Adventures

Knights, Vampires & Bears

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A one day eclectic experience that just has it all: real bears in a sanctuary and their importance in the pagan Romanian cult; The vampire myth and a visit of Dracula’s Castle itself in Bran; medieval history, legends and a visit of Râșnov Citadel; breathtaking scenery of fairytale mountains and forests; traditional snacks and a delicious Romanian restaurant to sample the best local cuisine.

Highlights

Stories

Pagan bear cult, the vampire myth, the medieval knight, romanian medieval history and legends.

Locations

Prahova Valley, Libearty Bear Sanctuary, Dracula’s Castle in Bran, Râșnov Citadel

And on top:

Spicy palinka shots, traditional street food, delicious lunch at traditional restaurant

Detailed description

My Knights Vampires and Bears one day tour is a full day packed with a bit of all the good stuff in Romania: sky scraping mountains, forests, and natural scenery in Prahova valley, real live bears at Libearty Bear Sanctuary; legends and myth surrounding the enigmatic Dracula at Bran Castle, Romanian medieval history and lore at the beautiful hilltop Citadel of Râșnov plus some glorious food and drinks for your tastebuds.

The tour starts at your accommodation where I will pick you up in my mighty steed and we will travel north out of the hustle and bustle of Bucharest and into the glorious Carpathian mountains through the valley of the river Prahova – an ancient and history clad pass that has been an entry point into Transylvania since the dawn of time. The 3 hour drive will give me time to introduce you to the magic that Romania has to offer.

The pagan cult of the bear, general history and geography of Romania but also legends and myths around the infamous Dracula will make the drive go by in no time. We will listen to traditional romanian music, some of it my own, and taste some of my homemade spicy palinka, the traditional romanian spirit from Transylvania. As we drive through the beautiful scenery of Prahova Valley, you will get the real sense of how majestic the Carpathians truly are: high peaks shrouded in mist, winding roads through ancient forests and open scenery as far as the eye can see.

Our first stop will be at Libearty Bear Sanctuary, a wonderful place of rescue where bears roam free in wide enclosures. A guided tour through this safehaven will take us to meet the bears and see them frolic about in their natural environment. As opposed to a zoo, this sanctuary has wide open enclosures similar to a wild bears’ territory in size and it was built to foster rescued animals from situations where they were mistreated. Our presence there will not disturb the furry ones but it will greatly help their cause.

Our next destination will be about half an hour’s drive away. The one and only Bran Castle is a unique gem among romanian historical architecture. Owned by Vlad Țepeș, or Vlad the Impaler – the ruler that stood as inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the castle was an important landmark in romanian history and is one of the most beautiful medieval castles in Romania.

A stop for some local transylvanian street-food: a langoș or a kurtoș at the base of the castle is going to give you the courage to visit the eerie sight and the bazaar of locally sourced foods and souvenirs is sure to convince you to visit after our guided tour through the castle. With most of our blood still running through our veins, the tour heads back towards the mountain pass guarded by the legendary Râșnov Citadel. Perched on a hilltop scouring the horizon for friends or foes, this mighty ancient fortress will be the third on our list of destinations for the day. Standing guard of the pass since the XIIIth century, this massive monument will teleport you to the days of old with its narrow streets, medieval legends and breathtaking 360° mountain panorama. On some days, the local knights might also give you an axe throwing or bow shooting lesson, should your purse convince them you are worthy of the feat. Before heading back to Bucharest, the final and most delicious part of the tour is yet to be revealed.

Lunch will be served at a local restaurant in the old town at the base of the citadel, where you will get the chance to sample some of the most delicious and mouthwatering foods that you’ve ever tasted. Romanian food is quite heavy and meat oriented, but vegetarian options are available as well. Most importantly, you have a foodie with you to help you decide all the best dishes and drinks to try so you don’t miss out on anything.

The drive back to Bucharest is usually spent sleeping like well fed babies, but if there’s still energy this is the perfect time to share more about ourselves and plan future adventures together before dropping you off back at your accommodation.

PRICE:

$120 $/ PERSON

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OTHER INFO:

Price includes:

  • Pick-up and drop-off from single spot in Bucharest (airport included)
  • Transportation and parking taxes
  • Professional, authorised and quite interesting guide during entire tour
  • Guided standard tours at all sites
  • Wi-Fi en route
  • One shot of choice of The Bear’s Spicy Palinka

Price does not include:

  • Cost of food and drinks at fast-food place, restaurant or any other venue
  • Video, photo or any visiting taxes other than the standard tours for each site
  • Phone calls or any other personal expenses


Optional:

  • Pre-order set menu at fast food place

OUR REVIEWS

What guests are saying:

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SARAH LARSON

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JOHN ROVERS