You might not know it yet, but traveling to Romania in the fall is actually quite ideal. It is especially ideal if you are able to swing a trip in early fall, either in September or October. This time of year, all the leaves are changing colors, creating beautiful sceneries. Some days are still slightly warm, other days have a cozy chill that allow you to warm up with a thick scarf or a denim jacket. You won’t be freezing in the snow or sweating under the hot sun – it is layers weather, so as long as you have the right layers of clothing you will be at the perfect temperature all fall long! We will warn you, however, and say that it does sometimes rain in the fall, which could dampen your mood (pun intended!). However, below is a list of all the best fall activities in Romania, including activities for those wet and rainy days!
This road has been said to be the “world’s best driving road.” It is quite a site to see: the road is complete with tunnels, bridges and viaducts (which is similar to aqueducts if you are familiar with those). The road closes at the end of October though, so make sure that you plan to go before then. This winding road is absolutely beautiful, especially in the fall when all the trees are changing colors, so be sure to bring your camera! The Transfagarasan has also been nicknamed “The Road to the Sky” because it reaches an altitude of 2,042 meters (a total of 6,699 feet). This means that not only will you see some pretty cool views from high above, but also that even if the leaves have not fully changed to those gorgeous bright red and orange hues at lower grounds, chances are pretty good that they have started to change once you are over 6000 feet up!
Although this is just a small remote village in Transylvania, it has risen to some prominence as Prince Charles chose to buy a house here back in 1996. Now, twenty-some years later, this is still a small and remote village, but it has been getting the recognition it deserves! It has one of the oldest fortified churches in all of Transylvania, known as the Fortified Church of Viscri, which has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When you visit this charming town, you can climb the tower of the church, stay in a traditional Romanian house, explore the village, and walk through the beautiful nature that surrounds you. It is peaceful and gorgeous in this small town and is the perfect destination if you are trying to get away from city life without throwing yourself into the wilderness.
Literally translated to “The Danube Boilers”, this is a 9-kilometer stretch of the Danube Gorge just before the Carpathian Mountains. This location is absolutely gorgeous during the autumn, with Danube River crossing through it. It is also in very close proximity to other tourist destinations, such as the living rock sculpture of the Dacian ruler Decebalus, which rivals the sculptures at Mount Rushmore. The Cazanele Dunarii are also close to the Mraconia Monastery and the Ponicova Cave.
The Red Lake and the Red River in Harghita County
Laurap / Public domain
Alright, despite the names, the Red Lake and Red River are not always red, but they do sometimes turn this color! This is due to the crossing iron oxides and hydroxides that react to create a natural red color. The Red Lake is actually somewhat of a new lake that was formed naturally when part of a mountain fell. It is in the Hasmasu Mare Mountains. In the parts where the water is not red, the waters are dark and ominous, but yet still strikingly beautiful! When the leaves start turning colors here, it is quite a magical site to see!
The Bogatii Forest
The Bogatii Forest is a nature preserve in the Persani Mountains in Brasov county. It is a huge forest with plenty of native European deciduous trees, such as beech trees, sessile oaks, and alder trees. The result is a rainbow of fall colors if you visit in October! We would recommend packing a picnic, taking a walk through the forest and finding a nice spot to sit down, enjoy your lunch and enjoy the views! This is a quintessential relaxing afternoon type of spot!
If you are staying in Bucharest, then Valea Doftanei is a great spot to plan a day trip. Just a two hour drive from the center of Bucharest, this is a gorgeous place to go to if you are trying to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. You can overlook the Doftana River, which has beautiful turquoise-blue waters. You can hike around here and enjoy the views. If you are not staying in Bucharest, there are plenty of spots around Valea Doftanei where you can find accommodation too!
If you want to see the house where the “real” Dracula was born – we’re talking about Vlad the Impaler – head over to Sighisoara. It is a quant medieval town located in the middle of Romania. His house is located on Tin Street No.1, between the Citadel square and the clock tower. It is a small place, but you can eat at the restaurant located on the ground floor and afterwards head up to the weapons museum on the floor above. Even if you are not interested in seeing Vlad the Impaler’s house, this city is on UNESCO’s prestigious list and it is one of the most beautiful inhabited citadels in Europe. This city is even more beautiful during the fall as it has a wonderfully quaint charm.
October is a great time to visit Romania as the weather has cooled from the summer, but it is still not quite cold yet. It is also a great time to visit the country because you will be missing the tourist rush of the summer, so there will be thinner crowds to navigate through. We hope you enjoy your time in Romania and that you visit some of the sites on this list!