Great Carpathian Traverse route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $5595  
Length: 15 days
Arrive: Krakow, Poland
Depart: Lviv, Ukraine
Lodging: 14 nights in simple hotels and inns
Meals: All meals included except 2 dinners
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: A mix of moderate walks and hikes, some steep sections, 1-4 hours a day
3

Highlights

  • Krakow, one of the most beautifully preserved medieval cities in Europe
  • Hike among the granite peaks of the High Tatras, straddling Poland and Slovakia
  • Bucolic villages, ancient beech forests, famed Tokaj vineyards of Hungary
  • Romania’s remarkable Maramures region, with its authentic folkloric culture
  • Charming Lviv, the Ukraine’s cultural heart

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Ukraine are the gems of this five-country hiking adventure, a step back in time into Old World Europe as you discover mountain trails where eagles soar and historic villages lost in time. On our incredible journey, you’ll hike on both the Polish and Slovak flanks of the High Tatras, walk the pilgrim path to Slovakia’s vast Spissky Hrad castle, and discover the folkloric heritage of Romania’s Maramures region. Our cultural encounters introduce you to shepherds, woodcarvers, weavers, and people of many ethnic backgrounds—Hutsuls, Slovaks, Rusyns—each with distinctive styles and traditions. Along the way you’ll sample the best local cuisines and wines, from delicious Ukrainian-style borscht to the fine Tokaj vintages of Hungary.

Itinerary at a Glance

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Days 1-4
Krakow, Poland / Tatras Mountains

From medieval Krakow, seat of the Polish kings for three centuries, we journey into the Tatras Mountains, hiking beneath their snow-capped peaks and into their broad glacial valleys laced with blue mountain tarns. One hike brings you right from our hotel along a balcony trail to Tatranska Lomnica, a turn-of-the-century spa town and present-day ski resort.

Days 5-10
Levoca, Slovakia / Eger, Hungary / Maramures, Romania

Heading across the border into Slovakia, our hikes lead through traditional villages to the towering ruins of the hilltop Spissky Castle. In Hungary’s Eger-Tokaj region, sip delicious wines in cellars dating to the 15th century, hike in the Bukk (“Beech”) Mountains, then head to northern Romania’s unique Maramures region, where woodcarving is a way of life and traditional dress is still worn.

Days 11-15
Sapanta / Rakhiv, Ukraine / Lviv

After a visit to Sapanta village’s “Merry Cemetery,” where each grave is marked by charming folk art and a humorous poem, we hike right across the border into Ukraine. In Rakhiv, a center of Hutsul culture, we become acquainted with these Carpathian mountain people known for their woodcarving, pottery-making, weaving arts, and distinctive wooden architecture. After lovely hikes on Mt. Dovga (4,525'), the highest peak in the area, and among the rock outcrops of Makovytsia Mountain, our journey ends in charming Lviv, where we explore the Old Town, flanked by 18th and 19th century mansions and lively cobbled streets. Depart on Day 15.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

What the Trip is Like

The trip is Level 3, Moderate. We hike from 2 to 7 miles on most days over rolling hills, with occasional steep trails. Distances are not long, but you should be in good shape and wear good hiking boots. Hiking poles are recommended. You need to carry only a daypack for your camera, water bottle, rain jacket, etc. A vehicle transfers our luggage between overnight accommodations. On some days, we enjoy picnic lunches prepared by the Trip Leader with local produce, wine, breads, and cheeses. On “town” days, we have lunch at local cafes. Please note that in Europe, the dinner hour is considerably later than what it is in the US. We do our best to secure early reservations for our groups, but most often the evening meal will be at 7:30 pm.

Although rooms are not always of uniform or international size, our leaders always try their best to assign rooms in a fair way so that all participants experience an equal advantage throughout the trip as a whole. Single rooms can be requested but are not always available, due to the limited space in the hotels. If you require a single room, please make the request as early as possible.

Explanation of Trip Levels

 

Departures & Leaders

2014
Aug 31-Sep 14, 2014

2015
May 10-24, 2015
Jun 14-28, 2015  Alex Nagy
Aug 30-Sep 13, 2015  Alex Nagy

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2014
$5595 (12-15 members)
$5995 (9-11 members)
$6395 (6-8 members)
Single supplement: $790
Forced single supplement: $590
more on pricing

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations as noted
  • All meals included except 2 dinners
  • Entrance fees for museums and sites
  • All land transportation, transfers as noted

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, transfers for independent arrival or departure, any meals not specified after each itinerary day, wine at dinner (except at welcome and farewell dinners), airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors; pre-trip expenses of medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, or passports and visas; and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20%
60 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

More than 90 days prior to departure: No charge!
46-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Hotel Wit Stwosz

Hotel Wit Stwosz

Day 1 (1 night), Krakow, Poland

This lovely hotel is very conveniently located just two blocks from the main square in Krakow's Old Town, within easy walking distance of all the ...
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Hotel Sabala

Hotel Sabala

Day 2 (1 night), Zakopane, Poland

The Sabala is a historic hotel in the heart of the bustling mountain town of Zakopane, with comfortable guest rooms opening to balconies with town ...
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Hotel Sorea Hrebienok

Hotel Sorea Hrebienok

Day 3 (1 night), Stary Smokovec, Slovakia

We arrive by cable car at this lodging, built during the Communist era as a sanitorium for trade unionists. It is now a comfortable mountain lodge ...
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Hotel Stela

Hotel Stela

Days 4 to 5 (2 nights), Levoca, Slovakia

The gracious Stela is situated in historic Levoca’s main square close to St. Jacob’s Church. The hotel’s original structure dates ...
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Hotel Palota

Hotel Palota

Day 6 (1 night), Lillafured, Hungary

This 18th century castle-style health retreat is tucked between forested hills and a picturesque lake. Guest rooms are modern and comfortable, and ...
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Hotel Korona

Hotel Korona

Days 7 to 8 (2 nights), Eger, Hungary

Located in a quiet area near Eger’s historic Baroque city center, the Korona offers comfortable, modern rooms and a historic wine cellar ...
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Hotel Turist Suior

Hotel Turist Suior

Day 9 (1 night), Suior, Romania

This hotel is a complex of four chalet-style wooden buildings plus an on-site restaurant that serves traditional Maramures cuisine. Guest rooms are ...
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Hotel Gradina Morii

Hotel Gradina Morii

Days 10 to 11 (2 nights), Sighetu Marmatiei, Romania

With a park-like setting, the picturesque Hotel Marmatia features modern rooms in a quiet environment. Built during World War II as accommodation ...
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Hotel Bukovel

Hotel Bukovel

Day 12 (1 night), Bukovel, Ukraine

The Hotel Bukovel, built in 2004, is in the heart of the Ukraine’s top ski resort and offers modern facilities including a sauna and spa. 
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Hotel Opera

Hotel Opera

Days 13 to 14 (2 nights), Lviv, Ukraine

Just across the street from the Lviv Opera House, this hotel enjoys a central location in the Old Town and offers a blend of the modern and ...
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Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Our Trip Leaders

Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

Gianluca Canalicchio

Departure Dates: August 31-September 14, 2014, May 10-24, 2015

Gianluca Canalicchio was born and raised in Rome, where his parents moved in 1960 from Umbria, when they left their life of hard work on their farm in search of new opportunities. He has a degree in accounting, speaks four languages (Italian, Spanish, French, and English), and loves dancing, ...
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Alex Nagy

Departure Dates: August 31-September 14, 2014, May 10-24, 2015, June 14-28, 2015, August 30-September 13, 2015

Alex Nagy was born and raised in Brasov, in the heart of legendary Transylvania, close to Romania's highest mountains, the Fagaras. At an early age, he was fascinated by the magnificent image of these peaks, snow-capped from November to May, and his first love was skiing. He has worked in mountain ...
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