176 Criș, Judetul Mures,
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Transylvania is a historic region in the west of present-day Romania. Characterised by the dramatic Carpathian Mountains and rugged countryside which house a tapestry of picturesque medieval citadels, fortified Saxon churches and a rich multi-cultural history shrouded in legend. We can arrange private tours led by expert local guides, or propose self-drive itineraries and excursions that take in the historical and cultural highlights of Transylvania.
The village of Criş where our guesthouses are located, was founded by the Bethlen family some 800 years ago. Its central castle – Bethlen Castle – is one of the most famous Renaissance buildings in Transylvania and was first documented as early as 1305. Originally built as a fortified residence for the Bethlen family, the castle fell into ruin during the 1900’s and is now undergoing intricate restoration to bring it back to its former glory and safeguard the rich history buried within its walls. The castle is just 200m from the Caretaker’s House and our guests can enjoy exclusive access to the castle and walking tours around the village.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Biertan is a quaint medieval Saxon settlement with a magnificent fortified church which for centuries was the seat of the Saxon Lutheran Bishop. We recommend an afternoon spent exploring the church grounds, absorbing its history, and marveling at the church’s dramatic altarpiece.
Sighisoara, with its picturesque cobbled lanes lined with pastel-hued merchant houses and medieval turrets, is one of seven fortressed Saxon towns built in the region that were named “Siebenbürgen” in German, meaning “seven castles”. This well-preserved medieval citadel is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a hilltop church just a short hike from the winding lanes. The city’s landmark is the 13th century Sighișoara Clock Tower, standing 64m high, which is now a historical museum.
This charming city is one of the oldest cities in Transylvania and boasts one of the best-preserved historical centres in the country. Worth a visit is the town’s symbol, the Tower of the Buglers, which stands at almost 70 meters tall along with the Church of St. Margaret, parts of which date back as far as the 14th century. The name Medias originates from the Hungarian word ‘meggy,’ which translates to sour cherry, homage to the many sour cherry trees that used to line the streets.
The city of Sibiu and its surroundings are among the most visited in the region. An important cultural hub for the Transylvanian Saxons, Sibiu remains a bustle of culture today with an array of attractions to explore. The Brukenthal Museum boasts an excellent art collection dating from the 15th to the 18th centuries, and many of the medieval houses within the walls of the fortified old town are historical monuments.
Not many roads are worth a visit in their own right, but the Transalpina is different. Built under King Carol II of Romania, it is one of the highest roads of the Carpathian Mountains so visitors can expect breath-taking uninterrupted views over seemingly endless Transylvanian wilderness, at some points more than 2,000m above sea level.
This marvel of engineering was originally constructed as a military road in the 1970’s and cuts through the colossal Fagaras Mountains. It is the second-highest paved road in the country and boasts 90km of winding track, slicing through the side of the mountains and providing the perfect challenge for enthusiastic cyclists, hikers, drivers and motorcyclists.