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LAST UPDATED
28/12/2013


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Dracula: Ultimate Halloween 2014
Combine our unique 'Jonathan Harker Trail' to Count Dracula's retreat
in the remotee Borgo Pass with a variety of special Halloween breaks.







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Vlad the Implaer
'Dracula'


Holidays in Romania with Beyond the Forest - Transylvania Uncovered
DRACULA COLLECTION - Holidays with Beyond the Forest
Brief Encounters with Dracula
Halloween with Count Dracula
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The Ultimate Halloween Dracula tour blends fact and fiction as it guides you through the wilderness of northern Transylvania. It does not fool you with the fake Dracula castle at Bran, nor does it expect you to spend Halloween in the safety of an international ski resort! Rather, it takes you in the footsteps of Jonathan Harker to track down Count Dracula in the remote Borgo Pass. Your adventure starts in Cluj which is served by the convenient WIZZ flights from Luton.


Sighisoara


The night before Halloween you find yourself in the romantic, mediaeval walled town of Sighisoara, birthplace of Dracula. You can then choose from three further holiday options for Halloween itself

1. Continue with our special Another Europe all inclusiveHalloween, staying in the delightful Saxon village of Cisnadioara (Michelsberg) near Sibiu. There will be a lamplit procession up to the mediaeval citadel, a place steeped in legend, then a Halloween bonfire party in the nearby orchard. This option also includes a midnight wolf hike, a ghost trail round old Sibiu and a full day trip to the massive fortress of Corvinesti a Hunedoara, the most dramatic in Romania.

2. From Sighisoara you head further east to the little village of Miclosoara to spend Halloween with Count Kalnoky. There is a special Halloween party with musicians and dancers and a fire in front of the Count's castle. An added bonus will be an opportunity to actually stay in the Count's spooky old castle, the manor house he is still restoring - it scared the living daylights out of Jeremy Dyson so, first come served! You will need to wrap up well in rugs as the only heating is a traditional fire in this wonderful, creaky old bat-infested building. Extra activities include a visit to Bran Castle, mediaeval Brasov and perhaps even a trek to the Almasch caves where the Pied Piper reputedly emerged with the children of Hamelin to populate Transylvania with flaxen-haired, blue-eyed German-speaking folk.

3. Remain in Sighisoara for a romantic night in the historic citadel, the heart of mediaeval Transylvania. Fly home the following evening rom Târgu Mures. Upgrades to boutique hotels available for Sighisoara.

This tour is for individuals or couples. Accommodation at Cisnadioara is limited to 8 people and at Kalnoky to a maximum of 20 people. Transport is by car and minibus, and by horse and cart for the Jonathan Harker Trail as far as Sighisoara. This is regarded as an independent tour so a separate guide is not included for this stage unless the total numbers for the party travelling exceed 8 people. In this case prices will be adjusted and there will be a discount on the prices quoted below. Both the Another Europe adnd Count Kalnoky option can be take as a separate extended holiday if you don't wish to take the trail at the beginning.

A wide selection of Halloween tours be arranged for groups or societies on request. Contact your travel agent or tour operator to put togethe a quote for your group, or for a tailormade option. Our special Halloween itineraries below can easily be amended to suit your group or club for alternative dates. If Early booking is essential for all Halloween holidays due to limited availability.




"Just returned from the Ultimate Halloween tour and would just like to thank you for a wonderful experience. Special mention must go to the guide Ramona, one could have not wished for a better, more professional, well informed FUN guide, She is a truly wonderful person and a joy to be around!" D.&J.K. (Derbyshire)
Click here for further testimonials






Hotel Castel Dracula



Dracula Halloween


Ultimate Halloween
Another Europe

Jonathan Harker Trail
Cluj-Bistrita-Borgo Pass-Sighisoara
+ Another Europe Halloween
PRICES ON REQUEST
(subject to numbers/ availability)

HIGHLIGHTS

Cluj (Klausenburg)
Bistrita (Bistritz)
(Golden Krone)
Jonathan Harker Trail
Horse & Cart journey
"Borgo" Pass
Hotel Castle Dracula
Târgu Mures
Sighisoara
Cisnadioara citadel
Halloween Party & Bonfire
Midmight wolf trek
Sibiu (Hermannstadt)
Sibiu Ghost Walk
Hunedoara
(Corvinesti Fortress)





Ultimate Halloween
Touch of Class

Jonathan Harker Trail
Cluj-Bistrita-Borgo Pass-Sighisoara
+ Touch of Class Halloween
PRICES ON REQUEST

Cluj (Klausenburg)
Bistrita (Bistritz)
(Golden Krone)
Jonathan Harker Trail
Horse & Cart journey
"Borgo" Pass
Hotel Castle Dracula
Târgu Mures
Sighisoara
Miclosoara Castle/ Manor
Halloween Party
Bran Castle
Brasov
Pied Piper Canyon





Ultimate Halloween
Sighisoara

Jonathan Harker Trail
Cluj-Bistrita-Borgo Pass-Sighisoara
Extra night in Sighisoara for Halloween
PRICES ON REQUEST

Cluj (Klausenburg)
Bistrita (Bistritz)
(Golden Krone)
Jonathan Harker Trail
Horse & Cart journey
"Borgo" Pass
Hotel Castle Dracula
Târgu Mures
Sighisoara



The Dracula Trail
- FICTION -


"Borgo" (Bargau ) Pass
Hotel Castel Dracula
Jonathan Harker's Journey
(Carriage ride to Castel Dracula)
Bistrita ("Bistritz")
"Golden Krone Inn"
(Hotel Coroana de Aur)
Cluj ("Klausenburg")
Bran Castle



The Dracula Trail

- FACT -


Bucharest
(Curtea Veche)
Targoviste
(Princely Court /
Chindia Tower)
Curtea de Arges
Arefu
Poienari Castle Ruins
Sighisoara (Schässburg)
Brasov
(Tampa Hill)
Corvinesti Fortress (Hunedoara)
Fagaras
Snagov





DAY 1

'Count Dracula had directed me to go to the Golden Krone Hotel ... I dined on what they call 'robber steak' - bits of bacon, onion and beef, seasoned with red pepper and strung on sticks and roasted over the fire in the simple style of the London cat's-meat! The wine was Golden Mediasch, which produces a queer sting on the tongue ..."

[ Bram Stoker "Dracula", 1897 ]


Recommended Flight: WIZZ (daily): London Luton 07:45 - Cluj Napoca 12:35

Your quest for Dracula starts in the city of Cluj, the cultural capital of Imperial Transylvania where you will be greeted at the airport by your transfer guide. The Hungarians called the city 'Kolozsvar', the Saxons 'Klausenburg'. The airport lies east of the centre so there is no time to explore its treasures if you are arriving with the WIZZ flight since you will be whisked along the Somes valley to the old Saxon town of Bistritz (Bistrita) where you will spend the night at the 'Golden Krone' - Coroana de Aur in Romanian, There is barely time to pray for forgiveness since, in the morning, you must push on further and deeper into the remote Carpathians to seek out the Vampire Count in his homeland. A century earlier the unsuspecting solicitor, Jonathan Harker was also warned against travelling up the 'Borgo' Pass to Castle Dracula.
"Do you not know that tonight, when the clock strikes midnight, all the evil things in the world will have full sway? Do you know where you are going, and what you are going to?" the landlord's wife begged of him. As a precaution garlic should be hung over your bed. This would also be an appropriate time to wear the little crucifix (we hope) you have bought along with you.

Optional Extras:

  • Jonathan Haker's meal ay the 'Golden Krone"
  • Extra nights in Cluj Napoca prior to joining the trip


------------

Local train in the Bârgau Mountains near Bistrita; Old Bistrita with its Saxon Church




DAY 2

'There was everywhere a bewildering mass of fruit blossom - apple, pear, cherry;
and as we drove by I could see the green grass under the trees spangled with the fallen petals'

[ Bram Stoker "Dracula", 1897 ]


After breakfast, you ride through the infamous orchards of the Mitteland (the fruit has been picked, the petals have gone - winter is approaching) and ascend into the Bargau Mountains. When the road becomes impassable you transfer to horses and carts to ascend the 'Borgo Pass' by tracks in the forest. The journey through the silent, dark forests and over the plateau is lengthy and the hours of daylight are short. Note the red tassels worn by the horse pulling your cart to ward off the evil eye, for this is a land of myths, superstitions and the omnipresent feeling of danger. Lunch will be taken before you depart ar a local house. It is too risky to stop en route, not even in the apparent safety of a woodcutters hut lest the sun should set before you reach your desitination! The Count’s Castle, Hotel Castle Dracula, appears as you cross the summit, standing out on the hillside guarding over the password. It has a crypt and a cemetery for good measure. Overnight at Hotel Castle Dracula. The hotel has a decent restaurant serving a selection of courses. A drink in the moon tower bar may calm the nerves afterwards.

"Then a dog began to howl somewhere in a farmhouse far down the road - a long, agonized wailing as if from fear. The sound was taken up by another dog, then another and another, till, borne on the wind which now sighed softly through the Pass, a wild howling began which seemed to come from all over the country, as far as the imagination could grasp it through the gloom of the night. ... Then, far off in the distance, from the mountains on each side of us began a louder and sharper howling - that of wolves!"

[ Bram Stoker "Dracula", 1897 ]



--------------

Caliman Mountains; Jonathan Harker Trail




"The horses were driven by a tall man, with a long brown beard and a great black hat, which seemed to hide his face from us.
I could only see the gleam of a pair of very bright eyes, which seemed red in the lamplight, as he turned towards us."
... The night is chill mein Herr, and my master the Count bade me take care of you.
There is a flask of Slivowitz (the plum brandy of the country) underneath the seat, if you should require it."'

[ Bram Stoker "Dracula", 1897 ]





DAY 3

''By the road there were many crosses, and as we swept by, my companions all crossed themselves'

[ Bram Stoker "Dracula", 1897 ]

The survivors will descend the Borgo Pass to Bistrita then continue past the spooky church of Herina and through the beautiful, but mysterious, Transylvanian Highlands. Notice the abundance of roadside crosses. You continue to the Hungarian-speaking stronghold of Târgu Mures where you can pause for sightseeing - the wonderful art nouveau Palace of Culture where Bela Bartok held his first concert for example, or the historic fortified bastion of the town. This was the place where the last witches were burned in Europe in 1784. Continue to the historic town of Sighisoara before nightfall. Sighisoara, or Schaessburg to the Saxon Transylvanians, is a romantic walled town guarded by a series of towers, once looked after by the different guilds such as the tinsmiths or the tailors. Sighisoara is also where fiction becomes fact as it was also the birthplace of the real Dracula - Vlad the Impaler. He was allegedly born in a house (No6) in the shadow of the clocktower in 1431. Drop in for a coffee or a drink as it is now a restaurant. You can also visit the clocktower which now contains an informative local history museum and provids an excellent vantage point for observing the citadel (it may be closed on monday). You will stay in one of the nice family-run historic hotels inside the citadel itself, just a few steps from the covered wooden stairway which leads to the Saxon 'Church on the Hill'. Upgrades to one of the new boutique hotels such as Binderbubi or Fronius Residence can be arranged.



--------------

Piatra Fântinele on the Borgo Pass; Witch burning in the Transylvanian Highlands; Ttrain at the foot of the Borgo Pass





DAY 4: HALLOWEEN

You now have three options, depending on your interests, and time available as to how you wish to spend Halloween. These options are as follows:

  • ANOTHER EUROPE HALLOWEEN - all includive break with exceiting activities and excursions from the Saxon Village of Cisnadioara, near Sibiu,
  • TOUCH OF CLASS HALLOWEEN - all inclusive Halloween break with Count Kalnoky near to Brasov
  • HALLOWEEN IN SIGHISOARA - spend an extra night in Sighisoara then transfer to Targu Mures for the evenig flight home the next day. Can also be extended to Cluj or Bucharest.


    Full details for each option listed below.




------------

Hotel Castel Dracula on the Borgo Pass; Corvinesti Fortress at Hunedoara



------------

Fortress church at Viscri (Deutschweisskirch); Count Kalnoky's manor at Miklosvar (Miclosoara)





Option 1: Ultimate Halloween: Another Europe

DAY 4 - HALLOWEEN

You will be collected from your hotel reception at approx. 11:00 and driven through typical Saxon villages with fortress churches to the village of Cisnadioara which lies on the edge of the Cindrel Mountains just south of Sibiu. You will spend 3 nights in a delightful village pension with exceptional cuisine and the 'Lancaster Bar' for entertainment.

Cisnadioara is a pretty. historic village with a sloping square and a 12th century church perched on top of a wooded 200 foot crag. Like all Saxon churches it provided refuge for the villagers during raids, mainly by Tatars. When it wasn't beseiged there was a tradition in force that the village lads had to carry a heavy rock from the river up the steep hill to the church before he could marry. The rocks were stockpiled for hurling down at marauding Tatars!

Activities for this Halloween break will include:

  • Evening walk up to the citadel with lanterns then Halloween party and bonfire in the orchard
  • Visit the beautiful, historic city of Sibiu, Hermannstadt to the Saxon Transylvanian, which was European City of Culture in 2007
  • Evening Ghost Walk in old Sibiu
  • Full day excursion to see the impressive Corvinesti Castle at Hunedoara, Romania's greatest fortress
  • Evening wolf hike; a walk through the dark forests of the Cindrel Mountains to listen for the howling of wolves (not for the fainthearted)
  • All meals included plus local wines and beers

DAY 7

Afternoon drive via Medias and the Tarnave Valley to Targu Mures for the early WIZZ flight to London Luton.
Note: it is also posible to spend an extra night at the restored Haller Castle near Targu Mures airport, ideal for the early morning transfer, or you can add nights in at Cluj with a visit en route to the Ferdinand Salt Mines at Turda or a night at the Cluj opera (subject to programme). There are morning flights from Cluj to Luton or to Paris (Beauvais)

Further information about Another Europe holidays:
CLICK HERE
Further information about Sibiu & Sighisoara:
CLICK HERE




Prices ON REQUEST: Ultimate Halloween: Another Europe

Travel for the trail is by minibus or horse and cart with a driver.
From collection in Sighisoara you will have a guide at all times and all meals and activities are then included
Prices to follow for a separate, fully-guided trail for the Jonathan Harker Trail
Flight prices with WIZZ are usually from £ 95.00 return

Times local and subject to change
2 hour time difference - UK & Romania
Group Rates available

Other airlines serving Cluj include Malev via Budapest, Tarom via Bucharest and Austrian via Vienna
Rail connections available from Sibiu, Timiusoara and Bucharest




--------

Old Sibiu (Hermannstadt): City stairs leading from the lower town; the 'eyes' of Sibiu; Rooftops of Sibiu





Option 2: Ultimate Halloween: Touch of Class

DAY 4 (continued) - HALLOWEEN

You will be collected from your hotel reception at approx. 11:00 and driven through the Persani Hills to Miclosoara (Miklosvar), a Hungarain-Szekely village which lies on the east bank of the River Olt, north of Brasov. You will spend 3 nights in a restored guesthouse on an all inclusive basis with a special Halloween activity programme. There s also an opportunity to stay in the spooky old manor that is being restored by Count Kalnoky. One main room has been restored for guests with a fire and plenty of warm blankets to keep the chills at bay. However, prepare to be scared - most of the rooms are cold, draughty and there are certainly plenty of bats in the roof. There is very limited availability for accommodation in the castle.

Activities for this Halloween break will include:

  • Halloween party with music and dancers and a bonfire in front of the old manor
  • Visit to Bran Castle (the fake Dracula castle), Dracula theme bazaar at Bran and the historic city of Brasov
  • Visit to the Saxon village of Viscri (Deutschweisskirch) with its impressive fortress church
  • Visit to the Almasch caves where the Pied Piper reputedly emerged with the children of Hamelin to populate Transylvania with flaxen-haired, blue-eyed German-speaking folk.
  • All meals and activitoies; local wine served with meals

DAY 7

Drive to Targu Mures for the early eveing WIZZ flight to London Luton*.
Other options include flightsd from Cluj and Bucharest, and extra nights in either of these cities.



Prices ON REQUEST: Ultimate Halloween: Touch of Class

Itinerary includes itinerary as outlined. Bed and Breakfast for the first three nights plus a meal at Lunca Ilvei,
Travel for the trail is by minibus or horse and cart with a driver.
From collection in Sighisoara you will have a guide at all times and all meals and activities are then included
Prices to follow for a separate, fully-guided trail for the Jonathan Harker Trail
Excludes flights, travel insurance and gratuities
Flight prices with WIZZ are usually from £ 95.00 return

Times local and subject to change
2 hour time difference - UK & Romania
Group Rates available


Other airlines serving Cluj include Malev via Budapest, Tarom via Bucharest and Austrian via Vienna
Rail connections available from Sibiu, Timiusoara and Bucharest







--------

Land of Fairytales: Citadel at Sighisoara; Sibiu; Fortress church at Viscri (Deutschweisskirch)





Option 3: Ultimate Halloween: Sighisoara

DAY 4 (continued) - HALLOWEEN

Spend another night in Romantic Sighisoara. We can book a wide range of hotels for you including some very new boutique hotels in the citadel Prices are based on excellent family run 3-star historic hotels.
You have a full day to explore Sighisoara at leisure so there is time to take a stroll through the woods and up the hill across the main street to watch the sunset over the citadel. The package is based on bed and brreakfast but there are several excellent restaurants and bars in the old town. There will be Halloween parties at this time but some will be private entry only.

DAY 5

A car will collect you mid-afternoon for your transfer to Targu Mures for the WIZZ early evening flight (60-90 minutes).
Optional extras/ add-ons (can be booked in advance)

  • Full day with a car and driver to explore the fortress churches such as Biertan and Viscri
  • Train to Cluj for stay in the former 'Imperial Capital' of Transylvania. Works with flighst from Cluj (daily)
  • Day trip to Brasov by train - just under 2 hours each way/ several connections daily



Prices ON REQUEST: Ultimate Halloween: Sighisoara

Includes itinerary as outlined. Bed and Breakfast fplus a meal at Lunca Ilvei,
Travel for the trail is by minibus or horse and cart with a driver.
Prices to follow for a separate, fully-guided trail for the Jonathan Harker Trail
Excludes flights, travel insurance and gratuities
Flight prices with WIZZ are usually from £ 95.00 return
ADDITIONAL NIGHT at CASTEL HALLER near Targu Mures is also recommended.






Fortress church at Viscri (Deutschweisskirch)





WARNING ABOUT BOOKING DRACULA TOURS ON THE INTERNET

If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is! We strongly recommend that you book your travel arrangements through a reliable, fully licensed travel agent or tour operator. You should always check ATOL licenses and bonding arrangements or travel trust schemes before booking, and you should take out adequate travel insurance. We recommend TRAVEL COUNSELLORS in the UK, Netherlands, USA, and Australia because they have unparalleled financial protection, work with a wide range of quality, fully licensed tour operators such as Cox & Kings and Sunvil, in addition to local ground operators. Their consultants also provide a superb personal service. However, there are, of course, plenty of reliable alternatives.

Please take care if booking directly with hotels or operators in Romania advertising on the web. Some of them are unlicensed or uninsured. Travel is a unique commodity because you part with your money before you receive the service. This is why it is strictly regulated and legitimate agents and operators invest heavily in licenses, bonding schemes and trust accounts where monies are held back from suppliers until you have completed your holiday. Therefore, you as a traveller are protected. It is also important to note that ATOL licenses, unlike travel trust schemes, will only cover full packages booked under one licence. For example, if you book your flights direct on the internet, then book your accommodation through a travel agency, you would not be covered under their ATOL license.

By booking direct over the internet you are always taking a risk unless you have a personal recommendation or are able to check out the operator or hotel in question. Check for a registered address, evidence of licenses and financial protection, bank account details (not only PayPal), and a fixed, rather than mobile telephone number, and for independent reviews or recommendations. We have highlighted specific problems where we have come across them. Common complaints are hotels (especially on the Black Sea) which take reservations but cancel them if a higher paying client or group comes along. Other complaints include surcharges levied on arrival, hotels that have been overbooked, transfers in unroadworthy vehicles or with dangerous drivers, and tours that so not turn out to be as advertised. Remember, Romania is a huge country. One Romanian internet company is currently advertising a Dracula Tour which finishes with a day driving from Bucovina to Bucharest via the Danube Delta and the Black Sea ... impossible, even with the fastest, most dangerous driver! So please take time to research before booking to avoid disappointment. If you are concerned about a particuar tour or operator, you can check with the Romanian Embassy or Tourist Office to find out if they are genuine.





NOTE: If you have more than a passing interest in Dracula and Tranyslvania, there are several Dracula Societies in the UK and USA, including the Dracula Society, London Vampyre Society and the Ghost Club. They often organise excellent Dracula themed holidays for their members in Trasylvania, and beyond. For example to the castles of the Czech Republic and Slovakia including that of the infamous Elizabeth Bathori, the 'Blood Countess' at Cachtice.






www.beyondtheforest.com provides everything you need to plan your holiday - unbiased travel information based on extensive, personal travel and an unparallelled network of local specialists.




To book your perfect holiday
contact Mike Morton at:



01900 838570
www.travelcounsellors.co.uk

A quaity, personal service by
travel experts in your local area








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