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TESTIMONIALS

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  • Tours in Transylvania
  • Tours in Bucharest
  • Tours in Northern Romania
  • Tours in Bucovina
  • Tours in Maramures
  • Tours in Moldavia
  • Tours in Dobrogea
  • Tours in The Black Sea Coast
  • Tours in The Danube Delta
  • Tours in Crisana/Banat
  • Tours in Carpathian Mountains

 

TESTIMONIALS 2003-2017

 

 

International Travel News Magazine (ITN). This article appears on page 37 of the February 2017 issue.

A friend and I enjoyed an incredible 13-day private tour of ROMANIA, Sept. 9-21, 2016. In my 56 years of travel, this tour ranks at the top for intercultural experiences.

Our custom tour was arranged through Andrei Nicolau Miclea, owner of Compass Travel Romania (51 Uverturii Ave 060932, Bucharest 6, Romania; toll-free in the US, 855/827-0827,www.tours-of-romania.com  From the planning stage to the end of the tour, I felt that we were in the hands of knowledgeable and professional people. I learned about Compass Travel through the Internet while searching for “private tours of Romania” about five months before the tour. I was so impressed with the reviews that I acted on my gut instinct and emailed Andrei. He was always prompt in answering inquiries. Final details were agreed upon about two months before departure. (We started planning early in order to use frequent-flyer miles for airfare.)

Andrei crafted a tour that included not only the usual architectural monuments and natural wonders (many were UNESCO sites) but varied cultural experiences, including visits to artisans, Roma communities, markets, a village school, etc. 

Exclusive of airfare, the tour was priced at 1,555 (near $1,635) per person, double occupancy. Included were nine nights in 4-star hotels, two nights’ homestay, a fully insured car with A/C, all transfers, porterage, a driver/guide throughout, all the guide’s expenses (except his gratuity), tours of all cities, a day trip into Bulgaria, admissions to museums and sites, wine- and cheese-tasting, and an egg-painting demonstration as well as 11 breakfasts, one lunch, two home-hosted dinners and one folkloric show dinner.

We were fortunate to have an exceptional guide, Silviu, who spoke excellent English. He was very intelligent, was very knowledgeable of the history and politics of Romania and had a great sense of humor. We enjoyed many interesting discussions with him. He also had a remarkable ability to relate to people, and having a private driver/guide allowed us to make spur-of-the-moment changes. Seeing someone along the road doing something interesting, Silviu would stop the car and engage the person. Then — Wow! — we would experience something wonderful. Our accommodations tended to be small, charming, boutique-type hotels, frequently in historical buildings that had been renovated and modernized. Breakfast, both hot and cold, was always included. The homestay in a village with a delightful host and hostess (who was a great cook) was one of the highlights. Silviu made excellent suggestions for restaurants for dinner and frequently dined with us. He introduced us to lots of regional traditional food by ordering two or three dishes that we would share. Romania is relatively undiscovered by Americans. As such, it is inexpensive for private touring. I have driven in many European countries, but Romania, with few really good roads and with parking issues in the cities, would be challenging, so I recommend using a private driver/guide. 

It is a land of beautiful scenery and charming villages. See it now before it loses its regional traditions.

KARLENE MORRIS, Pasadena, CA

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The several online reviews on Compass Travel Romania -- an operator with 24 years of experience in Romanian tours -- talked about superior, non-standard itineraries, cross-cultural interaction, centrally located historical hotels and a team of expert tour guides.

Once in contact with the company, we liked the detailed descriptions on both the website and by email, as well as the additional information and suggestions by Andrei and Sonja, also all in writing. We felt we knew what we were going to get and that was exactly the case.

Most importantly, Compass paid particular attention to the fact the days are short in December, getting dark around 5 pm so we started at 8 am from the hotels in order not to miss any of the sites. The tour was designed in a manner that nothing would be missed in comparison to us taking the exact same tour in summer. We had asked for a top level private tour package and that is what we got. From that standpoint everything was planned perfectly and not a single glitch. Their vehicle was brand new.

Our tour guide Dan was excellent both as a guide and as a travel companion. Dan is very knowledgeable and has a humorous personality. He went out of his way to show us a special experience. We heartily endorse Compass Travel Romania and recommend them to anyone who would like a high-quality trip experience based on their personal taste.

Ms Cassie Anderson, USA, traveled December 2016

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We just returned from a trip to Romania/Budapest/Vienna. We hire Compass Travel to do the Romania and Budpest (partial) part of our trip.

My original focus was actually not Romania, but Budapest. The most popular route would typically be Salzburg, Vienna, Prague and Budapest. Since have been to all these cities, except Budapest, I was looking for a different combination. Saw that Romania has a lot of history and UNESCO sites, so decided to give this a try.

The problem is that there are not a lot of tours in my country that includes Romania and while I don't like to plan, I don't like big tour groups even more. Searched on the internet and found Compass Tour so I decided to email them and ask for more information.
Andrei was very helpful and responsive and tailored the trip for us. We started with 3, and added a fourth person 6 weeks before the trip - which likely caused a bit of re-work for Andrei. Also, we wanted to trip to begin in Bucharest and end in Budapest so it connects to our forward journey better. We also requested to not use their hotel Budapest as we wanted to book an apartment for our additional stay (pretty much the poster problem-child)
Andrei took all the changes/requests in stride, recalculated the costs, dealt with the numerous email communications, confirmation and re-confirmations with infinite patience (I hope!). Only thing is that the invoice came quite late so we were a bit worried if our trip is on. (smile....)
We met our guide, George, at the airport. Oftentimes, it is said that the guide makes the tour, and this is so true. Not only is George knowledgeable about the history of the area, he is such a gentleman that he offered my mom his arm when going up/down slopes and stairs (which there are a lot) - definitely better looking and more steady than her walking stick....  In a lot of ways, it is like traveling with a friend who knows the region.
The region is absolutely beautiful and we stayed in medieval and picturesque towns along the way - away from crowds of tourists.
There are bits of the tour that we especially enjoyed - sampling home-cooked fares, locally made jams and chutneys - definitely gave a feel of local life. My only disappointment is that I cannot buy more (glass bottles!) 

After Romania, the tour included a one-way trip to Budapest on an over-night train. We were met by our guide in Budapest at the train station (we have half-day city tour and a tour to Aquincom, Szentendere and Visergrad. In comparison, our guide in Budapest is definitely less experienced. Nevertheless, it was a good schedule arrangement as we would have done day trips for these cities outside of Budapest anyways.

We were very happy with the tour and would definitely recommend it to friends and family who would want to put Romania on their travel itinerary.

Iris Kwan & Family, Hong Kong, traveled September 2016

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After comparinga number of tour operators, we decided Compass Travel Romania had the everything we wanted and a lot more, with some tour features not offered by any other tour group. We found Compass Travel through extensive internet research and after communicating with Andrei Nicolau as well as some competitors it was clear that Andrei’s superior itinerary was going to be our choice.His price was also the very best.

He was always prompt in responding to our many emails both before and after booking our trip. His responsiveness never changed once we booked and this to me is a sign of a company that truly cares about their customers.

We did not go wrong. Now that we've been home for two weeks, all we can do is talk about our amazing trip to Romania with the Bulgarian day-trip extension.

The tour was organised with perfect precision, from the time we landed at the airport, till it was time to leave. It was a flexible, well-paced private tour, and felt completely looked after throughout the 15 days. The choice of hotels is also very good and the prime criteria of Andrei „centrally located and full of character” makes a major difference.

The guide, Laurentiu, was one of the best we have ever encountered. His knowledge, anecdotes, and love for Romania is immense. It makes for a magical tour. His driving was careful and we felt secure at all times during the tour.

The Bulgaria day-trip was also fine, although long we are glad we took it and left Bucharest early as it is a 12 hour trip. Totally worth the trouble as Bulgaria is interesting from both the viewpoints of historical landmarks and rural life.

We highly recommend Andrei for his tours. Speaking to other people who were traveling with other tours companies it is obvious that Andrei is one step ahead of his competition.

Maria Svensson, USA, traveled August 2016

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If you are shopping private tours in Romania, you have found THE BEST! We just returned from a 8 day private trip that included Bucharest, Bucovina and a special tour program in Transylvania. The tour was extended to include a day in Sibiu and the area around it with a focus on the traditional villages.

The company is known to hire the best tour guides in the country. Our tour guide, Mihai, made every sight exceptional with his knowledge and his way of telling the story of what we were seeing. With 16 years of experience, not only was he a treasure of historical information, but was able to provide an insightful Romanian perspective with a passion and sense of humor.

From our first contact with Andrei (Manager) and through out the whole trip he was very responsive to all our questions and individual requests. The organization was impeccable, from picking us from the airport to begin the tour until delivering us back in time for all the departure formalities. The schedule allowed for ample time to take pictures and ask questions. The included hotels were all excellent and well located.

We had a nice balance of free days/hours where we got the chance to explore the towns in which we were staying (this provides an opportunity to tour Romania without feeling like a tourist and to connect more with the locals).

We are all appreciative to Andrei and Mihai for arranging an amazing private tour. Having travelled widely, this remains a trip of a lifetime.

Mr John Henry and Mrs Lilly Henry, Seattle, WA, USA. Traveled August 2016

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My wife and I are Australians buthaving lived and worked at times in Europe with a deep interest in its extraordinary cultural, artistic and linguistic diversity. As we had not yet been to Romania (but have done so for 24 other EU Member States), a Romanian visit became a goal for 2016. For various reasons we rejected the idea of getting about by rail, joining a coach tour or driving ourselves around in a hire car. Internet search lead quickly to Compass Tours and so began a dialogue over months with Andrei Miclea, CEO, to develop the tour we took. He was at all times flexible and quick to respond to suggested variations to his Romanian Rhapsody Tour, which we did in particular by:

1. Skipping time in Bucharest (we had private contacts there)

2. Adding an extra night stay at Sighisoara

3. Adding a visit to the Brukenthal Museum, Sibiu

4. Adding iSiebenbürgen villages: Viscri, Harman, Prejmer

The tour experience was in all respects hugely successful. Gelu, the guide who met us on arrival at the airport, and Radu, the guide who drove us throughout the 10 days of the actual tour were both perfect for the role: courteous, attentive to our requests and needs, especially with luggage, very informative on Romanian history and culture, and amusing. There was so much to learn and marvel at: Surdesti, the painted monasteries of Bukovina and much much more. And so far, Romania is not swamped with other tourists!

Mr and Mrs Peter Standish (Australia), traveled August 2016

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Our Romanian Rhapsody tourthrough Compass Travel Romania was wonderful! This beautiful country has such variety and history, and the people were very friendly to us. We loved George – he is an excellent guide – very knowledgeable, flexible, patient with all our photo stops and a fun person to travel with. We learned so much about Romania, and learning about your more recent history made a deep impression on me. I also want to compliment our agency's hotel choices, especially the balcony rooms in the Best Western Bucovina and the rooms looking over the square in the House With Antler in Sighisoara. It was fun staying in a medieval hotel right on the old town square! We added a side trip to Fundata on the day we saw Bran Castle and the mountain scenery was spectacular. The only thing I would have done differently would have been to find a way to see both Hunaidy Castle and the Turda Salt Mines. Our timing didn't allow that because everything was closed for Easter on that Sunday. Overall, our tour was amazing and we loved it! As we told George when we left, Romania now has three new, enthusiastic ambassadors.

Paula B (USA), traveled June 2016

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My friend and Ienjoyed a 5 nights/6 days tour of Romania from 14 to 19 May with our very capable and caring driver/guide, Florian.

When we booked a Danube cruise from Bucharest to Budapest, we decided that extra time in Romania was a must. A search of the internet revealed Compass Travel, a company based in Bucharest. An email to them asking for information and suggestions was promptly answered by Andrei, with four suggested itineraries to consider. Our initial plan was to undertake a 3 nights/4 days tour, but when we decided to travel to Bucharest earlier, we changed to 4 nights/5 days, then subsequently to 5 nights/6 days. With each change, Andrei amended the tour schedule and made additional suggestions until we were satisfied that we had the best possible itinerary to meet our interests. The hotels that Andrei had booked for us were all in excellent locations. Two of the three hotels were in old buildings without lifts. The position and ambience of them made the walk up many steps to our rooms well worth the effort! (A big thank you to Florian for carrying our somewhat heavy bags to our rooms for us.) We felt especially privileged to stay at House with Antler in the Citadel of Sighisoara.

Our driver/guide, Florian, met us at 8:45 am on the first day, During the whole of our tour, he was attentive and considerate, always prepared to go the extra mile; stopping to let us get the best photo opportunities; and always looking out for our safety. When we visited Peles Castle in Sinaia, Florian discovered while we were touring the castle that the souvenir shop would not be open when our tour finished. He very kindly purchased DVDs as a gift for each of us - just one of his thoughtful actions.

From my first contact with Andrei right through to the end of our tour, I cannot speak highly enough of Compass Travel. So a big thank you to Andrei and Florian for giving us a memorable holiday.

Joan and Aurilea

Australia

Traveled May 2016

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When looking for atour company in Romania, we searched for a company based in Romania with a Romanian staff. From the time of our first contact with Andrei Nicolau, Manager of Tour-of Romania, Bucharest, we were impressed with his professionalism and the company’s service record. Our replies were answer promptly and various suggestions offered to fit our ways of travelling. We are a senior couple and are experienced travellers so have a pretty good idea what we want and expect. When finalizing our trip, we chose the Romanian Rhapsody Tour offered on their website with additions and deletions. Nothing seemed to be too much trouble. We started our planning approximately a year ago and it was attached to the end of a 23-day river cruise which had included a few cities in Bulgaria so we asked for out tour be of Romania only. All of our requests were completed exactly as we wished, thanks again to Andrei.

Our tour guide was George (sorry don’t remember his last name) and we could not have been happier. He was very professional and had real sense of humor. A great fit for us. Our tour was a great fit for a senior couple (both of us are in our 70s). He was always on time (early) and that made it even better for us. We had three single night stops and 3-2 night stops which made it perfect. Our stays in the old/historical parts of the towns / cities visited were exceptional. Staying in the historical centres always adds interest and a learning opportunity for our travels.

There were so many things that we saw and did that it would be too numerous to mention. We were fortunate to be able to see the only wooden synagogue in Romania. The caretaker was very informative and learned that this Jewish community is now down to approximately 170 people so a rabbi comes only a few times a year to do services. We were unable to visit the wooden church of Bogdan (a UNESCO site) as there was no one to unlock the gate and doors. George attempted several times to contact the caretaker to no avail. Perhaps this visit in the itinerary might be deleted if no one is available to assist in admittance. It does seem a shame as it is a UNESCO site. The painted churches in Bucovina and the visit to a traditional gypsy home were highlights of our trip. If others, like ourselves, know little of the traditional gypsy life, be prepared to be pleasantly surprised.

On our last day we finally learned why Peles Castle is left to the last. Visit and you will know the reason. Surprise!!!

To generalize, I think a lot of people think only of Dracula when talking of Romania. Romania is a gorgeous county and deserves a visit, whether for visiting, hiking or skiing. There are lots of reminders of the communist times and Ceaucescu’s years. A visit to the Anti Communist Memorial is a real learning experience.


Thanks again, George, for a spectacular tour and for assisting in changing our hotel for the last night. The stay near the airport was a good one.

Lockie & Joyce LOMAX

Canmore, Alberta, Canada, traveled May 2016

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We just completed our tour of Romania with Compass Tourand I would like to say that the tour was excellent. We booked on line and wondered how everything would go when we got to Romania and I must say it went very well with all of the plans going smoothly, starting with the airport pick up.

Andrei was very responsive on email as we planned the trip. We had a few important requests concerning twin beds and he went to extra lengths to assure we had these arrangements.
Having a private driver, Nick, made the trip especially enjoyable. Not being herded around, we could visit the sites at our own pace. Nick was extremely knowledgable about the country, history, the culture, political implications, the educational system, the the implications merging both religions and ethnic groups. We learned a lot about the country and appreciated all of the insights.


Many of the experiences were designed to give us a taste of Romanian life including an evening dinner in the home of a master crafts women who painted eggs and an afternoon in the home of a gypsy family. What a treat.

The hotels and B and B's we stayed at were all lovely with clean comfortable rooms and nice breakfast services. All were located central to the towns so we could walk in the evening.
If I had it to do over, I would probably add one more day so the drive from Bucharest up to the Monasteries was not quite so long. Would advise people to take the trip in two days to space out the amount of time driving.Would recommend this tour to all of my friends. Excellent customer service and highly educational. A special country worth taking the time to get to know at a relaxed pace.

Mrs Alide Chase, USA, traveled May 2016

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I have travelled all of my life. Almost 100 countries. They will ask you. Why did you come to Romania? Most people l, like me, say; I've been everywhere else. Romania is gorgeous in the spring. It's like being in the Bavarian Alps. Andrei gave us "Emil". A tour guide with an amazing amount of information. We travelled all throughout Romania for 11 days. Wooden churches, painted monasteries, castles of Transylvania, snow capped mountains, green forests as far as the eyes could see and amazing quaint villages. We had a two night home stay. A visit to a gypsy family home. Lunch on a lake. A Romanian song and dance performance. I can go on and on. Everything went as schedule. Everything was on time, from airport pick up to drop off. Prices were not cheap, nor were they outrageous. To Andrei and Emil, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. I am very critical of today's values, service and professionalism. Do not change a thing.

Scott and Silvia Brown - Georgetown TX, traveled May 2016

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I have not traveld to Romania since 1972, so the planing was important , Andrei took his time and was accommodating thru out. He met all our requests with ease . Christian was our guide and he was Excellent , as well accommodating thru out the trip . Me and my family can rate the Romania Trip as the best family trip we have taken . It all run like a clock with out any hitches . Recommended highly to anyone traveling to Romania and surrounding countries . Thank you very happy client.

Alexander Star & Family, USA, traveled May 2016

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Just got back to the States after a ten-day tour of Transylvania and Maramures. My initial inquiry went out to eight different Romanian tour operators. Of all the respondents, "Tours of Romania" appeared to be the most professional. Representing the agency, Andrei Nicolau provided prompt responses to all of my questions and offered many suggestions that quickly lead to the production of a custom-made itinerary that pretty much covered everything we wanted to see and do. The cost of the tour, as quoted by "Tours of Romania", was in line with the quotes of all the other bidders.

Our small group consisted of four veteran world travelers and, at the beginning, we were all a bit apprehensive about the prospect of having to spend ten full days with the same guide, traveling from place to place in the same mini-van. What if he had no humor? What if we were on different wave lengths? What if he was just a beginner?

Our guide, Dan Bucur, exceeded our most optimistic expectations by a million miles. Full of energy, totally dedicated to his work, exceptionally knowledgeable about Romanian history and geography, a fabulous driver and most of all, endowed with a great sense of humor, Dan became "one of us" in terms of camaraderie and friendship, yet he never forgot that he had a job to do.

With an itinerary as ambitious as ours, a lot of things could have gone wrong, yet everything went according to plan, without even the slightest glitch. We loved Romania and our countless thanks go out to Andrei Nicolau for helping us plan this unforgettable tour and Dan Bucur for his tireless work as our guide.

Gabe Bohm & Frienda, California USA, traveled April 2016

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This was a superb tourfrom start to finish. Setting up the specific customized tour with Andrei Nicolau of Compass Travel was very easy, as we communicated regarding our options and interests several times in designing the tour.

Dan was an incredibly knowledgable tour guide and very careful driver. The details of information he provided were unending. Not only did he provide thorough information about each area we visited, but he also provided a detailed overview of how each area developed over the span of Romania's history. He gave a special attention to Romania’s most recent history and changes since the downfall of communism. Dan also took us to delicious restaurants & ended the tour with some additional, unplanned home visits in two of the Saxon Trail villages. The school and local market visits were highlights.

We have taken bus tours with large groups. This was a private tour for myself and my mother. Absolutely no comparison!

While we never got to meet Andrei in person he stayed in touch with us and always made sure that we were enjoying our time.

This was definitely a once in a life time trip. We have found the best tour company in Romania and we are more than happy to recommend Compass Travel to anyone going on a real tour of Romania.

Mrs Marie Jaures & Mother, USA, traveled April 2016

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We were referred  to Compass Travel Romania in Bucharest by friends who had used this small company. We called their number and that was answered byAndrei Nicolau, owner and travel designer.

A knowledgable man and modern tour operator that knows every inch of Romania and is happy to either have you join one of his regular tours or put together your own itinerary. We took an 11-day tour of Romania and an additional day trip to Bulgaria. From start to finish, working with Andrei Nicolau was wonderful.

He planned out an itinerary and was very open to making changes based on our interests. He included lots of sites, and attractions each day and also built in time to relax and process everything we were seeing. Some of the visits were outstanding such as to the homes and market in Maramures, the visit to a local school, witnessing local craftspeople such as a blacksmith, a baker and an icon painter. Driving through the Romania countryside will afford numerous opportunities of interacting with locals in both road markets and small villages.

Having traveled and taken a fair number of tours over the years, my husband and I have had our share of tours and tour guides. Some have been great while other did the minimal necessary.

Our tour guide, Gelu, was excellent. He made our trip. Compass only works with the very best guides in Romania and the funny part they do not work with anyone else. If it was great due to Andrei's planning, it was elevated to spectacular because of Gelu. His heart and passion for Romania are so evident and his knowledge of every aspect of every place we visited is both authentic and remarkable. And he is very funny! There was lots of laughter during our time in the car, mainly due to Gelu’s sense of humour. He went above and beyond what I would consider "normal" tour guide duties

My advice, if you're considering a trip to Romania with Compass Travel, your experience will be better than anything you could imagine.

Mr and Mrs Cash, USA ( Romania and Bulgaria, traveled Fall 2015)

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My colleague and I  booked a July trip with Compass Travel Romania for July of 2015. It started at Varna Airport in Bulgaria and concluded with a train ride from Sinaia, Romania to Budapest, Hungary.

On reflection almost four months later, we continue to be thrilled with how thorough, how engaging and how satisfying the whole experience turned out to be. The attention to detail, the high-quality accommodations, the flexibility of the itinerary and the extremely economical price were greatly appreciated. The hotels were quite pleasant. The restaurant suggestions were excellent and gave us the opportunity to sample local cuisine in a variety of settings. And the sightseeing points of interest were compelling and fascinating. From big city experiences in Bucharest to the enchantments of Transylvania, we were constantly engaged but never exhausted.

I must give great credit to Mr. Nicolau of Compass Travelfor being so prompt and responsive to every question we raised at each stage of constructing our itinerary. And also credit must go to Mr. Florea. His thoroughly engaging personality and active conversation were, for us, the primary highlight of the whole affair. Whatever topic we explored--history, politics, architecture, music--he was able to offer some specific insight and understanding. Amazingly, too, he seemed quite skilled at matching our pace: making suggestions about things to see and do when he sensed we had extra energy, while also giving us some psychic space when he felt we needed it. He clearly had a deep appreciation for the geography we explored. And he took great pride in being able to make it meaningful for those of us who were seeing it for the very first time.

I am delighted that I was able to connect on-line with Mr. Nicolae. I have had some occasion to mention Compass Travel Romania to friends and business associates. I hope a few of them will take my enthusiastic advice and be able to have an equally enchanting and memorable travel experience some day.

Mr David Kanzeg (Bulgaria and Romania Tour, traveled July 2015)

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I had made   a couple of enquiries about tours to Romania in 2013 but ended up going to Italy because it was more appealing. Again in 2015, I considered a trip around Romania and I could not believe, after enquiring with a few companies, that one of the persons responding to my email remembered me from back in 2013. I knew that this was the company to travel with. The itinerary was so interesting and varied. The days were well-planned, not rushed and we got to experience a little of the local life. Our visit to a Gypsy home was outstanding and memorable as was our homestay in Maramures. All the hotels were well- chosen, comfortable and well-located and we thoroughly enjoyed the suggested restaurants. What made our trip special was the amazing communication we had with Andrei months before the trip. No question asked was deemed too trivial and the advice given was always immediate, honest and spot on. Never did I imagine that he would partner us with such an incredible guide, NICK, who was so intelligent and knowledgeable about so many topics, not just Romania.We got on so well and really got a great impression of this beautiful country. Nine days was not enough...I am considering a return trip and have no hesitation in using Andrei's services again.I cannot recommend this company highly enough. I am a well seasoned traveller, very discerning and quite fussy. This trip exceeded all expectations.Thanks Andrei for all your efforts.

Mr and Mrs Gerendas, Australia (custom Romania tour, traveled May 2015)

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My elderly father,    my son and I wanted to see and experience the country of my grandparents. As we hadn't any experience planning a root-finding tour, nor visited Romania, we were overwhelmed and apprehensive. Upon looking at reviews of tours, we found that Andrei Niculai's name was very highly rated, so we contacted him..and are so grateful we did. He is very knowledgeable - on his country, attractions, accommodations, and was very patient as we tried to figure which places to visit. He was able to put together an amazing itinerary for us, with the most beautiful accommodations. Andrei really cared about us and wanted us have the most amazing trip. He answered every question we had...which was quite a few, and familiarized us with customs, the climate, and helped arrange for a rental car and hotel when we finished the private tour. The guide he arranged was George Buliga. He was very friendly, knowledgeable, spoke excellent English and was fun to be with. It truly was a trip of a lifetime. I strongly recommend contacting Andrei when visiting Romania.

Linda Brailean & The Brailean Family, Canada (Root Finding & Cultural Tour of Romania, Spirng 2015)

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My partner,   a very close personal friend and myself have recently returned from travelling in Romania and Bulgaria. We booked a personalised tour with the use of car, driver/guide through Tours of Romania. I found this company while researching on the internet and emailed the Account Manager, Andrei Nicolau as the tour that was outlined on the internet didn’t fit with the number of days we had available to travel. Andrei emailed very promptly with an itinerary that fitted perfectly and we decided to make a booking. As you can imagine we had many questions and we emailed Andrei on a number of occasions. He responded very promptly, efficiently and we would have no hesitation in recommending him if you are planning a trip to Romania and Bulgaria. He made us feel very confident and we knew we had selected the right company to book through.

On arrival in Bucharest we were met by Andrei who transferred us to our hotel and on the way he provided us with a briefing on what the trip would involve. Andrei wasn’t available to guide us due to another commitment but it was a real pleasure to meet him and his knowledge of the history of Romania was remarkable. We met our driver/guide Marcel that afternoon and Marcel would spend the length of the Romanian part of the tour with us. Marcel was incredibly knowledgeable, passionate about Romania, an excellent driver, incredibly efficient, understanding and he even got our Australian sense of humour! We would like to commend him for the expert service and companionship he provided while we were there. It was rather sad to farewell Marcel as we had formed a good friendship and we have already been in email contact. We had another driver for the Bulgarian part of the trip.

On the last day in Romania we were transferred to the Romanian/Bulgarian Border and we met Ivan Vazov our new driver/guide for the next part of our trip. Ivan was very efficient, friendly and his knowledge of the history and culture of Bulgaria was outstanding.

If you’re thinking of travelling to Romania and Bulgaria do not hesitate we would highly recommend contacting Andrei at Tours of Romania. We definitely choose the right company to book with and would book with them again in the future if we ever travelled to areas or countries they could help us book for. Our trip was fantastic – incredibly well organised thanks to Andrei and his team, friendly people, so much culture, history and both countries are of exceptional beauty. A true experience and a very memorable one!

Once again thanks to Andrei for his expertise and making booking from Australia via email an easy and efficient process….5 STAR service all the way!

Karen, Bruce and Darren

Sydney, Australia(Romania and Bulgaria Cultural Tour, Summer 2015)

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I cannot speak too highly of my Tours of Romania Experience.   First, the Company created a tour schedule that not only satisfied five different travelers, but all of us had an incredible time, and learned so much about a Beautiful Land and its even more Beautiful People. Second, our Guide, George, was amazing, he spoke excellent English, and was very attentive to our every need, and in helping us resolve a host of personal issues while in Romania (Case in point, my luggage was lost by my airline, but George arranged for the luggage to be found, and sent to me an airport near where we were at on the third day of our tour, and then took me to the airport to pick it up). Third, we not only got to see some of the most beautiful Monastaries and Castles in the World, but we also got to spend the night in a Romanian families home, enjoy a meal with them, and enjoy local Romanian music and dancing. In addition, we got to visit a Gypsy family, talk to them, and learn more about them. Finally, I decided to stay in Bucharest three days longer after the Tour ended, and Andrei, the Tours of Romania Manager, found me a Beautiful Hotel in the Heart of Bucharest. I cannot recommend Tours Romania too highly, and I plan to take my mom and sister on a Tours Romania Tour next Year.

Mr Michael Criscuolo, USA (Small group Tour of Romania, April 2015)

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Dear Andrei,

Now that we are acclimated again to being home, I do want to let you know that the trip to Romania with Gelu could not have been more superb. Our experiences throughout were fascinating, colorful, deeply moving, altogether wonderful. We went to some fantastic festivals, where everyone was extremely friendly and the national dress was even more special than I could have imagined. The towns were charming; the painted churches phenomenal; the wooden churches and daily life of the people in the countryside were absorbing; and the museums excellent to visit. I do believe that Gelu made this tripextraordinarily worthwhile for us. He just could not have been more accommodating or interesting. His knowledge of the history was truly outstanding. His timing was perfection. And the extra things he did for us really made the trip work exceptionally well. (Especially when I sprained my ankle and he knew just where to go to have it looked at.) He made special efforts to have the car as close as possible so that I would not have to overwalk. His driving was excellent. I just cannot speak more highly of Gelu. We were very, very pleased that you assigned him to us for the trip. Thank you, Andrei, for working with us to make it an extremely memorable experience. My photos are amazing.

I can highly recommend your service and especially Gelu as a guide.
Hope your summer went well.

Best,
Barbara Paul, USA (Romanian Rhapsody Tour, June 2015)

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See, I'm used to planning trips last minute  and on extremely tight budgets; think flying standby, cheap hostels, and lots of sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So, why, against my natural inclination, did I agree upon an eleven day holiday with, Tours of Romania? Simple, when my friend advised me of this company, and their eleven day Romanian Rhapsody tour, I could not replicate the itinerary any better than what was being advertised!

So, what can you expect from Romania? If, upon arrival, you land with an open heart and alert mind, there's no doubt you will find magic and inspiration. I'm not a novice traveler and I had a basic knowledge of the country before arrival, but what was unveiled in those eleven days on the Romanian Rhapsody tour was beyond what I could imagine.

Firstly, I will disclaim that perhaps it's easy to impress me; however, I do spend over 50% of my life on the road not just for work, but for pleasure as well. Without a doubt, one of the the most impressive parts of the tour was our accommodations. We had such a great blend of modern comforts without sacrificing warmth and charm. By far the home-stay in Maramures with John's family was easily the group favorite! My two personal favorites, after our home-stay, would be Sighisoara (where for two nights we stayed at a quaint hotel inside the old historic town with a restaurant that served excellent coffee), and a two night stay in Gura Homorului (at a hotel with communist origins, located right on the main traffic circle in town with an awesome balcony view of the main road).

Secondly, I will like to address the ambitious itinerary, which is always my main motivation when traveling. Also, it was ultimately the reason I agreed to book the tour, instead of going it independently. We, in all honesty, visited a grandiose portion of this stunning country, but the best part was that it left me craving to come back and see even more! The Romanian Rhapsody tour focuses mostly on the Transylvania region and the surrounding neighboring counties; naturally, where most of the famous and well known sites of Romania are located.

Our tour commenced from Bucharest airport were our guide picked us up promptly and gave us a driving tour of the city. We stayed at a very modern hotel near the Bucharest old town and had some time to walk about to explore the city. We had an amazing breakfast that first morning and immediately plunge into our tour. First stop: the majestic, grand, and complex Palace of Parliament. We then started driving through the westside of Transylvania with overnight stops Sibiu and Cluj. My favorite highlight from this region was the Hunedoara Castle, with its adorable story of a king, his son, and one smart crow. Then there is the Turda Salt Mine, which should not be missed; I can only describe it, as the Disney of salt mines!

Then we drove up north to the Maramures and Bucovina regions. This is where words and pictures could never do a place justice, as it's more of a place to be experienced! We did so many great activities during our time here, including visiting with a master wood worker with a wicked sense of humor, seeing an amazing collection of masterpieces of art painted onto eggs, and dressing up in folk costumes while visiting the women's peasants museum. Of course, you will also visit the unique Merry Cemetery, the colorfully painted monasteries of Voronet, Moldovita, and my favorite, the scenic Sucevita, the healing waters at the Barsana Nunnery, and the peaceful wooden churches. I would make sure you keep time in the itinerary to visit the Anti-Communist Memorial in Sighet. It will hopefully more than educate you, but more importantly transmute your soul! The time you spend in this landscape and the people you meet with will find a way into your heart, and you will find yourself falling hopelessly in love with this whimsical region in Romania.

We proceeded back into Transylvania to explore the eastern side. We had two nights in the enchanting Sighisoara and our last night in was in Brasov. As we left the north regions we drove through the Cheile Bicazului-Hasmas National Park, which was by far the most astonishing and breathtaking scenic drive of the trip! Here we snaked along the road right through the Bicaz Gorges, and saw with our eyes, vista and panoramas, that could only be understood by our hearts. What a sight to behold. With the trees like carpets on the mountain slopes, and to see the cutting power of ancient waters upon rocks that have grown and eroded over the millennia. It was here that a small part of my soul would forever remain lost in Romania. I could happily have end my holiday at this point, but still there was more to come. Later that day, we visited with an exceptional young gypsy woman, and I truly believe that everyone's experience in this case will be different, as it should. Once you enter the fairytale medieval town of Sighisoara, you will start to fall asleep as long as you keep Dracula off your mind. Obviously, you'll get your chance to indulge your Twilight fantasies at Bran Castle. I personally enjoyed riding up the lift to the Tampa Mountain and hiking back down into Brasov on our last evening in Romania.

Our last day in Romania is bittersweet as we miss family and friends back home, but long to see more of this enthralling and mesmerizing place. As we make our way back south to Bucharest, we stop in Sinaia. This tour de force of a trip ends with a strong endorsement at Peles Castle; they certainly saved the best for last! We could have all wondered a whole day in this palace. Your eyes will see more than your brain can process, and acts like a child hopped up on sugary sweets. Every last inch of exposed surface is either painted or carved to perfection. Every corner and niche is postcard perfected. It's easy to fancy yourself becoming a princess or queen, because who would not want to live like that? It's a supremely spectacular way to transition yourself back home, if you must.

Thirdly, I would like to point out that this trip of a lifetime could not have been possible without, Nicolau and Marcel, two gentlemen that were so considerate, patience, and generous to us. It was evident to all of us that our interest and goals were of top priority. They were flexible with the schedule and accommodating to our needs. Marcel is an exemplary guide if you are fortunate to obtain his services. I personally was impressed with his driving skills as we drove through cities and mountainsides that would have left me in tears. Marcel has a superb grasp of the English language and is full of knowledge from geography, to history and politics, and even a master translator of Romanian Pop music. I have nothing but compliments and recommendations for the services we received, and look forward to using them in the future years to come.

My biggest hope is that more people go to Romania, as I believe it should not be a secret place anymore. I ardently believe that if your willing to go in a state of openness and wonderment that you will find Romania is a place you might never have dreamed of, but find it was always a place you longed for!

AJ Davila & Friends (Romanian Rhapsody Tour, Summer 2015)

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We are usually "independent" travelers but for going to Romania, we thought that a privately guided tour would be best.

We had been reseaching various tour agencies and decided that a custom tour was the way we wanted to see and feel Romania. In comparing the various options, the tours by Compass Travel Romania were a step above anything else on the market. An advantage to Compass Travel is that they are based in Romania so if there is an issue you have local help.

We worked with Andrei Nicolau. From the first point of contact his patience and willingness to answer questions and craft a trip that was personalized to our needs was unparalleled. Our initial set of questions were answered in 24 hours with Andrei giving expert advice and trade-offs on some possible alternatives and additions. I am not sure that I have ever had the opportunity to deal with anyone as client centric as Andrei Nicolau.

We have noticed that everyone has raved about their own tour guides but I am here to say, we had the best tour guide, named Nick. He is extraordinarily knowledgeable, personable, organized, responsive and passionate about not just showing the sites but us about their importance. Nick’s English language is excellent. We had lots of fun discussing culture, politics, art and everything of greater and smaller relevance. He is a tremendous asset to Compass Travel organization.

Compass had us stay in first class hotels centrally located so that we could walk to many interesting places. There was always a good balance between the time with the guide and the personal time.

We recommend this tour company whole heartedly.

Ms Amalia Sheffield, UK (traveled Fall 2014)

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Andrei –

Just a quick note to say thanks for a fabulous week.  As I wrote you before, and as you saw from my note to our guide, we've had a delightful time -- largely due to your expert planning, as well as the selection of Andrei to be our host.  The sincerest form of thanks in your business is referrals, and I will certainly be telling friends of the wonders of Romanian cuisine, scenery and history, as well as the warm and welcoming people we've met.

All the best, Sandy

Sandy Stice party of 4, Traveled September 2014

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Dear Andrei

I reported earlier that the trip which you planned for us was flawless and I now have the time to elaborate.

First and foremost, we had superb guides in both Romania and Bulgaria.  In Romania, George was incredibly knowledgable about the history, politics, culture, religion and so many other aspects of Romania.  

He clearly loves to teach and did it well!  In addition, he was an intelligent, thoughtful and thoroughly entertaining person and willing to share stories of his life and his family’s, from living under Communism to farming in Moldovia to keeping company with an Orthodox priest’s daughter.  We were introduced to many local people, which is what we had requested and we now have great memories of the Covaciu family and Marioara in Iza, the Roma family, the glass icon curator, the egg painter and the woodcarver in Maramures and many others whom we met along the way.  Highlights for me in Romania were seeing the Painted Monasteries, hearing the priests and choir singing in several different churches, our morning with the Roma family and the many crafts which we saw at a variety of places, including the wonderful open air museum.  

In Bulgaria, we had another fantastic guide, Val.  His style was different but he was no less informative, eager to share all that he knew and a very nice traveling companion.  We thoroughly enjoyed his interest in history and his ability to answer every question (and there were many.)  Highlights in Bulgaria were Plovdiv, the Old Town and the Roman ruins, and, of course, Rila Monastery.  In addition, Val took us to the site where the Russians had held off the Ottoman forces and he was able to make the battle there and the historical implications very real.  Being in both Romania and Bulgaria as the Russians are moving into the Ukraine made this particularly interesting and relevant.  

For us the keys to a perfect trip include great guides, an itinerary that is carefully paced, interesting sites, different scenery (lovely, if possible) and meeting local people and seeing how they live.  Your tour surpassed our expectations on all fronts and we are so glad we chose to travel with you!

With many thanks,

Judith and John Felton, Traveled August 2014

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Dear Andrei

The Romania Tour of Transylvania more than exceeded my expectations. 

Your country is very beautiful.  The cities and countryside both were not what I expected but much better.  I truly did not know what awaited us and most of my preconceptions were based on false tales by other people. I was more than pleasantly surprised .

It is difficult to select a tour over the internet and I admit that I was anxious about whether we would be met at the airport, what the hotel would be like and if the guide would be knowledgeable or speak good English.  You truly delivered!

Everything that was in the itinerary was fully met.  We were greeted at the airport by an excellent guide.  We found Sibiu to be a thoroughly modern and vibrant city.  The Ramada hotel was nice, clean, organized and the staff friendly and professional.  The services and amenities were excellent.  They were expecting us and rooms met your description exactly.  The breakfast buffet provided a great selection and was well presented and was a good start to the day.

The old city was a treasure find.  The centuries old buildings were well preserved and the street level shops, restaurants, banks, pharmacies and cafes were welcoming and equal to and could easily compete with  old city centres through out Europe.  The walking mall and squares were clean , safe, free of street people bothering tourists and inviting.  There was a good blend of history and modern attractions.  The restaurants were all so good that it was difficult to decide where to eat.  We enjoyed the traditional fare in the  Crama Vechi cellar restaurant that you recommended.  Well done.

The first day out on the Transfagarasan Highway was breath taking and we were so glad we added this to the itinerary.  Glacial Lake Balea and the local vendors that met us at the top offered a true flavour of the people and foods in Transylvania and we thoroughly enjoyed several selections.  The trip to Bran added more adventure as a short and unexpected rain in the mountains accumulated such that the resulting swelling of the local river flooded the road so we had to wait until the water receded enough that our vehicle could pass.  Our next stop the town of Bran was very pretty with an Alpine appearance.  My family was looking forward to Bran Castle and were not disappointed.  The castle is very attractive, well preserved and the tour enlightening.  Brasov old town was on par with Sibiu and the Hotel Bella Muzica was newly renovated and maintained it's old world charm.  It was conveniently located within steps of the main square of the old town.  The Serigiana Cellar restaurant served traditional Saxon dishes that we are familiar with and some new offerings.  I think this was the meal we enjoyed most in Romania. You should continue to recommend it.  Thanks.

The Saxon village trail showed us the prosperity , organization and a offered a sense of life in early Saxon Romania.  Sighisoara was preparing for a medieval festival with many vendors in place and town criers  even announcing our arrival.  I think the guide had friends everywhere we went and they helped make the experience so positive.  The fortified city really gave us a sense of the perils for the early settlers and was extremely well preserved. Biertan was pleasing in that it was in the heart of wine country and we saw the preservation work of the Lutheran church.

The last day  trip to my wife's birth village of Vingard was the greatest unknown and proved to be the most emotional and rewarding part of the trip.  There were many residents and returned visitors from Germany that greeted us with great hospitality and opened their homes, the school and church for our pleasure.  These people remembered my wife and sister-in-law from their youth and had stories and remembrances to share of the family.  We spent the entire day  very enjoyably here.

Finally what do I say about our guide George.  You could not have provided a finer person or more able guide.  He met us on time at the airport and each and every day.  George anticipated our needs even providing Romanian Lei cash at the airport as I was unprepared.  He was always pleasant and flexible to our suggestions and any changes to the itinerary.  He was very knowledgable about the region, it's history and people.  He answered all our questions ( of which there were many)  clearly and cheerfully.  This was George's first tour of this region for the year and I think he enjoyed it and could sense our enthusiasm.  George's command of Romanian, German and English was flawless.  He was thorough, professional, patient and kept a good eye on us without rushing us or seeming to shepard us along.  He drove very well and we felt we were in good hands.  If we had any needs he made it happen. He knew when to give us space and let us explore on our own and when to join in.  He was always welcome.  He  seemed to enjoy our visit in Vingard and was honestly invited to join in by the residents.  We enjoyed his sharing of his families story . It was like travelling with a friend. We would like to travel with him again.

Andrei , you provided a truly unique and wonderful experience for us.  We have been telling our friends and relative about our Romanian tour and how much we enjoyed it.  We mentioned to George that we could see that tourism will boom over the next ten years as word gets out about Romania. 

Thank You again.

Sincerely,

Don Jones and Family, Visited July 2014

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I must email you about what a wonderful tour we had in Romania – the 4-day Transylvanian Encounter.  We enjoyed it immensely, and Christian could not have been a better guide for us.  Not only was he extremely knowledgeable, spoke excellent English, and was a great driver, but we thoroughly enjoyed being with him.

It was a superb experience!  Thank you for all you did for us.

Beverly Marroy, Visited July 2014

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Dear Andrei,

Peter and I would like to thank you for organising our 13 day trip around Bulgaria and Romania.  We were fortunate to have Nic as our driver and expert guide. The Dacia was comfortable to ride the more than 2000km route through Romania. Nic was extremely knowledgeable and considerate, helping to shorten the walk to some sights and also lessening the number of steps we had to climb!! We still had plenty of exercise.

There were so many highlights - the Palace of Parliament, the wooden and painted churches, the anti Communist Memorial, the Merry Cemetery, the drive through the spectacular Borgo Pass, the Gypsy Home Visit and the visit to Vlad Dracula country. It was pleasant also to observe the locals going about their daily life - working in the fields, carving the beautiful gates and even praying in the churches.

Bulgaria was also fascinating - Rila Monastery, Plovdiv and staying in the gorgeous Hotel Gurko in V Tarnovo.  All the hotels were carefuly selected and were centrally located (except Casa Humor) and were comfortable and not too noisy.

Many thanks,

Kay and Peter Hannaford, Visited July 2014

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Dear Mr. Nicolau,

Our group of six has just returned to the US and we wanted you to know what an enjoyable time we had touring this beautiful area of your country with Cristian.  We thoroughly enjoyed his company during all of the days and the special sites that you had scheduled for us to visit.  Each day was complete with fine food and enlightening background information on the locations that we saw.  Cristian was always prompt and very helpful in handling our large bags as we were at the end of a three week trip and a couple of our party have slight physical problems and were unable to lift.  This was certainly a lucky day when we discovered your company on the internet and we feel that we had a much better and more fulfilling experience with Cristian than we would have with a larger tour group.   We were also pleased with the small, intimate hotel pensions that you selected for us.

Thank you for all of your efficient and detailed handling of our Romanian visit, one that we will always remember.  Please feel free to use my name as reference.

Rosemary Frame Party of 6, Visited July 2014

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Dear Andrei,

We are now back in NY and are so grateful to you for planning our exploration of Romania.

We enjoyed it so very much: the history, the sights, the people, the food.  The pacing was perfect: not too much in one day but not too little either.  We have become great fans of travel through Romania and are advising all our friends to follow our footsteps and contact you.The car was very comfortable,  the hotels well chosen, the home visits very meaningful.  We're so glad we chose the 11 day ”Romanian Rhapsody” tour.

Last but not least, our guide was extraordinary.  My husband and I have been traveling all over the world for the past 50 years and we both agreed that he was the BEST guide we ever had: intelligent, knowledgeable, efficient, calm, experienced, considerate of all people, polite, respectful of any aspect of Romania.  It was so much fun talking to him and listening to his impressions/thoughts, that even long drives seemed like nothing at all.  He gave us a thorough history of your beautiful country. His English is excellent and his vocabulary extensive. One more thing: the 2 most common difficulties we have encountered with guides is: one is that they are very controlling and self-righteous. The second one is that they sound rehearsed and uninterested. He is finely attuned to the travelers needs.  When we were tired or simply did not want to talk, he respected that.  I don't know how he does it, but his comments and historical descriptions always sounded fresh and interesting. 

We owe you both one of the best trips of our lives.  Thank you so much.  Your meticulous planning is much appreciated. We wish you all the best,

Dr and Mrs Marcus, Traveled June 2014

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Hi Andrei

Lynne & I wish to complement you and “Compass Travel Romania” for arranging our recently completed 11 day investigative and most informative tour of Romania.

We are both well travelled and experienced travellers but sadly had no prior knowledge or understanding of the “real Romania until now.

Without any doubt, the success and enjoyment obtained was hugely attributable to our guide (Dan Bucur) and his unwavering ability and commitment to us as “guests” in your country.His complete and invaluable (for explanation purposes:) knowledge of all history from the formation of Romania from Dacha times ,the Roman Invasion, the many wars and invasions... Hungary, Germany, the Turks, Russia, the Jewish situation etc...

Detailed knowledge of all the many inspected museums, churches ,cathedrals, and fortifications etc

The enjoyable home stay and a rare visit to experience true “Gypsy” life and culture.

The pre & post Communism era (and living within these times) with focus on Ceausescu and his final demise... A full and descriptive explanation of Vlad the Impaler (Vlad 111) and the “Dracula” connection.

Dan is to be commended as is yourself on the “Romanian Rhapsody” tour

Thanks again,

Regards

Barry & Lynne Erridge (June 2014 Australia)

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Dear Andrei,

Just a short thank you note for the fantastic tour that you arranged for us. Nick was interesting, knowledgeable and pleasant. The Moldavian guide Oleg was as well. Accommodations were excellent and the price more than fair. 

We were  very impressed with Romania,both the countryside and the people.

Do not hesitate to use us as a reference anytime you are in need of one.

Sincerely

Sheldon and Constance Benjamin

Traveled May 2014

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My husband and I  have returned form a 15 day trip thru Romania planned in perfect detail byAndrei Nicolau Micleaat Compass Travel Romania inBucharest; www.tours-of-romania.com. We did the 'Romanian Rhapsody Tour' and could not be happier. The price was great for the quality of the experience and we traveled in a sedan with a driver who was also our guide. A perfect guide with excellent English, nice personality and his enthusiasm shows his true love of Romania. We saw so much every day and have come home with such warmth for this beautiful Country. Check out website for other itineraries that Andrei has available, there is something for every ones taste and he is a pleasure to work with in creating your own perfect memories.

Mrs Lucy Zyry Visited October 2013.

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We just returnedfrom Romania after doing a 7 day Vlad Dracula tour with Compass Travel. It was a wonderful experience and Romania was a delightful surprise! It was very easy to plan the trip as Andrei coordinated everything by email. We had a clear cut itinerary prior to departing the US. All questions and requests were answered promptly by Andrei. When we got to Bucharest, we were met at the airport by our guide Adrian. He was one of the best guides I have ever had. He was not only our guide but also our driver, translator, historian, porter and food guide. This is a private tour and we were a group of foodies so he adjusted the itinerary to enable us to have leisurely meals trying the different local specialties. The tour was quite extensive and we visited Sinaia, Sighisoara (where Vlad Dracula was born), Borgo Pass, Sibiu and unexpected stops in places like Medias (where Vlad was imprisoned for one night). We got good insights into the history and culture of the country. We had a great time, thanks to Andrei and Adrian. We felt like we were travelling with friends. Romania is a beautiful country!

Dr Cesar Calianga & Friends, traveled in October 2013

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Hi Andrei,

We’ve been back from Romania/Croatia for a few days now and I wanted to let you know what a wonderful time we had.  The tour was fantastic!  The order of the itinerary worked out very well and the pacing was excellent.  We feel like we really experienced Romania’s history and culture in a way that we couldn’t have done on our own.  George, in particular, was a perfect match for our family.  We appreciated his knowledge, insights and sense of humor.  He made this tour truly exceptional.

The Krahn Family. Traveled July 2013

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Dear Andrei,

My husband and I recently traveled with Linda and Ray Maciejewski on one of your tours. I wanted to give you some feedback on our experience.

It was truly an incredible trip. We learned so much about your beautiful country. The tour included such a variety of experiences, it was truly life changing.

But what made this the best trip ever for us was our tour guide, George. He was intelligent and charming. He was attentive and  in tune  with our needs. He was very understanding of my husband who is very hard of hearing and is in the early stages of Alzheimer's. George is a gem and I would hope that you appreciate what an asset he is to your company.

Thank you for a wonderful experience. We would recommend your Tour  Company to friends.

Sincerely,
Rhonda Schlereth.  Visited October 2013

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My friend and I(over age 65 women) took this tour in September 2013. I can honestly say that it was even better than the written description of the itinerary. We traveled by car with a private guide which allowed us to visit some unique places. Having our own guide and interpreter with us all the time made the trip so easy and stress free. The Painted Monasteries are amazing and we were able to visit five, even talking with an Orthodox priest at the last one. We visited the cities of Sibiu, Cluj-Napoca, Sighisoara, Brasov and of course Bucharest. We saw beautiful wooden churches, three different castles, the Merry Cemetery, and medieval towns. One of our favorite parts was the two night home stay in Maramures county. This area is unique and traditional and not to be missed. We were able to vist and talk with several artisans: master woodcarver, painted egg artist and glass icon painter. We even visited a gypsy family. I think this was one of the special aspects of this tour--getting to meet and talk with locals. All of my dealings with the company were with Andrei Nicolau Miclea, who was very professinal and responded to all questions quickly. I would recommend this tour to anyone. Romania is a beautiful country with so much to see and do. We were amazed that we did not see many tourists--I think this is an undiscovered country.

Ms Joanna Oswald and Friend (US). Traveled in September 2013.

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Dear Andrei,

This morning we transferred effortlessly into Bulgaria. This is just a very quick note to give you a brief summary of our time in Romania.

The tour through your home country was fantastic. We loved the whole experience & the only changes we would make would be to add some extra days - for example: 2  nights in Sibiu & the same in Sighisoara plus perhaps a couple of extra nights to make some of the longer days shorter.

This said, Susan & I wanted as soon as possible to say thank you for a superb itinerary. The route has been great & your selection of hotels superb. To top off this fabulous base, your choice of George was inspired. He was absolutely brilliant from the very first meeting. Susan & I have been arranging such tours for more than 20 years. We can think of no guide we have ever had who better suited his client group. He was charming, expert, extremely knowledgeable and very attentive. For now I will close by saying that Susan & I are totally delighted with George. He sense of humour was superb & beautifully matched the group. In my view, the entire group loved his delivery & guiding in general. He is a gem!!!!!!!!!!!!

Geoff Batten, Adventures Unlimited  (Australia) traveled in August 2013

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We are finally  home in Australia. Thank you for a most enjoyable tour. We loved Romania and our guide Gelo was just right for us. Informative but not too formal or boring!! It is a good guide who knows not to overload you with excessive detail and he gave us all we wanted to know.

We commend you on your choice of accomodation. A good mix. We enjoyed meeting our home stay hosts. A lot of driving some days, but it enabled us to get to see so much of your delightful country.

We would heartily recommend your tour company to all

Thanks again.

Cheryl and Carl Carton (Australia), traveled in Sept 2013

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The trip absolutely  met our expectations. Nick was very knowledgable and helped us figure out things along the way that was very helpful.Being able to integrate the history of country with some of the
political influences added to our travel experience. This gave us an
unique view into the people of Romania. Nick was very helpful during asmall side trip to MiercureaSibiului....my grandmother's home village.We both think the quality of the guide makes the quality of the trip.

Mr and Mrs William Hutter, traveled in April 2013

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I highly recommend anyone traveling to Bucharest to utilize Compass Tours. The owner, Andrei, personally handled everything for us. He customized a 3 day tour of Transylvania including Bran Castle, Brasov, Peles Castle, and Sighisoara just for my family. The tour was completely private. Just my family and an English-speaking guide who was excellent. We could go at our own pace, which was great since we were travelling with two small children. It included both transfers to and from the airport, transportation by van to everything, the guide, admission to everything, and all of the hotels. The price was unbelievable. The hotels themselves were wonderful; all were 3 or 4 stars, beautiful inside, clean and updated. We even got to visit a gypsy girl in her home and learn about her way of life. This tour really gave us a chance to interact with the Romanian people on a personal level. Our guide was knowledgeable and relateable. He answered all of our questions sincerely and really gave the trip a cultural edge you don't get on most vacations. If you only have a few days to see Transylvania, I suggest you don't try to do it on your own. This tour seriously felt like you were being catered to. We got to see and learn so much. I don't think we would have had nearly as nice an experience if we had tried to drive it on our own. Compass Tours and Andrei are amazing. Here is their website:http://www.tours-of-romania.com

Liz Abbott Family (USA) traveled in August 2012

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Did the Dracula Tourstarting & ending in Bucharest we travelled all around seeing the main points and so much more.. Romania is such a beautiful country to visit. Booked with Compass Travel ( just look up Tours Of Romania ) and you will find them, I can not recommend them high enough.. down to the knowledge and professional way Andrei scheduled and organised our tour to exactly what we wanted, right up to selecting the best guide to suit our needs, and the care and consideration of the guide was amazing...Thanks so much for the best time Andrei!!.. Take comfy clothes and shoes and a good camera is what I would recommend, and you will enjoy every minute.. If you like strong alcohol buy some from the farmers who sit outside their homes in the rural villages (ask your guide to buy for you and you will cut the price in half you will pay around £12 for two litres) they make everything themselves including lovely honey. Out of Bucharest you will need the Romania Lei currency- I would recommend you take your bank card and withdraw what you need as you go. ATM's are plentiful and it is cheap to eat & drink - average two/three course with a bottle of wine & water for two people £30.or less. I will visit again but will probably go to the Danube Delta but would love to visit – Sighisoara and Sibiu again. I would also recommend going out of season as it is not so busy, and much more laid back.. Enjoy!!!

Ms Sheila Northedge. Visited March 2012

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Andrei: I am attaching a copy of the mention of your services from my article as well as a copy of a reader letter which we ran in the same issue. (I will include the reader's letter on our website when I do the June update this weekend). Thank you again for making that portion of my trip the most positive part of my journey. Warm regards,

Beth Habian, ITN(International Travel News)

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We have greatly enjoyed our tour with you.  Very good planning. The folklore show in Bucharest was a highlight. We will recommend Romania and your services to all our friends.

Frank and Elaine Schulte, Tucson, Arizona

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Thank you for all your planning and care, it was an excellent tour. It was a great learning experince to us.

Audrey and Ray Pekrul, Kelowna, BC, Canada

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We would like to recommend Tours of Romania for the care and considerate service to us while touring Romania for our concerts. They have done a great job in accommodating our group needs.  We were particularly impressed with the detail work  and would like to thank them for participating in our endeavor.

Amelia Hayes-Watson, New York

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Once again, I wish to say Thank Youfor making our trip to Romania (home) so wonderful – everyone was very pleased with the tour and all had a great time.  There were many sad tears when we said good bye to each other – no one wanted the tour to end.   I am very happy to have contacted you to do this family tour for us – it was EXCELLENT!!!!!

Rachelle Babij and Her Group of 42, Canada -- traveled twice 

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Roy and Rebecca thank youfor putting our tour together and for the great choice of our tour guide, Adrian. We loved Maramures, the home stay, the folklore night and the people there. It was a treat to us. We will recommend Romania to all our friends.

Roy & Rebecca Barrister, Reno, Nevada, US

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Wonderful trip. Thank you for all your help.

Ann Holland (Australia)

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Hi there,

Took a while before we got back to our normal lifes at home. Just wanted to touch base and thank you for the best tour ever. Romania is a beautiful country and we were happy to get to know people. The cooking lesson in Bucavinia was the best. Where do you find these people. We had a great time all along. Thank you.

The Samsons in Delaware

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After reading the book I was surprised to find your  ”Historian” Tour. Great idea. We loved the tour.

Sara Malloy and Ann Hansen, USA (The Historian Tour)

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After checking over a dozen tour operators we have decided for the Romanian Rhapsody Tour of Compass Travel. We found this to be the most complete itinerary and the best value for money. We are retired travel agents and did appreciate your hard work and patience in customizing our tour. The fact that we could enjoy the company of Andrei – your tour guide, meant a lot for us. He did a wonderful job. Couple of months later we saw him on the Travel Channel talking about Romania. Thank you very much.

The Fonsecas

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Thank you  very much for a great trip.

Gail Graor and friend on Romanian Rhapsody Tour, July 2007

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We would like to give you our feedback  in regards to our recent Rhapsody tour of Romania. While we never really knew what to expect, the trip exceeded all our expectations. The fact that you guys personally check on all hotels you use makes a difference. We thought all our accommodations were really charming even though there are no elevators in Sighisoara. We appreciated you getting our rooms at the first floor. The highlight was our Maramures days. Send our regards to Ion, he is a great host and a great artist. Please thank his wife for her cooking. We also fell in love with Bucovina, the scenery there is heavenly and the service and rooms in the brand new hotel we stayed those two nights were really very good. Our guide, Mirel, was excellent. His English is clear. He is fun and flexible and drives very carefully.

We believe you should include more than one day in Bucharest. We loved it even though it is hectic. Lots to see. We may be back in 09 with a Danube River Cruise from Budapest. We thank you for your efforts with our booking on a relatively short notice. It really was a great trip !

Paul Langford and Mary Taylor, St. Paul. MN

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Hello Guys,

We are back home, and I think I have finally gotten my sleep cycle straightened out! I just wanted to say thank you for putting together a wonderful tour! The tour was thoughtful, insightful and well pallend and organized The guide you have assigned, Andrei,  was very knowledgeable, fun and accommodating. He was also a very experinced driver. Very well chosen hotels all along. We now have a better understanding of the culture and history of Romania. Thanks again, and I wish you all the best.

Mr. And Mrs. Rodriguez, Los Angeles, California

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Wonderful scenery and a great trip. It was beyond our expectations. Romania has  bright future. Thank you. Sincerely,

Alexia Stern & Jack Birnbaum, NY

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Mihai, just to let you know our  tour was exceptionally well organized. All hotels were very good and Adrian, our guide  who went the extra mile to make sure all our needs were met. We learnt so much about Romania and Bulgaria and had such an enjoyable time. What you call the cultural connections are really highlights of the trip. Please see some of the pictures we took. We will show it to people in our travel group. Keep up the good work. Thank you again,

Mr and Mrs Michael Owen, September 2007

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Hi Oty, Now I am getting beck to you late. Our tour was wonderful.  We never would have been able to see half of what we saw if we hadn't gotten a guide. Doru was great.  He waited patiently for us at the airport even though he did not know that our plans had changed at the last minute and we were not only coming in on a later flight, but from a differnt city.  ( Our first flight out of Burlington, Vermont to Chicago was selayed several hours because of mechanical problems.  Our flight to Frankfurt had left Chicago before we ever left Burlington. All the later flights to Frankfurt were over booked.)   Thankfully Doru waited. He explained everything to us along the way and answered all our questions. Dore was not only very professional, he was very concerned that we were comfortable and satisfied with what was planned for us.  In small towns he checked to see what other craft people might be available for us to visit.  In addition to what was on our itinerary we visited a weaver in Sapanta, who very graceously invited us into her house after she demonstrated her weaving.  We also visited Domna Pipash who shared her lace  and embroidery collections as well as her art.  She also took us into her home to see some of her and her husband's other collections.  We also saw a museum and war memorial that was not on our ininerary. Doru also explained about some of the customs, funerals, weddings, etc.  There is no way we would have covered the miles , or found the crafts people, or understood any of the culture if we had not had a guide.

The accommodations were very good also.  The place we found, Grandma's House was charming, which is what we are used to when we travel.  The family stay in Maramures with Ioan and Sylvia was extremely comfortable.  They were very accommodating and even packed a lunch for us on the day we left.  I wish they would have spent a little more time with us, perhaps eating with us. Hilde's was very very nice and more luxurious than we are used to.  It is really like a 4 star hotel - very comfortable.  In Sinaia the Economat was very good for us.  The location was perfect since we were on a time schedule.  It was very clean, comfortable and had a lot of character. We also enjoyed the food.  There was a lot of variety.  Our favorites were stuffed cabbage rolls and for desert  papanash (?) won the prize, hands down!!  We are addicted!!!

One other thing I forgot, instead of seeing only Voronet, we were able to see two other Painted Monasteries.  And one morething, Doru took us to a very busy interesting market. We liked Doru a lot and would not hesitate to recommend him to others, and if we came back we would be happy to have him again. We loved Romania and found the people very friendly.  In many countried, people do not like thier pictures taken, but in Romania, they appeared to love it.  It was always OK; they smiled and waved.  Often in the streets they came up to us and wanted to communicate. We loved Romania and found the people very friendly.  In many countried, people do not like thier pictures taken, but in Romania, they appeared to love it.  It was always OK; they smiled and waved.  Often in the streets they came up to us and wanted to communicate. I hope you get lots more business, and I hope Romania doesn't change too much.  It is very charming and down to earth. Lots of good wishes to you. Margaret

PS  Doru is also a very good driver.  He got us through the mountain pass in the snow.

Margaret Drobnik and friends, US, March 2007

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Dear Andrei

We would like to thank you for the wonderful planning of our trip and the fact you were able to accommodate our needs so well. We did not know what to expect when we first started this but your knowledge of Romania and Bulgaria is outstanding and this is what I call a real travel planner.  I would like to extends our gratitude to your guides in both Romania (George) and Bulgaria (Dimitri) for their skills and attention to detail. We will reccommend you to anyone interested in traveling to that corner of Europe. Thank you.

John and Ruth Berghof, USA(Romania & Bulgaria 2008)

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Hi all at Compass!

I wanted to send this note to really thank all of you for making our tour a wonderful experience and quite possibly a great success with respect to finding our roots deep in Transylvania. I especially wanted to thank Adrian, our tour leader. He made this trip,  a truly rewarding one. Adrian made sure everyone was taken care of, made sure flight arrangements and hotel arrangements went smoothly and was always looking out for each one of us every step of the way. He was always available to us even when it seemed like he might be swamped with requests. Adrian was truly interested in our personal lives though this experience as well. I can say that I made a few new and great friends on this trip, and Adrian is certainly one of them. I would recommend Compass Travel Romania and Adrian as a tour leader to anyone interested in exploring Romania! Sincerely

Nick and Vivian Kramer, USA (Romanian Rhapsody Tour, May 2008)

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Andrei: Thank you for a truly unique and memorable trip. We really enjoyed your humor and knowledge of the country. Our best regards.

The Finlay Group, May 2008

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Dear Mr Nicolau

We had a wonderful trip and appreciate your help and advice. The guide was excellent and we are still processing all that we saw. We loved the hotels. I am finishing a photo album of our travels and we are re-living the trip as we do so. I am very glad we followed your advice and went to the Danube Delta, we had clear weather and it was so interesting and beautiful (despite the cold). We will gladly recommend your services.

Judy and John Harris (Canada) 2008

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Dear Andrei

Ron and I are now back at home in California. We would like to you for making our trip unforgettable. Most of all we would like to Dan Bucur, who did an excellent job. We have traveled to many places and we have never had a BETTER guide than Dan , (he drives very well too). We will recommend your company and Dan  to all our friends and family in California. Please make sure that Dan gets this e-mail, we want her to know how much we appreciated his hard work. We miss you  and look forward to seeing you again. Thank-you and Best Regards

Ron and Linda Porter & Josh and Mary Benton, California ( Romanian Rhapsody 2008, June)

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Our Romania and Bulgaria trip was the best ever. We truly appreciated having a tour guide for each country.  The way you have customized our tour was great. We enjoyed the flexibility and easy pacing. I am very pleased to offer myself as a reference to any potential future customers of Compass Travel Romania. I will also not hesitate to recommend you to anyone that I know or meet that expresses an interest in visiting the Balkans. Furthermore, we will, of course, contact you again if and when we decide to return.

Mr and Mrs Ogden, Brisbane, Australia (Romania and Bulgaria 2008)

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Greetings from Downunder. We had a fantastic trip. Thank you Andrei.

Mr and Mrs Buckley, Australia, Romanian Rhapsody 2008

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Thank you for making our trip so enjoyable. We loved meeting with various people all along the itinerary. Maramures was the best though. John and Silvia outdid themselves. And we loved the folklore evening you put together for us- what a nice surprise. Please send our regards to our guide Michael and keep in touch.

Jessica, Dan, Charlie and Sam O'Connor, Atlanta GA (June 09)

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Dear Mr Nicolau,

Thank you so very much for arranging our wonderful trip. My sister and I had a fantastic vacation. You were very responsive to all of our requests. Our guide was just wonderful. We learnt so much. We could not have asked for a better trip. The hotels were also very good and we thank you for the upgrade for the extra two nights in Bucharest at Hotel Bertelot: staff were so nice and friendly. Warmest regards.

Sheila , Maryland (Highlights of Transylvania Tour June 2008)

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Fantastic trip, I plan to return soon. Many thanks.

Jimmy Landolt MD (Florida, US)

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Andrei

After watching you on the Travel Channel we decided to visit Romania. We finally made the trip 14 months later and would like to again thank you for a wonderful experience. It truly was a great trip and we would like to return some day. We kept talking about it for weeks and sent pictures to all our friends and family. We felt fortunate to have you as our tour designer and tour guide and realized as we moved, how good you are at it. Thank you for everything.

Martin West and Jimmy T. Nelson, USA (customized 9 day tour 2008)

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Hello,

Thank you for this follow-up. Thank you for customizing our tour so well. I just wish we had more time. Our guide, Andrei Pintea, was truly excellent. We not only had respect for his ability to guide but enjoyed and appreciated his broad cultural and historical insight as well. He is truly a credit to your Company and we left Romania feeling that we left behind a good friend. We enjoyed all of the accommodaotions and especially the one in Sighisoara even though there is no elevator. It was very comfortable and the staff there was friendly and accommodating. Finally, we enjoyed your wonderful country and will certainly return.

Best regards,

Andrew and Mira from USA  September 2008 private tour

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……..we just loved interacting with people and our gude helped translating.

Ann Bryant, Canada 2008

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Hello Andrei,

We are just back in Montreal .We had a fantastic trip to Romania and Bulgaria. All our expectations were  met and beyond. Both guides George and Pavlina were absolutely fantastic,Very professional ,with a profound knowledge of the history,and every detail of their respective countries,trying to anticipate our needs and  to please us. I know you have a lot of references, but if you need another one,We will be more than glad to supply you with one. Please do not hesitate to call on us for anything. Thank you Andrei for a great trip,of which , with the guidance of George and Pavlina we will keep an excellent memory ,not to mention all what we have learned.

All the best .

Henri and Vivian Benzacar (Canada) May 2009

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Andrei,

Thank you very much for the most memorable trip you put together for us. We all enjoyed the experience of finding one of our relatives as well a seeing all of the sites and places within Romania you coordinated for our trip. Cristian was everything we could ask for in a guide/driver, he most definitely made our time in Romania interesting and entertaining, he fit right in and became one of the family. Romania is a wonderful inviting country with so much to offer, I know some if not all of us will return.

Thanks again.

Rick Oncescu & Group, Canada (Customized tour, summer 2009)

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Thank you for a great learning experience and for the follow up. We enjoyed both Romania and Bulgaria very much. Though diverse both countries share common recent history and we were thrilled to see the changes after the Soviets had left.

Bob, Linda and Muriel.  Ohio, US May 2009

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Andrei

Thank you for a great trip. We really enjoyed it all.

Mr and Mrs Costin USA, Transylvania tour, June 09

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Highlights of Romania and Bulgaria Tour 09

I can hardly think of the right words to thank you for an absolutely wonderful and truly memorable vacation. I'll be sorting out my photos, souvenirs and memorabilia for many months to come - and each time I come across a tiny piece of paper or a receipt, I remember each wonderful place we went, some warm & friendly person we met or something fascinating that we saw. Again, thank you for everything. I feel that I now have friends in both Romania and Bulgaria.

Tamara and Richard Belas USA

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THANK YOUFOR ALL YOUR CARE AND HELP IN MAKING OUR JOURNEY TO MARAMURAS AND BUCOVINIA PROVINCE SO EXCITING. I THINK WE ALL HAD A GREAT EXPERIENCE AND WILL LONG REMEMBER THOSE 12 COMPACT DAYS. WE WILL CONTINUE WORKING WITH YOU IN 2010.

NANCY SUTTER - TOUR LEADER (2009)

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We felt that the tour schedule lay out was just right, and accomplished our all of our aims in visiting Romania. A very enjoyable tour, well organized and well executed. A great end to our Danube river cruise. Highly recommended your services  to others. Special thanks to Ian our guide and driver.

M/M Bernard Beaumarriage, New York, (toured Romania in September 2009)

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The four of us want to let you know our tour of Romania from Oltenita thru Bucharest and Transylvania and ending in Budapest was of the highest quality! It was exceptional in that all our needs were met, we experienced no problems, and we enjoyed every minute of the entire tour. We think we must have had your very best tour guide, Adrian, who gave us real personal attention, and was always forthcoming with interesting information. Hotel accommodations were fine and we especially enjoyed the ones in Bucharest  Berthold and Sibiu. The location of Hotel Ambra in Budapest, Hungary gave us the opportunity to explore many areas of interest which were within easy reach such as the Opera and List Square. We thought the provided meals were excellent even though we wished for lighter ones. Thank you again for all your efforts.

Laurie and Jim, US (September 2009 customized tour)

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The trip was just fabulous. Everything was the way it was supposed to be or better. We had the best tour guide in the world I feel very fortunate to have had George as our tour guide. He was very friendly, knowledgeable, organized and made things go very smoothly. We loved all his stories about the Revolution and Communist times.

Maria Helms, Australia (Sept 2009)

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Dan is a fantastic guide. He made our tour worthwhile. Thanks.

Sean and Dora Ridgeway, NSW, Australia

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I just wanted to drop you a note and let you know that we really enjoyed our trip to Romania last week. Thank you so much for customizing the tour for us and answering all of my questions before we left. Everything went off without a hitch and we couldn't have asked for better hospitality while we were there. In particular, we were so pleased with the Berthlot Hotel in Bucharest which was perfect for popping out in the evening and the staff was very helpful, too. Sighisoara was a bit rough with all the works there but I am sure it will look great next spring when they'll finish. We're now sorting through our photos so that we can share our trip with friends and family. I will send you a few. If anyone decides to make Romania their next vacation destination we'll be sure to recommend your invaluable services, too!

Again, thanks for all you did to make our vacation a worry-free one. Sincerely,

William and Sondra Bassinger, NC

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In October 2006,our group of 4 completed a 16 day tour with Tours of Romania similar to the Best of Romania & Bulgaria itinerary! We found the extensive list of US references helpful and they also confirmed our later experiences! The tour combined cultural points of interest and places of natural beauty, the food was superb and the professional tour guides were a pleasure to spend time with and shared much of their customs and culture. We'd use the same tour guides/agency again- in a heartbeat! Enjoy your adventure in a comfortable and safe environment!

Noreen & Lloyd Rossa, Wisconsin, USA

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Dan was a wonderful guide. He is certainly well informed: consequently, we learned a great deal about your country. One characteristic that I really appreciated about Dan was his flexibility. I certainly appreciated his extra effort that enabled us to visit so many Jewish sites. My only recommendation would be to state the price in Romanian currency. Because of the different exchange rates, the lack of this information caused some minor confusion. Other than that, we had a fabulous time, and I would not hesitate recommending your company. Sincerely,

Mr. and Mrs. Hoagland, US

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Tours-Of-Romania is a company of experts in the region.Their tours are mostly tailor made to meet (and exceed) the needs of the mature American traveler. I have visited Romania twice - first time on business and later I returned with my wife for an extended tour. We just loved it. Our tour spelled quality, care, creativity and a learning experience. First cabin

The Hills

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Hi - You're quite right about how much we really enjoyed our trip. In terms of our guide, he was fantastic. Very, very accommodating and knowledgeable. He knew when to get us to certain places so that we didn't miss seeing things. At the same time he certainly gave me a plenty of time to take pictures without being rushed. In fact, he was able to give me some good suggestions in terms of places, etc. All in all, I'd highly recommend him to anyone else wanting a guide in Romania. Thank you for the wonderful adventure you planned for us. "We started in Romania and spent 6 days traveling around the country. We arrived in Bucharest early evening, stayed one night at the Hilton and got a good night's sleep. That did the trick as we were ready to go early the next morning. We arranged for a driver guide to take us throughout the country as we didn't want to hassle with trying to drive ourselves. Based on the advice from several Fodorites, we worked with Andrei Nicolau Miclea in BucharestThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.and he was fantastic - easy to work with, very responsive and very reasonable. Before heading out of town, our guide took us on a city tour of Bucharest. We were surprised by the amazing architecture, especially in the older sections of the city. We went on a tour of Ceausescu's Palace which was not finished before his death. It is a huge building that is now the Senate and Administrative building. We then headed out of town to get to Sinaia before late afternoon so that we could tour Peles Palace. The landscape was beautiful as was the Palace. There was a new hotel, International Hotel, where we stayed and it was quite nice. On our way back to our hotel we stopped at Orthodox Monastery that was very interesting. It was the first Orthodox Monastery we visited. The next day we visited several places in Transylvania. Our first stop was the Bran (Dracula's) Castle. It was fun and interesting actually seeing and touring a structure that has so much lore attached to it. Our guide gave us an official "lecture" on the folklore associated with Dracula along with the truths. We saw many horse carts through the country, but especially in this area. Next stop was Brasov where we saw the old town that had houses in the German style and the Black Church that has a large collection of Persian rugs. We ended the day in Sighisoara, which is a world heritage site due to the upper town medieval citadel.

We spent two nights in the upper town and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was enjoyable to just sit around the square and enjoy the sights around us. The area was very manageable to walk around. This was one of our favorite spots. One evening, we ate dinner at Dracula's birth place. And, of course, we felt that it was only fitting to have a glass of "Vampire" wine while in Transylvania! The next day we toured the area and stopped to photograph a gypsy market where they were selling/trading pigs and horses. It was fascinating. Most were in horse carts with wagons for the pigs, etc., but one of the most interesting sites was a Mercedes pulling a cart filled with pigs. We also visited some interesting churches and towns in the area. I really enjoyed just driving through the country away from the main roads to see farmers using horses and wooden plows to till the soil. The next day we headed to the northeastern part of the country to an area where they have painted Monasteries. I'd never seen anything like this. There are as many frescoes painted on the outside of the churches as the inside. It was amazing. We stayed at a new Best Western Hotel in this area which was quite nice and comfortable.

On our final day of touring we headed back to Bucharest for a farewell dinner and cultural performance. We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Romania and were surprised at the many sites that we were not expecting. We covered a lot of ground in 6 days and were grateful that we didn't have to do any of the driving. I'm not a very adventurous eater, but I was always able to find something I liked. The salads were amazing. The lettuce/tomatoes tasted like it has just been picked in the garden. There were times when we just wanted a quick sandwich for lunch. We found that there were many gas stations that had "fast food" restaurants which served pre-made sandwiches which really hit the spot. We much preferred this to sitting in a restaurant for an hour or more. We flew to Krakow the next morning. I'll continue more later. If you have any questions, let me know and I'll try to answer them.

I meant to post some of my Romanian pictures earlier and forgot. Just cut and paste this link in your browser,http://www.pbase.com/msallen/romania_in_2006and it will take you to my site. Just clicking on the individual picture will increase the size so you can actually see it".

Nancy Allen & sister

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The trip was wonderful- we were very happy with Razvan - the guide, the sites selection, the accommodations and the meals. Thanks for setting this up for us. We have recommended a visit to Romania to several of our friends. I can't say when they will make the trip  -- but we have given positive comments to our friends. Kind regards,

John & Sherry Gilbert, US

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Together with my mother we've visited Romania in the summer of '06. We always enjoyed private tours as opposed to bus tours. We had a fantastic journey through Transylvania, Maramures and Bucovina and were able to understand Romania in depth: the traditions and people. We loved all the special features included in our trip and especially meeting local artists and the home hosted dinners. We think the special lectures are a bonus to the entire experience. Excellent quality. Thank you for making it possible for us. Sincerely,

Tara Sonja Jones

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We were very pleased with our tour of Romania in September of 2006. The "Tours of Romania" program was very well planned, and we were very glad that we could be flexible and make changes at any time. We did make adjustments so that we could add other things, or spend more time somewhere, or visit a relative or two as we went along. Dan was an excellent guide and driver for us. All three of us had the highest opinion of his work -no negatives at all. He is good natured and very flexible. He did a great job of balancing the interests and abilities of all of us. We enjoyed his sense of humor and patience. September was a great time to visit Romania. We liked seeing all of the harvest work and the weather was comfortable. The people in the countryside were extremely friendly and we enjoyed the food. We took tons of photos and will have lots of good memories of our visit. Thank you.

Nancy Ewing and family, US

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Our group of four spent 3 weeks in Romania and Bulgaria in the spring '06.Tours of Romania company organized the trip for both countries. The tour of both countries was excellent. The guides, each a native of their countries were excellent, organized and well informed. We highly recommend this tour.

Sue and Bill Hood, Oklahoma City

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Our journeythrough your wonderful country was most enjoyable and rewarding. We thank you very much for the help you extended to us especially in customizing our tour. Our guide was a very intelligent, knowledgeable and amiable young man who contributed greatly to our sense of comfort and security. His interest and skills in photography were an additional and unexpected help. He certainly can be considered a very valuable professional. Best Regards,

Dr. and Mrs. Luis G. Murillo, San Diego, California

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Our tour guide- Oty, was very nice and went out of his way to find restaurants and special experiences. The cart ride to the village during our home stay was certainly a highlight. We very much enjoyed the home stay. The lodgings were all fun and very good. We did like the Lido in Bucharest…….. Oty was very good and conscientious. My husband Bryed knew a lot about the history so some of the more technical historical questions were not a problem. Thank you very much,

Rosalie Baker and her group.

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Thank you for a great planning of our trip. Excellent pacing. We have enjoyed the Constanta and Black Sea trip.

Mr. and Mrs. Lewis, Oklahoma, US

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We cannot recommend Andrei Nicolau highly enough.He is a wonderful guide and also very intelligent. We had always traveled on our own but felt in Romania we would need a guide and was not sure how it would be for 15 days. Well, it was truly an outstanding experience. We were in Romania May 1 to 15, 2004. Andrei's goal is to make his clients happy and to love Romania. He is extremely proud of his country and his knowledge of its history and also European history is extensive. My husband is a history buff and he and Andrei had wonderful discussions. He will alter your itinerary to meet your needs or if something interesting is happening to include that also. He is there to serve you. Andrei's English is excellent. He is a truly unique person and we know you will love your trip to Romania.

Margery Cohen, New York, NY

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Tours-Of-Romania tailored our trip to meet all our needs and saw that we experienced everything Romania had to offer. The tour guide had a new, large car. We give him the highest recommendation possible.

Herb Lichtenstein, Mamaroneck, NY

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Thank you for a great tour.

Mr. and Mrs. Donald Gerber, US

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Dear Sirs, We have arrived well in Austria. We, my wife and I, have to thank you for the excellent preparation of our journey which became a highlight. Romania is really a very interesting country to travel with much history, many sights and really nice people. The hotels chosen were all good, the food was good. Our guide was one of the best. Due to his excellent introduction and knowledge of Romanian history, geography and traditions we really became fond of your country. We parted as friends. Thank you also for your farewell gifts and palinka (noroc!). Summary: we had a super journey and whenever somebody will ask us we'll be pleased to pass on your agency and also our guide as excellent. Best regards,

Helmuth and Johanna Ehrlich, Vienna, Austria

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Great job. Wonderful countryside. I loved Brasov and medieval Transylvania. Thank you.

Joe  Cruz, Yonkers, NY. Traveled in 1990, 1995 and 2005

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My husband and I visited Romania in November of 2003 after we e-mailed about 7 tour operators with the same request (dates, itinerary, etc). We made our decision based on the timely replies, the tour that was presented by each operator, the costs and the manner in which it was presented. There was something different about their responses and we felt good about our decision….we were not disappointed. The accommodations were superb, better than what we would have chosen. We compared the costs with the other operators and agreed that Tours-Romania had the best deal.

Janel Barberito and Jim Jurczyk

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My husband and I took a private tour of Romania with Tours-of-Romania.com in May 2004. In all of our correspondence and during the trip they were willing to accommodate to our needs. We have appreciated our tour guide, Andrei for his many skills: driving, historical knowledge and his easy manner. We have recommended Tours of Romania to everyone in our travel group.

Diane & Alex Shore, Chicago, IL. Traveled in May 2004

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