Dacre Stokers' Dracula Tour of Romania and Transylvania
September 10-16, 2018
Travel with Dacre Stoker, Bram Stoker’s great grand nephew on a historical sightseeing tour euphemistically referred to as Transylvania, DSI (Dracula Scene Investigation) as we dig into the deep, rich and complex history of Romania to understand the truth and the origins of the Vampire myth and how they relate to the real Prince Vlad Dracula III (1431-1476). Learn how and why Bram Stoker made the connection between the real Prince Vlad Dracula and his iconic fictional character Count Dracula.
Isolated, rural Transylvanian locations, and ethnic diversity have created a wide variety of superstitions which inspired Irish author Bram Stoker to write one of the most famous novels in the English language Dracula (1897). While learning about who the real Vlad Dracula lll was, you will tour historical attractions in Romania with connections to Vlad, and a few without any Dracula connections. In the process we will “set the story straight” and explain why Vlad was so effective and revered as a ruler and to put into perspective why he ruled the way he did, and how and why he became known as the “impaler.”
Preliminary Day-By-Day Itinerary*
SUN 9/9 –Arrive Bucharest Crown Plaza Hotel islocated 15 minutes from the H Coanda International Airport in the northern part of the city. Newly renovated with modern amenities, beautiful pool & spa and garden. Walking distance to the main park in Bucharest .- Herastrau – guests can take enjoyable walks if they arrive earlier. Non stop buses to the City center available from the hotel. Dinner at Casa Doina Restaurant (considered the best traditional restaurant in the country. Menu suggestions: Appetizers – zakusca, beouf salad, eggplant salad, smashed beans / Meatballs Sour Soup & Traditional Tripe Sour Soup/ Main Course: Moldavian Stew, Sour Cabbage Rolls, Veal Schnitzel, Pork Chops, “Mititei” – traditional skinless Romanian sausage & Dessert: Traditional Cheese Donuts and Apple Strudel) MON 9/10 - Bucharest - Bran - Brasov Overnight at Aro Palace Hotel – medieval architecture with modern comfort. Located in the heart of the city. 5 minutes walk to Council Square and 20 minutes walking distance to the City Center Drive to Bran Castle, Brasov (inside visit). Inspiration for the fictional Castle Dracula it is a national monument and landmark in Romania. The fortress is situated on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia. Our group will be taken to the Tea House and will be offered a special lunch menu. Dinner at Luther Brasserie in Brasov. TUE 9/11 - Brasov - Sinaia - Brasov Fringed by the peaks of the Southern Carpathian Mountains and resplendent with gothic, baroque and renaissance architecture, as well as a wealth of historical attractions, Brasov is one of the most visited places in Romania. The Black Church, Brasov is one of the most impressive religious edifices in Romania. It is located in the center of Brasov City, Romania. Its construction began in the 14th century as a Roman Catholic structure and it was known as the Church of Saint Mary. It was built on the place of another older church. The first priest of this new church was a man named Thomas Sander. He died in 1410 and his grave can be found inside the church, in the choir area. Completed by the end of the 15th century, the church belongs to the last stages of Gothic architecture. The result was a three-nave basilica, all the same height, as was preferred during the 15th and 16th centuries in the German lands, where most of the architects and masons originated. The Catholic services were replaced with Lutheran ones during the Protestant Reformation. Fun Fact: Brasov is home to one of the the narrowest streets in Europe.The Rope Street (Strada Sforii) is approximately four feet wide and it links Cerbului Street with Poarta Schei Street. This street was initially used as an access route by firefighters. Lunch at a Hunter's Restaurant – Brasov. Drive to Sinaia and visit Peles Castle - Peles Castle, 1873, Sinaia Prahova County. The most beautifully decorated castle in Romania. Return to Brasov – overnight at Aro Palace hotel WED 9/12 - Brasov - Viscri Village - Sighisoara Drive to Viscri Village (visit Viscri Saxon Village 14th Century Fortified Church & Museum. This is the village where Prince Charles owns two small cottages. Enjoy a traditional lunch planned at Viscri 125 and then arrive Sighisoara. Afternoon visit of Teo's Cellar with brandy tasting. Dinner at Casa Vlad Dracul Restaurant. Overninght at Hotel Sighisoara – located in the heart of the City, inside the Citadel, next to The Clock Tower. Comfortable, large rooms. The Hotel maintains the medieval atmosphere by preserving original wall paintings in the common areas. Beautiful outdoor garden, medieval music in the breakfast room THU 9/13 - Sighisoara Morning tour with inside visits at Clock Tower, Torture Chamber, Weapons Gallery and Church on the Hill. Sighisoara, Mures County 12th century UNESCO World Heritage walled city visit the birthplace of Vlad Dracula, the home has been turned into a restaurant and bar. Museum inside the historic clock Tower, includes a dungeon with display of torture devices. Rest of the day at leisure. Buffet dinner in the cellar of Sighisoara Hotel with movie projection. Overnight at the Hotel Sighisoara. FRI 9/14 - Sighisoara - Biertan Drive to Biertan Fortified Church (inside visit) the largest and most impressive medieval strongholds in Transylvania. Surrounded by quaint streets and vineyards, the 15th century fortified church at Biertan is perched high on a hill in the middle of the village. Three tiers of 35-foot-high defensive walls, connected by towers and gates, encircled the complex, making the church impossible to conquer during medieval times. Fun Fact: Couples seeking divorce were locked in the Prison Tower for two weeks. Sharing one set of cutlery and one bed, the couple had to make their final decision. In 400 years, only one couple decided afterwards to go through with the divorce! Arrive in Sibiu (tour, visit Evangelical Cathedral). Sibiu, 1190, Old fortified City, European Capital of Culture in 2007, Tower of Advice, Orthodox Church, Evangelical Church. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight to Hotel Ibis – great location in the City Center, walking distance to the Old Town SAT 9/15 - Sibiu - Curtea de Arges - Poenari Castle - Targoviste - Bucharest Drive to Poenari Castle (inside visit). Poenari Fortress, Arefu Arges County, was erected around the beginning of the 13th century by the rulers of Walachia. Around the 14th century, Poenari was the main citadel of the Basarab rulers. In the next few decades, the name and the residents changed a few times but eventually the castle was abandoned and left in ruins. However, in the 15th century,realizing the potential for a castle perched high on a steep precipice of rock, Vlad III the Impaler repaired and consolidated the structure, making it one of his main fortresses. Drive to Targoviste - (visit Old Princely Court) Targoviste, Princely Court of Vlad Dracula lll, Targoviste Dambovita County The 14th century fortress and Royal Court of Targoviste, was also the former voivodal residence of Wallachia; is by far one of the most important and representative historical monuments in Romania for tourists. Within the fortress stands the impressive Chindia Tower built in the 15th century. Arrive in Bucharest. Overnight at Crown Plaza (4* ) – breakfast buffet included. Farewell dinner at Caru cu Bere Restaurant (the oldest in town) SUN 9/16 - Depart Bucharest / Tour Ends * Details and highlights are subject to change
First night at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Bucharest (4 stars) Two nights at the Aro Palace Hotel in Brasov (5 stars) Two nights at the Sighisoara Hotel in Sighisoara (3 stars) One night at the Ibis Hotel in Sibiu (3 stars) Last night at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Bucharest (4 stars)
$2499 per person USD in sharing double/twin room Single Room supplement: $290 USD Rates include all hotel accommodations, all internal transportation aboard comfortable motor coaches with lavatories and refrigerators, all sightseeing, most meals (with superior menus, a bottle of water and wine per person), services of professional, licensed, English speaking guides and all taxes. International air transportation is NOT included and is additional. Air quotes can be provided upon registration. Optional, comprehensive travel insurance is available and highly recommended. The cost will be provided upon registration. A deposit of $400 per person is required at the time of registration, with the balance of payment due by June 11, 2018, accompanied by passport perfect names, date of birth, passport number and expiration date - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Cancellation Policy: Cancellation made up to 91 days (up to June 10, 2018): $400 per person cancellation fee Between 90 to 61 days prior to departure (June 11 - July 10, 2018): 50% of the tour price Within 60 days of travel (July 11 - Sept 09, 2018): 100% of the tour price .