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Romania - self driving or a private driver?

Romania - self driving or a private driver?

Old Apr 15th, 2017, 08:25 PM
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Romania - self driving or a private driver?

I just started planning a trip to Romania (my husband and myself) for early September. I have not booked an airfare yet, just trying to do some preliminary research prior to booking.

I think we will have 10 full days, and aggressive itinerary. We would like to see some Transylvania, Maramuresh and Painted monasteries of Bucovina ( must of me). In general, for this trip, we would be more interested in rural areas than in cities.

We normally drive everywhere, and originally planned driving in Romania as well. However, I am reading horror stories about Romanian driving and not sure at the moment.

On the other hand, I am hearing that it is possible to hire a private driver/guide for relatively reasonable price.

Fodorites, do you have any opinion on this or recommendations for a private driver?

I see a lot of good reviews for Compass private tours. Did anyone arrange a customized private trip with them?

Thank you in advance!
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Old Apr 15th, 2017, 08:35 PM
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We drove from Budapest to Romania, covering essentially what you want to see plus parts of Hungary. I wrote a trip report; click on my name to find it.

In another recent posting I pointed out that Sibiu is only 4 hours from Bucharest and Brasov only three hours from Bucharest. It might be possible to arrange a round trip that starts and ends at the Bucharest airport, avoiding the hassle of driving out of Bucharest. When we did that Romanian circuit, car rentals in Romania were not common, which is why we started and ended in Budapest
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 05:36 AM
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Train service is adequate in Transylvania (click on my name for my Romanian TR using public transport) but I would want a car and driver in the north. Unfortunately I cannot recommend the one I used in 2006.
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 06:51 AM
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Thank you Michael! I found your report and browsed thru it just now, and will read in details tonight.
Sounds like roads are not good, but doable.
I was thinking to fly to Bucharest, but fly out of Kluj to save time and not to come back to Bucharest. Not sure if we can return a car in Kluj.
I would also like to do detours to villages, and see country side - not sure how easy to navigate and we get lost all the time.
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 06:55 AM
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Thanks Thursdaysd! Yes, it is been long time since you traveled....

I would love to read your TR, so will do tonight. However, we are not public transportation people. We have very little time, want
to cover a lot, like detours, and I am into photography, so like to stop here and there.
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 07:03 AM
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First trip, to the north, was indeed a while ago! Second trip, to Transylvania, was in 2014. I did use a car and driver (recommended by my hotel) for one afternoon trip out of Sighisoara. I travel solo and really prefer public transport, but if you are up for driving you will certainly have more flexibility.
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 07:22 AM
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When going to see the churches in Maramures you will automatically see local villages. The same is true of the fortified churches in the southern Carpathians--but less true when visiting the monasteries of Bukovina. The roads may have been improved since we were there. At the end of the posting containing my trip report I re-posted the URL to my trip photos, as that has been changed from the original posting.

Because of the circular nature of the trip--the Carpathians with Maramures and Bukovina in the north, and Brasov and Sibiu in the south, and with Cluj between the two areas, a circular trip to and from the Bucharest airport makes sense. A drive back to Cluj from Sibiu or Maramures might not be any shorter than to Bucharest.
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 07:17 PM
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Makes sense. Ok, will read trip reports, book my airfare and come back with more questions...
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Old Apr 16th, 2017, 07:18 PM
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Thank you for your help so far!
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