I have no hesitation in recommending both the country and Iulian as a guide

I was very pleased to be asked to write this recommendation. I “discovered” Iulian via his website and all our communication was by email. I led a party of 11 for a four day trip to Romania with the emphasis on walking. Iulian was not only an experienced mountain guide. He stayed with us from morning until night and he was enormously helpful in enabling us to avoid all the pitfalls of travel in a genuinely foreign country. He arranged to meet us at the airport with a minibus, took us to the good accommodation he had arranged and stayed with us in the evening providing invaluable advice on local restaurants and wine. Dire warnings we had received about the food proved wrong – but perhaps only because we had good advice! Romania is beautiful and fascinating. In our four days we packed an awful lot in. A common reaction from our group was that the trip felt like a lot longer than four days. The mountains are wonderful and a fair bit higher than we are used to in the UK. There is plenty of original forest high up the slopes that looks for all the world like the set of a Dracula movie. I am told there are some bears and wolves in the forest but they stay well out of sight. After all, this is Transylvania! Monasteries and castles abound and you can see horse-drawn ploughs in use in the fields. I strongly recommend a trip to Sighisoara. This is the oldest mediaeval town in Europe since the tragic destruction of Dubrovnik. It is also the birthplace of the infamous Vlad, who spawned the legend of Dracula. If Sighisoara was in the West it would be an horrendous tourist trap but it is hardly developed as a tourist resort and a wonderful experience. Iulian can organise walking and climbing trips to suit all levels from gentle summer strolls to ice climbing in guaranteed winter conditions. I have no hesitation in recommending both the country and Iulian as a guide. I will also say that Romania is very cheap and easily accessible from the UK. It took us less time to get to the hills than it takes to get to many of the Scottish Munros. If anybody wants to contact me, please feel free to email me at phil.royal@btinternet.com

Phil Royal, may 2001