Director: Beverly Berg
Dates: June 29 – July 12, 2022 (or July 14, 2022)
Conquered by Trajan, the province of Dacia was so intensely transformed by Rome that Romanians to this day speak a Latin-derived language. Our visits include the remains of two ancient Greek settlements on the Black Sea, three cities founded under the auspices of Trajan, two Roman legionary fortress towns, the cult center of Decebalus, Trajan’s opponent, two of Romania’s most picturesque towns, and two romantic castles. Two of our days will be spent across the Danube in Bulgaria, and there is an extra two-day option in Budapest, recommended for all except those who have previously visited Budapest. Please pack light; just carry-on.
Those interested in the tour program should contact the Director at firstname.lastname@example.org, or the VS Secretary. The cost of the tour includes hotels, transportation on program, breakfasts, lunches, and two dinners (13-day version: $2695; 15-day version: $2895; single supplement: $400).
Overview, Core: 13 nights: 1 night Bucharest, 2 Constanta, 2 Veliko Tarnovo, 1 Bucharest again, 1 Brasov, 3 Sibiu, 2 Deva or Hunedoara, 1 Budapest. Extension: 2 more nights in Budapest.
Day 0 – June 28 (Tues. or before): Participants depart from USA.
Day 1 – June 29 (Wed.): Participants arrive in Bucharest (hopefully by midday), and rendezvous with director. For those who have arrived at hotel by 3:00pm, there will be a visit to the National Art Museum. Welcome dinner and overnight in Bucharest.
Day 2 – June 30 (Thurs.): Visit to the National History Museum with a display of artifacts and casts of the panels of Trajan’s column we can view up close. We will also see the nearby Stavropoleos church. Afternoon transfer to Constanta on the Black Sea.
Day 3 – July 1 (Fri.): Morning excursion to Histria, Histros to the Greeks who founded the town in the seventh century BCE, and afternoon visit to the archaeological park and museum of Constanta, ancient Tomis where Ovid spent his exile.
Day 4 – July 2 (Sat.): Morning excursion to Tropaeum Traiani to see the trophy with its depictions of Roman and native warriors, the museum, and the remains of the Roman veteran settlement. Afternoon drive to Veliko Tarnovo in Bulgaria, capital of the 12th-14th century Bulgarian kingdom. First overnight in Veliko Tarnovo.
Day 5 – July 3 (Sun.): Morning visit to Nicopolis ad Istrum, founded by Trajan for veterans, and afternoon visit to the archaeological museum of Veliko Tarnovo and walking tour of the city. Second overnight in Veliko Tarnovo.
Day 6 – July 4 (Mon.): We visit the remains of the Roman legionary fortress of Novae on the Danube, including vestiges of a base hospital. We re-enter Romania and overnight in Bucharest.
Day 7 – July 5 (Tues.): Across the Carpathians to Brasov, a well-preserved, picturesque Transylvanian Saxon town with a medieval ambiance. We visit the Black Church, the City Museum, the synagogue, and the Romanian Schei quarter. Overnight in Brasov.
Day 8 – July 6 (Wed.): Visit to the romantic castle of Bran. Afternoon drive to Sibiu, once the chief town of the Saxons who settled here in the Middle Ages, with a baroque ambiance. First overnight in Sibiu.
Day 9 – July 7 (Thurs.): In Sibiu, we visit the Brukenthal art museum, and the History museum with an archaeological collection. Afternoon at the Village (ASTRA) museum of Sibiu. Second overnight in Sibiu.
Day 10 – July 8 (Fri.): Excursion to Sarmizegetusa Regia, with the intriguing remains of a sacral area, once the capital of Decebalus, sacked by Trajan’s forces in the climax of his conquest of Dacia. Third overnight in Sibiu.
Day 11 – July 9 (Sat.): Pack up, drive to Alba Iulia, the ancient Roman fortress and colony of Apulum, to see the remains of the legionary headquarters and the archaeological collection as well as St. Michael’s, a thirteenth-century cathedral and the burial place of the heroic warrior Janos Hunyadi, ruler of Transylvania in the thirteenth century. Arrival in Deva or Hunedoara for first overnight.
Day 12 – July 10 (Sun.): Excursions to the remains of Ulpia Traiana (Roman Sarmizegetusa, a veteran colony), the center of power during the 150 years when Dacia was a Roman province, and see the Deva archaeological collection and the fifteenth-century Corvin Castle, built by Hunyadi in Hunedoara. Second overnight in Deva or Huneodara.
Day 13 – July 11 (Mon.): Train (at about 11:00am), on the route once used by the Orient Express, to Budapest, a seven-and-a-half-hour trip. Farewell dinner. Overnight in Budapest.
Day 14 – July 12 (Tues.): Departure from Budapest for those not doing the extension.
Day 14 – July 12 (Tues.): In Budapest, excusion to the suburbs to see the remains of Aquincum, a Roman legionary fortress and support town. Afternoon at the archaeological museum of Budapest.
Day 15 – July 13 (Wed.): Explore Castle Hill with its history and art museums, cathedral and the famous Fisherman’s Bastion.
Day 16 – July 12 (Thurs.): Departure from Budapest, although many may want to linger to see Budapest’s manifold other attractions.
Electronic Payment Options
A surcharge will be assessed for electronic payment.