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  • Landscape image from Transylvania
    Landscape image from Transylvania Photo: Molnar Szabolcs, CC0, Flickr
  • Time stands still in this pittoresque Romanian village
    Time stands still in this pittoresque Romanian village Photo: Dumphasizer, CC BY-SA, Flickr
  • Hilly Landscape in Transylvania
    Hilly Landscape in Transylvania Photo: Robert Nyman, CC BY, Flickr
  • Sibiu Photo: Dumphasizer, CC BY-SA, Flickr
  • Bran Castle Photo: CC0, Pixabay.com

Transylvania

Nested inside the Carpathian arch, Transylvania loosely translates as the land of forests. Indeed, it boasts ancient forests, nature reserves, and enchanting sights, no matter the season. Beyond the huge popularity of Vlad the Impaler's legend, tourist Transylvania is a complex of cultural, gastronomic, and natural features that, together, recommend it as probably the most beautiful tourist destination in Romania.
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Attractions in Transylvania


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Maps and trails
Transylvania

Located in the center of Romania, in Sibiu, the National Museum Complex ASTRA is the most important ...

from Adina Wasicsek,   RomaniaTravel.Guide
Lake · Transylvania
Saint Ana (Sfânta Ana) Lake
Transylvania

The only volcanic lake in Romania, is located in the crater of a dead volcano, the place of the ...

from Adina Wasicsek,   RomaniaTravel.Guide
Animal Outdoor Enclosure · Transylvania
Libearty Bear Sanctuary (Zarnesti)
Transylvania

A bear sanctuary occupying around 70 hectares of land; it is home to about 100 brown bears, each ...

from Sînziana Mihalache,   Outdooractive Editors
Water region · Romania
Colibița

You will remember your vacation in Colibița for a long time. Find information about Fantastic routes in our Travel Guide, ...

Outdooractive Editors
Church · Transylvania
Biserica fortificată Saschiz
Transylvania

Biserica evanghelică din Saschiz, județ Mureș, Transilvania. A fost construită în secolul XIII-lea, ...

from Adina Wasicsek,   RomaniaTravel.Guide
Castle · Transylvania
Castelul Bethlen (Criș)
Transylvania

Ansamblul nobiliar de la Criș reprezintă unul din numeroasele domenii ale familiei Bethlen din ...

from Sînziana Mihalache,   Outdooractive Editors
Forest · Transylvania
Rezervatia de Zimbri Hateg
Transylvania

from Dana Bates,   Fundatia Noi Orizonturi
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Transylvania surprises the curious traveler with its mountains and hills that undulate quietly in the dreamy landscapes of the Arieș Valley, the Apuseni Mountains, or Țara Hațegului. History has left behind over 100 fortresses, castles, and mansions, and over 70 fortified churches; the authentic folklore and the spirit of the witty people you meet here, as well as the delicious gastronomy make the picture complete.

Nearly any place you visit in Transylvania is captivating. The relatively small distances between tourist destinations in the region favor an active holiday; this way, you can visit in one go several tourist attractions such as the Saxon villages, Sighișoara, Turda Salt Mine, Trascău Fortress, and many more.


Cultural influences in Transylvania

Transylvania is one of Romania's cultural melting pots, where Romanians, Hungarians, and Germans (Saxons) coexist. Dobrogea is another such region.

The Saxons of Transylvania had an important influence. From the 12th to the end of the 19th century, they even had a dedicated micro-region, the so-called Christian Land or Seven Seats, representing the units they administered. The seven “seats” (fortresses) were Sibiu, Brașov, Mediaș, Sighișoara, Sebeș, Rupea and Bistrița.

Especially during the communist period, the Saxon population emigrated en masse to Germany. Presently, the "last Saxons" - as they are often referred to - live in southern Transylvania, respectively in Țara Oltului or Țara Fagarașului. The defining detail of any Saxon settlement is the fortified church, Kirchenbürgen.

Although they live almost anywhere in Transylvania, larger groups of Hungarians live in the east of the region, in the Szeklerland micro-region. Most are bilingual. Their influence can be seen in the general aspect of their towns or villages and in gastronomy.

Biertan Fortified Church
Photo: Kyle Kaupanger, CC0, Unsplash

Transylvania's historical capital

Alba Iulia has been and remains Transylvania's historical capital since the 16th century, from the time of Princes Báthory and Rákoczy. This is also the most flourishing period for this Transylvanian fortress. After the unification of the Principalities in 1600, Mihai Viteazu temporarily resided in Alba Iulia. During the Habsburg period (17th-18th centuries), Alba Iulia stayed the capital of the region. Symbolically, King Ferdinand and Queen Mary of Romania were also crowned in Alba Iulia, in 1922.


The best season to visit Transylvania

At any time - this would be the right answer to the question of when it is best to visit Transylvania. The natural landscape has its own special charm in every season. Also, the landscape changes dramatically from one season to another.

Spring displays a spectacle of color and scents in the vast meadows and forests that are coming back to life. Tourists can find several daffodil meadows, such as those from Negrilești (Alba) or Dumbrava Vadului (Brașov), but also peony reserves - Zau de Câmpie (Mureș) - which they can only see this season. In summer, raw green dominates much of the natural landscape.

Do you feel at a loss about what to do in Transylvania in autumn or winter? The slopes from Harghita-Mădăraș, Mărișel, or Straja are waiting for skiers throughout the cold season. On the other hand, cold seasons or rainy seasons are only good for exploring all the castles, fortresses, and mansions in the area.

The Apuseni Mountains or the Cindrel Mountains have hiking trails accessible even to the inexperienced. Picturesque villages at the foot of the same mountains are delightful in autumn, when the fog slowly rises from the valleys or when cloud ceilings form over the seemingly sleepy landscape. And the resorts with thermal baths or mineral waters such as Borsec, Băile Tușnad, Băile Govora, or Toplița have a lot to offer.

Bran Castle
Photo: Jorge Fernandez Salas, CC0, Unsplash

What's the best way to explore Transylvania?

Walking or cycling are the best ways to discover Transylvania.

Equestrian routes are limited and are located around specialized local centers. Instead, hiking or biking trails abound. Țara Bârsei, Țara Făgărașului (but not exclusively) have a well-developed network of cycling routes. In the Apuseni Mountains or Țara Hațegului, some MTB routes also overlap with hiking trails. For some adrenaline, book a bear observation session in the Szeklerland (Harghita Mountains), in specially arranged places.

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Reviews

  96
Family hike on the route Păltiniș - Poiana Găujoara - Oncești Garden - Păltiniș by Dumitru
September 26, 2022 · Community
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Hiking to Peșteana Marsh (Bottomless pit) by Ralf
September 19, 2022 · Community
When did you do this route? September 19, 2022
Valea Mării by Soo
August 02, 2022 · Community
Cea mai frumoasă potecă tematică de vizitare a cascadelor din Valea Mării. POteca tematică ”Cascadele din Valea Mării și Lazăru” a fost creată și realizată de CNIPT Uricani și VisitUricani în anul 2018 și reamenajată în luna Iunie 2022 de către Salvamont Uricani, CNIPT Uricani, VisitUricani și CAVJ, și cu sprijinul Primăria Uricani și Comexim ”R” Lupeni.
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Destinations in Transylvania


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