Monday, November 21st
09.00-18.00 FULL day trip around Malta, with lunch – more details coming soon.
Salt Mine Turda
Today’s journey is going to take us to some of Transylvania’s most enchanting impressive underground treasures, to the Salt Mine of Turda and the medieval mining center of Rimetea. Prepare yourselves for a great journey filled with lovely traditions, exciting stories and breathtaking landscapes.
Turda is located only 35 kilometers from Cluj and has held a very important role in the Transylvanian history. It was the city where the “religious peace” was signed, where five Catholic and Reformed confessions were welcomed, Transylvania becoming one of the most tolerant states in Europe.
The city lies at the foot of the Western Carpathians, perhaps the most spectacular mountains in Romania. Because of the limestone soil composition, the landscape is extremely spectacular, deep caves, wild gorges and fast flowing rivers can often be found here. Close to Turda we will hike through the “Cheile Turzii” Natural Park, home of several rare species of animals and plants. After approximately one hour, we will reach the other side of the mountains and our buses will pick us up and drive us back to the city.
Cluj-Napoca City Tour
We invite you to take a walk and discover Cluj’s old history and traditions, the interesting architecture and culture and get a glimpse of this modern Transylvanian city. We will start the tour right next to the old Benedictine monastery, which was also the starting point in the city’s evolution. The birth houses of Mathias Corvinus (king of Hungary) and Stephan Bocskai (ruler of Transylvania and great promoter of the religious reformation), the old market square and the many guilds and craftsmen houses, all tell great stories about the people who used to live here centuries ago.
Sibiu + Alba Iulia
Today’s journey is about discovering two milestones in Transylvanian history: Alba Iulia and Sibiu. Departing from Cluj at 9 A.M., we will drive approximately two hours to reach Alba Iulia. Founded by Roman colonists in the 2nd century AC, it was not only the main point of an important commercial route, used to bring gold from the mountains, but also the place where the gold was prepared for shipment to Rome.
The city had to have three temples, a forum, and hundreds of administrative and private buildings; some of their ruins have been restored in the past years and can be visited today.
Departing from Alba Iulia, we will drive to Sibiu. The city was founded by German colonists in the 12th century and has been the central point of the Transylvanian Saxons ever since. An Italian chronicler of the 16th century named the city “not much bigger then Vienna”… We invite you to discover the three main squares, with the patrician palaces, the guilds residences and the workshops of the craftsmen, the medieval fortification walls and defensive towers, of which many have survived until today. Or you can just relax with a glass of fine Transylvanian wine…
Sighisoara + Viscri
In the morning we will depart from the hotel and drive for a couple of hours towards Sighişoara. We will drive through many small villages that have always been inhabited by a vast number of ethnics: Romanians, Hungarians, Germans, Jews and Romany. We will eventually reach Sighişoara, a medieval city founded by German colonists in the 13th century and placed strategically on the top of a hill to protect it from the invading enemy troops. Most of the fortification was kept intact and armed towers still guard the city. The Clock Tower, the former Benedictine monastery, the Lutheran Church from the upper part of the city, the narrow streets, but also the supposed birthplace of Count Dracula, give the town its enchanting medieval atmosphere. We will visit the museum inside of the Clock Tower, which hosts a medieval clock mechanism that is based on small wooden statues, representing Roman gods, who move every night.