Where would you suggest for an incentive group from the dental industry? What better place than Transylvania, home of the most famous biter of them all! And so it was that our group travelled to this amazing part of the world.
Romania has much to offer for incentive groups and will soon be on many people’s “must see” list. Transylvania is stunning and offers so much more than Dracula and bloodsucking vampires; it’s a country full of natural beauty and hidden treasures, and could easily be the land that time forgot; driving through the winding roads and passing farmers in their horse and cart, you can imagine that this place hasn’t changed in hundreds of years.
But there’s also a stark contrast; in the heart of Transylvania is a city called Cluj Napoca, with half a million inhabitants. It’s a vibrant hub with a buzzing nightlife, partly due to its large student population attending the city’s universities. It’s also the economic heart of Transylvania with an abundance of places to drink and eat traditional and modern cuisine. Traditional Romanian food is very hearty, and as a visitor you must sample the spirit known as Tuica; made of fruits, it will leave you warm and happy, however treat it with respect or your head will suffer the next day…
Our group started off with a traditional breakfast made from locally sourced ingredients including local sausages, eggplant cream and home-made bread, before heading into Cluj to enjoy some of the city’s sights and rich history. A short drive from the city there are rivers and lakes, and a huge reservoir known as Tarnita, this leads on to the truly rural areas of the Ariesi Valley, a land inhabited by the “Moti” people. The Moti have not changed their lifestyle in hundreds of years and live today as their ancestors did. They live in scattered settlements high up in the Apuseni mountains and if you manage to see them it will certainly make you reflect on how simple life can be.
So what else to do in Transylvania? Most people migrate to the famous 14th Century Bran Castle, which is associated with Vlad the Impaler, The Prince of Darkness, Dracula himself. It’s stunning and well worth a visit, but don’t expect to save a screaming local virgin from the clutches of a bloodthirsty Count – it’s purely legend, although the locals are happy to indulge tourists. You can also head out to the forests where guides will help you trek one of the 6,000 or so brown bears living wild in the Carpathian region; you may even get close enough to photograph them, but petting them is definitely not advisable!
Our group also visited a local salt mine at Turda, close to Cluj. Descending into the bell-shaped cavern a whole new world opens up full of bars and food areas, pool tables, table tennis areas, ten-pin bowling lanes and a ferris wheel! All of this is surrounded by the untouched walls of the salt mine with their incredible rock patterns, best viewed by sailing on the underground lake – a great alternative to the mini-golf. Honestly, there is so much there that you will think you’re in the underground lair of a Bond villain! There is also a health and wellness centre with treatment rooms where you can experience the claimed benefits of the mine’s micro-climate, said to help in treating asthma, bronchitis, COPD and other respiratory diseases. How can you not love this place!
Transylvania is an excellent incentive destination. Easy access, great food and drink, friendly people, lots of culture and history, plenty of fun activities and stunning surroundings. Add to this that it doesn’t have to be a high budget destination and you see the benefits of the region, and of Romania as a whole. We’d love to tell you more, and we are lucky enough to have a Romanian expert in the team to help with your enquiries. Contact us here and we promise to avoid vampire references…