About Hiking in Romania
A superb guided hiking holiday with authentic Romanian cuisine & traditional accommodation in some of the most picturesque mountains in Europe. MINIMUM 4 PERSONS
START - Bucharest / FINISH - Bacau [or Bucharest]
Activity code: ROHIKE01
Duration: 9 Days
This Hiking in Romania adventure offers 9 days packed full of walking, sightseeing and experiencing the picturesque mountain scenery of Transylvania and beyond (Moldavia). Romanian food and folklore is also included throughout, examples include the Rhein Cellars in Azuga, a traditional shepherd's house for cheese in the hills near Piatra Neamt, delicious picnic lunches on most days and a special farewell dinner on the last night.
Romania is one of the most unexplored parts of Europe, tucked away in a remote corner where few visit and about which fewer still have much knowledge beyond the connection with the myth of Dracula. Much of Romania is virtually untouched countryside and follows a way of life that has long been extinguished, or at the very least dimished into very small pockets, elsewhere in Europe; the centuries old folklore and traditions still thrive in its picturesque villages.
Hiking in Romania has a well thought through itinerary and superb local guides. Let us take you right into the heart of this fascinating country by sharing our knowledge and the experience to offer not just important cultural sights, dramatic scenery and historic locations but the opportunity to spend quality time in the villages, often staying in rural communities as guests of local families, where local culture is at its strongest.
Rediscover the World is committed to providing unique and carefully thought out itineraries that combine the highlights of the country together with some of the lesser-known wonders. Our guides think about the whole experience and will use their experience to allow you into the homes of the locals and many of the lesser-known places that will make your trip unique. Overall this is a hiking lover's dream and has something for everyone in a part of Europe seldom visited by walkers.
Arrival in Bucharest where you will be met by our professional English-speaking guide. Your journey begins with a transfer north to Sinaia in the beautiful Prahova Valley for a brief visit to Peles Castle, the summer residence of the Hohenzollern kings of Romania and one of the best preserved royal palaces in Europe (German renaissance style).
Dinner is at the nearby at Rhein Cellar in Azuga with wine and champagne tasting at the former "Supplier of Romania's Royal Court’" and since April 2006 designated 'Supplier of His Majesty King Michael the First'.
After breakfast transfer back down the valley to Sinaia and then on to the "Trans-Bucegi" road to Piatra Arsa Hotel in the Bucegi mountains (1950m). From here your guide will take you on a beautiful hike, leading to Babele Chalet (2206m), of approx. 2 hrs. Here, you can admire the spectacular natural monuments of the Sphinx and Babele and hear about their legends. From Babele continue to Caraiman Peak (2390m) where you can see "The Heroes Cross", a beautiful monument dedicated to the Romanian soldiers who died in WW1 (also approx. 2 hrs walking) - it is the biggest "alpin cross" in the world (40m high). A picnic lunch and time for taking some photos of the stunning landscape. From the Cross your route will return you to Babele Chalet (approx. 90 mins) and from there you will descend to Padina Chalet using the cable car.
Breakfast at Padina. From here head out on another lovely hike to Pestera Lalomicioarei (1650m) on a spectacular route (2 hours). After visiting the cavern and the Monastery onward to Bolboci Chalet (1460m), walk around the Bolboci Lake and through the Tatarului Gorges (3 hours). Picnic lunch. From Bolboci Chalet head to Dichiu Chalet (1.5 hours). Here a vehicle will collect you and drive down to Busteni resort.
After a home-cooked breakfast transfer to the mediaeval town of Brasov, considered the heart of Romania, one of the most secure fortresses in Europe, the architectural defense pile being made of stone walls, 32 defense towers and 4 fortified gates. During the Brasov tour you will visit the magnificent Black Church - the largest gothic-style church between Vienna and Istanbul, and stroll around the old Council Square, lined with beautiful red roofed merchant houses. You can admire the Black and White Towers, Ekaterina’s Gate and the Schei Gate, Rope Street- the narrowest street in Europe. Lunch in Brasov.
Transfer to Bran and visit of Bran Castle, well known in history and folklore as Dracula’s castle.
In the morning you will cross the Carpathians again, passing by the Székely Villages, settled here for centuries. Picnic lunch at Lacu Rosu (Red Lake), then hiking around the lake for about 2 hours before continuing through to Bicaz Gorge, the most spectacular of this kind in Romania. The road along the 8 kilometres of ravines, often in serpentines with rock on one side and a sheer drop on the other, is one of the most spectacular drives in the country.
After breakfast leave for Bicaz Dam. Boat ride on Bicaz lake to the Ceahlau mountains. Climbing to the Fantanele Chalet (1220m), continuing to Toaca (1904m) and Dochia Chalet (1790m) - approx. 4-5 hours. Picnic lunch in front of the chalet on the top of the mountain, surnamed "The Olympus of Carpathians". Afterwards head down on another route, to Duruitoarea waterfall (1021m), Durau (850m) - walking time approx. 3 hours.
This day is dedicated to the pilgrimage of the Neamt monasteries Agapia, Varatec and Neamt. First stop is Varatec, then Agapia Monastery and on to Voronet. Visit the workshop of hand woven carpets and museums and continue with a visit to Nicolae Popa Museum, an original collection of masks and ceremonial costumes, coins, sculpture and paintings realized by the artist and his family. Lunch at the museum in Tarpesti. Short hike to Targu Neamt Fortress.
Today, you will walk around the city of Piatra Neamt, followed by a climb to Carloman peak on the old road of the forest train and to Cozla peak where you will meet the shepherds and have lunch at the sheep yard tasting their cheese products.
In the afternoon, hike to a historical road, going back to Dacian time and kings. The fortress was built on two levels: the first one dating from the second century before Christ and the second level was dated between the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD. The trip to the top of the hill to see the remains of what once was a mighty architectural complex is a pleasant experience together with a superb view of the entire Bistrita Valley and to the surrounding hills.
Transfer to Bacau Airport for your flight home [or to Bucharest].
(Other transport options we can arrange for you include an internal flight to Bucharest, a pre-booked first class train to Bucharest or why not pick up a hire car for a few days of self-drive exploration).
Fully inclusive guided hiking in the Carpathians.
All prices are per person
"Just wanted to pass on some feedback regarding our Romanian trip. Some of the highlights were the walking tour of the Old Town in Cluj Napoca where we first arrived. The accommodations at Capitolina were very nice. Our guide, Mihai, grew up in Romania and currently lives in Sibiu and he was quite knowledgeable about Romanian history, which made the tour very interesting and relevant. We thought the salt mine tour in Turda was absolute amazing. We were shocked at the size of it and the boating lake, tennis courts, bowling alley, medical clinic, and gift shop at the bottom of this massive pit started by the Romans. Alba Iulia was a wonderful stop. We really enjoyed walking around the Hapsburg Citadel and my husband is a lover of Roman ruins, so we were able to see some of these in Alba as well. Alba is on one of the major roads that lead out of Rome. Sibiu (where Mihai lives) is a lovely old Saxon city, with wonderful architecture and plazas. Mihai did a great walking tour of the Old City before we left. We loved the accommodations at Casa Luxembourg. The traditional restaurant we went to was right across the square where we were staying, so it was convenient and most excellent. We really enjoyed seeing the famous Transfagaran highway built by Ceacescu and hearing the story about how and why it was built. Our hike up the Balea Cascade was wonderful despite getting caught in the rain and snow up near Balea Lake. We arrived at the Brancoveanu Monastery and were told that dinner had been served all at once at 7:30 pm. They were nice enough to feed us, but the soup, French fries, and fried cheese were cold and quite unappetizing. The rooms were very small and sparse and the mattresses were the most uncomfortable mattresses we have ever slept on. They felt like they were made of straw but were beyond firm. The monastery is well worth a visit and it is in a beautiful place, but the 4 of us were in agreement that we did not care for the accommodations or the "all at once" serving of dinner. I don't think Mihai was aware of this fact. He said no one told him about the one time dinner serving at 7:30 pm. The fact that we arrived late was not Mihai's fault. One person in our group, was extremely slow, so the hike took a few hours longer than he had anticipated. The next morning we headed to the bear sanctuary near Zarnesti. Unfortunately, we were turned away because they only have one tour per day and you have to get there around 9:30 in the morning to gather at the gate for the group tour. Mihai told us that his group, Aldo Travel in Sibiu, did not tell him about this. We were quite disappointed, but he said we would go back the next morning, and we did, so all was resurrected. We really enjoyed Pestera and Mihai took us to one of the last working water-powered woolen mills in Romania. It was fascinating. Accommodations at Casa Folea on top of a lovely ridge were quite nice. The views on both sides of the ridge of the Bucegi Mtns and Craiului Ridge were spectacular. Bran Castle was a must but in some respects a disappointment. The place is packed with long lines to get in and it turns out that Bram Stoker never visited there and Bran may not even be the castle he referred to in Dracula, but it is a tourist mecca. Still glad to have seen it despite the hype. The Rhein winery guesthouse was a great place to stay. The dinners were lovely with paired wines included in the dinner. Loved the Zamora Ridge hike and seeing the amazing stone pillars, including the Sphinx. I made it to the top of Omu while the others turned back and waited for Mihai and I to get back to the cabin at the top of the cable car house. The only glitch to this day had to do with the cable cars. We got there after 9 am and the lines were over 1.5 hours long since the cars only hold 25 people and they only arrive every 20 minutes. The last cable car of the afternoon is at 3:45. We got there at 3:40 pm because of the late start on the hike and going to the ..."
M Attell, USA, October 2016
"We have all reached home safely after a very memorable trip to Romania. We were very pleased with your organising the trip and we are particularly thankful to Ms. Doina Anghel for all her support and help. We hope you will help us with our next travel as well."
P Annamalai, India, June, 2017