Top reasons to visit Transylvania for half term
Feature writer Lara shares her top reasons to visit Transylvania. Why not give your half term break a ghoulish theme for Halloween?
Half term’s snuck up on you and you’re dying to get away somewhere. With Halloween on the horizon perhaps it’s time to include a ghoulish theme to your half term break? Have you ever considered Transylvania for a long weekend? Contrary to popular belief it is in fact a real place, and not just a heavily bat-populated area invented by Bram Stoker.
Some interesting facts about this not-so-bloodthirsty area and reasons why you might want to visit:
1. Transylvania means ‘the land beyond the forest’.
2. Prince Charles liked it so much he bought a house here.
3. Many folk living in the smaller villages still make a living from time-honoured traditional occupations such as sheep-herding, weaving and carpentry
4. Transylvania prides itself on its superior double distilled liquors palinca, horinca and rachie, made from local fruit. The local vineyards are also well worth a visit.
5. The Apuseni Mountain range is an area of stunning beauty and has over 4,000 caves waiting to be explored.
6. If you fancy skiing, head to Poiana Brasov, which has the best facilities, and caters for beginners to intermediates.
7. Fishing, walking and other outdoor sports are also popular.
8. For history buffs there are plenty of spooky castles to keep you occupied. Bran Castle, near the city of Brasov is a must-see, being the one from which Stoker apparently drew his inspiration – although Vlad the Impaler, whom Dracula is said to be based on, only spent a few nights there.
Overall, it’s a far friendlier, livelier place than the Hollywood movies would have you believe. But just to be on the safe side, it’s probably best to pack the garlic.
Photography: Kyle Taylor @Flickr