With dark forests, a rural heritage and a reputation for the gothic, Romania is one of the more mysterious European countries you will visit. Whilst Transylvania still has castles which evoke the supernatural tales which they inspired centuries ago, the modern side of the country is blossoming and not to be missed. As one of the EU members outside of the Eurozone and a developing nation, Romania is also the place to visit for cheap travel.
With low-cost airlines such as Wizz Air and Germanwings offering flight routes, you won't be hard pressed finding cheap flights to Romania. Most Romania flights will take a little over three hours from the UK, while Bacau flights will be completed in three and a quarter hours and have you arrive at George Enescu International Airport, which is only a short distance from the city. Meanwhile, flights to Bucharest will land at Henri Coanda International Airport and a transfer time of 20 minutes is all that stands between you and the capital.
Being such a large country and having a developing transport system means getting around Romania can be a little tricky. The best mode of transport for long distance travel is probably Romania's rail network, which reaches most of the larger cities and some of the smaller towns or the country's domestic flights. There are three main airlines that offer these domestic flights: Tarom, Carpatair and Blue Air. The easiest way to get about is by car, coach or bus and these are the most popular forms of transport used by tourists. However, if you don't deal well with stress, it may be advisable to leave the driving to the locals and sit back and relax on a coach or bus.
Many visitors to Romania will fly into Bucharest, both the capital and largest city of the country. For a trip down Bucharest's memory lane, stop in at the National Village Museum, an open-air museum that is home to a collection of churches, mills and other artefacts from rural Romania. Then pay a quick visit to Curtea Veche (Old Princely Court), a place of residence dating from the 15th century located at the heart of Bucharest. Now that you've brushed up on your knowledge of Romania's history, why not spend a few days relaxing at one of the Black Sea resorts that stretch between the coastal city of Mangalia and the resort town of Mamaia. Or spend a day exploring the Danube Delta, a large land area formed from the build-up of sediment carried by the Danube River. The area is composed of networks of waterways and lakes and is home to a large number of animal species, including 300 different types of birds. A trip to Romania would be incomplete without visiting legendary Transylvania, set in the compelling Carpathian Mountains. Transylvania was famously referenced in Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, which started a love affair of sorts with this historic region. While die-hard fans of the novel will get a thrill from simply being in the place where it all started, others will take delight in the picturesque countryside, the medieval fortresses and the ancient monasteries. The Carpathian mountain range is the second-largest in Europe and is the habitat for a number of animals such as bears, wolves and lynxes. Here you will also find a number of national parks dedicated to protect and preserve Romania's natural beauty and wildlife. For the more active travellers, horse-riding, trekking, caving and rock-climbing are just a few of the activities on offer. The roots of the nation's rural past can still be seen in Maramures, where wooden buildings and feisty locals will keep you entertained. This is one of the few places where you will see a traditional peasant culture continued into the 21st century; horse-drawn carriages are a common sight. The area is particularly known for its many wooden churches, some of which are registered as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The oldest wooden church is the 14th century Church on the Hill in Leud.