Romania is an unknown country for my friends and acquaintances. A blind spot for most of us. Even for professionals, who work for the touristic industry do not really know this country between the 24th longitude and the 45th parallel. Maybe some of you know the beaches at the Black Sea, but there are not many reports about them at all. Romania does not fascinate yet, but it is definitely an insider tip.

I was unfamiliar with the current events and developments of the country. But I received an invitation of Relais & Chateaux to visit the new interesting hotspots, restaurants and hotels in Bucharest and Romania. I wouldn’t miss the chance to take a closer look behind the former Iron Curtain, of which the surface is now colorful and glittering in neon. 

So im off to Bucharest with my packed photo bag and loaded laptop.

Romania

Romania ??  is one of those countries that is not on top of the travel wishlists for many travelers. If you are up for a trip that is a bit different from the most tourist trails, you will find a big variety of touristic topics in this country. From snow-capped mountains to beautiful sandy beaches – Romania got a perfect holiday-spot just for everyone.   

The country is located in the border area between Central and Southeastern Europe and extends along the Black Sea and widens in a westerly direction from the Carpathian arc to the Pannonian lowlands. Romania is particularly green and fruitful, because of the Danube, which floods through Romania and leads directly into the Black Sea. You will find breathtaking landscapes, magical palaces, fabulous castles and booming cities which are located next to traditional villages. Everyone knows the fable about Dracula, but even then Transylvania is just 2 hours per plane away, but mostly no one  really knows something about the mysterious Carpathian area, which is also a perfect hiking area.

Schloss Peles in Rumänien
Castle Peles in Romania
König Decebalus an der Donau
King Decebalus – Danube

Romania, home of Dracula

Siebenbürgen, also called Transylvania, is a region in the center of Romania. Most of the people know this region because of its medieval towns, mountainous borderlands, castles and palaces. Especially the gothic fortress Bran Castle, which is linked to the famous legend of Count Dracula. – Brașov’s landmarks include Saxon walls and bastions with tiny cafes and the mighty gothic Black Church. Additionally the nearby Poiana Brașov is a popular winter sports resort.

Probably the most famous place is Bran Castle, which is located in the Southern Carpathians. Bram Stoker is the writer of the Dracula act and was absolutely impressed by the view of the castle, which is placed on a high mountain range. He created a place of worship for fantasy literature. Indeed, the medieval castle seems very appropriate for this story: Mystical and almost a little scary …??

Schloss Bran in Rumänien
Castle Bran in Romania

The Romanian Carpathians

The Romanian Carpathians offer various hiking opportunities par excellence. The Carpathians are placed in eight different countries (Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Austria,Czech Republic, Hungary and Serbia) and got a total length of about 1,500 km. The Romanian Carpathians are divided into three groups: Western, Southern and Eastern Carpathians. If you are a fan of mountains then you should definitely check out the caves in the Western Carpathian or the highest peak of the Southern Carpathians  and you could also enjoy the wide view of the Eastern Carpahians. Romania is the perfect spot for all of the hikers interests. Numerous excellent hiking trails also contribute to this. Romania offers various options for every hiker, even if you are a beginner or an absolute pro hiker. You could also observe the flora and fauna, furthermore the traditional hospitality of the locals.

Karpaten in Rumänien
Romanian Carpathians 
Wälder in den Karpaten
Woods in the Romanian Carpathians 

Culinary delights

The Romanian cuisine is based on simple peasant dishes and is impacted by different regional influences.  Sheep meat and corn are the basics of the Romanian kitchen.The many meat and dairy products of the sheep are playing an important role in Romania, because the country is ranked on the fourth place of sheep farming world wide. This area is also one of the oldest wine-growing countries in Europe.

Schaf in Rumänien
Sheep

Typical regional dishes ?

An integral part of the Romanian cuisine is the “Mămăliga“, which is a type of corn flour polenta and a traditional farmer’s food. From its origin it was cooked until it could be dropped onto the table and divided into portions with a wool thread. There are different types of corn pudding. The most popular preparation is to scallop the porridge with sheep’s cheese, which is refined with sour cream. For breakfast it is recommended to douse the Mămăliga with milk. You could also serve the boiled porridge as a grill specialty. The dish is filled with cheese and shaped into small balls.

Mămăliga
Mămăliga – Corn mash

Wine culture in Romania ?

Romania is one of the largest wine producers in the world and is on the 8th place of the international ranking. The vineyards produce full-bodied sweet wines as well as excellent red and white wines. In total 60% of the grape varieties grown in Romania are white. The most popular regional grape varieties from Romania are Mustoasa de Maderat, Feteasca or also Grasa Cotnari and Tamaioasa Romaneasca. But also popular varieties such as Chardonnay, Riesling or Cabernet Sauvignon are grown in Romania.

Wein aus Rumänien
Red and white wine from Romania
Weinberge in Rumänien
Vineyards in Romania

Conclusion

Romania landed on my personal favorite travel list. Contributed to the cordial encounters with many locals and the culinary delights of the emerging in-restaurants in Bucharest and the other provincial capitals of the country. In coming articles we will report about our Famtrip to the Relais & Chateaux Hotels and Restaurants. So stay tuned and follow this blog. We are happy about lively comments and constructive feedback!

We have already published another article in connection with this Famtrip. It is a general overview of Bulgaria, a country in transition and at the point of reference between tradition and modernity.

If you have any further questions or would like to exercise constructive criticism we look forward to your comments!