Explore Romania’s biggest waterside attraction, the Danube Delta, a region the size of Dorset pullulating with wildlife, and populated largely by fishermen living in isolated villages. Situated on the Black Sea coast, it’s also a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site. Tourism here is still basic, but the environment is unique, particularly if you’re interested in birds.
Head to Transylvania, the mythical land of Dracula and hence the big draw for family holidays in Romania. Once part of Austro-Hungary, this is a landscape of castles and manor houses, rural villages and old trading cities such as Brasov, Sighisoara, Cluj and Sibiu, whose centres are still relatively intact, although Communist initiatives in housing and industry have generally blighted their suburbs. Bran Castle, near Brasov, is the main Dracula destination.
In the far north of Transylvania, the region of Maramures has the most fabulous painted churches, their frescos on the outside for the benefit of the peasantry.
Avoid Bucharest, one of the most unappealing capital cities in all Europe – its heart was ripped out by Ceaucescu to make way for domineering public buildings, and in summer it is hot and polluted.