This is a sponsored guest post. The image many have of Romania is unclear—all Balkans and vampire castles. But while Romania certainly has castles, there are bustling cities, winding roads, historic districts, and a wealth of culture at every turn to experience. To see the best of Romania, hiring a car and going on a road trip is ideal. Here are 7 must-see destinations to add to your Romania road trip itinerary:
1. Drive the Transfagarasan (DN7C)
Though inclement weather often shuts down the Transfagarasan through late June to the end of October, this is known as one of the best roads in the world for an epic drive, so be sure to reserve the perfect car: through a car hire comparison site like Holiday Autos you’ll find the cheapest options. DN7C: not only does this road pass through Fagaras, the highest mountain peaks in Romania, it reaches an altitude of 2042 meters near Balea Lake. Access to Transfagarasan begins in Bascov, Arges County and ends in the must-see city Cartisoara, Sibiu County.
2. The Danube Delta
For wilderness lovers, the Danube Delta is a must-see destination in Romania. Being that this preserved river delta is the largest in Europe, it has become a haven for birds and other wildlife, such as wolves, boars, and wildcats. Take a drive or hike along the canals and enjoy the beauty of the Romanian countryside.
3. Corvin Castle
One look at the formidable Corvin Castle (also known as Hunyad Castle) and you will see how fairy tales are born. The imposing Gothic architecture, wooden bridge, and sharply rising spires are enthralling. So, too, is the bear pit and dungeon where unfortunate souls were tortured.
4. Salina Turda
Opened during the 17th century and up to WWII, the salt mine known as Salina Turda was used as a storage center to bomb shelter. Presently, this mine located in Ciuj County has been transformed into an underground sci-fi wonderland complete with anamphitheatere, underground lake, Ferris wheel, and bowling alley.
5. Merry Cemetery
Located on the outskirts of Sapanta is one of the most unique cemeteries you will ever see. The tombstones of Merry Cemetery are a gathering of Romania folk art that started in 1908. All the grave markers are painted with portraits and other elements that symbolize life, death, and fertility. Amongst the painted markers are swaths of pink, purple and yellow flowers.
6. Sighisoara Historic Center
Also known as Old Town Sighisoara, this is a place where medieval ambiance has been preserved. Founded in the 12th century by Transylvanian Saxons, this fortified medieval town is colorful and bright, despite being the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler. Be sure to stop by in July, when the town is brimming with energetic festivals and rock music.
7. Bran Castle
Though associated with tales of Dracula, this Romanian landmark in Brasov dates back to the 13th century. Now, it is a functioning museum displaying artwork and furniture that Queen Maria collected. You can also check out a nearby open air museum featuring Romanian peasant houses that were brought in from throughout the country. Romania is often an underestimated destination for epic road trips. Whether you want to hop from castle to castle or enjoy the long, winding roads through the mountains, Romania is all about hopping into the car and finding adventure at every bend.