May 20, 2015

Dracula Tours: A Second Look

Dracula tourism in Transylvania is extremely popular. 


How popular? When I googled it, to an updated post about Dracula tours, I was kind of shocked silent. That's a feat to get me to "be quiet". My husband will tell you it only happens a few times a year. This is one of those times. 
 

As I said, before my ramble, that I googled and 493,00 results showed up. 

I had no idea that they were this popular, or that there were as many packages as there were. There were ones that hosted masquerade balls, encouraged you to dress like vampires, had graphics of people stabbing vampires in the heart and sites where it was so over the top it was almost comical. 

romania map
map of Romania Transylvania highlighted
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




I needed to refine my search on Google. I needed a way to look past the 492,999 and find the one that would fit for this post. 
 
Before I started looking for a hypothetical trip that would be fun and exciting for me I wrote down the 5 things I wanted to see or want out of the tour:
  1. Bran Castle, Dracula's Castle 
  1. Poienari Fortress, Dracula's real fortress 
  1. Snagov Monastery, Resting place of Dracula 
  1. Brasov, a German Saxon, city that established in the time of Dracula 
  1. I didn't want it to be "gimmicky", more about the history 
Note: When I say Dracula, I'm referring to Vlad Tepes or better known by his nickname Vlad the Impaler. 

Since price was not a concern, as this is a hypothetical trip. That being said, the average trip was €1000 or $1139 USD when you booked for two travelers.  Most packages include airfare, meals and hotels. There is also a tour guide that will be leading you through the historic sights. 

The extras, masquerade balls, dinner with locals and other historic stops where unique to each deal and each package. They also varied in length. You could stay as little as 3 day, but most were a 6 day journey. 

I immediately ruled out the gimmicky ones. Ones that encouraged dress up, role play etc. I would go more for the historical aspect. I may prefer to work at night (it's the only time the kids are quiet enough in the house to think) and I shy away from the sun (my great-grandmother had melanoma, so not taking any risks) but in no way do I live a vampire "lifestyle". 


Romania city of Brasov
Brasov and Bran Castle Romania









I was a vampire once as a kid for Halloween, but I think I was still in grade school and my grandmother made a cape for me. After ruling the ones that didn't fit what I was looking for, I was left with still thousands to chose from.
With the Dracula tours being so popular I looked into tourism in general for Romania. Tourism for Romania nets the country €880 million ($1,000,000,000 USD) and employs almost a million people. 
 

Just like Scotland has Nessie, Romania has Dracula. 

After skimming through about a dozen I landed on a tour package that meet my needs and then some. 


Count Dracula
Garry Oldman as Dracula










Not only was I going to do all of the above (and leave the plastic teeth at home), I would to experience other historical including the UNESCO World Heritage Site and join a family of Transylvania Gypsies, also known as the Roma, for dinner. 
 

I enjoy immersion into culture, I think it is the best way to learn about other people. 

I also liked the site, it was well thought out, all historic pictures, with no flapping bats. 

The complete tour and itinerary can be found by clicking the link below. http://www.adventuretransylvania.com/dracula-tour.htm It's funny that I ended up picking this one as my recommend because Sabrina, when she did the original post about Dracula tours, picked one that was very similar to this. 

I liked this one the most as it told me each night what hotel we would be staying at. It gave me the piece of mind that I could see each hotel (by looking them up online) and have a visual of the rooms. Traveling is a visual thing. Even my last trip to Montreal I based my choice of hotel on how the room looked first over location. (Others can attest to my  pickiness when it comes to hotel rooms) 

I will bookmark this site when I am ready to travel. Based on the castles, historic sites and the fact that it checks off all five points I would take this tour. Now just to find a traveling partner, Amanda and my husband may not be that into Dracula.

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