Transylvania Castles & Mountains


    enquire now 6 Days From NZD $1,050 pp twinshare
    Independent traveller
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    Explore some of Romania’s most stunning mountain landscapes and soak up the unique culture of Transylvania on this inspiring self-guided walk. 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.

    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

    Itinerary

    Day 1 Arrive Bucharest, train to Brasov and transfer to the first guesthouse
    On arrival at the Bucharest North train station there will be a handover of documents and a short briefing before your train to Brasov. At Brasov, you will be met and transferred by taxi to your guesthouse set in a traditional village at the foot of Piatra Craiului National Park. (D)

    Day 2 Walk to Bran Castle, home to the origin of the character known as ‘Dracula’ (4hrs)
    Walk along a small ridge and through flower filled meadows to Bran Castle at the foot of the Bucegi mountains. The castle, which was built as a gift from Ludovic d’Anjou in the 14th century to the inhabitants of the region, had a defensive role against the migratory peoples and later it protected Transylvania from the Ottoman invasions. The castle was also associated with the prince Vlad Tepes of Walachia whom it is widely thought the fictional character ‘Dracula’ was based upon. Entry into the castle is optional (long queues are possible in peak season). Transfer back to your guesthouse in Magura for overnight accommodation. (B, L, D)

    Day 3 Continue on foot through Piatra Craiului mountains and rural villages (5hrs)
    The walk continues at the base of the Piatra Craiului Mountains. It’s an interesting contrast to the landscape of the previous day, as you traverse pastures, sheepfolds and woods. Scattered villages which seem to have not changed for centuries break up the landscape, while the surrounding mountains are a constant companion. Overnight Ciocanu. (B, L, D)

    Day 4 Walk to Bucegi’s mountains through picture postcard landscapes (4.5hrs)
    This morning you leave the Piatra Craiului mountains and walk to the Bucegi Mountains. An easy walk with “picture postcard” landscapes to a traditional Romanian mountain village with small and ancient houses, at the foot of the Bucegi mountains. The inhabitants are livestock breeders and the village has a long tradition in cheese making. Overnight in Moeciu de Sus. (B, L, D)

    Day 5 Ascend the Bucegi Mountains with stunning views (6hrs or 4.5 hrs)
    A more strenuous day today as you ascend trails into the Bucegi mountains. A longer walk is possible along the meadow of Gutana and the vertical walls of the Bucegi’s ridge, which offers beautiful views of the surrounding landscapes and over Piatra Craiului ridge. Overnight in Moeciu de Sus. (B, L, D)

    Day 6 Transfer to Brasov, train to Bucharest, trip concludes
    Transfer to Brasov where you take the train to Bucharest. Trip concludes on arrival in Bucharest. There are a number of trains departing between Brasov and Bucharest, and you can choose a time that best suits your onward travel plans. (B)

    Inclusions

    • 5 breakfasts, 4 picnic lunches, 5 dinners
    • 5 nights rural pensions on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities (shared facilities on one night – Ciocanu)
    • Information pack including route notes and maps
    • Luggage transfer
    • Train from Bucharest to Brasov and return and private transfer from Brasov train station to Magura and from Moeciu de Sus to Brasov train station
    • Emergency hotline

    UTX-TCM

    Images courtesy of Utracks