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6 day itinerary for Romania and the Transylvanian region

continent
Europe
country
Romania
Length of time
Around a week
Rough cost
$
Time of year visited
September
OVERALL SCORE The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
65

Summary

Romania, and in particular Transylvania, conjures up images and feelings of some far off place . . . in the mountains . . . in the forests . . . with castles . . . kind of like Lord of the Rings, but with a spooky vibe . . .…

Driving the Transfagarasan Highway of the Transylvanian Alps

continent
Europe
country
Romania
Length of time
1 day or less
Rough cost
$ 20
Time of year visited
September
Primary Tags
OVERALL SCORE The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
80

Summary

Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear called this “The best road in the world” and you can see why.  Looking from above it looks like a child’s perfect Scalextric set as it impossibly winds up over the Transylvanian Alps and leaves you marvelling at the effort and engineering skill that have…

Driving through Transylvania’s Fortified Saxon villages and exploring Bran Castle

continent
Europe
country
Romania
Length of time
3-4 days
Rough cost
$ 250
Time of year visited
September
OVERALL SCORE The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
60

Summary

Once you creep over the Transylvanian Alps, you’re into a wide lowland area of rolling hills that is dotted with picturesque Fortified Saxon Villages, well preserved Old Towns and, of course, the famous Dracula castle of Bran Castle.  Whilst some parts of more worth visiting than others, the whole area…

A day in Bucharest

continent
Europe
country
Romania
Length of time
1 day or less
Rough cost
$ 100
Time of year visited
September
Primary Tags
OVERALL SCORE The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
45

Summary

The first time I visited Bucharest I think I left with the views of it being one of the worst capital cities I’ve been to and “never going back!”.  Perhaps that is a little harsh as, on second time visiting, and wandering through the Historic Centre I saw there are…

Sleeper Train from Budapest to Bucharest

Summary

One of the best things about making your way through Eastern Europe is being able to do so on the extensive train network rather than relying on flying or buses, and one of the longest routes is the Budapest-Bucharest I’ve listed some tips / things to be aware of for…

Eger – wine tasting in the Valley of the Beautiful Women

Summary

Eger’s central square is very pretty and worth sitting around in whilst looking at the views of the Minorite Church, but it is the wine tasting in the Valley of the Beautiful Women that gains the attention. To manage expectation though … it's not quite what you’d expect.  There doesn't…

3 days in Budapest for baths, architectural gems and nights out in the ruin bars

Summary

Big fan of Budapest.  The city itself has a certain unusual quality compared to other well known European cities just because of its history in the Austro-Hungarian empire and strong Eastern European (and Middle Eastern) influence.  This combined with the bath culture and great energy from the easily accessible night…

A day wandering through Bratislava

Summary

Was disappointed with Bratislava. There is an ok old town, the castle is worth a look and there are nice spots to walk along the river, but it is a far poorer version of some of the magnificent spots nearby like Vienna, Prague and Budapest, or other “cute old towns”…

Palaces, Concerts and Cathedrals in Imperial Vienna

Summary

Vienna is right up there with the great European cities of Paris, Rome and London for history and may be in a league of its own for palaces. It seems everywhere you turn there is another palace, cathedral or concert hall that would be the prize asset of almost any…

Fairytale views by Lake Bled

Summary

Wow it really is as picture-perfect as you’ve been led to believe! All the ingredients of a fairy tale: - small church perched perfectly on a small island ✅ - sitting in the middle of crystal clear water with only the light lapping of town boats ✅ - castle nearby…

Wandering Ljubljana’s Old Town and Castle

Summary

Ljubljana is a lovely city to wander around for a day with its pedestrianised streets looking over the river, the famous 3 bridges and in particular the Ljubljana Castle area which is a delight to walk around.  Max you need though is a day and I would prioritise the idyllic…

2 days by the beautiful Lake Como

continent
Europe
country
Italy
Length of time
1-2 days
Rough cost
$ 300
Time of year visited
September
OVERALL SCORE The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
77

Summary

It’s a big shout when people say somewhere is the most beautiful place in the world . . . so a lot of thinking has gone into this . . . Lake Como is the most beautiful place in the world.  Picture perfect Italian villages punctuating luscious forests as they…

A day for the highlights of Milan

continent
Europe
country
Italy
Length of time
1 day or less
Rough cost
$ 70
Time of year visited
August
Primary Tags
OVERALL SCORE The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
57

Summary

Milan felt like the definition of style - not only the perfect buildings and the art, but everyone walking around looks like they’re just about to hit the catwalk.  Maybe this was just a summer thing, but either way it seemed to ooze style! That being said, I didn’t find…

Portugal highlights on a 2 week roadtrip

continent
Europe
country
Portugal
Length of time
1-2 weeks
Rough cost
$ 2,000
Time of year visited
August
Primary Tags
All Tags
Adventure Big city Bustling restaurants Castles / Fortresses Christian site City Walls Cliffs Fabulous hotel Forests Hiking Lakes Local villages Mountains Museums Old town Restaurant recommendations Romans Snow UNESCO world heritage site Unusual hotel Wildlife - Bears Cliffs Forests Isolation Lakes Mountains Wildlife - Bears Art Castles / Fortresses Christian site City Walls Forests Hiking Local villages Mountains Old town Restaurant recommendations UNESCO world heritage site Unusual hotel Big city Gardens Museums Old town Palaces Restaurant recommendations Romans Adventure Big city Border crossing Local villages Mountains Train journey Castles / Fortresses Christian site Local villages Old town Train journey Big city Bustling restaurants Cable cars Castles / Fortresses Christian site Cliffs Fabulous hotel Jewish site Palaces Partying / Lash Restaurant recommendations Rooftop Bars Thermal Baths UNESCO world heritage site Castles / Fortresses Christian site Old town Partying / Lash Big city Christian site Museums Music Concert Palaces UNESCO world heritage site Boat trip Castles / Fortresses Christian site Cliffs Fabulous hotel Forests Hiking Islands Lakes Mountains River swimming Swimming Bustling restaurants Cable cars Castles / Fortresses Forests Gardens Old town UNESCO world heritage site Christian site Ferry Forests Gardens Hiking Lakes Local villages Mountains UNESCO world heritage site Art Big city Christian site UNESCO world heritage site Ancient ruins Art Beach promenade Beaches Big city Bridges Castles / Fortresses Christian site City Walls Cliffs Cool neighbourhoods Fabulous hotel Forests Gardens Hiking Local villages Old town Restaurant recommendations Rice terraces / terraces River Experience Romans Rooftop Bars Sunsets UNESCO world heritage site Vineyards
OVERALL SCORE The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
70

Summary

Portugal is a great country for visiting for 10/14 days as it has a heap of varied things to experience and not vast distances to cover.  By basing yourself in the 3 major areas of Porto / The Douro Valley, Lisbon, and the Algarve, you can use each as a…

PR3 hike from Ermelo to Figas de Ermelo

continent
Europe
country
Portugal
Length of time
1 day or less
Rough cost
$ 10
Time of year visited
August
Primary Tags
All Tags
Adventure Big city Bustling restaurants Castles / Fortresses Christian site City Walls Cliffs Driving Fabulous hotel Lakes Local villages Mountains Museums Old town Restaurant recommendations Romans Snow UNESCO world heritage site Unusual hotel Wildlife - Bears Cliffs Driving Isolation Lakes Mountains Wildlife - Bears Art Castles / Fortresses Christian site City Walls Driving Local villages Mountains Old town Restaurant recommendations UNESCO world heritage site Unusual hotel Big city Gardens Museums Old town Palaces Restaurant recommendations Romans Adventure Big city Border crossing Local villages Mountains Train journey Castles / Fortresses Christian site Local villages Old town Train journey Wine Big city Bustling restaurants Cable cars Castles / Fortresses Christian site Cliffs Fabulous hotel Jewish site Palaces Partying / Lash Restaurant recommendations Rooftop Bars Thermal Baths UNESCO world heritage site Castles / Fortresses Christian site Old town Partying / Lash Big city Christian site Museums Music Concert Palaces UNESCO world heritage site Boat trip Castles / Fortresses Christian site Cliffs Fabulous hotel Islands Lakes Mountains River swimming Swimming Bustling restaurants Cable cars Castles / Fortresses Gardens Old town UNESCO world heritage site Christian site Ferry Gardens Lakes Local villages Mountains UNESCO world heritage site Art Big city Christian site UNESCO world heritage site Ancient ruins Art Beach promenade Beaches Big city Bridges Castles / Fortresses Christian site City Walls Cliffs Cool neighbourhoods Driving Fabulous hotel Gardens Hilltop towns Local villages Old town Restaurant recommendations Rice terraces / terraces River Experience Romans Rooftop Bars Sunsets UNESCO world heritage site Vineyards Wine Hilltop towns Isolation Mountains Swimming
OVERALL SCORE The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
70

Summary

If you're staying around the Duoro, or maybe Porto, I'd really recommend this 5 hour roundtrip hike from the beautiful mountain town of Ermelo to the waterfalls in the heart of the Alvao National Park.  Clearly signposted all the way, you'll get some great views over the nearby mountains, walk…

Wine tasting around Pinhao in the Duoro Valley

continent
Europe
country
Portugal
Length of time
1-2 days
Rough cost
$ 200
Time of year visited
August
Primary Tags
All Tags
Adventure Big city Bustling restaurants Castles / Fortresses Christian site City Walls Cliffs Driving Fabulous hotel Forests Hiking Lakes Local villages Museums Old town Restaurant recommendations Romans Snow UNESCO world heritage site Unusual hotel Wildlife - Bears Cliffs Driving Forests Isolation Lakes Wildlife - Bears Art Castles / Fortresses Christian site City Walls Driving Forests Hiking Local villages Old town Restaurant recommendations UNESCO world heritage site Unusual hotel Big city Gardens Museums Old town Palaces Restaurant recommendations Romans Adventure Big city Border crossing Local villages Train journey Castles / Fortresses Christian site Local villages Old town Train journey Big city Bustling restaurants Cable cars Castles / Fortresses Christian site Cliffs Fabulous hotel Jewish site Palaces Partying / Lash Restaurant recommendations Rooftop Bars Thermal Baths UNESCO world heritage site Castles / Fortresses Christian site Old town Partying / Lash Big city Christian site Museums Music Concert Palaces UNESCO world heritage site Boat trip Castles / Fortresses Christian site Cliffs Fabulous hotel Forests Hiking Islands Lakes River swimming Swimming Bustling restaurants Cable cars Castles / Fortresses Forests Gardens Old town UNESCO world heritage site Christian site Ferry Forests Gardens Hiking Lakes Local villages UNESCO world heritage site Art Big city Christian site UNESCO world heritage site Ancient ruins Art Beach promenade Beaches Big city Bridges Castles / Fortresses Christian site City Walls Cliffs Cool neighbourhoods Driving Fabulous hotel Forests Gardens Hiking Hilltop towns Local villages Old town Restaurant recommendations Rice terraces / terraces River Experience Romans Rooftop Bars Sunsets UNESCO world heritage site Forests Hiking Hilltop towns Isolation Swimming Waterfalls Christian site Local villages Restaurant recommendations Rice terraces / terraces River Experience Stargazing UNESCO world heritage site
OVERALL SCORE The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
75

Summary

What a surprisingly wonderful experience the Duoro Valley offers! I must admit that, like many others, I hadn’t heard of it before making the trip to Portugal and had mainly thought of the Algarve and Lisbon area when thinking of Portugal. . How wrong I was - the Duoro's combination…

A day in Porto for the Taylor’s tasting and wandering through the Ribeira district

continent
Europe
country
Portugal
Length of time
1 day or less
Rough cost
$ 75
Time of year visited
August
All Tags
Adventure Big city Bustling restaurants Castles / Fortresses Christian site City Walls Cliffs Driving Fabulous hotel Forests Hiking Lakes Local villages Mountains Museums Romans Snow UNESCO world heritage site Unusual hotel Wildlife - Bears Cliffs Driving Forests Isolation Lakes Mountains Wildlife - Bears Art Castles / Fortresses Christian site City Walls Driving Forests Hiking Local villages Mountains UNESCO world heritage site Unusual hotel Big city Gardens Museums Palaces Romans Adventure Big city Border crossing Local villages Mountains Train journey Castles / Fortresses Christian site Local villages Train journey Big city Bustling restaurants Cable cars Castles / Fortresses Christian site Cliffs Fabulous hotel Jewish site Palaces Partying / Lash Rooftop Bars Thermal Baths UNESCO world heritage site Castles / Fortresses Christian site Partying / Lash Big city Christian site Museums Music Concert Palaces UNESCO world heritage site Boat trip Castles / Fortresses Christian site Cliffs Fabulous hotel Forests Hiking Islands Lakes Mountains River swimming Swimming Bustling restaurants Cable cars Castles / Fortresses Forests Gardens UNESCO world heritage site Christian site Ferry Forests Gardens Hiking Lakes Local villages Mountains UNESCO world heritage site Art Big city Christian site UNESCO world heritage site Ancient ruins Art Beach promenade Beaches Big city Bridges Castles / Fortresses Christian site City Walls Cliffs Cool neighbourhoods Driving Fabulous hotel Forests Gardens Hiking Hilltop towns Local villages Rice terraces / terraces River Experience Romans Rooftop Bars Sunsets UNESCO world heritage site Vineyards Forests Hiking Hilltop towns Isolation Mountains Swimming Waterfalls Christian site Local villages Mountains Rice terraces / terraces River Experience Stargazing UNESCO world heritage site Vineyards Bridges Christian site Cliffs River Experience Street Art UNESCO world heritage site
OVERALL SCORE The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
55

Summary

Porto is nice enough, and definitely worth a day trip.  Its UNESCO-listed Ribeira district and waterfront are nice to wander around, if very touristy, and a visit to one of the port wine houses in particular is good fun to sample the wines, learn about the production and enjoy the…

A long weekend for Lisbon and the surrounding gems of Sintra and Cascais

continent
Europe
country
Portugal
Length of time
3-4 days
Rough cost
$ 425
Time of year visited
August
All Tags
Adventure Big city Bustling restaurants Christian site City Walls Cliffs Driving Fabulous hotel Forests Hiking Lakes Local villages Mountains Museums Restaurant recommendations Romans Snow UNESCO world heritage site Unusual hotel Wildlife - Bears Cliffs Driving Forests Isolation Lakes Mountains Wildlife - Bears Art Christian site City Walls Driving Forests Hiking Local villages Mountains Restaurant recommendations UNESCO world heritage site Unusual hotel Big city Gardens Museums Palaces Restaurant recommendations Romans Adventure Big city Border crossing Local villages Mountains Train journey Christian site Local villages Train journey Wine Big city Bustling restaurants Cable cars Christian site Cliffs Fabulous hotel Jewish site Palaces Partying / Lash Restaurant recommendations Rooftop Bars Thermal Baths UNESCO world heritage site Christian site Partying / Lash Big city Christian site Museums Music Concert Palaces UNESCO world heritage site Boat trip Christian site Cliffs Fabulous hotel Forests Hiking Islands Lakes Mountains River swimming Swimming Bustling restaurants Cable cars Forests Gardens UNESCO world heritage site Christian site Ferry Forests Gardens Hiking Lakes Local villages Mountains UNESCO world heritage site Art Big city Christian site UNESCO world heritage site Ancient ruins Art Beaches Big city Bridges Christian site City Walls Cliffs Cool neighbourhoods Driving Fabulous hotel Forests Gardens Hiking Hilltop towns Local villages Restaurant recommendations Rice terraces / terraces River Experience Romans Rooftop Bars Sunsets UNESCO world heritage site Vineyards Wine Forests Hiking Hilltop towns Isolation Mountains Swimming Waterfalls Christian site Local villages Mountains Restaurant recommendations Rice terraces / terraces River Experience Stargazing UNESCO world heritage site Vineyards Wine Bridges Christian site Cliffs Restaurant recommendations River Experience Street Art UNESCO world heritage site Wine Beaches Big city Caves Christian site City Walls Cool neighbourhoods Forests Gardens Hilltop towns Local villages Restaurant recommendations Rooftop Bars Sunsets UNESCO world heritage site Unusual hotel
OVERALL SCORE The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
57

Summary

Lisbon is a supremely elegant city stepped in history and with atmospheric neighbourhoods to head off and explore, but I actually found the two surrounding places of Sintra and Cascais to be the real gems of the visit I would suggest staying in Sintra or Cascais rather than Lisbon. Staying…

The Northumberland Coast (in summer!)

continent
Europe
country
UK
Length of time
1 day or less
Rough cost
$ 40
Time of year visited
July
All Tags
Adventure Big city Bustling restaurants Christian site City Walls Cliffs Fabulous hotel Forests Hiking Lakes Local villages Mountains Museums Old town Restaurant recommendations Romans Snow UNESCO world heritage site Unusual hotel Wildlife - Bears Cliffs Forests Isolation Lakes Mountains Wildlife - Bears Art Christian site City Walls Forests Hiking Local villages Mountains Old town Restaurant recommendations UNESCO world heritage site Unusual hotel Big city Gardens Museums Old town Palaces Restaurant recommendations Romans Adventure Big city Border crossing Local villages Mountains Train journey Christian site Local villages Old town Train journey Wine Big city Bustling restaurants Cable cars Christian site Cliffs Fabulous hotel Jewish site Palaces Partying / Lash Restaurant recommendations Rooftop Bars Thermal Baths UNESCO world heritage site Christian site Old town Partying / Lash Big city Christian site Museums Music Concert Palaces UNESCO world heritage site Boat trip Christian site Cliffs Fabulous hotel Forests Hiking Islands Lakes Mountains River swimming Swimming Bustling restaurants Cable cars Forests Gardens Old town UNESCO world heritage site Christian site Ferry Forests Gardens Hiking Lakes Local villages Mountains UNESCO world heritage site Art Big city Christian site UNESCO world heritage site Ancient ruins Art Beach promenade Big city Bridges Christian site City Walls Cliffs Cool neighbourhoods Fabulous hotel Forests Gardens Hiking Hilltop towns Local villages Old town Restaurant recommendations Rice terraces / terraces River Experience Romans Rooftop Bars Sunsets UNESCO world heritage site Vineyards Wine Forests Hiking Hilltop towns Isolation Mountains Swimming Waterfalls Christian site Local villages Mountains Restaurant recommendations Rice terraces / terraces River Experience Stargazing UNESCO world heritage site Vineyards Wine Bridges Christian site Cliffs Old town Restaurant recommendations River Experience Street Art UNESCO world heritage site Wine Beach promenade Big city Caves Christian site City Walls Cool neighbourhoods Forests Gardens Hilltop towns Local villages Old town Restaurant recommendations Rooftop Bars Sunsets UNESCO world heritage site Unusual hotel Fabulous hotel Islands Local villages Mazes
OVERALL SCORE The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
65

Summary

The UK isn't known for its beaches, and for good reason - its only warm enough for them 3 months of the year and even less the further north you go!  That's why the coastline of Northumberland, and in particular Bamburgh Beach and Embleton Bay, comes as a bit of…

Durham’s Cathedral, Castle and village

continent
Europe
country
UK
Length of time
1 day or less
Rough cost
$ 20
Time of year visited
July
All Tags
Adventure Big city Bustling restaurants City Walls Cliffs Driving Fabulous hotel Forests Hiking Lakes Mountains Museums Old town Restaurant recommendations Romans Snow UNESCO world heritage site Unusual hotel Wildlife - Bears Cliffs Driving Forests Isolation Lakes Mountains Wildlife - Bears Art City Walls Driving Forests Hiking Mountains Old town Restaurant recommendations UNESCO world heritage site Unusual hotel Big city Gardens Museums Old town Palaces Restaurant recommendations Romans Adventure Big city Border crossing Mountains Train journey Old town Train journey Wine Big city Bustling restaurants Cable cars Cliffs Fabulous hotel Jewish site Palaces Partying / Lash Restaurant recommendations Rooftop Bars Thermal Baths UNESCO world heritage site Old town Partying / Lash Big city Museums Music Concert Palaces UNESCO world heritage site Boat trip Cliffs Fabulous hotel Forests Hiking Islands Lakes Mountains River swimming Swimming Bustling restaurants Cable cars Forests Gardens Old town UNESCO world heritage site Ferry Forests Gardens Hiking Lakes Mountains UNESCO world heritage site Art Big city UNESCO world heritage site Ancient ruins Art Beach promenade Beaches Big city Bridges City Walls Cliffs Cool neighbourhoods Driving Fabulous hotel Forests Gardens Hiking Hilltop towns Old town Restaurant recommendations Rice terraces / terraces River Experience Romans Rooftop Bars Sunsets UNESCO world heritage site Vineyards Wine Forests Hiking Hilltop towns Isolation Mountains Swimming Waterfalls Mountains Restaurant recommendations Rice terraces / terraces River Experience Stargazing UNESCO world heritage site Vineyards Wine Bridges Cliffs Old town Restaurant recommendations River Experience Street Art UNESCO world heritage site Wine Beach promenade Beaches Big city Caves City Walls Cool neighbourhoods Forests Gardens Hilltop towns Old town Restaurant recommendations Rooftop Bars Sunsets UNESCO world heritage site Unusual hotel Beaches Fabulous hotel Islands Mazes Bridges Old town UNESCO world heritage site
OVERALL SCORE The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
55

Summary

The famous travel writer Bill Bryson, after seeing half the world, was gobsmacked when he saw Durham and wondered why no one had told him about it before.  So much so that he decided to become Chancellor of Durham University and says, "If you have never been to Durham before,…