Magnificent Transylvania will take you through what was once the wild edges of Europe

Bran Castle
Follow in the footsteps of Vlad the Impaler on a road trip through Romania’s magnificent Transylvania, with medieval towns straight from a fairytale

I wandered through cobblestone streets, dazzled by the colourful medieval and renaissance architecture, the citadels on the hillsides looking down, picture-perfectly framed by the forested mountain standing tall behind.

Transylvania’s Dracula connection is of course thanks to Bram Stoker, the Irish author of the original novel, who never even visited Transylvania.

His character’s origins are just loosely based on the 15th century local ruler, Vlad Dracul.
Vlad is better known by his nickname, The Impaler.
He wasn’t a vampire, but his nickname describes how he dispensed with his enemies, in particular the Turkish invaders.
His notoriety has echoed down through the ages, yet (in tourist shops at least) his persona has intertwined with the fictional Dracula’s, the two becoming a mustachioed one.

The 14th century Bran Castle – touted as “Dracula’s Castle” – has been serving for ages as a military fortress controlling the entry route to Transylvania and best known through its association with Dracula’s myth.

We came off the main road to visit another, Viscri, where Prince Charles owns property.
After driving slowly to the end of a long dirt track, we were greeted by a sign declaring its Unesco World Heritage status.

Find out more: DailyMirror