About Walking in Rural Romania
Discover mediaeval Transylvania together with some of the most beautiful mountain scenery in Europe on this short break to the Carpathians.
START / FINISH - Bucharest
Activity code: ROHIKE02
Duration: 6 days
Hiking in the Carpathians offers a 6 days holiday itinerary full of walking, sightseeing and experiencing the picturesque mountain scenery of Transylvania and beyond. Romanian food and traditional accommodation is an integral part of this holiday itinerary.
This superb introduction to Romania's rugged countryside also includes a visit to Bran Castle, Peles Castle, the Zarnesti Gorges, the mighty Rasnov Fortress, the Cantacuzino Palace in the mountain resort of Busteni and some of the most stunning scenery in the Carpathians such as the Baiului Mountains.
Rediscover's recommended tours take you right into the heart of this fascinating country. We are sharing our knowledge and the experience of our staff and partners 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. The guest houses and hotels in this itinerary are generally small, independent or family-run, properties which add significantly to your travel experience in this fascinating country.
This walking holiday is available as part of a Small Group or Private Journey. Our guides are officially qualified and have many years of experience. Overall this is a hiking lover's dream and has something for everyone in a part of Europe seldom visited by walkers.
All our holidays are tailor made; please contact us for a quote for this or similar holiday packages.
Romania is one of the most unexplored parts of Europe, tucked away in a remote corner where few visit and 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.
Flights - are possible into Romania from Luton, Heathrow, Gatwick, Liverpool and Doncaster. We can arrange flights with BA, TAROM, Wizz Air, EasyJet and Blue Air to suit most requirements.
Private transfer on arrival in Bucharest, one of the least known European capitals, yet the sixth largest European city by population.
As part of your introduction to the country we have arranged a traditional Romanian dinner at Caru cu Bere restaurant, emblematic of the glittering Bucharest Belle Epoque. Afterwards, private transfer to your accommodation.
Transfer from Bucharest to Bran via the stunning Prahova Valley; time to stop and visit the famous Bran Castle (Dracula’s castle).
Morning departure from Bran to drive through Magura Village where the route offers a different perspective towards the mountains. In approx. 1 hr you will get to the Zarnesti Gorges. From here you will start hiking through the forest. Soon arriving at a beautiful meadow called Zanoaga, where you can stop for a snack and contemplate the entire ridge of Piatra Craiului. The next stop is Curmatura Hut (1470 m). At the foot of the mountains the hut is the starting point for many routes that go up on the North Ridge.
Early in the morning you will leave from Bran and go back to the Zarnesti Gorges on a different route (approx.3 hrs). From Zarnesti you will drive to Rasnov (approx. 1 hr). Visit of the famous Rasnov fortress - solitary, up on a hill, the fortress, built around the XIV century, is a testimony of resistance over the years, against the Ottomans. In time, due to the scenery and its strategic location, the fortress has become one of the most famous filming areas for many Romanian historical movies.
From Rasnov the route will take you to Busteni (approx. 1 hr), a famous mountain resort in the Prahova Valley. In Busteni, you will visit the beautiful Cantacuzino Palace, built in neo – Romanian style, famous for its artwork and splendid view to Bucegi Mountains.
This is a full trekking day. You will start in the morning in Busteni and go up on the Zamora ridge (approx. 2 hrs hiking). From Zamora, you will traverse the entire ridge of Baiului Mountains (approx. 3 hrs) and head towards Azuga or Sinaia (depending on the weather conditions and the physical condition of the participants). Transfer from Azuga/Sinaia to Busteni.
A morning transfer from Busteni to Bucharest. On the way, stop in Sinaia, to visit the beautiful Peles Castle, the former residence of King Carol I. From Sinaia you will be driven to Bucharest and transferred to Otopeni International Airport for your flight home.
"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 ..."
M Attell, October 2016
"Doina at Aldo Travel was great. All went well with our trip and our guide Mihai was perfect for us. It has been a fabulous and educational trip and we loved hiking in the Carpathians."
M Attell, Sept 2016