About this book
This new, third edition of Bradt’s Romania: Transylvania remains the only standalone English language guide to this legendary and enchanting region. Comprehensive chapter-per-county coverage is offered, including details to cater for the diverse range of travellers to the region, from city breaks to rural escapes, ski enthusiasts to charity volunteers. Thoroughly updated, this new edition reflects all the changes of the past few years, from improved transport infrastructure (in particular the regional airports at Cluj, Sibiu and Târgu Mures) to the completion of new motorway routes, such as that between Sibiu and Deva. Also covered are a number of striking new accommodation options: for example the sustainable guesthouse in Valea Zalanului owned by HRH The Prince of Wales, and the mountaintop retreat of Raven’s Nest in the Apuseni Mountains. More attractions have opened up, such as Baroque palaces formerly owned by Hungarian aristocrats, seized under the Communist regime and now being restored by the descendants of their original owners. And the region is developing its offer for new types of tourism, such as summer rock festivals, notably the Untold Festival at Cluj and Electric Castle Festival at Bontida.
Transylvania, literally the ‘land beyond the forest’, is a wild, wooded, intensely romantic region, filled with mountains, gorges and valleys, myths and legends, dragons, bears, wolves – and vampires. Bram Stoker called it ‘one of the wildest and least-known parts of Europe’ a description which remains true today. One of the most beautiful regions in central Europe and home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Transylvania preserves its cultural and artistic treasures in a unique landscape, bordered on three sides by the Carpathian Mountains. The hay meadows of the lower Carpathians form a man-made, high nature-value grassland ecosystem of extraordinary diversity, offering a beautiful display of wild flowers. The Carpathians are home too to lynx, wild boar, and one of Europe’s largest populations of brown bear. Other natural phenomena include the Scarisoara ice cave in the Apuseni Mountains and the Sfanta Ana volcanic crater lake in Harghita.
Whatever your interests, with Bradt’s Romania: Transylvania, you can discover all of the region’s many and varied attractions.
About the author
Born and educated in the UK, Lucy Mallows worked for 12 years in Budapest as a reporter. She first visited Transylvania in 1997, but her links with Romania go back to the late 1980s when she worked as a volunteer for Operation Romanian Villages, and to an early childhood fairytale The Lost Princess, written in 1924 by Queen Marie of Romania. Lucy Mallows is also the author of the Bradt guides to Bratislava and Slovakia. She now lives in Brighton from where she works as a freelance photojournalist and translator.
Paul Brummell is the British Ambassador to Romania. A career diplomat, he joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1987. He has served as British Ambassador to Turkmenistan and to Kazakhstan (as well as non-resident Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan) and High Commissioner to the countries of the eastern Caribbean, based in Barbados. He is the author of Bradt Travel Guides to Turkmenistan and to Kazakhstan, and in 2016 was awarded the CMG for services to British foreign policy.
PART ONE GENERAL INFORMATION
Chapter 1 Background Information
Geography, Climate, Natural history and conservation, History, Government and politics, Economy, People, Language, Religion, Education, Culture
Chapter 2 Practical Information
When to visit, Highlights, Suggested itineraries, Tour operators, Tourist offices, Red Tape, Embassies and consulates, Getting there and away, Health, Safety, Women travellers, Travelling with children, Travelling with a disability, Gay and lesbian travellers, What to take, Electricity, Money, Budgeting, Getting around, Accommodation, Eating and drinking, Public holidays and festivals, Shopping, Arts and entertainment, Cultural attractions, Sports and activities , Media and communications, Maps, Business, Buying property, Cultural etiquette, Travelling positively
PART TWO THE GUIDE
Chapter 3 Brasov County
Brasov, Places to visit en route from Bucharest to Brasov, Entering Brasov County and Transylvania
Chapter 4 Covasna County
Sfântu Gheorghe, Around Sfântu Gheorghe
Chapter 5 Harghita County
Miercurea-Ciuc, Heading south and west, Heading north
Chapter 6 Mures County
Târgu Mures, Heading east, Heading north, Sighisoara , Around Sighisoara
Chapter 7 Sibiu County
Sibiu, Heading south and west, Heading north, Heading east
Chapter 8 Hunedoara County
Deva, Other sights in Hunedoara County
Chapter 9 Alba County
Alba Iulia, Heading south, The Apuseni Mountains, Heading north from Alba Iulia
Chapter 10 Cluj County
Cluj-Napoca, Heading west, Heading north, Heading southeast
Chapter 11 Bistrita-Nasaud County
Bistrita, Other sights in Bistrita-Nasaud County
Chapter 12 Salaj County
Zalau, Other sights in Salaj County
Appendix 1 Language
Appendix 2 Further Information