Although the ninth largest country by area in the European Union, Romania remains largely rural, undeveloped and unspoilt. Nowhere is the country's outstanding natural beauty more evident than around the Carpathian Mountains which form a sweeping crescent at Romania's heart. An idyllic location for walkers and wildlife enthusiasts, numerous hiking trails wind through the wildflower meadows and pine-forested foothills beneath the majestic peaks.
Similarly stunning is the delta of the River Danube, a protected area of wetlands and a haven for birdwatchers where this legendary waterway meets the Black Sea in southern Romania. These awe-inspiring landscapes are punctuated by ancient castles and remarkably-preserved medieval villages in many of which traditional folklore, crafts and customs are still maintained. By contrast, Romania's great cities such as Braşov and the capital, Bucharest, offer an engaging melting pot of history, culture, fine architecture and art along with contemporary shopping, entertainments and a host of superb restaurants, bars and cafes.