When one thinks of Transylvania, images of vampires and bats typically come to mind. Since the publication of Dracula by Bram Stoker in 1897, the region has largely been associated with the spooky season of Halloween. Nevertheless, a travel agency based in the United Kingdom is hoping travelers will see another side of the Transylvanian countryside this year. Responsible Travel is now offering Christmas vacationers the option of spending their holiday season in one of the coziest homes in Transylvania. Steeped in tradition and offering countless amenities, guests lucky enough to stay at this estate will have the Christmas of a lifetime and forget the region’s long association with Count Dracula.
Vacationers interested in the excursion arrive on December 23 for a trip that encompasses a full of week of winter and Christmas-themed activities. The estate, which is located in the village of Miclosoara, rests in a remote area of Transylvania just under the Carpathian Mountains. The village itself is a winter wonderland from October to April each year when snow falls on its magnificent country setting. Visitors of the area further note how the village resembles a location from a medieval fairytale with cobblestone streets, tall castles, and historic architecture from a bygone era.
The estate itself dates back to the 19th century, but nevertheless features several stone embrasures that experts have dated back to the Middle Ages. In an effort to restore the buildings to their original grandeur, the owners of the estate have spent the past four years meticulously renovating each guesthouse, giving the impression that time has actually stopped in these amazing homes. Managers at Responsible Travel have a packed itinerary for guests throughout the trip, ensuring that their visitors’ Christmas will not only be memorable, but that guests will leave with a greater appreciation for the region.
Day one of the trip features welcome drinks and dinner at Stone Pub, a private restaurant on the estate. Afterwards, guests are encouraged to try out the home’s outdoor hot tubs and saunas to forget the stress of their travel. Visitors can spend Christmas Eve doing a variety of fun activities. The day begins with a horse-drawn carriage ride through a nearby forest followed by a visit to a castle museum. Afterwards, guests can decorate Christmas trees and have the option of attending a special dinner at a private room in the main building for an additional fee. For Christmas Day, travelers will have the opportunity to learn about Transylvania’s rich religious history with a tour of the village’s religious institutions. Afterwards, guests will be able to attend a Christmas mass at one of the community’s Catholic churches and sit down for a formal Christmas dinner.
The remainder of the trip takes visitors to various locations that are important to the region’s cultural and historical character. Among the highlights are a tour of a canyon where legend holds that the Pied Piper abducted the children of the city of Hamelin and a visit to Bran Castle, a site that inspired author Bram Stoker when he wrote Dracula. Visitors will also get the opportunity to go skiing and see the area’s flora and fauna, which include bears.
Travelers looking to extend their stay can visit the town of Zalan Valley and stay at an estate owned by King Charles III. Visitors to the estate will get the opportunity to explore its incredible natural beauty and learn how the British Royal Family has long vacationed in the area. Among the most interesting activities available to guests of the three-day excursion is a New Year’s Eve bonfire. As an act of generosity, King Charles will be donating all revenue generated from the trip to the Romanian branch of The Prince of Wales Foundation.
Responsible Travel’s offering of Christmas in Transylvania promises a one-of-a-kind experience for travelers. In addition to traditional Christmas activities like decorating trees and attending religious services, guests of the excursion will also be able to immerse themselves in Transylvanian culture and gain a new appreciation for the region’s great beauty and storied past. Along the way, guests will also be able to see how royalty spends their vacation time and live in the lap of luxury.