The climate is pretty crucial in planning a trip to Romania. Winters can be brutal – snow blankets much of the country, temperatures of -15°C to -20°C are not uncommon, and a strong, icy wind (the crivaţ) sweeps down from Russia. Conditions improve with spring, bringing rain and wild flowers to the mountains and the softest of blue skies over Bucharest, and prompting a great migration of birds through the Delta. By May, the lowlands are warming up and you might well find strong sunshine on the coast before the season starts in July. Although by far the hottest time of the year, summer or early autumn is the perfect time to investigate Transylvania’s festivals and hiking trails (though brief but violent thunderstorms are common in the Carpathians during this period), and to see the painted monasteries of Bucovina, while flocks of birds again pass through the Delta in late autumn.