Romania is a dynamic country rich in history, arts and scenic beauty. Journey to beautiful, intact, medieval towns in Transylvania; from Bucharest, Romania's capital city, to the Black Sea; from Southern Transylvania to Bucovina or Maramures and take a step back in time when you visit one of the world's famous painted monasteries in Bucovina. Don't miss the ancient, hilltop Citadel in Sighisoara or an authentic, centuries-old, folkloric village in Maramures.
And then there's that Dracula thing. Although a fictional character in Bran Stoker's novel Count Dracula, it was inspired by one of the best-known figures of Romanian history, Vlad Dracula, nicknamed Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler), who was the ruler of Walachia at various times from 1456-1462. Tales of the supernatural had been circulating in Romanian folklore for centuries before Stoker put pen to paper and although he has never travelled to Romania, his book is filled with descriptions of many real locations that can still be visited in present-day Romania.
Such sites include the Old Princely Court (Palatul Curtea Veche) in Bucharest, Snagov Monastery, where, according to legend, Vlad's remains were buried; the ruins of the Poenari Fortress (considered to be the authentic Dracula's Castle); the village of Arefu where Dracula legends are still told, the city of Brasov where Vlad led raids against the Saxons merchants and, of course, the famous Bran Castle.