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Duration
9 days
Activities
  • guided walk
Accommodation
  • 6 nights rural pensions
  • 1 night overnight train
  • 1 night 3 star hotel
Meals
  • 6 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • 8 Breakfasts

Price

$1289USD

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Overview

Trip Code: RC9

Trip highlights


  • Exploring the wooden churches of Maramures
  • Discovering the exquisite painted monasteries of Bucovina
  • Walking through ancient villages to gain an appreciation of the subtle landscape of the Carpathian Mountains
  • Experience genuine cultural exchange with the local people

Straddling central Romania and covering a third of its territory are the majestic Carpathian Mountains, or Transylvanian Alps as they are also known. Aside from the stunning beauty of the mountains and the rolling foothills, the rich traditions of the region continue to flourish through the warm and friendly locals and their way of life which has changed little through the centuries. Walking through a timeless landscape to reach ancient villages and monasteries, including the famous Painted Monasteries of Bucovina, pristine forests brimming with wildlife and carved wooden churches and farm gateways are just a few of the highlights of this engaging adventure. Combined with time in the capital, Bucharest, this fully escorted walking holiday offers an opportunity to cross the Carpathians and gain an intimate appreciation of rural Romania.

Trip Grading

moderate

More info about grading system

Traveller Rating

 

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The guide will meet the group at a pre-designated spot in the Bucharest North train station, usually around 9.30pm. Prior to this we recommend you take some time to visit the city including the old city centre and/or the Parliament House. The second largest building in the world, Romanians say it is the only structure that can be seen from the Moon. Overnight train to Bucovina in 2 to 4 berth cabin. (note: an arrival transfer from the Airport to the train station is available for a small supplement).

Meals:  Nil

Early arrival in the Bucovina train station. We then take a short private transfer to our guesthouse, before setting out on foot to explore typical villages and mountain forests. A significant highlight today is a visit to the Moldovita Monastery, renowned for its exterior frescoes depicting scenes inspired by the Bible and 16th century Moldavian daily life. We return to our guesthouse in Moldovita either on foot (5km) or by local bus. Overnight in Moldovita valley. Walk: 14km/8.75mi, ascent and descent: +500m/1640ft, -550m/1804ft

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we’ll take the steam train. The steam train track leads along the River Moldovita. When we get off the steam train we are at the best place to start our hike. This immersion in a fairytale rural world will enchant you; the beautiful landscape punctuated with sheep herds, hay stacks and horse-carts is one of tranquility. Return to and overnight in the Moldovita Valley. Walk: 13km/8mi, ascent: 300m/984ft, descent: 300m/984ft

Meals:  B,L,D

Before we start walking today we will meet the Hutsules people. These inhabitants (who have uncertain roots and history) will show us the secrets of their art - egg painting. Afterwards we will start our walk, hiking through woods and fields which lead us to an unexpected rural world which is still very alive. After a short transfer we will arrive at the Sucevita monastery, which will offer us a striking sight: the nature here seems to protect the monastery like a jewel! The perfection of each detail on such a vast fresco is amazing. Walk: 11km/6.8mi, ascent: 400m/1312ft, descent: 300m/984ft (a longer walk is also available)

Meals:  B,L,D

Transfer by van to the Maramures region (3.5hrs) and the Prislop Pass (1400m/4592ft). From here we enter the National park of Rodnei Mountains and start our walk with a soft ascent to the glacier lake of Stiol (1700m/5575ft). Our track will be studded with different flowers such as rhododendron, gentian, depending on the season. From here we continue through a massive pine forest and descend to Horses’ Waterfall, the tallest waterfall in Romania. walk: 14 km/8.75mi, ascent and descent: +350m/1148ft, -650m/2132ft)

Meals:  B,L,D

First stop for the day will be in the town of Sighetu Marmatiei, after a 2 hour transfer by vehicle. Here we will visit the "Communism Victims Memorial" created in the prison where the main opponents of the regime were detained, without judging. You’ll have some free time for lunch before we go to the village of Desesti, to visit one of the most beautiful wooden churches of Maramures. Later we’ll do a relaxing walk to our host village for tonight, Breb, the village where Prince Charles is owner of a beautiful old traditional house. walk: 8km/5mi, ascent and descent: +350m/1148ft, -650m/2132ft

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we discover the fields, forests and frescoes of Maramures. The seasons are reflected in the fields, through incredible wildflowers and the changing crops. Hike from village to village, experiencing the timelessness of the landscape and gaining a good appreciation of rural life in Maramures. Dependent on the weather, we visit the monastery of Bârsana, a masterpiece of the wooden Maramures architecture. Our destination is Botiza village where we will have a weaving demonstration from one of the last ladies who masters this ancient craft. Walk: 13km/8mi, ascent: 400m/1312ft, descent: 400m/1312ft

Meals:  B,L,D

On our last day we’ll hike to the nearby village of Ieud. We will start by ascending a narrow path along a small stream, surrounded by colorful flowers. At the end of the walk, we will visit the oldest wooden church of Maramures, the one from Ieud dating back to 14th century, part of UNESCO heritage. Later we have a 4h transfer to the city of Cluj Napoca, the most important university city of Romania, with a cosmopolitan culture and Hungarian heritage which waits to be discovered. Late arrival but you can extend your trip in Cluj. You will definitely be seduced by this city and be surprised by the immense difference with Bucharest. Overnight Cluj. Note: your guide will say goodbye on arrival at the hotel in Cluj. Dinner at leisure. walk: 8 km/5mi, ascent and descent: +250m/820ft, -300m/984ft

Meals:  B

The trip concludes this morning in Cluj, after breakfast. If needed we can book an overnight train or flight to Bucharest or transfer to the airport or train station, additional costs apply. Alternatively you can add on a 3 day self guided tour enroute to Bucharest.

Meals:  B

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Today you leave Cluj-Napoca to explore new regions in Romania. You head for Sighisoara by train and the journey takes around 4 hours. This 12th century medieval citadel town, known as one of the best preserved in Europe, will give you the feeling of travelling back in time. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, you will enjoy exploring this intact gem with its towers, cobbled streets, burgher houses and ornate churches. Don't miss the 14th century Clock Tower. Sighisoara is also the birthplace of Vlad Dracula (Vlad the Impaler), ruler of the province of Walachia from 1456 to 1462, who inspired Bram Stoker's Count Dracula. Overnight in the centre of Sighisoara.

Meals:  B

Today you’ll visit Brasov, one of the seven cities founded by the Saxons in the 12th century, when they were invited to Transylvania to guard the mountain passes. The train from Sighisoara to Brasov takes 2 hours 45 minutes. Fringed by mountains, with a mix of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture and a rich Saxon, Hungarian and Romanian heritage, Brasov is one of the most visited places in Romania. It has many sights worth visiting: the White and the Black Towers, the Black Church, the Council place with the Council House, St Nicholas Church, the first Romanian school, narrow streets and coloured houses, all of which are very well preserved within the old city walls and towers. Overnight in Brasov.

Meals:  B

Today you can further discover Brasov's many sights, and in the afternoon you head to Bucharest by train (takes approx. 2 hours 45 minutes). Known between the two world wars as "the Eastern Paris", today Bucharest is an eclectic city, where you can see the influences of the Medieval period with its Ottoman occupation, the modern period with the influence of neoclassical French architecture and the communist period. On arrival in Bucharest make your way to your centrally located hotel. There is much to see in this vast city including the historic quarter with its beer halls and elegant churches, the national museum, the enormous Palace of the Parliament and the National Ethnographic and Folk Art Museum which has replicas of houses found in the country's rural regions. Arrival in Bucharest at approximately 7pm. Overnight in Bucharest.

Meals:  B

The extension arrangements conclude after breakfast. We are happy to assist with airport transfers or you can add an extra night - please ask for our rates.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 8 breakfasts, 6 picnic lunches, 6 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 from local villages. 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.
  • 6 nights rural pensions in double occupancy rooms with shared facilities (1 bathroom for 2 rooms), 1 night overnight train in sleeper carriage (2 or 4 berth), 1 night in 3 star hotel
  • English speaking guide from the evening of day 1 to afternoon of day 8
  • Luggage transfers
  • Private transfers as described in the itinerary

  • Travel to and from Bucharest / Cluj
  • Meals not listed as included, drinks
  • Items of a personal nature - phone calls, washing, snacks etc.
  • Entrance fees to the museums and monasteries etc.
  • Maps
  • Tips
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • 3 day extension: 3 nights accommodation in 3 star hotels, 3 breakfasts, train from Cluj to Sighisoara, Sighisoara to Brasov, Brasov to Bucharest. Supplement applies.

Grading

moderate  

The walking is moderate (3) grade with daily guided walks of around 3-6 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. The planned walks may change depending on the group level of fitness or weather conditions.


Departure dates


Notes

DN1
This trip ends in Cluj. We can book an overnight train or flight to return to Bucharest. Alternatively, a 3 day self guided extension can be booked including Sighisoara and Brasov.

Want to organise a private group?

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

Total Priceper person from

$1289USD

Options & Supplements*
  • single supplementUSD$200
*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.  

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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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