A Halloween Holiday: Transylvania
This Halloween, get carried away in Transylvania. With haunted castles, alpine forests and horse-pulled carts: Bram Stoker’s backdrop is a spooky adventure in Romania’s gorgeous countryside.
The little town of Brasov is a great place to start. With cobbled streets, old houses, a quaint main square and even a Hollywood-style sign on the neighbouring hills, this place certainly has plenty of character. So do the locals, and after a few lagers in the local bar you’ll know everyone’s life story.
In winter, it’s a great base for some budget skiing, but this time of year, it’s full of blood thirsty tourists hunting for vampires. The region is cloaked in mystery and legend, and there’s plenty to excite Dracula fans.
Get spooked by visiting Bran Castle nearby. A staple of any Dracula tour (although the real vampire-type villain Vlad the Impaler, barely stayed there for a weekend), it’s a pretty landmark with an interesting museum inside. It’s all good clean fun and there are loads of stalls selling all manner of vampire-themed tat.
The Saxon fortress town of Sighisoara is even more laid-back than Brasov. Wander the medieval streets and absorb the atmosphere for an afternoon, or hire a taxi and explore nearby villages.
These small villages, fortified churches and monasteries make visitors feel like the’ve stepped back in time. Transylvania is full of medieval sites, including the country’s best-preserved castles and fortresses. There are literally hundreds of historical places to explore.
With all this history, stunning natural beauty, and good value food and drink, Transylvania has so much more to offer than one famously fanged resident. But if you really can’t resist a scare, lay your head at the House of Dracula Hotel. It’s gorgeous, elegant, and probably haunted.
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Scary moon image courtesy of Flickr