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Romania, bulgaria road trip itinerary suggestions

Old Apr 6th, 2020, 12:49 PM
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Romania, bulgaria road trip itinerary suggestions

I am planning a road trip with my family in Romania and Bulgaria in probably September 2020.
We are a family of 4, We in our mid 50s and our 2 daughters in their early 20s.
We like nature, architecture, quaint villages, folk dances, culture.
My Itinerary is as follows.
Land at Bucharest. Rent a car and drive to Sinaia.
Day 1,2 Sinaia
Day 3.4- Bran (Visit Bran-Rucar pass, Bran Castle, Rusnov, Brasov on day trips
Day 5,6- Sighisora
Day 7- Cluj Napoca
Day 8,9- Honedora, Sibiu
Day 10- Drive on Alpine Road-- Night halt somewhere near Craiova on E 79 enroute Sofia?- Please suggest
Day 11,12- Sofia (Bulgaria)
Day 13- Plodiv
Day 14,15- Veliko Tarnovo
Day 16,17- Bucharest
Day 18- Fly back.

Please comment. Is this too long? Am I spending more time than needed somewhere?
Am my missing out on something very important? Do I need to add or reduce days?
Please comment.
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Old Apr 6th, 2020, 01:17 PM
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I would, and did, stay in Brasov rather than Bran. One night is plenty for Sighisoara unless you are planning to visit nearby villages.

For my second trip to Romania see: https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...ing-bucharest/
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Old Apr 6th, 2020, 02:53 PM
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Are you planning side trips from either Sofia or Plovdiv to places like Rila Monastery?


It is not clear on if excursions are included in your itinerary. From the locations you give, it might make more sense to use public transportation, at least in Bulgaria (which is what we did and wrote a trip report). You could then do a tour of Romania, return the car, and go from Bucharest to Veliko Tarnovo by train, essentially reversing my itinerary.

Last edited by Michael; Apr 6th, 2020 at 02:55 PM.
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Old Apr 6th, 2020, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by thursdaysd View Post
I would, and did, stay in Brasov rather than Bran. One night is plenty for Sighisoara unless you are planning to visit nearby villages.

For my second trip to Romania see: https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...ing-bucharest/
Thanks Thursdaysd, will try and reduce one night in Sighisoara. About staying in Brasov, I noticed that most places in Transylvania are towns and not rural surroundings. There are beautiful villages around Bran, so thought of staying in a village. May be we will stay one night in Brasov n one in Bran.
My main problem is that I want to avoid sightseeing enroute when I have bags in my car to avoid theft.
So have to a bit of back and forth.
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Old Apr 6th, 2020, 11:11 PM
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[QUOTE=Michael;17090300]Are you planning side trips from either Sofia or Plovdiv to places like Rila Monastery?

Michael, we do plan to do side trips from all the destinations. I am not sure whether we should visit Rila Monastery. Please suggest. I will check the convenience and cost and time of doing Bulgaria by public transport. This will save my return journey back to Bucharest. Or will check the car company picks up the car from Sofia at a reasonable cost.
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Old Apr 6th, 2020, 11:19 PM
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[QUOTE=Paragkash;17090458]
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Are you planning side trips from either Sofia or Plovdiv to places like Rila Monastery?

Michael, we do plan to do side trips from all the destinations. I am not sure whether we should visit Rila Monastery. Please suggest. I will check the convenience and cost and time of doing Bulgaria by public transport. This will save my return journey back to Bucharest. Or will check the car company picks up the car from Sofia at a reasonable cost.
​​​​​​
The p[ick-up cost in Sofia will probably be quite high. Public transportation is cheap, and the tours can also be cheap; we got a steep discount on the one to Rila Monastery and we were the only two on the tour. I think that you will have little time for side trips because your itinerary does not provide for travel time between the destinations you list. Use of a car might mitigate that problem to some degree in that you could see Rila on your way between Sofia and Plovdiv.
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Old Apr 7th, 2020, 05:02 AM
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Michael, Please suggest if I need more days at some location, if you feel that I will have very less time for the side trips. I haven't yet studied the side trips in detail. Am doing it.
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Old Apr 7th, 2020, 05:09 AM
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Please suggest some trips into Maramures. Am looking for scenic rural locations.

Last edited by Paragkash; Apr 7th, 2020 at 05:13 AM.
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Old Apr 7th, 2020, 07:27 AM
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OK. Day ten you drive to Sofia. Sofia will take a full day--there's the archeology museum, the center of the city, the market, other sites, lunch, the free tour of Sofia offered by students (tip not included). I think I listed more than a full day. That's day 11. Day 12 will be a drive to Plovdiv via Rila Monastery. Day 13 will be Plovdiv which will include a walk through the old town, the free tour, a visit to its archeology museum, and a visit to its historical museum and also the various mansions that are open. Don't forget lunch.

For you to judge if you have enough time, or if not, what you want to cut.


and here is the albumin its entirety: https://flic.kr/s/aHskxVhY8m

You could also look at my trip report by clicking on my name.
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Old Apr 7th, 2020, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Paragkash View Post
Please suggest some trips into Maramures. Am looking for scenic rural locations.
For Mramures, the best would be to stay in a central location close to Sighet or in Sighet itself.


We stayed in a homestay, but conditions surely changed since 2005 when we traveled there. But that stay represented the beginning of a B&B system, so a search on the internet for Maramures tourist in formation should lead to a variety of choices in terms of accommodations.


Last edited by Michael; Apr 7th, 2020 at 07:40 AM.
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Old Apr 7th, 2020, 02:50 PM
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Hello- I think you need to figure out if you want to go to Maramures on this trip and Sofia. Opposite ends of your trip would add a lot of driving.

If you decide against Maramures, you can 'tighten up' the first part of your trip by eliminating Cluj. I agree with you not wanting to stop with the bags in your car. Drop Cluj, maybe only stay one day in Bran, and spend that time in Brasov, using that as a base. We stayed there for 4 nights in 2016 and loved it. We didn't have a car, but had a driver take us to Sighasoara and a few of the other fortified churches one day. Cluj, I have read a few reports where people weren't real thrilled about it.

I am in your age bracket, and travel with my kids, same age as yours. I really try to avoid the one night stays. Not so much wasted time, not only packing and unpacking, but figuring out where to eat and things like that. My 3 girls like to go and explore on their own sometimes, and they always find a grocery store or farmers market for fruit/bread/cheese/candy, so I encourage that!

Have a great trip, I want to return and will make it up to Maramures.

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Old Apr 8th, 2020, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Paragkash View Post
Thanks Thursdaysd, will try and reduce one night in Sighisoara. About staying in Brasov, I noticed that most places in Transylvania are towns and not rural surroundings. There are beautiful villages around Bran, so thought of staying in a village. May be we will stay one night in Brasov n one in Bran.
My main problem is that I want to avoid sightseeing enroute when I have bags in my car to avoid theft.
So have to a bit of back and forth.
How serious a problem is theft in broad daylight? I planned a big trip like yours for right now, but that isn't happening. I was definitely going to visit places from Point A to B and not backtrack. Thus far, I have not had a problem like that on my travels, even in places where you had to worry about where to park your car overnight. But if I were to visit the Saxon villages on the way from Sibiu to Sighisoara, for example, are you saying that's a significant risk?
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Old Apr 8th, 2020, 05:45 AM
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Of course you will miss out on important things! Can't be helped. The question is always the same: do you know what's there? Once you have already decided where to go (sounds like you are past that point) then a good guidebook is your next investment. As detailed as possible.

The stretch between Sibiu and Sofia is a tough call. Do you know about Belogradchik Fortress?
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Old Apr 8th, 2020, 11:43 AM
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Michael, Thanks. I have downloaded both your trip reports for study. Beautiful photos.

My itinerary is in initial stages and I can add days or alter the plan as suggested by the fodorites.
I have seen that no amount of guide books can advice you better than [email protected]
I am not sure whether going to Maramures is a wise thing to do.
I think the rural setting that I am looking at can be seen near Brasov, Bran, Rucar area.

I need to add some days in Sofia and Bucharest.
bdokeefe, I like your style. I agree with you. We also follow a pattern of 4-1-4-2 days of stays. I usually prefer 3-4 nights at one place. Will try and refine. Have avoided that here because though the distances are less, time required because of hilly terrain is much more. So back tracking or day trips can take a lot of time.
What we normally do in such cases is that we carry the clothes for a day in a small day pack. We dont open our main bags when we stay only for 1 night.

Shelemm, I shall narrate my story of May 2019.
We were in Tuscany. We wanted to photograph a small chapel called Vitileta, , which is there in most photos of Tuscany. Its in the middle of 2 villages near Pienza, enroute our Agrotourismo villa. We thought, its in the midst of vast meadows and vineyards. We can leave our luggage in the car and walk one km. When we reached there, we saw 2 cars and a police van. The cars were opened and valuables were stolen. The thieves can only come by a car. Had we been there 30 minutes prior, it would have been our car.
Never trust your luck. Even if it is a smaller village.
Having said that, we may have to take chances at a few places.
If one has to still take a chance, one should make sure that everything is inside the boot, out of sight. Not even a single piece of paper should be visible in the cabin.

I surely don't want to miss out on the main things. We are not very keen on Monasteries. We can surely change itinerary.

I probably come back from Sibiu to Bucharest via Fargasan pass, and then either go to Bulgaria by train or by car via Veliko Tarnovo.
I prefer not to stretch distances more than 300 km or 4 hours.

Most of the time it has happened with me, that I have a long wish list and try to fit in more than I can, when I start.
After the wisdom that I get from the fodorites, I invariably land up increasing a few days and reducing the number destinations.
Basically slow down. I am open to it.

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Old May 22nd, 2020, 03:26 PM
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Paragkash, I wonder if you have been on TA? There is a poster there called alterme who is local and not selling tours.

https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowF...6-Romania.html



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