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 / FINISH - 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 into the foothills of the Carpathians, 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).
After breakfast embark on your first proper hike, a route that will bring you directly from the hotel to the peak of Omul (2501m) - the 6th highest in the southern Carpathians of Romania. Along the way your guide will take you on a hike across the Bucegi plateau passing the Sfinx and the Babele rock formations. [Picnic] lunch break will be at Omul peak and on the way back to your hotel you will pass the Obarsia waterfall.
Today, your guide will take you for a visit of the city of Brasov, considered the heart of Romania, one of the most secure fortresses in Europe - including massive stone walls, 32 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 also have time to admire the Black and White Towers, Ekaterina’s Gate and the Schei Gate, Rope Street - the narrowest street in Europe.
Free time for independent lunch in Brasov and afterwards a transfer to Bran for a visit of the famous Bran Castle.
Today, back to your walking activities and starting with an easy hiking trail in the village of Magura, passing through dairy farms to reach the Joaca Peak (1452m). Here you can admire the mightiness and splendor of the Piatra Craiului Mountain and, with a little bit of luck, you can encounter wild animals, because Piatra Craiului is the home of bears, lynxes and mountain goats! After a well deserved lunch break** on the peak, the path heads down to the ravine of Zarnesti; the final part of today's hike brings you a little back uphill and on to your guest house.
**NB. For this hiking tour each participant will prepare their own lunch. Ingredients will be available at breakfast and are included.
After breakfast your hiking day begins directly from the guest house by descending into the ravine of Zarnesti, this short section is already known to you from the previous day. Continue uphill to the Curmatura Cottage (1470m) where you'll stop for a warm lunch (here there are 2 to 3 different traditional Romanian soups prepared each day and at least one main dish).
Depending upon group preferences your guide will take you up to the Piatra Craiului Mica (1816m) or you can remain at the same altitude for a short hike and then the return route is across Poiana Zanoaga to the village of Magura.
After breakfast you will leave the village of Magura and drive for around 30 minutes for a visit of the LIBEARTY bear sanctuary in Zarnesti. It is the only bear reservation in Romania where mis-treated bears can find peace and comfort. After the visit you will be transferred to Sibiu, where there will be a guided city tour on foot (Sibiu was a former European Capital of Culture - 2007). During the tour you will learn about the Bridge of Lies and the Great Square, and hear interesting stories about the protestant parish church of Sibiu. Free time for an independent lunch in the city centre and afternoon to explore further, visiting a museum and/or gallery or simply relaxing.
After breakfast your guide will take you to visit the highest climatic spa of Romania, Paltinis. Then a short 25km drive brings you to the start of your next hike. Setting off at at approximately 1400m you will comfortably reach, on a pleasant forest road, the Oncesti Peak, at 1713m. From here the path continues through a dense forest on an excellent hiking trail up to 1800m. Sandwiches for lunch.
In the afternoon you will cross an alpine hayfield to reach the Batrana peak at 1970m; a relatively easy return path leads you back to the starting point, Paltinis. Relaxation awaits you in the garden of the guesthouse Badiu.
On your last day you will leave Transylvania behind and travel back to Bucharest. On the way to the capital city of Romania you will stop at the Cozia and Curtea de Arges monasteries. The first monastery dates back to the 13th century, the second one is an architectural masterpiece of Romanian culture. Lunch will be in a local restaurant at Curtea de Arges. In the afternoon you will arrive into Bucharest where there will be a short tour of the city.
Depending of your departure flight, free time in Bucharest and transfer to the airport.
(Other transport options include an internal flight to a different region of the country such as Moldova or Maramures, a pre-booked first class train to the Black Sea or why not pick up a hire car for a few days of self-drive exploration).
"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
"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