Romania's high mountain ranges harbor magnificent castles perched on craggy promontories, charming villages lost in time, gorgeously painted monasteries and humble wooden churches, and a colorful history replete with fearsome heroes and terrible monsters. Largely a peasant country, it wasn't until after World War I that Romania began to modernize. Long years of Communist rule under a murderous leader did not encourage that process, but neither did it quell the lively Romanian spirit. A proud, welcoming people, Romanians are eager to share with visitors their country's rich history, natural beauty, and vibrant cities, helping to make this varied country one of the world's fastest-growing tourist destinations.
- Castle Hopping Stunning castles in magical settings include the lavishly turreted Peles and the mysterious abode of Vlad the Impaler (aka Dracula).
- Go Medieval Take a walk back in time in Romania's charming ancient villages and fortified towns tucked into remote landscapes.
- Monasteries and Churches From the painted Voronet Monastery, called "the Sistine Chapel of the east," to the humblest wooden church, Romania's churches are rich in iconography and history.
- Natural Splendor Mountains, wildlife preserves, bird-watching sanctuaries, beaches—there's something for everyone in this richly endowed country.
- Raise a Glass As Europe's ninth largest wine producer, wine tourism is exploding in Romania. Don't forget to sample the plum brandy—it's the national drink.