sinca and the "Fagaras Foothills Villages", to Fagaras and the isolated Saxon village of Soars. Overnight with village family and superb local cuisine!
Day 6: Morning walk along rough country tracks between the Saxon Transylvanian villages of Barcut and Retis (or Mesendorf to Viscri). Visit the fortified Saxon churches at Apold or Viscri (as appropriate) and climb rickety stairs to view the surrounding landscape from their lofty bell towers. Drive to Sighisoara, to visit its fascinating medieval town centre. The rooftop views from the clocktower museum are not to be missed! Overnight at guesthouse on the edge of town or a small hotel within the old citadel.

Day 7: A couple of hours in the morning for a lie-in, or to continue exploring medieval Sighisoara. Later, drive via Viscri (fortified church), Prejmer (the largest and most impressive fortified citadel in Saxon Transylvania) OR Peles Castle (former summer residence of the Romanian royal family), on route to the ski resort of Busteni. Overnight at a comfortable, modern guesthouse on the edge of the forest.
Day 8: A day to explore the high Bucegi Mountains by one of several methods:
If you are feeling fit, climb the impressive Jepilor path from Busteni to the 2200 metre peak of "Babele" (4000ft ascent in 4 to 5 hours). Visit the strange Babele and Sphinx eroded rock formations and descend by cable car.
If you are less fit, climb Babele by cable car, and enjoy a more leisurely walk on the high plateau, again visiting the strangely eroded rock forms. Descend by cable car.
In adverse weather or when the cable car is not running, we can drive over the southern end of the Bucegi "horseshoe", into the Ialomita Valley. Here there is a monastery built into the entrance of a large cave. Explore on foot and return to Busteni by Land Rover.
Overnight as Day 7.

Day 9: From Busteni return to Bucuresti Otopeni airport, with a visit to Peles Castle in Sinaia if time allows.
Scheduled flight to London

Off the beaten track with Rovin România
(Photo: Colin Shaw)
GUIDELINE PRICE:

INCLUSIVE HOLIDAY OPTION: 9 days / 8 nights - from £ 1075.00 per person based on 2* people sharing a twin/ double room. Comprises scheduled return flights from London plus taxes, plus Roving Romania tour (as above). Prices do not include; flights, airport taxes, travel insurance, visas (not required for UK/EU passport holders), alcoholic drinks, or video permits (where applicable). Pretty much everything else IS included, so you won't need much spending money! Start dates NOT Monday or Tuesday.

* Lower prices for groups of 3-8 people


EXAMPLE 3: TOTAL ROMANIA (Inclusive tour from UK)
A 15-day tour by Land Rover starting and finishing at Bucuresti Otopeni airport and exploring a large part of Romania including historical Saxon Transylvania, the rural culture of Maramures, the stunning "Painted Monasteries" of Bucovina, and the extraordinary wildlife of the Danube Delta.

Day 1: Scheduled flight to Bucharest. Meet & Greet Service. Drive up the Prahova Valley via Ploiesti and Sinaia to Brasov. Dinner in town and overnight at guesthouse on the hill above the town (or similar).


Threshing in the Maramures (near Bogdan Voda)
(Photo: Colin Shaw)
Day 2: "Three Castles Tour" including:

- Prejmer Citadel - the largest and most impressive fortified church in Saxon Transylvania.
- Rasnov Fort - a fascinating Saxon hilltop fort with stunning mountain views in all directions.
- Bran Castle - the famous castle loved by Queen Marie but better known for its spurious connections with "Dracula".

Drive to nearby Zarnesti for dinner and overnight at an excellent ecotourism guesthouse.

Day 3: Drive over the Rucar Pass to visit the narrow Dambovicioara Gorge. Walk from Dambovicioara village via Ciocanu and Sirnea to the delightful twin villages of Pestera / Magura. This walk can be as long or short as you wish (between 4 and 16 kms)! Continue to visit the spectacular limestone Zarnesti Gorge if time allows. Overnight as Day 2.

Day 4: Drive from Zarnesti via Sinca and the "Fagaras Foothills Villages", to Fagaras and the isolated Saxon village of Soars. Continue along rough country tracks through excellent bird watching country to Apold. Here you visit the fortified Saxon church and climb rickety stairs to view the surrounding landscape from its lofty bell tower. Drive to Sighisoara, to visit its fascinating medieval town centre. The rooftop views from the clocktower museum are not to be missed! Overnight at guesthouse on the edge of town or a small hotel within the old citadel.
Day 5: A longer drive today into the northern province of Maramures. From Sighisoara we drive via Targu Mures, Reghin, Bistrita, the Setref Pass, and then descend into Maramures. Dinner and overnight with a village family in Botiza - our base for the next 3 nights.

Days 6 & 7: In Maramures, choose from the following activities and visits:
The "Merry Cemetery" at Sapanta - some years ago a local craftsman started the tradition of carving and decorating wooden gravestones with colourful and often humorous epitaphs. His apprentice continues the tradition today.
Memorial Museum in Sighet - the prison that housed political prisoners during the former communist regime, now houses a fascinating museum to its grisly past, and the memory of famous people who were incarcerated there.
Pipas Collection - a staggering private collection of Maramures cultural artifacts, tapestries, old icons, crafts, lace, antique furniture, etc. Visits by arrangement only (that's why you travel with us!).
Wooden churches - Maramures is home to many slender timber churches built entirely of wood. Some are very old like that at Ieud (1384). Try also churches at Rozvalea, Bogdan Voda, Barsana (monastery), Botiza, and Poienile Izei.
By horse-drawn cart over the hills to Poienile Izei, visit the old wooden church and its new replacement, then walk back.
Visits to local crafts people - in the village of Vadu Izei, a tour of craft workers can be arranged by horse and cart.
Narrow gauge forest railway in the Vaser Valley - most days a steam-hauled logging train heads up the valley, returning later with a full load of timber. A fascinating journey into history on this working railway.
Lots of potential for short and longer walks. The walk from Glod to Botiza via Poienile Izei is recommended. The bird watching in Maramures is superb too.
Upland Transylvania: Herina between Târgu Mures and Bistrita
(Photo: Colin Shaw)
Day 8: Morning free to relax in Botiza or enjoy a short local walk. After lunch we leave Maramures and cross the 4640ft Prislop Pass through impressive forest and mountain scenery into Bucovina. Dinner and overnight at a pine chalet guesthouse in the village of Vatra Moldovitei.

Day 9: A day to visit the 5 extraordinary "Painted Monasteries" of Bucovina, at Moldovita, Sucevita, Arbore, Humor and Voronet. Together these five monasteries combine to make a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit also the "Black Pottery" at Margina. Dinner and overnight with a village family in Humor.

Day 10: Leaving Bucovina, we head south over the Tarnita Pass, and follow the Golden Bistrita river down to the pretty Lake Bicaz, visiting en route a strange wooden church at Grozavesti. From Bicaz we head southeast via Piatra Neamt, and then on country lanes via Roznov and Tazlau to Onesti. Overnight in modern hotel in Onesti.

Day 11: Now onto the eastern plain of Romanian Moldavia, we continue towards the Danube Delta via Tecuci and Tulcea. At Braila we cross the River Danube by car ferry. At Mahmudia, on the southern margin of the Delta, we book into the comfortable, air-conditioned Hotel Teo - our base for the next 3 nights.

Day 12: Our first day in the extraordinary Danube Delta. The Teo hotel hires open motor boats (with obligatory boatman) for exploring of the myriad waterways and channels in the Delta (there are no roads). This first morning we travel a short way downstream by boat to the polder on which the Cormoran hotel is situated. Then exploring on foot, we will have access to a wide range of bird life typical of the Delta. After lunch we cross the St. George arm of the Danube to explore on foot the polders, lakes and dykes across the river.

Day 13: A longer journey by boat, covering a range of Delta scenery, with opportunities for spotting a stunning array of birds - usually including the magnificent Pelicans. There will be plenty of time to meander silently in the channels to fully appreciate the sights, sounds and fragrances of the Delta.

Day 14: Leaving the Delta behind, we have a full day drive back across south eastern Romania towards Bucuresti. Initially we cross the southern Macin Hills and Dobrogea, then re-crossing the Danube by bridge at Harsova, and continuing via Slobozia and Urziceni. Dinner at a good restaurant in the capital and overnight in a modern apartment in central Bucuresti.

Day 15: Return to Otopeni airport for your flight home.
Lake Colibita in the Caliman Mountains, Transylvania
(Photo: Colin Shaw)
GUIDELINE PRICE:

INCLUSIVE HOLIDAY OPTION: 15 days / 14 nights - from £ 1740.00 per person based on 2* people sharing a twin/ double room. Comprises scheduled return flights from London plus taxes, plus Roving Romania tour (as above). Prices do not include; flights, airport taxes, travel insurance, visas (not required for UK/EU passport holders), alcoholic drinks, or video permits (where applicable). Pretty much everything else IS included, so you won't need much spending money!

* Lower prices for groups of 3-8 people






.

PLEASE NOTE: The itineraries shown above are examples only and prices are guidelines.
We are able to tailor any itineraries to suit your needs and interests. In addition it is not necessary for a tour
to start or finish in one place. For example you can use a Roving Romania tour as an excellent means of
breaking up a two centre holiday. For example you could use a Roving Romania tour to connect holiday based
partly in Maramures with a few days in the Carpathians at Brasov or one of our Touch of Class holidays, e.g.

DAY 1: Maramures - Prislop Pass - Bucovina
DAY 2: Painted Monasteries
DAY 3: Bucovina - Bistrita Aurie Valley - Lake Bicaz - Ceahlau Mountains
DAY 4: Eastern Carpathians and Szekelerland - Brasov/ Miclosoara

The choices and permutations are endless


Transylvania uncovered
is a Division of Talking Point Ltd

1 Atkinson Court, Fell Foot, Newby Bridge, Cumbria, United Kingdom LA12 8NW
Tel. +44 (0)1539 531258 or UK local rate: 0845 3000 247; Email. travel@beyondtheforest.com

ATOL 3319 - IATA 91267691


The air holidays and flights shown are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL nrmber is ATOL 3319.
ATOL protection extends primarily to customers who book and pay in the United Kingdom.
Click on the ATOL logo if you want to know more.


© Copyright TransylvaniaUncovered 2006 - the Romania Travel Specialists
Transylvania Uncovered - Romania Travel Specialists - Roving Romania adventure holidays - off the beaten track in Romania - Land Rover Tours - off the road exploration - Carpathians Rural Romania Maramures Ecotourism Nature Trekking Birdwatching Folklore Crafts Bucovina Painted Monasteries Vrancea Brasov Zarnesti Piatra Craiului
Transylvania Uncovered - Romania Travel Specialists - Roving Romania adventure holidays - off the beaten track in Romania - Land Rover Tours - off the road exploration - Carpathians Rural Romania Maramures Ecotourism Nature Trekking Birdwatching Folklore Crafts Bucovina Painted Monasteries Vrancea Brasov Zarnesti Piatra Craiului
Transylvania Uncovered - Romania Travel Specialists - Roving Romania adventure holidays - off the beaten track in Romania - Land Rover Tours - off the road exploration - Carpathians Rural Romania Maramures Ecotourism Nature Trekking Birdwatching Folklore Crafts Bucovina Painted Monasteries Vrancea Brasov Zarnesti Piatra Craiului
Transylvania Uncovered - Romania Travel Specialists - Roving Romania adventure holidays - off the beaten track in Romania - Land Rover Tours - off the road exploration - Carpathians Rural Romania Maramures Ecotourism Nature Trekking Birdwatching Folklore Crafts Bucovina Painted Monasteries Vrancea Brasov Zarnesti Piatra Craiului
Transylvania Uncovered - Romania Travel Specialists - Roving Romania adventure holidays - off the beaten track in Romania - Land Rover Tours - off the road exploration - Carpathians Rural Romania Maramures Ecotourism Nature Trekking Birdwatching Folklore Crafts Bucovina Painted Monasteries Vrancea Brasov Zarnesti Piatra Craiului
Transylvania Uncovered - Romania Travel Specialists - Roving Romania adventure holidays - off the beaten track in Romania - Land Rover Tours - off the road exploration - Carpathians Rural Romania Maramures Ecotourism Nature Trekking Birdwatching Folklore Crafts Bucovina Painted Monasteries Vrancea Brasov Zarnesti Piatra Craiului
Transylvania Uncovered - Romania Travel Specialists - Roving Romania adventure holidays - off the beaten track in Romania - Land Rover Tours - off the road exploration - Carpathians Rural Romania Maramures Ecotourism Nature Trekking Birdwatching Folklore Crafts Bucovina Painted Monasteries Vrancea Brasov Zarnesti Piatra Craiului