Hiking in Romania: What's It Like?

Hiking in Romania with UTracks Active European HolidaysHiking in Romania with UTracks Active European Holidays Our colleague Renée in the London office set off last month for a walking trip in the mountains of Romania’s Transylvania. She, like many of you before her, came back very enthusiastic and with a bag full of experiences of the delicious food, impressive castles and rich flora and fauna.

We interviewed her on her time spent hiking in Romania so that you can learn about the waymarking, people along the way, scenery & countryside and food as well.

What is your best memory of hiking in Romania?

All of the scenery is spectacular in Romania but my most memorable would have to be my first glimpse of Bran Castle through a gap in the trees on the first trekking day! It is quite a steep decent so you need to focus on your footing so remember to look up! The amazing views of Piatra Craiului and the Becegi Mountains were also a highlight on the walk for me, as well as meeting our local hosts. I loved setting off on foot in the mornings with amazing mountain views, fresh country air and the sounds of church bells and cow bells, bliss! Views of Bran Castle when walking in RomaniaMy most memorable moment of walking in Romania: the views of Bran Castle Breakfasts on UTracks' Hiking in Romania holidayFresh breakfasts with cheeses, cold meats, jams, coffee & fruit!

What is the best food you had in Romania?

All of the meals are home cooked and the hosts are proud to serve you their homegrown fruit and vegetables. Some also make their own jams, pickles and cheeses. Breakfasts were usually breads with cheeses, cold meats, homemade jams with coffee and fruit. After breakfast, I was welcome to prepare my own picnic lunch (sandwiches, slices, fruit) to bring for my time out hiking. It was great to come in from a day of trekking to a hot and filling 3-course dinner of breads and soup and /or salads and a main course which was usually locally sourced meat, potatoes or rice and vegetables. Dessert is also homemade and could be anything from homemade slices, pastries and home grown berries. Homemade cherry liqueur was also an option!
The farms are still driven by hand so we often saw farmers out in the early mornings cutting grass and ploughing their fields.
Hiking in Romania - stunning mountain sceneryStunning mountain scenery on our hikes in Romania

What were your interactions with the Romanian people like?

Our homestay hosts were all very friendly and made us feel more than welcome. Most of the hosts speak very good English but if you speak a little French it will be helpful too. The guesthouses are in rural parts of Romania so you get a real feel for how the locals live. The farms are still driven by hand so we often saw farmers out in the early mornings cutting grass and ploughing their fields. They are fascinated by trekkers so we were frequently waved at and had a break from our hike to chat. Romania is like stepping back in time with horse-drawn carriages and cone-shaped haystacks still used.

How easy is hiking in Romania in terms of navigating?

This was my first self-guided trip and I found the directions really easy to follow, the route map and booklet that is full of step by step directions and pictures were great and easy to follow. The markers on the tracks were clearly noticeable and easy to find. The beauty of this trip is that you can walk at your own speed, stop to take photos and enjoy the Romanian way of life. Rural countrylife on Romania walking holidaysWe saw shepherds and their animals along the way. Scenic countryside on Romania hiking trips with UTracks TravelThe scenic countryside I experienced while hiking in Romania

What is the terrain like on the walk?

The terrain varies each day. Most days you are walking on well-maintained dirt or stone tracks but some days you might be walking through farm land, over tree roots and through pine and beech forests. The scenery in Romania varies each day; limestone ridges, mountains, villages, farmland, castles, churches, homesteads, pine forests; Romania has it all!
The scenery in Romania varies each day; limestone ridges, mountains, villages, farmland, castles, churches, homesteads, pine forests; Romania has it all!

What wildlife did you see?

A couple of friendly dogs followed us along the way. Local cowherds and shepherds and their animals can be seen along the way as well as horses and birds. We were on the lookout for Eurasian Brown Bears too!

Is there anything else you like to share?

Romanians are friendly, humorous, hospitable and proud. Bran Castle and the Becegi Mountains are spectacular and I recommend Transylvania – Mountains and Castles for anyone wanting a short self-guided, off the beaten track hiking trip. If you like to get more information about hiking in Romania and the Transylvania Mountains & Castles walking trip that Renee did, you can visit the trip's page to download the trip notes or get in touch with Renee and other colleagues in our offices around the world.
Romania

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