Why not go all out this Halloween and visit the home of Dracula? Transylvania is a region in central Romania, said to be home to the man who inspired Bram Stoker’s infamous blood-sucking Count. On top of being home to pop culture’s first vampire, Transylvania is full of beautiful mountains, forests, historic towns and… bears!
The Carpathian Mountain range stretches from the edges of Austria, through Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Ukraine and right through the middle of Romania. The mountains are covered in the kind of mystical pine forests you would imagine in a fairytale. Within the mountains are villages and lodges, and unique scenery only discoverable by those daring to take a walk in the wilderness.
Visit the bears
Sadly, bears in this part of the world often fall victim to capture, to be used for labour or in Circuses. To protect them from such vile torture Romania has sanctuaries to rehabilitate sick and injured bears. Libearty (see what they did there?) Sanctuary is a day-trip from Brasov, where you can see our large furry friends roaming green open spaces and running amok with their buddies in a safe environment.
There are three main historic townships in Transylvania: Brasov, Sibiu and Sighisoara. Each are unique offering antique clock towers, churches, town squares, cobblestone streets and brightly-colored architecture. Brasov is the largest of these towns and one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe. It is in the center of Romania, therefore making a great base to explore the countryside.
Finally, Dracula’s castle. Bran Castle was home to local character Vlad the Impaler – you can guess how he got his beloved nickname. Find out the true story behind the myth of Dracula while wandering the halls of his gothic lair. Learn about the history of the region… including their most favoured torture-methods. Bran Castle is a short bus-ride from Brasov.