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Duration
8 days
Activities
  • guided walk
Accommodation
  • hotels and rural pensions
Meals
  • 5 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • 7 Breakfasts

Price

$USD

 
 

Overview

Trip Code: TCG

Trip highlights


  • Exploring Bran Castle and the legends of Dracula
  • Discovering unique villages
  • Walking along limestone ridges to take in the stunning landscapes of Piatra Craiului
  • Experience genuine cultural exchange with the local people
  • Visit the Bear Sanctuary in Zarnesti to learn of the incredible work they are doing to rescue bears

The memories this journey will create for you will last a lifetime. There are so many facets to this week long experience which will ensure a good insight into Romanian rural life. Explore some of Romania's most stunning mountain landscapes and soak up the unique culture of Transylvania on this inspiring guided walk in the company of a like minded group. Piatra Craiului meaning royal stone, is a dramatic limestone ridge which rises sharply from the forests and plains below, offering one of the best ridge walks in Europe. En route to the Bucegi Mountains, explore the gorges and ridgetops of Piatra Craiului to experience exceptional views of the region. The Bucegi mountains are home to a diverse range of landscapes from pine and beech forests to flower laden meadows and high limestone cliffs. It is also where you can find Bran Castle, connected through folklore to the fictitious character, Dracula. Whilst the legends of Transylvania are an enticing reason to visit this region, the walking opportunities and the friendly atmosphere created by your hosts in the rural pensions guarantee this will be a unique and diverse adventure. The journey ends with a visit to a Bear Sanctuary, whose work has been vital in rescuing bears and preserving habitats enroute to the capital, Bucharest.

Trip Grading

moderate

More info about grading system

Make your way to Bucharest North train station to meet your guide and take the train to Brasov, around a 2.5 hour trip. During your journey, you will experience the stunning views from the Prahova Valley where the Prahova river winds its way between the Bucegi and Baiului Mountains along the Carpathian Mountain range. From the train station in Brasov, a short transfer brings us to our centrally located hotel. Later in the afternoon we'll have an orientation walking tour to unearth the history of this beautiful medieval town before you can sample one of the numerous restaurants on offer.

Meals:  Nil

After a one hour transfer, we venture into Piatra Craiului National Park. The walk begins with a gentle ascent along scenic woodland trails resonating with melodious birdsong. Our destination is Cabana Curmatura, a delightful lunch spot offering panoramic views of the valley and canyon. Lunch promises a treat with local soup and a delectable apple pie. We descend through open hills, traverse a sizable wooded area by the river, and follow an ancient path to the Jurassic Zarnesti Canyon. Our final climb leads to the enchanting village of Magura. Our base for the next two nights is in a charming, traditional guesthouse. 15km/9.3miles, +750m/2,460ft, -600m/1,967ft

Meals:  B,L,D

Beginning from Magura, our walking trail takes us on a gradual ascent through lush pastures and traditional farmland. Progressing along a shaded forest track, we continue our ascent until the woodland unveils a breathtaking hilltop vista. This serves as a perfect pause for marveling at the splendid views below. Our leisurely walk leads us to a hillside lunch spot, offering picturesque views of a remote farmhouse owned by a charming local farmer tending to his cattle, oblivious to modern amenities. Post-lunch, we traverse favorable terrain before descending a very steep 600m hill, with Bran Castle in sight. Renowned as "Dracula's Castle," its Gothic architecture provides an immersive experience into 14th-century Transylvanian life. After exploring the castle, a private transfer (35mins) takes us back to our guesthouse, concluding a day rich in historical and scenic wonders. (Castle admission fee not included). 12km/7.5mi, +350m/1148ft, -600m/1969ft

Meals:  B,L,D

Our walk today takes us beneath the majestic Piatra Craiului Mountains, amidst a picturesque panorama of pastures, sheepfolds, and woodlands. We pass a rustic sheepfold where, time permitting (note: animals are present until approximately September 15th), we can savor the artisanal "burduf" cheese crafted in this secluded Cheese house. A knowledgeable guide will enlighten us on the art of cheese-making. The walking day ends in a quaint village seemingly unaffected by the passage of time. Revel in breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains before retiring to a charming guesthouse nestled in an enchanting village setting. 17 km/105miles, +775m/2,543ft, -650m/2132ft

Meals:  B,L,D

Enjoy a wholesome breakfast before heading out on the trail. Traverse a tapestry of charming villages, where time-honoured customs endure. Stroll past a nearly two-century-old dwelling, a testament to the region's history. Pause at a delightful local residence housing a small museum showcasing the heritage of the traversed villages. Depending on the hour, visit two local Orthodox Churches, then unwind in a snug guesthouse owned by a renowned chef. Every meal is a home-cooked delight, crafted from local agricultural produce, ensuring a culinary experience immersed in authenticity and flavor. 13 km/8.07miles, +250m/820ft, -350m/1,148ft

Meals:  B,L,D

Embarking on our walk, we ascend gradually to the ridge's summit, passing numerous shepherds huts en route to La Bisericuta. At this vantage point, breathtaking views of the Bucegi Mountains and the Bangaleasa Valley unfold, offering ample photo opportunities. A gentle descent leads us into the serene Bucegi National Park. For the more adventurous, a lengthier walk takes us to a second ridge, culminating in a well-deserved break at Poiana Gutanu Meadows. Here, we recharge with a packed lunch, surrounded by the beauty of the landscape that stretches out before us. 18 km/11miles, +/-850m/2,788ft, or 12 km/7.4miles, +/- 350m/1,148ft

Meals:  B,L,D

Following a brief transfer (45mins) our day begins with a visit to the Libearty Bear Sanctuary, the world's largest brown bear sanctuary. The work being done here to rescue and save bears who have been held captive in appalling conditions is very moving. The visit takes us on a forested trail where we are educated on the work of the sanctuary and the stories of the bears residing here. Later we continue on foot to a fortified church, an enduring symbol of Saxon heritage since their 13th-century colonization of Transylvania. In the village, a remarkable encounter with the church's knowledgeable priest awaits, sharing the church's history and offering tastings of local specialties. Returning to Bucharest, we will stop to admire the exterior of the splendid Peles Castle. The evening is free to explore the capital. Once hailed as "the Eastern Paris" between the world wars, modern Bucharest is an eclectic fusion of Medieval Ottoman, neoclassical French, and communist-era influences. Accommodation for the night is in a centrally located 3-star hotel. 14 km/8.7miles, +250m/820ft, -350m/1,148ft

Meals:  B,L

Trip concludes after breakfast. Transfers to the airport are available on request.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts, 6 picnic lunches, 5 dinners - Continental breakfasts are served and will often consist of breads, spreads, tea, coffee & juices. Picnic lunches will include fresh produce such as bread, spreads, salad and meats sourced by our local hosts. Dinner is generally 3 courses consisting of entrée or soup, a main dish and dessert, including local and international dishes. Occasionally dinner is only 2 courses.
  • 5 nights rural pensions on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities (shared facilities on one night - Ciocanu), 2 nights comfortable hotels
  • English speaking qualified Romanian guide
  • Luggage transfer on walking days
  • Transfers as noted in the itinerary by train or private minibus / car
  • Entrance to Bear Sanctuary

  • Travel to and from Bucharest train station
  • Breakfast and lunch on day 1 and lunch and dinner on day 6, all drinks
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Entrance to Bran Castle and other entrance fees not specified as included
  • Travel insurance
  • Meet and greet in Bucharest - either at the train station or at your pre tour hotel - our representative will go through the information pack with you and answer any questions you may have - supplement applies.

Grading

moderate  

MODERATE – GRADE 3 The walking is moderate (3) grade with daily walks of around 4-6 hours. There are some more demanding stages during the walk with steep uphills, descents, and some sections of the trail require more care. The accent is on keeping a steady pace to with time to stop and take photos (subject to weather conditions). You will need a good level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure.


Departure dates


Notes

DN3
.

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Priceper person from

$USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementUSD$180
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


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Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

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With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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