|This post may contain affiliate links. Whenever you book or buy something through one of these, Giving Getaway gets a small commission, of which 50% will be donated to charity, without any extra cost to you!|
Are you ready for an epic adventure through Romania’s largest and most famous region? Get ready to embark on a one-week Transylvania road trip that will take you to the 12 best places this enchanting region has to offer. From the stunning Peleș Castle and historic Brașov to the legendary Transfăgărășan mountain road, each day will be filled with breathtaking sights and unforgettable experiences.
Now before I dive into the road trip itinerary in detail, just a heads up: as you read this post (and explore the website), you will see some ads, affiliate links, and search widgets. Feel free to click on them if they can help you plan your next trip. It won’t cost you a thing extra, but I will earn a commission of which I’ll be giving away 50% of that commission to charity. Thank you!
But now, let’s explore the wonders of Transylvania together!
Best Time to Visit Transylvania
The prime time to explore Transylvania is from late spring to early autumn. During this period, the weather is just right – not too hot, not too cold. You’ll catch the meadows in full bloom in spring, and the trees showing off their golden shades in fall – a real treat for the eyes.
Summer’s also great, with sunny days that are perfect for hiking and sightseeing. But keep in mind, it’s when everyone else has the same idea, so places might be a tad crowded.
Winter, on the other hand, brings its charm with snow-covered landscapes and cozy markets, though some spots might be less accessible.
So, if you ask me, aim for late spring to early autumn. The weather’s comfortable, the crowds are thinner, and it’s the best time to soak in Transylvania’s history, landscapes, and local vibes.
How to Get Around
To navigate around Transylvania, consider renting a car as it gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace and venture off the beaten path. It allows you to easily reach remote areas and take in the breathtaking landscapes that Transylvania has to offer. Plus, driving through the scenic countryside can be an adventure in itself.
The roads are generally decent, and you’ll find signs in English, so getting lost isn’t too much of a concern. Having a car means you can zip from charming villages to majestic castles with ease – no need to be at the mercy of schedules or public transport.
If you’re looking to save time and money, and also do a bit of good, I suggest you check out the car rental section. There, you’ll find search tools from Giving Getaway partners like Rentalcars.com and Economy Bookings. When you book through these, I get a cut, and I’m sharing half of it with charity. So, you’re getting a deal, exploring around, and pitching in – a triple win!
Now, if driving’s not your thing, some buses and trains can get you around, but they might not take you exactly where you want to go. They’re good for city-to-city travel, but when it comes to exploring Transylvania’s nooks and crannies, having your own set of wheels is the ace up your sleeve.
Long story short? Rent that car and get ready to cruise through Transylvania on your terms. And now let’s find out what you can expect from a one-week Transylvania road trip!
Day 1: Peleș Castle and Brașov
On day 1, you’ll visit the beautiful Peleș Castle and explore the charming town of Brașov. As you step into Peleș Castle, located in the Carpathian Mountains, you’ll be transported back to a fairytale-like era. As you approach the castle, you’ll be greeted by its grandeur, with turrets and spires reaching toward the sky.
Step inside and be prepared to be amazed by its opulent interior adorned with intricate woodcarvings, luxurious tapestries, and exquisite stained glass windows. Each room tells a story of Romania’s royal past, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in its regal charm.
After exploring Peleș Castle, it’s time to venture into Brașov. This picturesque town is nestled in the heart of Transylvania and offers a blend of medieval charm and modern amenities. Take a stroll through its cobblestone streets lined with colorful buildings and discover hidden gems at every turn.
The iconic Black Church stands tall as a symbol of resilience after surviving devastating fires throughout centuries. Inside this Gothic masterpiece lies an impressive collection of ancient relics and stunningly preserved frescoes that showcase the town’s religious heritage.
Both Peles Castle and Brasov provide glimpses into different facets of Transylvania’s captivating charm—royalty and rich history at one end while preserving tradition amidst modernity on the other. These two destinations are just a snapshot of what awaits you during your ultimate Transylvanian road trip adventure!
Day 2: Bran Castle and Piatra Craiului National Park
Make sure to visit Bran Castle and explore Piatra Craiului National Park on your second day. Begin your day by stepping into the pages of history at Bran Castle, also known as Dracula’s Castle. This imposing fortress perched on a hilltop is surrounded by lush greenery, creating an eerie yet captivating atmosphere.
The castle offers insight into the lives of past inhabitants and showcases impressive collections of furniture, art, and weaponry. Whether or not you believe in vampires, Bran Castle’s eerie charm is sure to captivate your imagination.
After immersing yourself in the castle’s legends, it’s time to immerse yourself in nature’s beauty at Piatra Craiului National Park. This protected area boasts rugged limestone peaks, dense forests, and crystal-clear rivers that provide a habitat for a diverse array of flora and fauna. Hiking through the park’s well-marked trails rewards you with breathtaking vistas at every turn.
The towering cliffs offer challenging rock climbing opportunities for adventure seekers while more casual explorers can revel in tranquil walks through wildflower-filled meadows. With luck, you may even spot chamois or brown bears roaming freely in their natural habitat.
Enjoy the tranquility of nature for a couple of hours before heading back to your accommodation for a well-deserved rest. Day 3 of your Transylvania road trip already awaits more adventures!
Day 3: Lake Saint Ann and Viscri
Explore the serene beauty of Lake Saint Ann and the charming village of Viscri on your third day. Head towards Lake Saint Ann, also known as Lacul Sfânta Ana. Nestled amidst the stunning Carpathian Mountains, this crater lake will leave you awestruck with its emerald-green waters and tranquil atmosphere.
As you make your way to this enchanting lake, be prepared to embark on a short hike through the breathtaking landscape. The trail leading to Lake Saint Ann is relatively easy, making it accessible even for novice hikers. Along the way, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of lush greenery and might even spot some wildlife roaming freely in their natural habitat.
Next, make your way to Viscri, a picturesque village that is one of my favorite hidden gems in Romania. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is renowned for its well-preserved 12th-century fortified church and traditional rural charm. As you wander through the cobblestone streets lined with colorful houses, you’ll feel like stepping back into a bygone era. Don’t miss exploring the fortified church, which offers panoramic views of the village from its tower!
You can also immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting one of Viscri’s craft workshops where artisans continue age-old traditions of pottery making and weaving. You can even try your hand at these crafts under their guidance. End your day with a delicious traditional Transylvanian dinner at one of Viscri’s cozy restaurants, savoring dishes made from locally sourced ingredients.
Day 3 will undoubtedly be filled with enchantment as you discover both nature’s splendor at Lake Saint Ann and Transylvania’s timeless charm in Viscri.
Day 4: Sighișoara and Turda Salt Mine
As you explore Day 4 of your itinerary, be sure to visit Sighișoara. Located in the heart of Transylvania, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is most famous for its well-preserved Citadel, perched on top of a hill. As you wander through the fortress walls, you’ll be captivated by the architectural beauty that surrounds you.
Sighișoara’s most iconic landmark is the Clock Tower, which dates back to the 14th century. Climb to the top for panoramic views of the city and surrounding countryside. And as you wander through the narrow alleys, you’ll discover charming cafes, artisan shops, and quaint squares where locals gather.
After exploring Sighișoara, make your way to Turda Salt Mine for an underground adventure unlike any other. The mine dates back over 2,000 years but has been transformed into an impressive tourist attraction while retaining its original charm. The vast chambers are adorned with chandeliers and walkways lead you through this unique subterranean world.
Inside Turda Salt Mine, there’s more than just salt to discover. You can take a boat ride on an underground lake or challenge your friends to a game of mini-golf or bowling in these extraordinary surroundings. The mine’s constant temperature provides relief from the summer heat or winter cold outside, making it an enjoyable place to spend hours exploring this fascinating underground realm.
Don’t miss out on experiencing the historic charm of Sighișoara and the surreal beauty of Turda Salt Mine during Day 4 of your Transylvania road trip adventure!
Day 5: Cluj-Napoca
Cluj-Napoca, commonly known as Cluj, is the unofficial capital of Transylvania and a must-visit destination on your road trip. As soon as you step foot in this bustling city, you’ll be captivated by its energy and rich history. From Gothic to Renaissance and Baroque to Art Nouveau, the city’s buildings showcase the city’s diverse cultural heritage.
Start your exploration by visiting St. Michael’s Church, an architectural masterpiece that dates back to the 14th century. The church’s towering spires dominate the skyline and its intricate details will leave you in awe. Step inside and marvel at the stunning frescoes and stained glass windows that adorn the interior.
The city is also home to numerous museums, art galleries, and theaters that showcase both traditional Romanian culture and contemporary art. Take a stroll down Union Square (Piața Unirii) and soak up the lively atmosphere while admiring the beautiful buildings that surround it.
In addition to its cultural offerings, Cluj-Napoca boasts a lively culinary scene that will tantalize your taste buds. Indulge in traditional Romanian dishes like sarmale (cabbage rolls) or mici (grilled minced meat rolls), which can be found at local restaurants and street vendors throughout the city. Don’t miss out on exploring Cluj-Napoca’s bustling food markets either, where you can savor fresh produce and regional delicacies.
Cluj-Napoca truly has something for everyone, making it a highlight of your Transylvania road trip. So make sure to spend a day exploring all that this vibrant city has to offer before continuing on your journey!
Day 6: Apuseni Natural Park
You’ll be amazed by the stunning natural beauty of Apuseni Natural Park and the fascinating Scărișoara Cave. Spread over an area of approximately 75,000 hectares, Apuseni Natural Park boasts picturesque valleys, majestic peaks, and enchanting caves waiting to be explored. The park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering countless opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and wildlife spotting.
One of the highlights of your visit to Apuseni Natural Park will undoubtedly be the Scărișoara Cave. This remarkable underground wonder is home to one of the largest ice caves in Europe. As you step inside, you’ll be greeted by a breathtaking sight – an enormous ice formation that seems to defy gravity. The cave’s temperature remains constant throughout the year, allowing this spectacular ice structure to persist.
Exploring the depths of Scărișoara Cave is like stepping into another world. You’ll wander through narrow passages adorned with intricate stalactites and stalagmites, marveling at their unique formations. The air inside is cool and refreshing, providing a welcome respite from the summer heat. But even though it might be refreshing in summer, be sure to bring a jacket when going down there!
Whether it’s a panoramic view from atop a mountain or an up-close shot of an ancient rock formation, this day promises unforgettable memories of Transylvania’s natural wonders!
Day 7: Sibiu and Road Transfăgărășan
On day 7 of your Transylvania road trip, you will discover the charming city of Sibiu before embarking on a thrilling drive along the famous Road Transfăgărășan. Sibiu, a charming city nestled in the heart of Transylvania, is an absolute must-visit on your ultimate road trip through this enchanting region.
With its cobblestone streets, colorful houses, and rich history, Sibiu offers a delightful blend of old-world charm and modern attractions. Take a stroll through the historic center to admire its well-preserved medieval architecture, including the stunning Brukenthal National Museum and the iconic Council Tower. As you wander around, be sure to stop by Piata Mare, the main square lined with cafes and shops bustling with locals and tourists alike.
Just a short drive away from Sibiu lies one of Romania’s most astonishing engineering marvels – the Transfăgărășan mountain road. This exhilarating route stretches for 90 kilometers (56 miles) and takes you on a thrilling journey across towering peaks and serene valleys, offering breathtaking views at every turn.
As you wind your way up the mountainside, be prepared for hairpin bends that will test even the most skilled drivers. At its highest point stands Balea Lake, where you can pause to take in the awe-inspiring alpine scenery or even venture onto one of the hiking trails nearby.
The Transfăgărășan road is not only about jaw-dropping vistas; it also hides fascinating stories within its curves. Built during Ceausescu’s regime as a strategic military route through the Carpathians, this impressive feat of engineering took several years to complete. Today, it serves as a thrilling adventure for travelers seeking an adrenaline rush or simply looking to immerse themselves in nature’s beauty.
So buckle up and prepare yourself for an unforgettable journey as day 7 takes you from the charm of Sibiu to the adrenaline-inducing beauty of Road Transfăgărășan.
So there you have it, your ultimate Transylvania road trip! Over one week, you will have explored the breathtaking beauty of this region and visited some of its most iconic landmarks. From the majestic Peleș Castle to historic cities like Brașov and Cluj-Napoca, and from the stunning natural landscapes of Piatra Craiului National Park to the fascinating Turda Salt Mine, each day has been filled with adventure and discovery.
If your unique Transylvania adventure is already in the making, please make sure to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and other travel essentials with Giving Getaway. Every completed booking earns Giving Getaway a commission, 50% of which will be used to organize charity events like the 2021 Christmas gift drive for kids and teenagers in a children’s home in Montenegro.
So not only will you be experiencing the trip of a lifetime, but you’ll also be contributing to a good cause. Start planning your trip now and make a difference with Giving Getaway!