Transylvania Hiking Traverse

romania tour adventure travel bikehike
romania tour adventure travel bikehike
romania tour adventure travel bikehike
romania tour adventure travel bikehike
Transylvania Hiking Traverse
Duration:
10
Days
Priced from:
2899.00
USD

Transylvania Hiking Traverse

Trip Overview

NGTTours%20Logo%202014_v2%20(1).jpgRomania conjures up iconic images of Count Dracula, Transylvania, the Carpathian Mountains and old-world Eastern European culture. It's a country where Western and Byzantine influences meet, shepherds still tend their flocks, horse drawn carriages are more numerous than cars, and medieval villages retain their traditional character. On BikeHike's Transylvania Traverse, we we'll show you ethnic diversity from Romanians, Hungarians and Saxons to Gypsies, Ukrainians and Poles, and we'll learn about their traditions and beliefs. We'll sample the region’s local cuisine and wines, and hike in the legendary Carpathian Mountains, the backbone of Eastern Europe. This Romania adventure tour is an artful blend of outdoor activity, traditional culture, exquisite scenery and ancient history.

WOW FACTORS

  • Hike through remote villages and rugged countryside full of haystacks, horse-drawn wagons and grazing dairy cattle.
  • Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites including Transylvanian villages with fortified churches.
  • Meet and interact with locals who still make their living as blacksmiths, carpenters, shepherds and weavers.

The previous version of this trip was included by National Geographic as a "Tour of a Lifetime" in 2014!

Romania (and BikeHike Adventures) was also mentioned on Forbes.com as one of the "Top Ten Adventure Destinations You Didn't Know About"

Activities

Difficulty Level

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Questions?

Itinerary & Map

Day 1

Bucharest
Arrival
Upon arrival into the Bucharest Airport, you'll be met by your BikeHike Adventures guide and transferred to your central hotel.

Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: none

Day 2

Carpathian Mountains
Hiking
After breakfast, we will transfer to the Carpathian Mountains. On our way, we’ll visit Peles Castle, a royal palace built as a summer residence for the first king of Romania (between 1875 and 1883) and built in a German Renaissance style. We’ll then take a cable car high up into the mountains. This will be the starting point for our hike in the surrounding mountains. We'll eventually reach our vehicle again and be transferred north into the southern Carpathian Mountains, the foothills of Piatra Craiului Mountain in Magura. There, we'll check into our cozy guesthouse that boasts incredible panoramic views. We’ll be staying here for two nights. After some time to settle in, we’ll enjoy a traditional family style Romanian dinner together, cooked by our hosts. 

Hiking Duration: 4 hours
Hiking Distance: 9 km / 5 mi
Descent: - 1200 m (3937 ft)
Accommodation: B & B
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3

Carpathian Mountains - Bran Castle
Hiking
This morning we set off on foot from the guesthouse, hiking to Bran Castle (otherwise known as Dracula’s Castle). Bran Castle was built in the 13th century and is one of the oldest medieval castles in Romania. Since the 1900s, it has been the summer residence of Queen Marie of Romania, the grand-daughter of Queen Victoria of England. Our hike today lasts about five hours, with a steady climb and an area of somewhat steep descent. We’ll pass through a village and over a mountain offering spectacular views. Along the way, we’ll stop for a delicious picnic lunch of simple yet traditional dishes. After lunch, we’ll walk a bit further and meet our driver again to transfer back to the village. For dinner, we’ll once again enjoy a traditional family style dinner cooked by our hosts. 

Hiking Duration: 5 hours
Hiking Distance: 15 km / 9 mi
Ascent: + 500 m (1640 ft)
Descent: - 800 m (2625 ft)
Accommodation: B & B
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Zarnesti Gorge
Hiking
After breakfast we'll set out on foot, right from our guesthouse again. Our destination today is the Zarnesti Gorge, where the movie Cold Mountain was filmed. The route to the gorge passes through a local village, along a narrow forest road and up and down lush valleys. We'll be hiking for about 5 hours. On the other side of the hike, we’ll reconnect with our driver and drive two hours to our next accommodation, located in a small Saxon village. Our hosts are a delightful family, and the hostess loves to provide home-cooked meals for her guests. At dusk, we'll watch for the cow and goat parade. This is when all of the cattle, horses and goats are set free from the fields and return home, waiting for their gates to open. It is certainly a spectacle to witness and often a highlight of the trip. We will stay in this lovely guesthouse for two nights.

Hiking Duration: 5 hours
Hiking Distance: 16 km / 10 mi
Ascent: + 600 m (1967 ft)
Descent: - 880 m (2887 ft)
Accommodation: B & B
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

Prince of Wales Walk
Hiking
This morning we'll drive to Viscri, a remote and beautifully preserved traditional Transylvanian village with a UNESCO recognized white fortified church. The English-Romanian Foundation here has worked diligently to restore parts of this church as well as many of the facades, barns, walls and buildings throughout the town. Viscri has also attracted international attention because Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, owns a house here. We'll first visit the church before beginning our hike from Viscri to Mesendorf, through fertile meadows and a beautiful forest. This is the same route that Prince Charles hiked on his first visit to Romania 20 years ago. He still returns every year to experience the Romanian wild flower meadows and the organic food. After our hike, we'll return to our same guesthouse and enjoy another family-style meal. We’ll have the remainder of the evening after dinner to relax and relish the rural surroundings. 

Hiking Duration: 4 hours
Hiking Distance: 17 km / 11 mi
Ascent: + 100 m (328 ft)
Descent: - 250 m (820 ft)
Accommodation: B & B
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Sighisoara
Hiking
After breakfast, we will start hiking again in the picturesque area around our guesthouse, heading over the hills and through two traditional villages. We'll stop for a rest at Saschiz, where we'll enjoy a farm to table lunch in a family home. After lunch, we'll walk to catch a train from a remote village station. The train will take us to Sighisoara, considered to be one of most beautiful inhabited citadels in Europe while also being Romania’s most iconic medieval structures. The medieval citadel is perched on a hilltop and is fortified with a 14th century wall and towers. For avid readers, Sighisoara is also the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, from Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula novel. Tonight’s hotel is an extra special one due to its location right in the centre of the fortress. After getting settled in, the evening is free to enjoy the town at our own leisure. 

Hiking Duration: 3 hours
Hiking Distance: 11 km / 7 mi
Ascent: + 300 m (985 ft) / - 300 m (985 ft)
Descent: - 300 m (985 ft)
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7

Malancrav - Sibiu
Hiking
Today, we’ll start with a transfer to Malancrav, a picturesque 14th century village with the region’s largest Saxon population. After a visit to its fortified church, we'll visit a local woman who makes Romanian carpets on a loom. We’ll then have a bit of leisure time to explore the village before we begin hiking again to another Saxon village. The hike crosses over a hill and down a long valley, ending at a sheepfold. Here, we’ll experience the delights of a traditional shepherd’s lunch. After lunch, we'll be met by our driver and transferred to Sibiu. After checking into our comfortable hotel, the evening will be at leisure to explore this beautiful town. Sibiu is a typical Eastern European town where you’ll discover plenty of narrow cobbled streets and large squares filled with outside cafes and restaurants. Throughout the town, you’ll also discover a multitude of churches and museums.

Hiking Duration: 2 hours
Hiking Distance: 7 km / 4 mi
Ascent: + 300 m (985 ft)
Descent: - 150 m (492 ft)
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8

Sibiu
Hiking and Wine Tasting
This morning, we’ll drive beyond Sibiu for a light hike to a vineyard. Once there, we’ll enjoy a leisurely picnic of local dishes typical to the area. We’ll also have the opportunity for a wine tasting in the vineyard. Afterwards, we’ll return to Sibiu. The evening is at leisure to enjoy the town. 

Hiking Duration: 2 hours
Hiking Distance: 6 - 8 km / 4 - 5 mi
Ascent: + 100 m (328 ft)
Descent: - 100 m (328 ft)
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9

Bucharest
Transfer and City Stroll
Today is the conclusion of our Transylvanian exploration as this morning we will head into Romania's bustling capital, Bucharest. The city is laden with history, and is known for its wide, tree-lined streets, neoclassical buildings and fashionable parks. Upon arrival into Bucharest, we'll check into our cozy hotel in the centre of town. The remainder of the day will be at leisure to explore the wonders of Bucharest. 

Driving Duration: 5 hours
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Day 10

Bucharest
Departure
This morning you can explore Bucharest, if time allows, and at an appropriate time, we will then transfer you to the airport for your flight back home or onward within Europe.

Meals: Breakfast

NOTE about Ascent/Descent numbers: 

The ascent/descent numbers are usually generated using Ride with GPS. The numbers are TOTAL ascent/descent for the day and these numbers do not suggest altitude. There are usually multiple small ascents and descents added up throughout the day to reach this total ascent/descent for the day. (While our numbers are generally consistent with Ride with GPS, depending on the mapping technology used, numbers may vary).

 

What's Included

TRIP INCLUSIONS:
All accommodation (twin shared), Meals as indicated (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner), all internal transportation, airport transfers and English-speaking guides.

TRIP DOES NOT INCLUDE:
International airfare, airport departure taxes, gratuities, meals not indicated and items of a personal nature.

MEALS:
Breakfasts,  Lunches,  Dinners (as indicated in itinerary)

ACCOMMODATION:
Hotels 5 nights
B & B 4 nights
 

Trip Facts

Weather in Romania

June to September: Summer season. Warmest months are June and July, about 30°C (85°F) in the afternoons, but temperatures can rise to over 38°C (100°F).

October to May: Cold, less rain. Coldest months are January and February, about freezing point.

Travel Documents

Canadian and US citizens require a valid passport with an expiry date that is beyond six months from the date of entry. A visa is not required for North American citizens. Citizens of other countries should contact the Romanian Embassy for specific entry requirements.

Food and Water

Romania’s most famous dish is mamagliga (hard or soft cornmeal mush boiled, baked or fried). The other mainstay of the Romanian diet is cjorba (soup). Pork is the main meat used in Romanian cuisine. There are many desserts options such as placinta (turnovers), clarite (crepes) and saraille (almond cake soaked in syrup). Romania is the 10th largest world producer of wine. Romania is also the world’s second largest grower of plums. Almost all of the plums are turned into plum brandy called palinca. Although Romania’s tap water is typically suitable to drink, it is best to drink only treated or bottled water during your stay. Bottled water, soft drinks, and fresh juices are readily available.

FAQ

How big are BikeHike's groups?

Our adventures are built for small groups, with a maximum of 12 travellers on each guided tour. Each group is diverse, comprised of men and women of many different nationalities and ages. By travelling in small groups we leave minimal ecological impact, cause less disruption to the native life and are able to gain a better appreciation for our surroundings. Small numbers also allow greater flexibility and spontaneity: a dinner in a local home, an impromptu village wedding invite and any such experiences that can become among the most memorable experiences of your BikeHike adventure.

How fit do I need to be to join this trip?

We understand that people come in many fitness levels, so we've graded our trips accordingly. There are four difficulty levels on our trips: Easy, Moderate, Challenging, and Strenuous. 

This is a “moderate” trip. These trips include 4-5 hours of physical activity throughout the day, with many breaks along the way. During the hiking portions of the trip, the most you would have to carry on your back is a daypack.

 

Has this trip been run before?

BikeHike Adventures has been operating since 1994. 

The logistics of organizing tours to remote corners of the world can be very complex. Our trip development department spends long hours researching destinations, routes, ground operations and equipment. All itineraries are screened without clients before they are added to our growing repertoire of adventures. Nothing is untested. 

Can you tell me about your typical BikeHike travellers on this trip?

Our travellers share a common love for outdoor adventure. Most are looking for a physical adventure in an unfamiliar destination. A typical trip is comprised of men and women in good physical condition, who exercise regularly and are invigorated by a personal challenge. The age range on this trip is typically from 35-55, although we occasionally get younger and older travellers as well.

What airport do we fly in and out of for this trip?

Bucharest, Romania. You can arrive anytime on day 1 of the trip and fly out anytime on day 10. 

Can I take this trip if...

I am a solo traveller? How does solo accommodation and costing work?

Many of our travellers (both men and women) join as singles. On average, BikeHike groups are 75% single travellers and 25% couples. Unlike many adventure travel companies, we don't charge single supplement fees to solo travellers. Instead, we pair you with another traveller of the same gender. If we can't find you a roommate, you get your own room at no additional charge. A single private room supplement fee is only required if you specifically request a confirmed private room for the duration of the trip. Learn more about solo travel with BikeHike

I have special dietary requirements?

We will do our best to accommodate special dietary requests (e.g. vegetarian, gluten free, etc.), but ask that you please discuss your request with us when signing up for a trip.

I am travelling with children? Is this trip children friendly?

While most of our trips are created with adults in mind, many of our itineraries are suitable for strong and active teenagers. This trip is generally good for older children (eight or older) and teenagers. However, we do offer many Family Focused trips, some of which are able to accommodate children as young as six.

Accommodation

Most of our trips include comfortable mid-range accommodations. This includes accommodation that provides a clean and comfortable experience in characterful surroundings that reflect the destination. To build stronger connections with the communities and support the local economies, we avoid using large international chain brands on BikeHike trips. 

This trip includes the following types of accommodation:

HOTELS 

In an effort to keep money in the communities we visit around the world, BikeHike prefers small hotels, bungalows, and haciendas that showcase the character and local flair of each destination.

B&B (GUESTHOUSE)

Here, the emphasis in Eastern European guesthouses is on the experience of living as local and less on the common luxuries of western living. The accommodation will be comfortable but can be more basic than western style standard B&Bs.

Click HERE for more information about accommodation styles.

Adventure Dates

  • Jun 15 - Jun 24, 2019
  • Jul 13 - Jul 22, 2019
  • Aug 10 - Aug 19, 2019
  • Sep 07 - Sep 16, 2019
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Price

(Land only, based on twin/shared room)
2899.00
USD
per person

*No single supplement fees
** Guaranteed departures on two travellers

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Add-Ons

  • It's easy to add days before and after your tour.  Just ask! 
Day Destination Activity
Duration
Distance Ascent / Descent Lodging Meals
1
Bucharest
Arrival
— / —
Hotel
2
Carpathian Mountains
Hiking
4 hours
9 km
5 mi
-
- 1200 m (3937 ft)
B & B
b,
d
3
Carpathian Mountains - Bran Castle
Hiking
5 hours
15 km
9 mi
+ 500 m (1640 ft)
- 800 m (2625 ft)
B & B
b,
l,
d
4
Zarnesti Gorge
Hiking
5 hours
16 km
10 mi
+ 600 m (1967 ft)
- 880 m (2887 ft)
B & B
b,
l,
d
5
Prince of Wales Walk
Hiking
4 hours
17 km
11 mi 
+ 100 m (328 ft)
- 250 m (820 ft)
B & B
b,
l,
d
6
Sighisoara
Hiking
3 hours
11 km
7 mi
+ 300 m (985 ft)
- 300 m (985 ft)
Hotel
b,
l
7
Malancrav - Sibiu
Hiking
2 hours
7 km
4 mi
+ 300 m (985 ft)
- 150 m (492 ft)
Hotel
b,
l
8
Sibiu
Hiking and Wine Tasting
2 hours
6 - 8 km
4 - 5 mi
+ 100 m (328 ft)
- 100 m (328 ft)
Hotel
b,
l
9
Bucharest
Transfer and City Stroll
5 hours (drive)
— / —
Hotel
b
10
Bucharest
Departure
— / —
b

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