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Across Land & Sea Travel Blog

How to explore Transylvania in one day

We'd spent one day driving the Transfagarasan Highway and one day tracking bears. On our third and final day in Transylvania, we decided to explore the historical sites and mountain villages nearby with our trusty vehicle!

Brasov is arguably the best base from which to explore the region, as it has a range of accommodation options, restaurants and bars, and is close enough to the majority of sites.

So, where's worth a visit?

PREJMER

We set off from there to Prejmer to explore the Biserica Fortificată; a 13th century fortified church that forms part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Biserica is an gave us an insight into Romanian life over the past 800 years. The church’s fortification is 5m thick, 12m high wall. Set into the wall are 270 rooms, each numbered, that would have housed villagers and stored food supplies during times of attack. The complex grew and was altered until the 18th century. We set off from there to Prejmer to explore the Biserica Fortificată; a 13th century fortified church that forms part of a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Biserica is an gave us an insight into Romanian life over the past 800 years. The church’s fortification is 5m thick, 12m high wall. Set into the wall are 270 rooms, each numbered, that would have housed villagers and stored food supplies during times of attack. The complex grew and was altered until the 18th century.

In the 1960s, a restoration project transformed Prejmer back to its original form and opened to visitors. It's a maze of hide-and-seek stairs and darkened rooms; we lost each other several times.

BRAN

We drove for 45 minutes from Prejmer, back through Brasov. As we approached Bran we could tell that this was going to be the most “touristy” part of our trip; there were coaches and unorganised make-shift car parks on the side of the road. Parking is 7RON, payable to the man walking around in a high-vis jacket.

To be honest, we were a little underwhelmed with Dracula’s Castle. Our suspicions that this would be the most “touristy” part of the trip were confirmed once we entered the one-way walkway through the castle. Try to avoid all school holidays (unless of course you have kids!) for a more relaxed experience.

The castle was still worth the visit, especially for 35RON price tag (20 for concessions).

Magura

The highlight of our day was driving beyond Bran Castle and up into the mountain village of Pestera.

A steep tarmacked track leads to a series of little walking lanes that overlook the valley below and across to Magura.

As drove the mountain road towards Magura, the tarmac changed to stone and the stone to mud. Our little 2 wheel drive VW UP! hatchback was out of place on the mountain pass that had steep drops each side of a single lane track lane.

If you’re keen for a hair-raising adventure, drive it. That said, I strongly recommend walking it first so you know exactly what you’re in for and whether your vehicle can handle it.

Once in Magura, we stopped for a hot drink in a small cafe before returning to Brasov for our massage appointment at Spa d’Or, which we would highly recommend.


We loved our time in Romania and cannot recommend it enough; for a cheap weekend break it is the ideal for outdoors explorers as well as city dwellers.

 
 

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