Folk ballads in Transylvania have a common ending. 'If he has not died,' the closing line goes, 'then in some place he is still alive.' It's a particularly apt sentiment in a region where a simple agrarian lifestyle of horses and carts, grass cutting by scythes and passionate religious beliefs still clings on while the world beyond the mountains changes at a bewildering pace. But to suggest that Transylvania holidays are only worth it to see a traditional way of life preserved, as if in amber, would be to miss out on many other facets of this beguiling destination. This is also a region of staggering natural beauty,
fascinating (and extremely complicated) cultural diversity and 'nature red in tooth and claw' the like of which hasn't been seen in Britain since the 1600s. Oh, and on the subject of those teeth, they belong not to the vampires now commonly associated with Transylvania, but to the bears, wolves and even lynx that still call this place home.

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4/5
The holiday was great. The Inn on Balaban was a wonderful start to the break, with lovely rooms and views to die for. Excellent guided tour of Bran Castle. Sighisoara citadel was beautiful as was Miklosvar - very relaxing and our Szeckler guide was very eager to show us his part of Transylvania. Our room in the annex there was wonderful. Dinner in the cellar after the cows were seen home was very pleasant too. Zalanpatak has the most spectacular setting. Our last day was spent on a horse and cart trip up into the hills and a delicious BBQ lunch in a spectacular flower meadow. All in all, amazing forests, views, vistas and flower meadows; very relaxing environment and slow pace. Thank you!

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