1. From Brasov: Romanian Mountain Villages Day Tour
This small-group tour takes you straight to the heart of rural life in Romania. See some local cottage industries, take a trek through pristine mountain forests, and learn about a way of life that’s slowly disappearing. Your immersive, full-day tour begins in central Brașov, where you’ll meet your local guide and board a private vehicle for the 45-minute drive out into the countryside. Along the way, let your guide know if you have any specific interests so he or she can customize the day’s itinerary accordingly. Choose to make an optional stop at Bran Castle – popularly known as Dracula's Castle. Explore the area surrounding the villages of Pestera and Magura, nestled in the Piatra Craiului National Park in the Southern Carpathian Mountains. Learn about the history of the villages, where the traditional industries of sheep farming and cheese making are still practiced by many of the inhabitants and catch an authentic glimpse into rural Romanian life. Visit the Bat Cave and admire limestone rock formations that have developed over centuries, including the so-called "tears of the earth." Next, set off into the hills and meadows around Magura for a moderate guided hike of 2–3 hours. Let your guide know if you prefer to hike for longer or shorter and go at a pace that’s comfortable to you. Visit the oldest guesthouse in the National Park. Meet some of the farmers, and sample two-three different kinds of cheese. Enjoy a hearty lunch of simple Romanian cuisine made from local farm-fresh ingredients. Purchase beer or wine to top off your meal. From the guesthouse, wander through Pestera Village, taking in the sights and visiting the local church. Head back to the car and relax on the scenic return drive to Brașov.