Great Carpathian Traverse route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $5895  
Length: 15 days
Arrive: Lviv, Ukraine
Depart: Krakow, Poland
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
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Highlights

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

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.

Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland 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 discover the folkloric heritage of Romania’s Maramures region, walk the pilgrim path to Slovakia’s vast Spissky Hrad castle, and hike on both the Polish and Slovak flanks of the High Tatras. 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

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-5
Lviv, Ukraine / Rakhiv / Sapanta, Romania / Maramures

Our journey begins in charming Lviv, where we explore the Old Town, flanked by 18th and 19th century mansions and lively cobbled streets. After lovely hikes among the rock outcrops of Makovytsia Mountain and on Mt. Dovga (4,525'), the highest peak in the area, we explore Rakhiv, a center of Hutsul culture, where we become acquainted with these Carpathian mountain people known for their woodcarving, pottery-making, weaving arts, and distinctive wooden architecture. A hike right across the border brings us into Romania. We visit Sapanta village’s “Merry Cemetery,” where each grave is marked by charming folk art and a humorous poem, and explore the unique Maramures region, where woodcarving is a way of life and traditional dress is still worn.

Days 6-10
Eger, Hungary / Levoca, Slovakia

In Hungary’s Eger-Tokaj region, hike in the Bukk (“Beech”) Mountains and sip delicious wines in cellars dating to the 15th century. Heading across the border into Slovakia, our hikes lead through traditional villages to the towering ruins of the hilltop Spissky Castle.

Days 11-15
Tatras Mountains / Krakow, Poland

We head into the Tatras Mountains, hiking the flanks of both the Slovak and Polish sides beneath snow-capped peaks and into broad glacial valleys laced with blue mountain tarns. One hike brings you right from Skalnate Pleso, a spectacular Tatras observation point, directly to our hotel located above Stary Smokovec, the oldest resort in the Slovak Tatras. Our journey ends in medieval Krakow, an exquisite city of Gothic and Renaissance architecture and the seat of the Polish kings for three centuries. Depart on Day 15.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

What the Trip is Like

he trip is Level 3+, Moderate. We hike from 2 to 7 miles on most days over rolling hills, with occasional steep trails. An average hike is about 3 hours and includes 1,000 feet of elevation gain and loss, with the exception of two days where the ascent is 1,500 feet. Most of the trails are on groomed surfaces or dirt roads, but in the Tatras, the trails are rocky and can be narrow. 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

2015
May 24-Jun 7, 2015  *

Jun 14-28, 2015  Alex Nagy
Aug 30-Sep 13, 2015  Alex Nagy
*Note date change since publication of 2015 catalog

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2015
$5895 (13-15 members)
$6295 (10-12 members)
$6695 (6-9 members)
Single supplement: $830
Forced single supplement: $630
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 Opera

Hotel Opera

Day 1 (1 night), 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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Hotel Bukovel

Hotel Bukovel

Day 2 (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 Gradina Morii

Hotel Gradina Morii

Days 3 to 4 (2 nights), Sighetu Marmatiei, Romania

With a park-like setting, the picturesque Hotel Gradina Morii (formerly the Hotel Marmatia) features modern rooms in a quiet environment. Built ...
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Hotel Turist Suior

Hotel Turist Suior

Day 5 (1 night), Baia Sprie, 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 Korona

Hotel Korona

Days 6 to 7 (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 Palota

Hotel Palota

Day 8 (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 Stela

Hotel Stela

Days 9 to 10 (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 Sorea Hrebienok

Hotel Sorea Hrebienok

Day 11 (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 Sabala

Hotel Sabala

Day 12 (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 Wit Stwosz

Hotel Wit Stwosz

Days 13 to 14 (2 nights), 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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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: May 24-June 7, 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: May 24-June 7, 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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