0845 3000 247
+44 (0)1539 531258


5 - 12 August 2006

8 days, 7 nights



Peles Palace

Walk: Queen Marie's Villa
to Pelisor


Bran Castle

Walk: Moeciu Valley
& Chisatoarea Waterfall

Lake Bicaz

Palatul Cnejilor

Durau Monastery

Walk: Ascent of Ceahlau via
Dochia Cabana

Ceahlau Summit

Feast of Ceahlau Festival


British Airways scheduled service:

Heathrow 09:45; Bucharest 15:00
Bucharest 15:50; Heathrow 17:15

Flights depart terminal 1
Times local and subject to change
2 hour timr difference - UK & Romania

Regional departures and other
airlines on request

The Magic Mountain
A romantic part "walking" tour combining the palaces and castles of Queen Marie of Romania with the legendary
"Magic Mountain" - Ceahlau in the Eastern Carpathians, the most spectacular region of Moldavia.

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Ceahlau is an isolated mountain on the Moldavian side of the
Carpathians. Prince Dimitrie Cantemir of Moldova, a scholar of
European repute called Ceahlau, in his Descriptio Moldaviae,
a monastery in the guise of a mountain for its many hermitages
and monasteries. Said Cantemir: had the antique historians known
of the legends of Ceahlau, it would have been more famous
than the Olympus. Indeed, each rock on the top has
a dramatic story, as old as the Earth.

5 AUGUST 2006
Initiation One
Did you notice how all magic places take a certain sequence of initiations?
Welcome in Romania, the lucky country of the Magic Mountain.
            An hour and a half away from the airport rests the royal mountain
resort of Sinaia, sheltered by the high Carpathians.
            Your aristocratic hotel, Palace, has also been used by the
passengers of the Orient Express; take your rooms, refresh
and attend a welcoming cocktail, dinner, and briefing.

Lake Bicaz and Ceahlau
[courtesy of Romania National Tourist Office]



0845 3000 247
+44 (0)1539 531258

Peles Palace

6 AUGUST 2006
Queen and King for a Day"
One of the most beautiful royal palaces in Europe is that at Peles in Sinaia, an extravagant "Schloss" reminiscent of those of King Ludwig of Bavaria. Two more royal palaces lie hidden in the forest. One of them, Pelisor, was decorated in the Art-Nouveau style by Queen Marie of Romania, the last romantic, grandniece of Queen Victoria.  The Queen also had a lofty mountain retreat commanding views over the valleys beyond. Todays walking tour starts from Queen Maries villa in the Carpathians down to her palace in Sinaia.
We enjoy a picnic lunch then hen cross the mountains into Transylvania, to the mediaeval city of Brasov, where we dine at theCerbul Carpatin ("Carpathian Stag"), enjoy a folklore show, and if you wish, learn the steps of a traditional dance. Overnight: Hotel AroPalace.

7 AUGUST 2006
Beauty and the Beast"
Castle Bran (1377) was never associated with Dracula until the first American tourists visited it, in the 1960s. In 1920, Queen Marie received the castle as her summer residence; she gave it a romantic touch and later, her heart was buried in a shrine there (bring her a flower, she liked violets). The many stories about the Beauty and the Beast will be revealed while touring this controversial castle.
After a rustic lunch, we take a walk to the beautiful Chisatoarea waterfall in the pretty Moeciu valley and visit local craftsmen.
Optional: In the evening you will be offered an opportunity to become a noble by joining the Order of Transylvanian Knights (Euro 50 per person; minimum 4 people). You will be schooled into Knightly Orders, then taken to the Sacred Zone, then to the citadel. The Castellan and his court of knights, ladies-in-waiting and pages will advise and guide you through the six tests of chivalry - archery, arm-wrestling, walking on a beam, jumping a fire, answering a riddle and dancing a minuet!
Mediaeval Banquest at the Citadel with floor show. Overnight: Hotel AroPalace
8 AUGUST 2006
In sight of the Magic Mountain"
After Breakfast we leave for the Moldavian side of the Carpathians. We compare the music, folk traditions and poetry  (Goethe, Tagore, Puskin, Byron, Whitman, Eminescu and others), taking lunch along the route. Visit the ruins of the Palatul Cnejilor, "Palace of the Princes", which inspired the story "The Pale Lady" by Al. Dumas (father). Arrive in the resort of Durau, at the foot of the Magic Mountain (Ceahlau). Dinner at the monastery of Durau followed by a bonfire and recitals of the legends of Mt. Ceahlau. Overnight: Durau

9 AUGUST 2006
Under the Spell"
We begin to climb the Magic Mountain in the afternoon, ascending throughthe fir woods, past a hermitage, to reach the Fântinele ("Springs") mountain chalet called; Evening comparing poetry and music, and dance, around another bon-fire. Dinner and overnight: Fântinele Chalet.

10 AUGUST 2006
Spells of Eternal Friendship or Love"
This area was discovered in the XVIIIth century by early tourists with a romantic passion for beautiful landscapes, in particular the bizarre shapes of the eroded crags of Ceahlau, mysterious geological formations called megaliths, have inspired endless folk-tales, Eminescu's poem "The Ghosts" and even the ancient Dacians to whom the mountain was their "Mount Olympus", abode of their supreme deity, "Zamolxis". In 1990, Ceahlau was declared a Natural Reservation and is now protected by Law. The fauna is particularly rich with Carpathian stags, brown bear, wild boar, chamois and capercailie making it a paradise for lovers of nature.
At about 2 a.m., when the stars are bright, we start our ascent of teh upper half of the Mountain, as they did of old, torches in hand (a mountain guide in front, another behind). Behold the winding trail of lights ascending to the top. We reach Dochia chalet for breakfast, minutes before sunrise. Take your hot cup of tea in one hand and meet the rising Sun outside, holding the hand of the one you care about, or the extending chain of hands - the sharing of the talismans. Discover the famous megaliths on the summit and learn about their legends. Descend to Durau for a picnic lunch. Attend the Magic Mountain ball. Dinner and overnight: Durau resort

11 AUGUST 2006
Protect Your Talisman"
The Magic Mountain does exist, like everything else we can imagine (Plato). One can see horizons away from its top, beyond differences of no significance, all the way to the meaning and value of friendship and love. You have the Power and Insight and Wisdom of the Magic Mountain to guide you and your companion in life from now on.
Return to Sinaia for a farewell dinner, with minstrels, and troubadours. Overnight: Hotel Palace.

12 AUGUST 2006
Return to the airport for your flight home.

  • Return Flights from United Kingdom to Romania (see above)
  • Airport Taxes and Passenger Facility Charges
  • Travel throughout by air-conditioned coach
  • Hotel or Mountain chalet accommodation as above
  • Breakfast plus meals as outlined above
  • Guided walks and activities outlined in the itinerary
  • ProfessionalEnglish-speaking Guide
  • All applicable entrance fees

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