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Touch of Class: Culture & Nature in Transylvania
A very special, and unique opportunity to discover the real Transylvania
as a guest of Count Kalnoky in Miclosoara (Miklosvár)

LAST UPDATED
28/12/2014
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STOP PRESS: 2013 PRICES HELD FOR 2014

This is a very special Transylvanian experience – Count Kalnoky invites you to step back in time to discover Transylvania, as his grand- and great-grand parents knew it in the 1800's. Here you can immerse yourself in a forgotten world that most people would believe to have ceased to exist in today's Europe.  You will stay in the little village of Miclosoara, the erstwhile estate of Count Kalnoky located in beautiful, unspoilt countryside to the north of Brasov.  Savour the congenial atmosphere of the Count’s stylish accommodation in renovated village houses, superb cuisine and an extensive wine cellar, and explore the castle he is painstakingly restoring to its former glory.  From here you may venture out on journeys, not just across a virgin landscape but also through time itself enjoying a wide range of activities from bear watching, bird-watching or hiking, to excursions to fortified Saxon churches, the fairytale town of Sighisoara, Bran Castle or the nearby Almasch Cave, a series of fascinating bat caves, from which, according to romantic legend, the Pied Piper lured the children of Hamelin. Alternatively take a leisurely ride by horse and carriage (or sleigh) into the surrounding woods and meadows, or escape to the bustle of mediaeval city of Brasov for a day of sightseeing and shopping.   Special Romantic, winter or Honeymoon programme, and horse-riding holidays are also available on request.


WINTER BEAR WATCHING AT ZALANPATAK: In addition to Viscri, another property has been renovated for HRH, at Zalanpatak in the quiet hills above Miclosoara, ideal for a 3 day retreat. This is a wonderful place to feel at one with nature and wilderness. The woods and hills around Zalanpatak also have a healthy population of Carpathian Brown Bears making this one of the best places for beartracking in Transylvania. Please contact us for details about unique winter 2010-2011 bear watching opportunities.

HONEYMOONERS: a unique opportunity now exists for you to stay in a restored room in the rather spooky 'castle' - the former hunting lodge of summer manor of the Kalnoky family at Miclosoara. You will have the run of the castle which is only partly restor ed, plus access to the normal dining rooms and facilities of the guesthouses, including the full guided, activity programmes.




To book your Touch of Class
holidaycontact:



01900 838570
www.travelcounsellors.co.uk

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


Touch of Class


These holidays contribute
to the resoration of the
castle at Miclosoara and
support the local community
through employment
and use of local
resources



Daily departures
3, 7. 10 & 14 nights

£ 675.00
per person per week
sharing a twin or double room
includes activities & meals
excludes flights ot trabsfers


Flights UK to Bucharest
from approx. £ 100.00 incl taxes

Return transfers from
Bucharest Airports
to Miclosoara (4 hours)
£ 290.00 per car

Can also be organised with
flights to Cluj, Targu Mures or Sibiu

Touch of Class holidays
may be combined with
Abother Europe,
Dracula or Bucovina
programmes
or City Breaks in
Cluj, Sibiu or Bucharest




Highlights


All-inclusive Holidays
Quality Accommodation
Excursions & Activities
History & Culture

Unspoit Nature
Bird-watching
Bear tracking
Fossil Trails
Flower Meadows
Traditional Village Life
Horses & Carts
Fortress Churches
Legends & Fairytales
Horse Riding Holidays
Winter Holidays


Szekelerland
Gelence Frescoes
St. Ana Lake
Vargyas ('Pied Piper) Caves
Szekely Village Life
Thermal Spas

Burzenland
Brasov
Bran & Rasnov Castles
Harman & Prejmer

Saxon Transylvania
Sighisoara (Schässburg)
Viscri (Deutschweisskirch
Rupea & Homorod



TRAVEL


Direct flights from
London Heathrow to Bucharest
with British Airways
(convenient flight times)

Good connections via
Europe with Swiss, Lufthansa
Austrian Airlines & KLM.
KLM connections from most
UK domestic airports.

Wizz Air operates from
Luton to Bucharest
and to Cluj Napoca
Overnight required in either
city due to flight times
Cluj is a good alternative
with connections by rail
to Augustin or Brasov

Transfers from:
Bucharest: 4 hours
Brasov: 45 minutes
Sighisoara: 2 hours
Cluj: 5 hours


In case you wish to extend
your stay in Romania
these holidays can be
combined with:

Sibiu / Another Europe
Bucharest & Cluj city breaks
Various Dracula Trails
Painted Monasteries
Maramures


SKIP DIRECTLY TO:


Touch of Class:
Accommodation

Touch of Class:
Activities & Excursions

Touch of Class:
Hiking Holidays

Touch of Class:
Horse Riding Holidays

Touch of Class:
Prince of Wales
"I feel I should thankyou for helping to organise our honeymoon in Transylvania. We had the most fantastic time. Count Kalnoky's, the food, the people, the scenery, the alcohol!  Wow what a place.   They treated us like royalty. We had champagne in our room. We had the whole house to ourselves, met the Count. We even managed to go bear tracking!  We were walking from village to village, through the forest, when we met a  farmer. He sent us in the right direction, (as we were lost!) and got chatting. It turned out that he was the forester & offered to take us into the forest at dusk. We saw a bear, lots of boar, deer & hares. I must say it was the best evening of our holiday.  The weather was very warm, one day of drizzle, and I really wish we'd had two weeks. Every evening we sat outside the little 'pub' and watched the cows coming home! People , at home, don't believe that they come home on their own! Thankyou so much for our wonderful holiday.
" N.B. (Warwick)

"It was everything we expected and more! I can't emphasize how lovely we found the staff, & the Count of course."ZR, (London)


Click here for further testimonials from our GUEST BOOK


To book your perfect holiday
contact:



01900 838570
www.travelcounsellors.co.uk

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

Miklosvar (Miclosoara) - the castle gates
The former summer residence of the Kalnoky family, Miklosvar (Miclosoara)

Miklósvár (Miclosoara) is the oldest documented settlement of the region. Its castle was first mentioned in 1211 AD as a border fortress of the Kingdom of Hungary.

Today's castle was started in the1500s as a hunting lodge for the family and still contains many Renaissance elements such as painted wall decorations. The family castle, which was abandoned for the last fifty years is being renovated and proceeds from these holidays go towards this extensive work. Guests may visit the castle, set at the end of an avenue of chestnuts, and see for themselves the progress made so far. Events and ultimately guests will be accommodated in the castle in the future.

Recent developments have included the full restoration of the 'Serfs' House', the latest guest accommodation comprising two rooms and located in the garden of the main house with excellent views over the village. The introduction of these rooms now enables us to guarantee that all guests will have their own bathroom .


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The Kálnokys are one of the most ancient families of Transylvania, their history reaching back to obscure medieval times.

In 1252 AD an of the Kalnoky's ancestor Vincze received Miclosoara (Miklósvár) and its region as a royal donation. The current, 25th generation came back after 50 years of exile in the West and are now reshaping their once lost heritage.


The Pied Piper

According to legend the lost children of Hamelin town emerged from the Almasch/ VargyasCave in Transylvania - just to the north of Miclosoara. This is often cited as a romantic explanation for what was for many centuries a strange phenomenon: the existence of communities of blond-haired, blue-eyed, german-speaking people following ancient german traditions and customs, isolated by hundreds of kilometres from the German lands.

Browning's famous poem gives us a taste:

"In Transylvania there's a tribe
Of alien people who ascribe
The outlandish ways and dress
On which their neighbours lay such stress
To their fathers and mothers having risen
Out of some subterranean prison
Into which they had been trepanned
Long time ago, in a mighty band,
Out of Hamelin town in Brunswick land,
But how or why
they don't understand."


Weather permitting, you may visit this remote bat-infested cave as one of the many exciting activities available when you stay as a guest of Count Kalnoky. It is even said that in winter the ice stalagmites in the entrance represent the lost children!

During restoration work in the chapel and its crypt, several bodies of earlier generations were discovered. By some incredible feat of nature, they were nearly mummified and astonishingly well preserved. After the renovations, the entrance to the crypt was walled for security reasons
Count Kalnoky's Guesthouses
Use the links above, to the left, to discover the exclusive, quality accommodation and first-class hospitality which awaits you in Miclosoara, choose from a wide range of exciting cultural, nature or hiking activities available, check our special prices or use our 'Guest Book' to view comments from previous customers, or links below to view recent press articles.



EDITORIALS ABOUT COUNT KALNOKY IN THE PRESS


Transfixed in Transylvania by Charles's Carrots,
Lucy Mayhew
Daily Mail (16.12.2007)

Blood & Gutsiness, Andrew Eames
Daily Telegraph (28.10.2006)

Hospitality with a Bite, David Atkinson
Metro (20.10.2006)

On the Trail of Dracula in Romania, Andrew Eames
The Times (13.05.2006)

10 Best Close Encounters with Natural Wonders, Mark Rowe
The Independent (26.03.2006)

Stick your Neck Out, Sebastian Cresswell-Turner
The Sunday Telegraph (12.06.2005)

Countless Delights, Sebastian Cresswell-Turner
The Guardian (11.06.2005)

The White Knight of Transylvania, Andrew Eames
Daily Telegraph (16.04.2005)

Gothic Quarters, David Atkinson
Guardian Unlimited (26.10.2004)

The main street, Miklosvar (Miclosoara)


Touch of Class Accommodation
Count Kálnoky's Guesthouses

The guesthouses, which date back to the 1800s, are situated within the village in spacious gardens.  Storks nest nearby and a little stream crosses the garden.  The houses have been extensively restored to regain their old charm and all the furniture is antique and original.  Comfort is a priority; particular attention has been paid to bathrooms, and the houses are equipped for children of all ages. The heating system is original and is based on wood-stoves, enhanced recently by hidden central heating, and there is a sauna heated from an old bread oven.  Please note that Miclosoara is a remote village with limited infrastructure so occasional power cuts may occur and the street may be muddy after rain.  In many respects this adds to its character. 

The guestrooms are furnished exclusively with antique Transylvanian furniture, including most of the textiles.  Particular care has been taken in making beds and seats comfortable, and in creating an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity. All rooms have double beds with specially manufactured mattresses of pure wool and duvet covers.    Most rooms have an en suite bathroom, but as the old Transylvanian houses were constructed without, some guests will have to take a few steps across the courtyard to reach their own exclusive bathroom. However, we can guarantee a private bathroom for all rooms except for the Mansard apartment which is rented as a two bedroom apartment with one bathroom. All of them respect western standards of comfort with hairdryers, floor heating, and softened water and in most cases with bidets). 
1 & 2. Restored Guesthouses in the lower village; 3. Guest room in the lower houses; 4. The Serfs' House





There are extra living rooms
and a playroom for
bad weather or quiet periods.







Each guestroom has its own electric kettle, with both tea and coffee provided.  The rooms have neither TV, video, nor radio, but you will find plenty of interesting books on the shelves.  However, a telephone line and Internet connection provide contact to the outside world from the main house if really necessary!


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There are 10 rooms in total, two of them on the upper floor of the main 'Mansard' house which are often offered together as a family apartment, two new rooms in the 'Serfs' House, which overlooks the garden and village, and six rooms in two restored houses set in a garden in the lower village (a couple of minutes from the main house). The rooms in the Serfs House also benefit from underfloor heating were first available during 2006.




Dining chez Count Kalnoky

The cuisine at Miclosoara is mainly based on fresh, organic products from the garden or produced in the village. The bread is fresh from the oven.  Pesticides or chemical products are not used.  The menu also contains local dishes, combining elements of Hungarian and Romanian cuisine.  You will often have picnics during your trips and a full dinner in the evenings.  The meat and milk comes mainly from animals raised in the village and on its pastures.  Vegetarians and special diets can be catered for.  Breakfast is served in a picturesque kitchen. Lunch and dinner can be served either in the dining room, under the arbours in the garden or in the wine cellar.


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You can also enjoy a selection of local wines and interesting books in comfortable armchairs in front of the fireplace. 




Finally, the climate is that of a mountainous continental region; so don't forget warm cardigans for the evenings and adequate footwear for rough ground. Be equipped for adventurous activities according to your interests. Depending on your plans, you might want to bring boots (also rubber boots), warm jackets or overalls for the caves, binoculars, waterproof trousers, rucksacks, and so on.

Click on the following links to view the wide range of activities available with your Touch of Class holiday, All inclusive holidays include a programme of nature and culture activities and excursions. There is a choice from two per day, plus a separate programme of hiking activities which may be taken separately, or may be mixed in with the normal schedule.

A wide range of cultural and nature tours is offered each week which are included in package deals. Therefore you can design your holiday according to your interests and length of stay. During a two-week stay, for example, you will be able to participate in nearly all the tours on offer. Mountain bikes are available for the use of the guests. For those interested in hiking, walking activities are available, for different levels of fitness, which can also be combined with culture/nature tours to suit your preferences (please see programme for ‘Hiking Activities’). Close to Miclosoara, there are well-stocked ponds for those who fish. In addition horse riding activities may be booked in advance for a day, or a full weekly horse riding programme.

Touch of Class Activities & Excursions: CLICK HERE (separate page)

Touch of Class
Hiking Holidays: CLICK HERE (separate page)

Touch of Class Horse Riding Holidays: CLICK HERE (separate page)



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Fruit Blossom, Miklosvar (Miclosoara); Street in Viscri; Swallowtail Butterfly


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Cart ride in the Olt Valley; S potted Eagle (Robert Zeitz); Vargyas Canyon


Touch of Class Winter Holidays



Count Kalnoky's Guesthouses



The 'castle' in winter
A 'Touch of Class' holiday in winter can be a very romantic experience, an illusion that you are in a real fairytale world:

* Candlelit meals beside a roaring log fire in the cosy wine cellar *
* Horse-drawnSleigh rides through a winter wonderland *
*Skiing in the Carpathians on the slopes of Poiana Brasov *
* Strolling through a Romantic Winter Landscapes with snow shoes*
*Tracking animals such as bears or wolves*
* Cultural rambles through Mediaeval Towns *
* Discover the ice stalacmites of the Almasch Caves *
* Christmas Shopping Expeditions *
* Village Traditions *

Of course snow and ice can never be guaranteed but wintertime in a Transylvanian village is always a fasciniating experience. When the snow sets in it can lie very deep, even at Miclosoara, and night time temperatures can plummet well into minus double figures so wrap up warm. Roads and railways remain clear under these conditions as in Alpine countries so transfers and excursions are rarely a problem

Skiing can be organised with very reliable snow conditions on the slopes at Poiana Brasov (1900 m) from January to March. Our normal prices apply for the holidays with extra (local) costs only for ski-hire and lift passes if skiing is chosen as an optional activity.

All rooms are very well heated, many with under-floor heating and all beds have extra soft goose-down duvets for the coldest of winter nights.

Christmas and New Year are very special holidays in Transylvania with music, dancing, age-old folk traditions and merry-making. A £ 30.00 (GBP) surcharge is levied to cover festive meals at this time.

Book now for Christmas & New Year


N


Touch of Class Prince of Wales' Guesthouse (Viscri)

HRH The Prince of Wales has asked the Kalnoky family to manage his property in thevillage of Viscri (Deutschweisskirch) along similar lines to that at Miclosoara. Inclusive holidays in Viscri will be availble from the middle of May 2008 including transfers, food and culture tours and guided hikes.

HRH the Prince of Wales has close connections with Transylvania. The tomb of his great, great grandmother, Countess Rhedey, is in the village of Sângeorgiu de Padure (Erdoszentgyorgy) , between Sighisoara and the spa of Sovata. Since the Revolution of 1989 he has supported restoration projects In Transylvania. These have included projects in several Saxon villages and the baroque Banffy Palace at Bontida, and in particular the Built Heritage Conservation Centre of the Transylvania Trust which is now housed there.

The Prince of Wales has visited the village of Viscri (Deutschweisskirch) on several occasions and recently bought a traditional 'Saxon' village house. Having seen the painstaking restoration work by Count Kalnoky in Miclosoara (Miklosvar), he asked the Count to assist with the restoration of the interiors and the courtyard of his property in Viscri. Subsequently, Count Kalnoky has been asked to run his house along the same lines as the guesthouses in Miclosoara in the hope that these holidays will encourage more people to visit Transylvania and in this way promote sustainable development.


Read Lucy Mayhew's escellent account in the Mail on Sunday:
Transfixed in Transylvania by Charles's Carrots
Mail on Sunday (16.12.2007)


Fortress Church at Viscri (Deutschweisskirch)
The delightful UNESCO designated village of Viscri (Deutschweisskirch), dominated by its magnificent hilltop ‘White Church’ lies northwest of Rupea and can be reached from the east through Dacia on a 7 km unpaved road, or from Sighisoara and the west via Bunesti along a short stretch of unpathed road. The origins of the fortified church date from 1100 when the Szeklers built a small church, and it is still surrounded by a cemetery with gravestones dating back to the Bjielo-Brdo culture. The Saxons colonised the village and took over the church at the end of the 12th Century, and the Szeklers were forced to resettle in southeast Transylvania. The first fortifications with towers were added in the first part of the 16th century, and the fortifications were extended as late as the 18th century. After 1743 a covered corridor for the storage of corn was built.  A century later, two chambers in the defense corridor of the bastion were turned into school rooms. The classic 19th century altar has as centerpiece "the Blessing of the Children" by the painter J. Paukratz from Rupea. The font was made from a capital of the 13th century church.

The church dominates the village and it is easy to see why its position was chosen when you gaze out from the tower. The village is characterised by its main, broad village street and the small lanes clustered round the church. It is an ideal base for exploring the region of Saxon Transylvania and is within easy reach of Sighisoara and the fortress churches of Crit, Cloasterf, Archita, Sasciz, Bradeni, Homorod, and even Biertan. It is also a relaxing base for discovering local crafts and farming techniques. There are still charcoal makers and beekeepers in the village while the magnificent hay meadows around Viscri contain a wide diversity of wild flower species and the church yard contains herbs that have been used in medicine since the Middle Ages. The surrounding countryside is a paradise for nature lovers with many species of birds including Spotted Eagles, Hoopoes and the ubiquitous storks, and also a great diversity of butterflies including Swallowtails and Clouded Yellows.

During the restoration work of the house in Viscri, many personal items of the previous inhabitant were discovered. These included textiles, furniture and farming tools. Many of the wonderful, original textiles were cleaned, washed, mended and ironed and therefore saved for posterity. These original features were used to recall the times of the previous inhabitant. The courtyard was arranged in the same manner. The house was sensitively restored to retain the atmosphere of bygone days whilst, at the same time, being comfortable enough for guests. Even the old radio is working again!

The house comprises three double bedrooms, two bathrooms and a kitchen. There is also a terrace with benches and a long table. Note that there is no heating. so the house may only be rented from late May until September





Read more about the
Prince of Wales's house
in Viscri and his
charitable work on his
Website

The village of Viscri is also a popular excursion with Touch of Class holidays based in Miclosoara. The day activity includes plenty of time to explore the village, the church, and to enjoy a traditional meal in a Saxon village house.


Touch of Class Activities for Viscri: CLICK HERE (separate page)



Touch of Class 2014 Prices

Inclusive prices for Touch of Class Holidays (excluding flights and transfers):


Weekend Break (3 Nights) £ 279.00 per person Single Room Supplement £ 63.00
7 Nights £ 679.00 per person Single Room Supplement £ 147.00
10 Nights £ 924.00 per person Single Room Supplement £ 210.00
14 Nights £ 1199.00 per person Single Room Supplement £ 294.00


These prices include:
  • Full Board Accommodation including local VAT
  • All rooms with en suite bathroom or use of own bathroom
  • Half a bottle of wine per person/ night
  • Activity Programme (refer to Activities page for details)
  • Guides and Transportation during your Stay


To book your Touch of Class
holiday contact:



01900 838570
www.travelcounsellors.co.uk

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

Adult Prices are per person sharing a double/ twin room in £ Sterling (GBP)
Prices are valid for departures until 31 December, 2014, and are subject to availability
30% reduction children under 14 years sharing parents’ room
Supplements, per person, apply for Christmas or New year bookings

ALL PRICES ARE £ STERLING.
THEY MAY BE UPDATED PERIODICALLY DUE TO CURRENCY FLUCTUATIONS


Return Transfer: Bucharest Otopeni, Sibiu or Cluj Napoca to Miclosoara

2 PEOPLE: £ 144.00 per person; journey takes approximately 4 hours.
3 or MORE: £ 115.00 per person

Collection from Brasov (station) or Augustin can be arranged on request - please ask your travel agent for prices
Significant reductions available on transfer costs for small groups booking these packages - please ask for details
Rail transfers also possible but very lengthy - yo need to alow 3 hours between arrival in Bucharest by plane, and train departure time due to congestion in the city

Flight prices from UK to Bucharest from £ 125.00 return including taxes (average prices are in the range £ 195.00 - £ 265.00)
It is also possible to combine these holidays with flights arriving at Cluj, Targu Mures and Sibiu.


Travel Insurance is highly recommended
Additional nights can be added in Bucharest, or your holiday may be extended to include other regions of Romania
Accommodation in Miclosoara is limited to 18 people.
In order to avoid disappointment for popular periods such as May and June, or Christmas, it is essential to book early.





Touch of Class Viscri (Prince of Wales' Guesthouse): 2014 GUIDELINE Prices

Inclusive prices for Touch of Class VISCRI Holidays (excluding flights and transfers):


Weekend Break (3 Nights) £ 325.00-375.00 per person
7 Nights £ 795.00-845.00.00 per person
10 Nights £ 1150.00-1200.00 per person
14 Nights £ 1550.00-1600.00 per person


These prices include:
  • Full Board Accommodation including local VAT
  • All rooms with en suite bathroom or use of own bathroom
  • Half a bottle of wine per person/ night
  • Activity Programme (refer to Activities page for details)
  • Guides and Transportation during your Stay
Adult Prices are per person sharing a double/ twin room in £ Sterling (GBP)
Prices are valid for departures from May to September , and are subject to availability
30% reduction children under 14 years sharing parents’ room

ALL PRICES ARE £ STERLING.
THEY MAY BE UPDATED PERIODICALLY DUE TO CURRENCY FLUCTUATIONS
Last updated 26.11.2010


Please ask your travel agentabout transfers and flights.
These holidays can be combined with longer Romania holiday itineraries or with flights to Bucharest, Sibiu, Targu Mures or Cluj.

Transfers from:
Bucharest: 5-6 hours
Brasov: 2 minutes
Sighisoara: 1 hour
Targu Mures: 2 hours (approx)
Cluj: 4 hours







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