The legend of Dracula – or Vlad Dracula as he was really known- has taken this region into the spotlight as Romania’s most popular tourist destination. As you wander among the cold stone walls of Dracula’s 14th century castle in Bran, you’ll wind your way up soaring turrets and down into the depths of darkened dungeons, while being entertained by bloodthirsty stories about Dracula’s legend. Afterwards, just a few hours away from Bran, you can follow Dracula’s blood trail to colourful, medieval, Sighisoara: Dracula's birth place, and a UNESCO heritage town, recognised as the best-preserved, inhabited medieval town in Transylvania. From Dracula’s birth house, to the themed Dracula’s restaurant which aptly serves a rich tomato soup known as Dracula’s blood, this town is alive with The Count.

But Transylvania is not all about Dracula. In the north there is a theme park like no other. The Turda Salt Mine is a breathtaking feat of 21st century architecture in a 600 year old salt mine.  Walk 100 metres underground through ice cold salt tunnels to find a hidden salt lake deep below the surface. Hire a boat and row on the lake as you take in the cavernous salt walls, the huge Ferris wheel, mini golf course and table tennis sets that entertain thousands of tourists on its many levels above. It is promoted as a theme park for children, but parents can wander in awe and breathe in its healing salt properties as they walk through over half a mile of salt tunnels.   

Once you resurface, drive back to experience the vibrancy of cosmopolitan Bucharest, a contemporary city mixed with reminders of its communist past.  Finish your day in the atmospheric Caru' cu Bere, Bucharest’s most famous restaurant, where the spirit of old Bucharest is kept alive by wandering musicians and traditional, hearty Romanian cuisine. 

Transylvania is revered by Romanians as the most beautiful part of their country. With the legend of Dracula flying over its dramatic castles, stunning mountains, horse-drawn carriages and friendly locals, this is certainly a family break not to be missed.

For more information contact Invitation Romania Travel, who can assist with car hire, accommodation and personal itineraries.