ROMANIA: ORTHODOX EASTER
10 DAYS // APR 26 – MAY 6, 2016

April 26 - Depart USA

April 27 - Arrive Bucharest, Romania (OTP) 

Arrival at Coanda International Airport in Bucharest (OTP). Meet and greet by your professional English speaking tour guide right after you exit Customs. Transfer to your downtown Bucharest hotel. In the evening enjoy a Welcome Dinner and Folklore Show. (D)

April 28 - Bucharest-Maramures

After breakfast, photograph the impressive Palace of Parliament built in the last decade of the communist regime in Romania, the second largest administrative building in the world after the Pentagon. Discover a blend of medieval, communist and French influenced architecture. In the evening, fly to Baia Mare airport in the Maramures region, in the northern part of the country. Overnight accommodation in Baia Mare. (B)

April 29 - Maramures

The Maramures region is home to many villages where century-old traditions are still part of daily life. The inhabitants of this area have preserved, to an amazing extent, the rural culture and crafts of their Dacian ancestors. Maramures villages are distinguished by their unique wooden churches with tall spires and shingled roofs. Wood has long been - and continues to be - the medium of expression for the region’s artisans. Photograph one of the most beautiful wooden churches, in Budesti and the unique Merry Cemetery in Sapanta with its colorfully decorated wooden crosses. Enjoy a traditional home-cooked lunch at a family run guesthouse. Photograph local people, wood craftsmen, women using natural whirlpool washing machines to wash their carpets and farmers working the land. Overnight accommodation in Baia Mare. (B)

April 30 - Bucovina-Orthodox Easter Eve

Today is Orthodox Easter Eve day. You will have the opportunity to observe how Romanian Orthodox celebrate this very important religious holiday. We will travel from Maramures to the Bucovina region which is the best place to be for Easter due to its well-kept traditions. Learn about the craft of painting Easter eggs. Early Christians started staining eggs red in memory of the blood of Christ, shed during crucifixion. In this region eggs are not only painted in red, they are wonderfully decorated with traditional symbols from the region, some of the eggs being considered true master pieces. The Easter mass starts at 9 pm and goes on until 5 am when food is blessed by the priest and Christians who fasted before Easter can then enjoy all the food they have prepared. Attend the Easter mass and photograph people dressed in traditional clothes and focus on low-light photography and portraits. Overnight accommodation in the Bucovina region. (B)

May 1 - Bucovina

You will spend Easter by visiting two of the most beautiful painted monasteries in Moldovita and Sucevita (UNESCO World Heritage sites.) Enjoy a traditional Easter lunch with lamb and go for afternoon mass, another great time to take pictures of people dressed in traditional clothes. (B,L)

May 2 - Transylvania Region-Sighisoara

This morning, travel to Transylvania region passing through a beautiful mountainous region. In the afternoon you will arrive in Sighisoara, a medieval citadel and UNESCO World heritage site, ideal for blue hour photography as it is nicely lit. The town has many gorgeous old buildings, charming squares and narrow cobbled streets. Sighisoara is world renowned for its architecture that dates from the 14th century. Transylvania is one of the historic regions of Romania, in the central part of the country. Its name comes from Latin, translating as the “land beyond the forest” reminding of the Latin origins of this region and country. Throughout centuries the region has been the battlefield for many wars, being at the intersection of many great empires. That is why many fortifications and castles have been built and the region is famous because of them. (B,L)

May 3 - Biertan and Viscri

Rise early in the morning to shoot sunrise in a spectacular location: the majestic fortified church in Biertan located on a hilltop in a valley. Breakfast will be served at an organic farm afterwards. The rest of the day will be spent in the well preserved traditional village of Viscri where you will meet the women spinning wool, a local brick maker and blacksmith. Learn about their work, life and take portraits. Both Biertan and Viscri are UNESCO World Heritage sites. (B,D)

May 4 - Brasov-Bran castle

Photograph sunrise, this time at a sheepfold where you will see the shepherds milking the sheep and preparing for the workday ahead. You will have some time to wander around the village and countryside, take pictures of the traditional houses, people working in the fields or women sitting in front of their houses knitting. Arrive in Brasov, a wonderful medieval town at the foot of the mountains. You will have some time by yourselves to explore the town to take pictures. Later in the day, we will arrive at Bran castle and take pictures of it from the outside. (B,D)

May 5 - Magura and Sirnea

In the morning, you will have time to visit the Bran castle which will surprise you with its neat interior decorations, a far cry from its world fame as Dracula’s castle. The mountainous region around the castle has truly spectacular views of the Buchegi mountains and Piatra Craiului National Park. Photograph the remote villages of Magura and Sirnea, high up in the mountains which offers stunning landscape photography. (B,D)

May 6 - Peles Castle in Sinaia /USA

On the last day of the tour, you will pass by Romania’s most stunning castle, Peles Castle in Sinaia, richly decorated on the inside and set in a picturesque natural setting in the mountains. We will have one more group lunch before getting to Bucharest late in the afternoon. Important: it is advisable to book your return flights to depart after 4pm. 

Itinerary is subject to change.