Winter Photo Tour of Romania in February
Capture scenic landscapes under a blanket of snow
This Winter Photo Tour of Romania takes you through picturesque areas, quaint villages and medieval towns in Bucovina and Transylvania.
Photograph imposing castles, centuries-old fortified churches, painted monasteries, steam-trains travelling through forests covered in white and impressive mountains. To add to your winter experience, you’ll stay in an ice hotel and ride a dog-drawn sleigh. During this photo tour there will also be opportunities for portrait and lifestyle photography as you will get in touch with locals and become part of their daily lives.
This tour will take place between 29 January and 7 February 2023.
Highlights of the Winter Photo Tour of Romania
- Photograph a steam train in Bucovina
- Capture the Painted Monasteries, UNESCO sites
- Photograph beautiful mountain scenery and gorges
- Ride a dog-drawn sledge and stay in an ice hotel
- Get insight into the local culture
- Experience a stay at an ice hotel
Day 1 29th of January 2023 – Sunday
Start this winter photo tour of Romania in Cluj-Napoca, where you will be picked up from the airport and transferred to the hotel located in the heart of the city.
In the second part of the day you will have a blue hour shoot in the older part of the city, followed by a welcome dinner.
Overnight in Cluj-Napoca.
Day 2 30th of January 2023 – Monday
Today you will travel to Bucovina region, famous for its Painted churches and spectacular natural settings. Along the way you will get to admire beautiful landscapes as you’ll pass by the Carpathian Mountains and remote traditional villages spread in valleys and on hillsides.
Once in Bucovina, you’ll have the chance to learn about a well-preserved craft, the painting of eggs. You’ll visit a workshop and photograph the ladies at work as they showcase their skills. It’s a good opportunity to get introduced into the local culture and to practice portrait photography.
Overnight in Bucovina.
Drive time: 5h
Day 3 31st of January 2023 – Tuesday
The first photo opportunity of the day will be a sunrise shoot in the village, after which you will photograph Mocanita Hutulca, one of the last narrow-gauge steam trains still working. You will try to capture it as it moves through villages, forests and by clear waters.
Then you will explore the Painted Monasteries, UNESCO World Heritage sites. They are unique example of Byzantine art and feature impressive interior and exterior frescoes preserved since the 15th century. You will visit Sucevita Monastery and photograph it against a beautiful natural background of gentle hills and Voronet Monastery, known for its one-of-a-kind shade of blue.
In order to best capture the beauty of Bucovina’s landscape – characterized by scattered haystacks, wooden barns and winding roads lined with fences – you’ll have a photo shoot at sunset.
Overnight in Bucovina.
Drive time: 2h
Day 4 1st of February 2023 – Wednesday
Start the day with another opportunity for people photography at a local market! As we will leave Bucovina behind and head into Transylvania, we’ll make various stops in different rural areas of the country, so you’ll get to witness the everyday life of locals.
You’ll also get to capture the beautiful surrounding mountain scenery as you will drive through Bicaz gorges, an 8-kilometers-long route bordered by imposing rock formations.
Overnight in Sandominic.
Travel time: 5h
Day 5 2nd of February 2023 – Thursday
t’s time for one of the highlights of your winter photo tour of Romania! You’ll get to ride a dog-drawn sleigh while at the same time capturing the magic of the Harghita Mountains covered in snow.
Then you will visit Brasov, a charming medieval town located in the heart of the Carpathians. You will have a tour around the Old Town and photograph the colorful houses, the tall defensive walls and towers.
Overnight in Pestera.
Travel time: 3h
Day 6 3rd of February 2023 – Friday
Start the sixth day of your winter photo tour in Romania with a sunrise shoot in the surrounding mountains. From your location you’ll get to capture both the Bucegi and the Piatra Craiului Mountains in the distance.
You’ll spend the rest of your day in the same setting, shooting mountain villages, winding country roads and traditional wooden houses scattered around the hills. The beauty of idyllic Transylvania will allow for plenty of creative photo opportunities.
Not to be missed is the famous Bran Castle! You’ll capture it from a distance, perched on top of rocks and surrounded by a green dense forest.
Overnight in Pestera.
Travel time: 2h 30’
Day 7 4th of February 2023 – Saturday
Romania is home to the largest bear population in Europe and although during winter most bears are hibernating, we can still see some at the bear sanctuary in Zarnesti, where formerly captive bears are now being taken care of in safe conditions.
Second on the day’s itinerary is Bran Castle, widely known for its association with Dracula. In reality, it’s a beautiful medieval castle and if a day ago you got to photograph it from outside, now you’ll go inside to find out its story.
Overnight in Pestera.
Drive time: 1h 30′
Day 8 5th of February 2023 – Sunday
You will travel towards Balea Waterfall and take a cable car up to Balea Lake, where the ice hotel is built every year.
For a unique winter experience, you’ll spend the night at the ice hotel, in one of the rooms or igloos decorated following a specific theme with furniture made entirely of ice. You can also have dinner at the ice restaurant or visit the ice church. The ice constructions and the spectacular mountains landscape offer plenty of interesting photo opportunities!
Overnight in the ice hotel.
Drive time: 3h
Day 9 6th of February 2023 – Monday
You will spend the first part of the day in Sibiu, a charming medieval town where the buildings have beautiful colorful architecture and there are many squares, imposing towers and cobbled streets which you can shoot.
On the way towards Cluj-Napoca you will make a stop at one of the following places: Corvin Castle, a picture-perfect Gothic monument, Alba-Iulia, a town rich with history and home to a Vauban-style fortress or Turda Salt Mine, an exotic-looking place where you can get some unique shots.
Back in Cluj, the tour will end with a farewell dinner, the perfect opportunity to share with the other participants your best memories of Romania.
Overnight in Cluj-Napoca.
Drive time: 4h
Day 10 7th of February 2023 – Tuesday
On the last day of your winter photo tour of Romania you will be transferred to the airport from where you will take your flight back home, hopefully with some great pictures on your camera.
Suggested Itinerary Viewed On Map
About The Tour Guide
Daniel is a Romanian tour guide since 2011 and the very first tour he organized was for photographers. Since then he ran tours for several international photo tour leaders including a Pulitzer Prize winner so he became very aware of the specific needs of photographers.
He really loves the rural areas and people practicing traditional occupations and helps photographers interact with them. Previously he worked for Microsoft, Soros Foundation, Ecosistemi, Deloitte and AIESEC, lived in 4 different countries and traveled to another 30 on 4 continents.
About The Tour
This is a cultural tour which will provide additional opportunities for photography by putting you in contact with interesting locals and also planning visits around the good times of the days to take pictures. This means that on some days you might wake up early for sunrise or stay up late for sunsets and the blue hour, it is up to each participant though.
It also means that the tour plan is flexible and can be changed depending on weather conditions and photography opportunities found on the way.
Since we include visits to people’s houses and their schedule is not totally predictable there might be cases when the people are not at home or cannot confirm being at home on the day for our visit. I will suggest alternative opportunities.
Winter Photo Tour of Romania: Included Services
- Trip planning and assistance before and during the tour
- English speaking tour guide services throughout the program (accommodation and meals are included)
- Guidance from international experienced photographer (accommodation and meals are included)
- Accommodation for 9 nights in standard double rooms with breakfast (B) included
- Transfer by 4 wheel drive car on the itinerary mentioned above (for up to 3 people we will use one car for 4 to 6 people we will use 2 cars for 7 to 9 people we will use 3 cars). Fuel, taxes and parking fees are included.
- 8 lunches
- 9 dinners
- Entrance tickets to tourist sites & activities mentioned in the itinerary
Services which are not included in the tour price
- Personal expenses
For prices, please send an inquiry for details.
Gianni from Italy
“I took part in a photography tour Daniel organized in rural Romania. Excellent knowledge of local history and culture! We visited off-the-beaten path places with practically no tourists around. Daniel certainly knows some of the best view points in the country, and he tailored the tour since we were a group of photographers seeking for some good landscape views, as well as people photography. Highly recommended if you want to see real Romania!”
Nina from Michigan, USA
“I can’t say enough good things about the two weeks I spent with Daniel and a small group of photographers in Sept. 2016! He is probably one of the best guides I’ve ever had anywhere. Not only is he a walking encyclopedia about everything Romanian, he went out of his way to be helpful even when he should have been taking a break! He was totally adaptable to our wandering ways as photographers, giving us all the time we needed.”