ITINERARY: 5–Day Transylvania Tour (Basic)

Day 1: Budapest — Cluj Napoca

We depart Budapest at 9am and have a relatively long drive across the border into Romania and on to the beautiful old city of Cluj Napoca (also known as Kolosvár in Hungarian) and then the village of Palatka. After stopping for a meal in a Hungarian restaurant and a walk through the forest by the river, we arrive at the village of Palatka in the evening For dinner.

Accommodation: Family house, Palatka

Day 2: Palatka

After breakfast, we sit under the apple trees and talk about the music and customs of the village with two of the musicians, or take a walk through the surrounding hills. Then after a cool drink we continue by horse and cart for a small tour of the village and a visit to the localshepherds and learn how the sheep's cheese has been made for years. Finishing the tour at our hosts' house (local musician family), enjoy a home cooked meal in the garden and after a rest in the afternoon enjoy a drink in the garden overlooking the village, dinner and an evening of music and dance with the full band and dancers.

Accommodation: Family house, Palatka

Day 3: Szék

After breakfast we take a short drive to the ethnically Hungarian village of Szék (still in Romania) stopping at the 600 year old castle ruin in Bonchida on the way. This castle was a popular resting place for gentry travelling between Budapest and Bucharest in 18 hundreds and is famous amongst musicians for the story of Count Banffy and his coat. When the count was returning from Budapest in the snowy winter, he asked for his Bunda (Big sheep skin coat) to be brought to the train station. His staff misheard and brought his Banda (Band) who played for him on the cold platform as he got off the train!

After a home cooked lunch there will be chance look inside one of the oldest houses in the village and learn about the localhand crafts, history and costumes in the brightly blue painted interiors of Szek.

This evening will be a quiet one, giving us all a chance to get to know our host family over a game of cards or a drink at the local pub.

Accommodation: Family house, Szek

Day 4: Szek

After breakfast we will take a stroll through the village with the geese and visit the church and school, or optional dance classes to prepare for the evening dance. After lunch and a rest we will help prepare the meal with our host family, learning how to cook a local speciality, then visit the hat maker, or learn how they brew the local moon shine (Palinka) from plums. The local band will arrive in the late afternoon, to serenade us over dinner in the garden. If we have a full tour we may initiate a dance house, or Tanchaz in the local hall with the band and locals, to give you an idea of how Saturday nights would have been spent before television and discos arrived in town.

Accommodation: Family house, Szek

Day 5: Szek — Budapest

Travelling back towards Hungary we stop in the famous street-side markets were you can buy anything from a bottle to a hand spun, woven, died & embroidered bedspread - all hand made of course! Continuing through the spectacular gorges and forest we have lunch in a Romanian restaurant by the river and some special views at the highest point of our return journey. We then arrive back in Budapest around 7pm.

*Any participant can choose to rest, or do local sightseeing from the accommodation, rather than joining the daily or evening programs if feeling like some time out (The cost of meals, entry tickets and travel in such cases will not be covered by the tour).

Itinerary subject to change

General Information for Travellers