This tour is organised and led by Steve Davey | The land arrangements are sub-contracted to Intrepid Travel, but the tours don't appear on the Intrepid Travel website | The only way to book is through this site!
These two countries have a fantastic history and culture, stretching back thousands of years.Although both are probably best known in the West for their recent cruel Communist dictatiorships, each boasts thousands of years of history and culture, including Roman ruins, Medieval churches and castles, and a rural culture where little seems to have changed for hundreds of years.
This exciting, new exploratory tour sees us cover some of the most atmospheric and photogenic places in Europe, where you will enjoy countless photographic opportunities as well as unique photographic tuition and encouragement from Steve Davey.
Much of our time in Romania is in the infamous region of Transylvania. Featured in countless horror films, you might not encounter vampires, but this region of the country appears little changed in parts, and has a culture and history where such things are appear possible!
We start in the city of Cluj Napoca, to explore our first Roman ruins before heading to the little known region around Maramures. This region may be modernising, but among the traditional wooden houses and churches, the traditional music and forests, you can still find things that appear that unchanged since medieval times.
We will have plenty of chance to photograph historic wooden churches and the unique Merry Cemetery in Sapanta, where crosses are decorated with the life stories of the deceased, as well as rural life and traditional villages. In order to get closer to the local people, we will stay in a homestay pension, and enjoy traditional local food.
The myth of Dracula was allegedly based on the terrifying Vlad 'the Impaler' Dracul, a local prince whose favoured method of dispatching prisoners, and indeed anyone who displeased him by impaling them on a long pole. Vlad hailed from the city of Sihisoara, and this beautifully preserved medieval city still has a imposing and melevolent feeling, especially if you walk through the Saxon Cemetery as the sun goes down at the end of the day.
We continue on to the Saxon village Viscri to photograph another marvellously preserved UNESCO site, including the fortified White Church.
On the way to the town of fortified town of Brasov, we swing past the so-called Dracula castle of Bran, where we will photograph the exterior, before continuing on to our hotel, and to explore the town.
From Brasov, we leave Transylvania, so you can dump your garlic, and put on your best clothes as we hit the monumental city of Bucharest. Much of this city was rebuilt by the dictator Ceaucescu – the Communist era dictator of Romania – most notably the massive Palace of Parliament, which was modelled on Buckingham Palace.
After crossing the border into Bulgaria, we explore the country's first capital, the hilly city of Veliko Tarnovo – best known for the Tsarevets fortress. We will photograph picturesque streets of this city which reputedly dates back some 5000 years.
We head back to the Roman era for the city of Plovdiv, with its famous ancient Roman theatre, before moving on to the small village of Gorno Draglishte for a real hit of Bulgarian rural life.
Calling in at the fantastic Rila Monastery, where scene from heaven and hell decorate the ancient walls (where at least one of the devils bears a striking resemblance to Mr Burns, from The Simpsons) we continue on to the laid back capital of Sofia.
Many parts of Sofia appear to have changed little since the Communist days, and it is easy to imagine your self being a spy as you walk down cobbled streets and past Soviet-era statues. Sofia ia a delight though from the trams that rattle through the streets and the copious monuments: both historic, and brutalist Soviet styles.
We will have plenty of time to explore this little known, yet charming capital city, before the end of the trip.
Although Steve has travelled a couple of times to Romania, both were a long time ago, and so there is little photographic evidence. When I am back from Vietnam I will dig some old transparencies out of storage, but in the meantime these pictures are of a much more recent trip to the fascinating country of Bulgaria.
Highlights of this trip
• Scary Transylvania
• Vibrant Bucharest
• Laid back Sofia
• Roman Plovdiv
• Sapanta Merry Cemetery
• Painted Rila Monastery
• Extensive photographic tuition
better travel photography•COM
photo tours with steve davey
Romania & Bulgaria Itinerary
Day 1: Cluj Napoca
Day 2: Maramures
Day 3: Maramures
Day 4: Sighisoara
Day 5: Viscri
Day 6: Brasov
Day 7: Bucharest
Day 8: Bucharest
Day 9: Veliko Tarnovo
Day 10: Plovdiv
Day 11: Gorno Draglishte
Day 12: Sofia
Day 13: Sofia
Day 14: Tour ends
Website, Images and text © Steve Davey/stevedavey.com 1990 - 2019
This tour is led by Steve Davey - a professional photographer, whose work appears in publications all over the world. He is the author of the bestselling Unforgettable Places To See Before You Die (BBC Books). Steve recently published Footprint Travel Photography (Footprint Books), which covers everything that you would ever want to know about travelling with a camera. Click for more.
Land arrangements are sub-contracted to Intrepid Travel, who have many years experience in running small group adventures.
Bookings are made through the Intrepid Special Groups Dept. in the UK not the Intrepid website or Stores. Use this link for more information
Start: 6 July 2018
End: 19 July 2018
Price: From £1745 pp
excl. flights, based on
Min 8, max 12 people
Places left: 9
Trip to be confirmed.
Single supplement if not sharing a room: £395
flight cost £250