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This expedition to Romania will allow you to discover the beauty of the country and the friendliness of its people. At the same time, you will get an insight into the issues facing many of the vulnerable and unwanted children with whom we work, and have a chance to contribute to their support and development. We must warn you that after getting attached to some amazing kids you may find it very difficult to leave.
Spend your weekends discovering one of Europe’s most beautiful landscapes as you are flanked by the Carpathian Mountains in rural Transylvania. You are also within an easy distance of large tourist cities like Brasov – which is a great city to explore over a weekend or two! There are a range of local festivals over the summer months and our in-country team are happy to point you in the right direction.
Arrive with your group into Cluj Napoca airport where you will be met by a member of the in-country team and transferred to your accomodation
Your volunteering in Transylvania takes place in the children’s summer holidays and focusses on keeping those children who come from lower income backgrounds entertained as their families cannot afford to send them to summer camp or pay for a childminder. These children do not normally have anything to do so our volunteers keep them occupied with activities such as drama and sports, as well as also raising their levels of spoken English through “fun learning” and “creativity” It is important for our volunteers as valued adults and mentors to guide and inspire the children. With the children you will create memories they will cherish for life! Weekends provide respite and a chance for you to see some of the stunning local surroundings. There are opportunities to go hiking, boating, visit hot springs and nearby cities and more!
Depending upon your international flight back to the UK, you will be transferred to Cluj airport for your flight home or onwards travel.
*This itinerary is not fixed and some of the travel and challenge details may change. Confirmation of your specific challenge itinerary will be sent out nearer to your departure date.
After breakfast, you will be driven to the one of the most breath-taking natural attractions in Romania, the Bicaz Gorges. These gorges contain amazing vertical walls of rock that surround the winding road through the middle. The road will then bring you to another beautiful sight, a natural dam lake. This lake was formed after an earthquake on 23rd January 1838 at the foot of Hăşmaşul Mare. The name of the Red Lake is derived from the red sandstone transported by the streams, over time this sandstone dyed the surrounding rocks a beautiful purple-red colour. It is a stunning area and is perfect for trekking.
On the second morning you will be driven to the heart of Romania, Brasov. This city is one of the most secure fortresses in Europe with an architectural defence pile made from massive stone walls, 32 defence towers and 4 fortified gates. Today you will be visiting the magnificent Black Church – the largest and most important Gothic style church in the region. You can stroll around the historic council square and explore the city. Admire the red roofed merchant houses, the Black and White Tower, Ekaterina’s Gate, the Schei Gate and Rope Street- the narrowest street in Europe!
After Brasov you will be taken to Bran, a village not far from the city. Here you will be visiting the castle of Count Dracula.
The day will end with a walk at the foot of Stone Mountains National Park where you can see impressive white limestone slopes.
Day three will be back to nature. You will be taking beautiful walks to see the meadows which have an incredible abundance of wild flowers and species of insects.
Your day will start at ‘Libearty’ bear sanctuary near Zarnesti. Since the sanctuary opened, it has rescued 95 bears from tiny cages and lives of abuse. It is a really wonderful experience to visit these beautiful animals.
After the sanctuary, you will be taken to Stone Mountains National Park where you can learn about the animals and plants being protected in the area. The day will continue with a beautiful and impressive trekking route through the Zarnesti Gorges to reach Curmatura cottage.
After an early morning start, you will be driven to Sighisoara with a stop in Viscri on the way. Viscri is one of the most beautiful Saxon villages in Transylvania. The fortified church, built around 1100, led to the village being named as one of 25 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Romania. In 1185, the Saxons colonised the church and forced the Hungarian inhabitants to leave the village to settle in the South-East of Transylvania. The rich history of the area led to Prince Charles buying and renovating an 18th century Saxon house here in order to promote sustainable tourism and preserve the unique way of life of the Viscri villagers. You will have the opportunity to ride a horse drawn cart and visit a handicraft tiles factory which follows the ancient manufacturing methods.
You will then continue on to Sighisoara.
Founded by the Transylvanian Saxons during the 12th Century, the historic centre of Sighisoara was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999. This beautiful town is host to some incredible architecture, particularly the Clock Tower built in the second half of the 14th century. There will be a walking tour of the city which will include a visit to the Church on the Hill, the neo-Renaissance city hall, the Roman Catholic Church, the 13th century Gothic monument, and the Church of St Mary, amongst other sites the old citadel has to offer. As arguably the most well-preserved citadel in Europe, these sites are certainly impressive and it will be an excellent chance to view the city highlights.
After the city tour, we will begin a trek near Sighisoara around a protected area, in a forest of impressive secular oaks.
Your day will end with a transfer to Targu Mures ready for your flight home the next day.
Be transferred to the airport in plenty of time to catch your flight home.
*This extension trip is subject to receiving a minimum number of participants
|University Name||Departure/Arrival Date||Availability|
|Portsmouth Students||8th June – 22nd June 2019||Book Now|
Please note that dates are subject to minor changes and these will be broadcast well in advance to your departure.