transylvania alps romania hiking tour

Transylvanian Alps, Romania

Romania offers some of the most unspoiled mountain settings in Europe. Our journey includes the World Heritage town of Sighisoara, Dracula’s legendary Castle Bran, and great hikes in the Transylvanian Alps.

Photo by Radu Mot / Painet Inc.

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Mountains and Legends of Romania

Transylvanian Alps, Medieval Villages, and Tales of Dracula
Repertory Trip: Next Offered August 16-27, 2015

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: TBA  
Length: 12 days
Arrive: Bucharest, Romania
Depart: Bucharest, Romania
Lodging: 9 nights hotels, 2 nights mountain chalet
Meals: All meals included except 1 dinner
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: A mix of moderate walks and hikes, some steep sections, 3-6 hours a day, van support
3

Highlights

  • Discover a truly hidden corner of Old Europe
  • Explore the atmospheric medieval towns of Sighisoara and Brasov
  • Castle Bran, home of the legend of Dracula


This trip has a nice balance of hiking and cultural experiences.Sandra C.—Seattle, WA

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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.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

Repertory Trip

This is one of our special Repertory Trips offered every two to five years.  It will be several years before this journey is offered again. Now is the time to go!

Carving their way through Romania’s pastoral landscapes, the wild Carpathian Mountains create a rugged backbone for eastern Europe, especially in the Transylvanian Alps, Romania’s legend-filled heartland. On this intriguing journey, we enjoy spectacular hiking in an undisturbed mountain realm where time stands still—shepherds tend their flocks, horse carts are more numerous than cars, and fortified Saxon villages retain their traditional character. Transylvania’s architectural treasures await us, too, including the striking Baroque city of Brasov, with its historical monuments, stunning Castle Bran—legendary lair of Vlad the Impaler (Dracula)—and absolutely medieval Sighisoara, an atmospheric World Heritage Site and Romania’s most enchanting town.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-2
Sinaia / Bucegi Mountains

After meeting in Bucharest, we head out to lovely Sinaia, nestled in a deep valley in the Bucegi Mountains, a limestone chain with some of the best hiking in Romania. We catch a funicular to a ridgetop at 6,600 feet for a panoramic hike below the sheer peaks of Caraiman (7,700') and Costila (8,250'). The meadows here are ablaze with wildflowers, from grape ferns to edelweiss, and the terrain above the treeline is the abode of chamois.

Days 3-4
Brasov

We enjoy a hike in the Piatra Mare (“Big Rock”) Mountains, where the highest summit is 6,100 feet. Our choice of hiking routes includes a trail to the pestera de gheata (“the ice cave”), to the beautiful Tamina waterfall, or a route across the “seven ladders,” steel ladders bolted to a wall in a mountain canyon. Our next hike takes us into the peaks of the Postaravu Mountains where, in clear weather, we have 360-degree views. Overnights are in Brasov, a timeless gem of a city set at the foot of ancient mountain passes and known for its wealth of beautifully preserved Baroque architecture.

Days 5-6
Sighisoara / Castle Bran / Transylvanian Alps

After a morning hike that ends near a dramatic 13th century hilltop fortress, we head for picturesque Bran, the little town that holds the mysterious castle of Dracula fame, perched on a rocky bluff and looking just the way a vampire’s castle should. It is one of the best preserved examples of medieval architecture in Romania. Overnights are in charming Sighisoara, Romania’s most atmospheric medieval town. With its battlements and spires, this World Heritage Site is an open-air museum.

Days 7-8
Sibiu

As we head to 12th century Sibiu, with its intact defensive walls and well-preserved Saxon homes, we explore on foot among fortified Saxon villages built in the Middle Ages and dotted with unique Romanesque and early Gothic churches. A hike from Sibiu brings us into the rolling, wooded realm of the Cindrel Mountains, one of the most remote regions of the Transylvanian Alps.

Days 9-12
Fagaras Mountains / Bucharest

In the craggy, spruce- forested Fagaras Mountains, Romania’s highest peaks, we hike long-distance ridgetop trails that wind through a glacier-carved landscape of limestone outcrops and sparkling lakes. Overnights are in a rustic wooden lodge built for hikers. Return to Bucharest on Day 11 and depart on Day 12.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

What the Trip is Like

This trip is Level 3, Moderate. It features vehicle-based sightseeing with mountain hikes and accommodations in hotels. On two nights (Day 9 and Day 10), meals and lodging are in an Alps-style lodge built for hikers. The rooms in the lodge are ver basic but have private bathrooms.

Hikes will range from three to six hours. Each day's hiking will take us through wooded valleys, alpine meadows, and among small villages and farms. Lunch will be either in a village, a picnic spot amid the beauty of the surroundings, or in a mountain cabana. A support vehicle will transport the group's luggage between towns, so you'll only need to carry a daypack for items you need for the day (sweater, camera, water bottle). As on any of our trips in the Alps, you should come prepared for changeable mountain weather and bring sturdy hiking boots, waterproof jacket with hood, and extra layers for warmth.

Although you carry only a daypack, there are steep ascents and descents, so for your own enjoyment, we recommend you make a special effort to be in good physical condition. Daily brisk walking and/or regular hiking (or using a stair-climbing machine at your gym) are excellent preparatory exercises. You should wear sturdy, well-broken-in hiking boots for maximum comfort on the trail.

Romanian cuisine is filling and hearty rather than gourmet, tending toward meats and stews. With Romania’s German and Turkish past, items like sauerkraut, smoked pork, moussaka, and pilaf are also on the menu. There are several local European-style beers, and the national strong drink is tuica, a powerful plum brandy. Romania also has some excellent wines. Typically, our breakfasts will be omelettes, cheese, and salami. Lunch and dinner will often include meat and vegetable stew topped with sour cream. There will sometimes be game meat available, such as venison. For vegetarians, there are always vegetable dishes and salads. 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.

Outside of the cities, we stay in a variety of best-available small hotels. Rooms in these hotels are not always of uniform or international size. However, our leaders try their best to assign rooms in a fair way so that all participants experience an equal advantage throughout the trip as a whole.

Explanation of Trip Levels

 

Departures

This is one of our special Repertory Trips offered only every two to five years. This journey will not be offered again for several years. Now is the Time to Go!

2015
Aug 16-27, 2015

Trip Cost

Prices for this trip are being finalized. Contact us and we'll send them to you as soon as they are available. more on pricing

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations
  • All meals included except 1 dinner
  • Land transportation, airport transfers and sightseeing as noted in the Full Trip Brochure

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, internal flights, transfers for independent arrival or departure, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessary due to airline schedule changes or other factors, expenses such as 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

Minimum fee: None per person
46-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Hotel Anda

Hotel Anda

Days 1 to 2 (2 nights), Sinaia, Romania

The Anda is a bit dated but it’s comfortable and has a central location on Sinaia’s main street across from city hall. It also has a ...
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Hotel Alpin

Hotel Alpin

Days 3 to 4 (2 nights), Brasov, Romania

In the ski resort of Poiana Brasov, 20 minutes from the city of Brasov, most small hotels are closed in summer, so the choice is limited to larger ...
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Casa cu Cerb

Casa cu Cerb

Days 5 to 6 (2 nights), Sighisoara, Romania

This is a cozy, traditional-style hotel in an 18th century building in the walled Old Town of Sighisoara.  The building is known as Casa cu ...
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Hotel Am Ring

Hotel Am Ring

Days 7 to 8 (2 nights), Sibiu, Romania

The Am Ring, one of Sibiu’s newest hotels, is housed in a Gothic-era building right on the Piata Mare, or “Large Square”, the ...
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Cabana Balea Lac

Cabana Balea Lac

Days 9 to 10 (2 nights), Fagaras Mountains, Romania

Set on a small glacial lake in the Fagaras Mountains, Cabana Balea Lac was built specifically to accommodate hikers and mountaineers. It’s a ...
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Ramada Majestic Bucharest

Ramada Majestic Bucharest

Day 11 (1 night), Bucharest, Romania

This hotel has a great location two blocks from the Old Town of Bucharest, with its bars and restaurants. It’s perfect for exploring on foot. ...
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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.

Client Comments

This trip has a nice balance of hiking and cultural experiences. Sandra C., Seattle, WA The beauty of the place and the friendliness of the people made this one of the best trips we’ve ever been on. Marshall and Debbie H., Camilla, GA The mix of culture, history, and hiking in this relatively undiscovered region provided one of the best travel experiences I have ever had. Nancy D., Santa Cruz, CA This trip offers a wonderful opportunity to both enjoy pleasant hiking and the mountains and rural villages of Romania and also to gain an understanding of the very complicated medieval and modern history of the whole region. Douglass and Elizabeth M., Providence, RI A beautiful country with a fascinating history and culture. Natalie S., Howard, PA
Loved the trip! Karen F., Santa Barbara, CA Romania was a wonderful balance of beauty and history. I'd like to do it all again. Denise S., Montoursville, PA I really enjoyed this trip! The hiking excursions, cultural visitations, and the cusine were all fantastic, and our two guides were simply the best. Felipe O., Lake Elsinore, CA The itinerary offered a perfectly balanced mix of walking in the mountains and visiting the towns. Everyone on this trip had a great time. Ken S., Brookline, MA Very well planned with a variety of activities to let us get to know the real Romania, a wonderful balance of beauty and history. Denise S., Montoursville, PA