Welcome to Romania!

We wanted to call this The Aristocratic Tour, given that there are so many high quality wines and foods involved and that accommodation is mostly at refurbished manors, palaces and historic villas.

Romania is the 5th largest wine producer in Europe (24.000ha/60.000acres), so we have plenty of wines to choose from!

11 days

Just enough to visit all the main grape growing regions of Romania and taste the different styles and influences in wine making and cuisine.

8 Wine Tastings

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Different soils and sun exposure, maturation processes and wine philosophies lead to a wide variety of flavors.
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Authentic food

The seaside fishery, the camp fire venison stew, the clean, natural farm in the hills, lunch on the porch of a Transylvanian house and more!

10 Vintage Houses

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Each night of the tour will be spent in a refurbished mansion, old palace or classic villa, for an authentic feeling of a nobleman’s life.
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Spectacular Landscapes

Wineyards as far as the eye can see, green hills, water creeks and meadows, winding roads through mountain forests and rural farmland.

Activities

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We learn about ancient and modern wine making, ecological farming, trout growing and we try our talent at pottery painting.

Available dates:

16-26 August 2019

Day 1

Manuc's Inn, built in 1808

We start with a short walk around the Old City Center, just to get our appetite going and then settle for dinner in a 200-year old Inn. We feast on its history, architecture, legends, and last, but not least, on its delicious Balkanic cuisine and own brand wine.

Day 2

We drive East, toward the sea, in a land where the soil is sandy and dry, there is plenty of sun that provides a long period of maturation and gives the grapes a lot of sugar. This leads to a rich diversity of taste and flavour and a freshness of wine that is hard to reproduce in other places.

Our first stop is at a young, modern winery with a great view of the Danube river and spectacular architecture. A tasting of 6 wines is included.

Next, we visit a small French winery at the seaside, for a light snack and tasting of 5 wines, also included. Lunch at a nearby “cherhana”, a place where fishermen deliver their catch of the day.

Our accommodation is an old, refurbished villa in the old city center of Constanța, which we can explore by foot.

Sunny hills make the best grapes

Day 3

Soon to become wine

Just after breakfast, we hit the road and stop at the largest winery in Romania, with over 3.000ha/7500acres of grapevine that yield 20.000.000 bottles per year. Murfatlar Winery was established in 1955 and had its first harvest in 1958.

Today, it provides a fifth of all wine consumed in Romania and half of the red assortments. It is the largest producer of the most popular authentic Romanian wine, Fetească Neagră, thought to be over 2.000 years old. A tasting of 5 wines and the entrance fee to the Museum of Winemaking are included.

Once again on the road, we stop at a mansion built in 1839 for a light lunch (included) and a visit of the estate.

After another short drive, we arrive at our accommodation for the night, a nice manor in the middle of a forest, on top a hill. We can take a walk in the woods or visit an 18th Century Chapel on the grounds of the estate while waiting for dinner to be prepared.

Day 4

The day begins with a visit to the mysterious stone dwellings of Bozioru, small rooms carved into hard rock and thought to date back to the Bronze Age. They were rediscovered in the 16th Century and used as refuge for monks and prayer rooms. Medium fitness level and proper hiking equipment are required.

After this short nature trek and exploration, we drive to a totally nature-friendly, bio farm up in the hills to taste whatever is on the menu today. The chef decides spontaneously every morning, but we are sure to have something grown or produced on the farm: eggs, chicken, goat cheese, simple, maturated or with spices, bacon, pastrami, strawberry or blueberry jam, fresh baked bread and more. (This snack is included in the price of the tour).

Goat cheese is a delicacy in the French cuisine

Next up, we cross the mountains and stop for a visit inside the Prejmer Citadel, one of the best preserved Medieval buildings in Transylvania. This is an Evangelical Church built in 1240 and surrounded in 1427 by 3m thick and 12m tall walls that were never conquered. There are 272 rooms inside its walls, on 4 floors, used in the past for storage of goods. Each family in the village had its own room, to protect itself and its belongings in case of Ottoman or Tatar invasion.

Just around the corner from the Citadel we find a trout fishery and a restaurant that offers fresh fish, venison, homemade cookies and other delights.

Later on, we drive to our accommodation for the night, a Hungarian manor built in 1629 in the middle of an Arboretum (Transylvania was, in the past 1.000 years, either independent, part of the Hungarian or the Austro-Hungarian Empires, and is now an integrated part of Romania). We will have plenty of time to explore the park, the English garden, the terraces and the pavilion in the woods. A lavish barbecue dinner with local wine and beer will be waiting for us (included).

Later in the afternoon, a short drive will take us to the heart of the Saxon area of Transylvania.

Day 5

This morning we take it easy, enjoy coffee in the lazy forest and slowly pick up to visit another Hungarian mansion in the area, where Prince Charles of Wales regularly spends the night when he visits Transylvania.

Authentic: We have lunch there, visit the village and then get down and dirty with local craftsmen, hammering wrought iron, weaving, or carving wood and painting furniture.

In the evening we go to our castle for the night, the 347 year old Castle Daniel, where we will have dinner by the campfire, with venison ragout and traditional Hungarian baked sweet pastry (included).

Cooking in a cauldron over the open fire gives ragout a special flavor

Day 6

Haller Castle in Transylvania

Today we have a little equestrian fun. We drive to a remote village where we find a lovely family business: a horse riding school that trains horses and people who work with them.

Activity: Our plan is to take a ride through the woods, enjoy the scenery and then head back to the village. Group members can take turns in riding horses or relaxing in the horse carriage. On the way back to the stables, we stop at a local house where we will have a traditional lunch accompanied by fruit rakia, a strong spirit drink usually made from plums, pears or apricots. It is highly addictive, (or so we’re told 🙂 ), so we can relax on the porch and enjoy several tastings. (horse ride and lunch included)

Authentic: We then drive to a cosy little resort in an authentic Transylvanian village where locals are known for their ability to find truffles with their dogs or pigs.

We spend the evening tasting 5 wines paired with 5 dinner courses (included).

Day 7

We need a solid breakfast, as the first stop of the day is at a winery situated in the heart of the region that has been known as Wineland since the XII Century. Our wine tasting (included) takes place in a Castle built in 1624 in the style of French Renaissance that overlooks the grape fields and the surrounding hills. It’s a great place for wine and relaxation.

Next, we take a walk around the Alba Carolina Citadel in Alba Iulia, (built 1738). Sightseeing includes the oldest (1.000 years old) and tallest cathedral in Romania.

We then drive to a large domain just outside the city, with a hotel, restaurant and wide terrace, where we have dinner and accommodation.

Gourmet snack

Day 8

How about lunch in this gazebo?

Authentic: We ate and drank like the locals, now we will see how they lived. Our first stop of the day, The Romanian Village Museum in Curtișoara brings together buildings from different areas and ages and is the perfect place to learn about traditions and everyday life in the countryside.

Activity: We then visit a village known for its long tradition of pottery making and get our hands dirty with clay and paint.

In the evening, we head to our hosts for the night, at yet another old, refurbished mansion.

Day 9

Today is a full and difficult day.

We visit 2 wineries with 2 different philosophies of winemaking: Italian and German (included).

We hope that we can survive the tastings, because we need to make it to our accommodation, a nice, rural manor.

Enjoy the taste and the view!

Day 10

Craft Beer is on a rising trend

We drive back to Bucharest and we should be there just in time for lunch, which we will find on the street. There is food around every corner, so we can taste just about anything, from pastries to oriental kebab or pizza slices.

A walking tour of the main boulevards of Bucharest should be the perfect exercise to prepare for dinner and then a tasting of local craft beer (beer tasting included).

Day 11

We visit the luxurious residence of the late Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu, where time seems to have frozen in December 1989. The luxury and opulence are in sharp contrast with the gray and cold communist apartment blocks spread around the city.

Lunch at a very well supplied grocery shop in the city center, where fresh breads, meats, cheese and vegetable stews and sauces will be met by selected wine. (Included)

In the afternoon, we head to the airport, where we say our goodbyes, but not before promising to write to each other and share pictures when everyone is back at home.

Cotroceni Palace

Notes

All accommodation is at old mansions, boutique hotels and countryside guesthouses, refurbished and decorated to offer an authentic taste of traditional or noblemen life.

This is what a nobleman's suite looks like.

Meals always include traditional local food and a choice of international and vegetarian dishes. Romanian food is represented by soups and broths; local cheese, bacon and salami; grilled pork, sausages, smoked ham and meat; vegetable stew, eggplant salad, mushroom salad and many other delicious dishes. Common sides include baked potatoes with butter sauce, rice and vegetables, bean or pea stew, grilled eggplant or pickled cucumbers, peppers and cauliflower. Spicy, sweet, garlic, onion or barbecue sauces are usually available.

Of course there will be barbecued ribs!

You are not allowed to leave Romania until you have tried the famous cabbage rolls with minced pork meat and spices (sarmale) and the fried doughnuts filled with cherry jam and sour cream (papanași)!

And cake too!

Local drinks include hundreds of types of beer, world renowned wine and home brewed spirits made of plum, pear, apricot, sour cherry and other fruit.

The schedule of the tour is based on the guests’ arrival by plane on Day 1 in the afternoon/evening and departure on Day 11 in the evening. For different flight schedules, please contact us and we will do our best to help with additional nights of accommodation in Bucharest, pick up or drop off services.

During the months of May, June and October, the weather can be unpredictable, with clouds, wind and possibly storms, therefore we recommend that you bring a warm and waterproof jacket and water resistant shoes. From July to September, it can be very hot, with temperatures rising to 37-39 degrees Celsius (around 100 Fahrenheit), therefore lighter clothing is recommended.

Check here if you need a visa to enter Romania: Country List.

The Food & Wine Tour

3,970€ 4,655$

One place in your 11 day tour will get you

One seat in a comfortable Mercedes minivan, all costs covered

Accommodation in double or twin-bed rooms at hotels or B&B’s for 8 nights; accommodation at the monastery for 2 nights; the room will be shared with another trip companion; (for single room, please contact us – additional costs apply); breakfast included

All visitors’ fees for the landmarks to be visited (excluding photo or video camera tax).

All Breakfasts

8 Wine tastings

1 Craft Beer tasting and 5 meals

Plus some surprises.

 

The tour fee does NOT include

Airplane tickets to or from Bucharest

Lunches or dinners (except the 5 ones marked with Included (bold))

Drinks during nights out or any other time of the day

Extra room requirements at hotels and B&B’s, aside from the standard double/twin rooms

Personal insurance, early check-in/late check-out fees, police fines, bail money, etc.

 

 

Extra

Infants under 2 years old travel for free

Children that can share a bed with their parents + $650 (the Wine part is excluded)

Children that require an additional bed in their parents’ room + $950 (the Wine part is excluded)

Single Accommodation + $1000