This was a small group minivan tour to Dracula's castle/Peles castle/Brasov. They went to Draculas castle first to avoid the crowds and this worked out well. The stop in Brasov was nice where we were able to have lunch at La Ceaun which served local dishes (very good!). Due to road construction we were delayed getting to Peles castle so it was getting close to closing time when we arrived. This worked out ok since the crowds had mostly left. Overall a good experience. There is no hotel pick-up so you need to get to the Hilton for departure. Tour guide was good.
This was by far one of the best excursions I have ever booked. Even though I have seen many other castles around Europe that were much bigger and more extravagant then these two our tour guide Valantina made the journey so informative about the country, area and people of Romania that it was quite enjoyable. They spent the perfect amount of time at each site and did a great job of getting us around the traffic and road construction in the area. Another good booking on Viator
Great tour and our our guide very helpful and cheerfull.
Meeting place easy to locate, guides were there ahead of time, van was comfortable.
Valentine, our guide was knowledgeable and funny. He was informative and told us about history not only of castles and Translylvania, but of the whole Romania as well.Only cons that we were a bit rushed due to time.
I booked this tour as a present for my sons birthday! well what can i say it was fabulous from the word go our guide
Valentin was wonderful he was at the meeting point to greet us we stared at 8 am. He was very knowledgeable informative and also funny. Valentin looked after us very well and we learned so much! thank you so very much for making our day. If your going to do a tour then make it this one you wont be disappointed.
First of all, now I understand why the drives from one place to another took so long. Not all of the places were connected by freeways/highways though highways are in the process of getting constructed Parts of the route is through local roads and towns. There were traffic jams in some of the places. The drive from Bucharest to Peles is about 1.5 hours, spent about 1.5 hours at Peles, 2 hours drive to Brams Castle, about 2.5 hours exploring the castle and lunch time on your own, 30 minutes drive to Braşov, 1 hour exploring and 3 hours drive back to Bucharest. All totaled, 12 hours for this day trip. We left about 8:15 AM and got back about 8:30.
Theres a quick stop at a gas station for coffee/toilet break between Bucharest/Peles and another stop on the way back between Braşov/Bucharest. You are only allowed to drink water on the van - no eating nor drinking. Its a Mercedes mid-sized van with two seaters on one side a single seater on the other side. There were some storage space overhead. It was very comfortable for the 10 in this group and the van was well heated/ventilated.
This tour did not pick up from hotel. Instead, a central place to meet was provided. I actually preferred this approach rather than going from one hotel to another for pick up/drop off. Also appreciated the later departure at 8 AM rather than 7 AM like some tours probably for hotel pick up.
Really enjoyed Brams Castle be sure to have a meal at the high tea spot favored by Queen Maria located at the base of the path going up to the castle and Brasov super charming especially with the Christmas village and lights around.
Things that can be improved on:
- Specific meeting point was provided in the viator instructions. The guide was waiting around a different corner. The area is quite large so it was easy for people to miss and caused some confusion.
- The tour didnt depart on time - about 20 minutes later. There were a few people that got to the van late probably because of the confusing instructions on where to meet. This also meant we were in rush hour traffic.
- viator did not identify the tour operator in the communications/confirmation. Some confusion could be eliminated if the guide had a sign of the company at the meeting spot.
- The guide was knowledgeable and nice enough person. However, kind of corny. The most irritating part was when people had nodded off, the guide started having a loud conversation with the driver.
- The driver was kind of heavy on braking quite a few times stemming from following other cars a little too closely and having to brake all of a sudden.
- Peles is apparently a summer resident. As such, it was not that grand. The bigger issue was that theres a charge for taking photos including mobile phones inside for about 35 leu. There was also a charge of 60 leu to go beyond the first floor inside. Im sure all of this is justified but either viator or the tour operator should have been transparent.