Transylvania offers a huge variety of entertainments and events which can be built into your tour as optional extras. Traditional life is everywhere.
The different ethnic groups of Transylvania all have their own everyday cultural activities. We arrange practical carving and weaving demonstrations, and lessons in wool-dying with local natural products. Romanian food and drink are also diverse through cultural influence. So we can organise culinary experiences where you can learn from monastic nuns how to make jams from fruits and wild berries. Or you can spend a day on a working farm - milking cows, bee-keeping, building haystacks, baking cakes with the village ladies, and finishing the day with a huge farm dinner with traditional music and dance. Romania produces many excellent wines and beers, and also some traditional plum-brandies. There are several wines tours available which include tastings and dinners at the wine-cellars.
Romania has a vast diversity of museums which preserve every facet of its history and arts, including pharmacy, clocks, railway trains, folk arts and architecture, wine making and traditional crafts. The Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires created a complex overlay of cultural influences which survive today. Transylvania offers a glimpse of life in medieval times, with a large number of 16th century castles and fortified villages. Many of these are protected as UNESCO World heritage sites. We can arrange various medieval-style activities, such as jousting tournaments with sword-fighting knights on horse-back. Or you might prefer a medieval banquet with costumed jugglers and musicians.
Although Count Dracula is a piece of mythology, the character is based on some historical realities which can be actively explored in Transylvania. Vlad Dracul's birthplace exists today as a guesthouse and restaurant in the magnificent citadel of Sighisoara.
There are also some impressive examples of art and architecture from the 19th century. Peles Castle was built as a Royal Palace between 1873 and 1883 by King Carol I. The palace has over a 100 rooms, which are opulently decorated with Persian carpets, Renaissance weaponry and armour, ornate chandeliers and stained glass windows. Nearby is Pelisor Palace, built by King Carolís son, which is furnished in Art Nouveau style with Tiffany and Lalique glassware. More recent history can be seen in the narrow-gauge steam railways which still work in the forests of the Carpathian Mountains.
Music is an important feature of everyday life in Transylvania. The rythms of seasonal agriculture are reflected in the traditional music, songs and dance. But there are also more contemporary musical experiences to be enjoyed. The world-famous Targu Mures Philharmonic Orchestra is available for private functions. You can even have a try at being their conductor.
The Transylvanian landscape is rich in biodiversity and contains many precious species.
We could not forget the rich bio-diversity of Transylvania. This has been protected over millennia by the Carpathian Mountains. Here are many wild flowers and plants that are unique to all Europe. This landscape is home to many birds and wild animals - such as wolves, eagles, brown bears, sparrowhawks, tortoises, and lynx. We can offer experienced guides who know the habitats of all the species of Transylvania.
Many rivers have their source in the Carpathian Mountains, and there are also hundreds of spas and springs which offer mineral waters to drink, and baths for personal health remedies. Homeopathy was invented in Transylvania, and we can arrange health tours which include introductions to the healing herbs and wild-flowers of the landscape.
Whatever your interest, you will find something here to hold your attention, to educate and entertain you, and almost certainly help you develop a new, and perhaps more sympathetic understanding of the world around you.
The list of activities available in Transylvania is almost endless. But here are a few ideas to get you thinking...