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photo by SBA73 on Flickr.

Castelul Huniazilor (Huniad Castle) is a Gothic-Renaissance castle in Hunedoara, Transylvania, present day Romania. In February 2007, Hunyad Castle played host to the British paranormal television program Most Haunted Live! for a three-night live investigation into the spirits reported to be haunting the castle.

Transylvania is steeped in the legend of Dracula, and I have to admit; the first time I visited I was also on a quest to discover just where the count came from. However, once in western Romania I soon realized that there’s far more to do here than hunt vampires. And, if you’re looking for a rustic and rural retreat where you can indulge in nature, architecture and homemade crafts, then heading to Transylvania is perfect. (via Transylvania, Romania – A lot more to it than Dracula |)

  • Transylvania has seen a turbulent past, and has belonged to the Roman Empire, the Gepid Kingdom and the Bulgarian Empire to name but a few. This means that there’s a lot of history to explore, and architectural throwbacks to its previous occupancy can be found everywhere. Over 150 fortified churches are ready to be explored, and I discovered some beautiful buildings in Valea Viilor, Biertan and Viscri. It’s also worth travelling to some of the region’s wonderful cities, including Sibiu; the only Romanian city that’s claimed the accolade of being a European Capital of Culture. Sighisoara has a stunning medieval charm about it, so much so that I felt I’d been transported back in time to medieval times, whilst the Palace of Culture in Targu Mures shouldn’t be missed.
  • There are more than man-made structures to explore in Transylvania too, with its situation on the edge of the Carpathian Mountains offering some stunning scenery and vistas. One of the best ways to indulge in Romania’s nature is to travel to Apuseni Natural Park. Dozens of trails meander through villages, forests, waterfalls and gorges, giving you the ideal way of losing yourself in this incredible wilderness.