Mountains and Castles

Transylvania Romania: (ZZ-HKRM03)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/outdoor_hike_romania_Transylvania_castles.aspx

Introduction
Transylvania Romania
Come and explore the ancient and mysterious Carpathian Mountains. Running in a great arc across Romania, these mountains include some of the wildest territory in Europe. Although you are unlikely to encounter them bears and wolves still roam in this area. Romania is home to more than half of Europe’s wildlife population and on this trip you may spot deer, foxes, boars or even lynxes. Many natural springs, rivers and streams dot the area with the occasional waterfall flowing from the mountains. Mountain walking is an age old past time for local Romanians; trails are predominantly marked as you encounter lush forests, green pastures, medieval settlements and shepherds tending to their flocks.

This trip takes you through the Bucegi Mountains and Piatra Craiului National Park, declared a natural reserve in 1938. Discover the city of Zarnesti, the small village of Magura, and the Bran castle – long touted as Dracula’s Castle. Transylvania, the ‘heart’ of Romania, is a mixture of rural beauty and Old World culture, come and explore this enchanting area on foot!

Accomodation

Accommodations
Double occupancy with private facilities. Exceptionally, there are shared facilities.

Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1-3: Guesthouse in Magura
Night 4: Guesthouse in Ciocanu
Night 5 & 6: Guesthouse in Moieciu de Sus
Night 7: Guesthouse in Simon

Guesthouse in Magura
Surrounded by a charming garden, the guesthouse is located in the village of Măgura, and offers en-suite bedrooms. You can also make use of the common living room with satellite TV, or the washing machine or play football, basketball or table tennis on site.

Guesthouse in Ciocanu
Located in Ciocanu, this guesthouse offers basic accommodation and a warm welcome. Each of the 9 rooms have a TV. Bathrooms might have to be shared.

Guesthouse in Moieciu de Sus
Located in Moeciu de Sus at the foot of the mountains, it offers accommodation in 12 rooms (7 doubles and 5 triple rooms) and 1 apartment. All rooms are equipped with bathroom, TV, balcony and central heating.

Guesthouse in Simon
Surrounded by a beautiful orchard of apple and plum trees, it features elegant white tiled stoves in several rooms. The house is built and designed with a combination of stone and wood.
The guesthouse offers 4 bedrooms with private bathrooms (please bring your own bath towel). Most rooms have a TV. Free WiFi is available in all areas.



Meals
Meals included: 7 breakfasts, 6 picnic lunches and 7 dinners.
Dinner: 3 course menu with several choices - entrée, main dish and a dessert. Occasionally dinner is a 2 course meal.
Not included: Drinks.

Riding

Level of difficulty
Requires a medium fitness level. Maximum of 6h walking a day.

Luggage Transfers
The transfers of your luggage is arranged. You only have to carry your things needed for the day (picnic, camera...)

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

If you choose to do this trip in April or exceptionally beginning of May, because of the possible presence of snow on the trails, only an adapted version of the trip will be available.

Day 1: Arrival 
From Bucuresti Nord Station (or at Bucharest OTP Airport, changing trains at Bucuresti Nord) take a train to Brasov (2h45), followed by a private transfer to Magura (1 hour). There are several train options depending on the arrival flight and if you want to stop in Brasov to visit this beautiful medieval city. However, we suggest to take the train that leaves Bucuresti Nord at 3:15 pm, arriving in Brasov at 5:37 pm followed by the private transfer to Magura.
Dinner and accommodation in Magura.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight in Magura

Day 2: Zarnesti Gorges
Walk in Piatra Craiului (“King’s Stone”) mountains to the authentic mountain hut of Curmatura. Breath-taking views of the mountain ridge and the valley around the hut. You can enjoy the host’s unique recipes for lunch: a local soup and a delicious pie! On the way back to the guesthouse, the clients will cross the mesmerizing Zarnesti gorges with 200m high vertical walls.
Ascent: approx. 800 m difference of altitude / descent: approx. 800 m / approx. 5 hours (13km)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in Magura


Day 3: Bran Castle
Today’s walk goes on a small ridge leading to Bran castle. This castle was built in the 14th century and had a role of defense against the migratory people. Later it protected Transylvania from the Ottoman invasions. The castle was also associated with the fictional character of Dracula, who was based on Vlad Tepes, Prince of Wallachia.
Private transfer to the same guesthouse as the night before.
Ascent: approx. 300 m difference of altitude / descent: approx. 600 m / approx. 4.5 hours (12km)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in Magura


Day 4: Pastures and forests in "Piatra Craiului" National Park
Trek in the National Park of Piatra Craiului taking in pastures, sheepfolds, woods and scattered villages. The customers will cross traditional villages where time seems to have stopped, and they will end the day in a beautiful and traditional mountain village. 
Ascent: approx. 750 m difference of altitude / descent: approx. 750 m / approx. 5.5 hours (16km)
Shorter option available: around 5h (14km), +/-600m
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in Ciocanu


Day 5: Scattered Villages
This morning the route leaves Piatra Craiului Mountains, with an easy walk with picture perfect landscapes through lovely villages sheltering small and olden houses, at the foot of Bucegi Mountains. The locals are livestock breeders, therefore the village has a long standing tradition of cheese making. Possibility for a longer walk.
Ascent: approx. 250 m difference of altitude / descent: approx. 350 m / approx. 4 hours (13km)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in Moieciu de Sus


Day 6: Bucegi's mountains
Trek towards the Bucegi massif. A long hike that you will not forget: impressive landscapes and sights of the impressive Strunga Wall, crossing two passes, the Strunga and the Strungulita and passing by a mountain shelter upon the former Transylvanian – Wallachian border.
Ascent: approx. 900 m difference of altitude / descent: approx. 900 m / approx. 6 hours (18km)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in Moieciu de Sus


Day 7: Meadow of Gutanu
The hike continues in Bucegi Mountains, going up to Gutanu Clearing with excellent views towards the dramatic cliffs above. Starting in June, you can encounter shepherds alongside their flocks, and even ask to taste the cheese they prepare themselves. Take your time and enjoy these remarkable landscapes.
Ascent: approx. 750 m difference of altitude / descent: approx. 850 m / approx. 6 hours (18km)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight in Simon


Note: if you do this trip late April or early May, some years, the snow could melt late. In this case, we will replace the walk mentioned above with a transfer to Brasov and overnight in Brasov (small extra cost if you want an upgraded hotel). Same for October if the snow arrives earlier. 

Day 8: Departure
Private transfer from Simon to Brasov and then travel by train to Bucharest. End of the journey.
Meals included: Breakfast


Rates and Dates for Mountains and Castles

Rates include:

Acommodations, All meals, Luggage transport, Technical description of the itinerary, Map with itinerary traced out & Contact listing

Packages and Options




* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2021 Transfer from Bucharest train station is included 0 $0
2021 Private transfer (instead of train) from Brasov station to Zarnesti, each way, per car (1-3 pax) 30 $35
2021 Private transfer from Otopeni airport to Bucharest train station or centre, per car (4 people)
This is a "Group Rate"
30 $35
2021 Optional stop to Rasnov on the way to Brasoc on day 8 (1 hour visit of the fortress) 15 $20
2021 Private Transfer from Bran to Bucharest airport, per car (1-3 pax needed) 105 $120
2021 Private Transfer from Bran to Bucharest center, per car (3 pax max) 130 $150
2021 Extra nights in Bucharest, Brasov or other towns - please inquire 0 $0

Season Seasons  Min / MaxReserve
A 2021 05/01 - 09/30 8d / 7n 8 day trip 2 /14 Reserve

Dates Note: Arrival can be any day of the week during the season.

Rates do not include:

Drinks & Gratuities

Other Info
Meeting: Brasov
Airport: Bucharest
Transfer: Bucharest (train to Brasov)

Climate:
                                                Brașov area
  

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

32

37

48

59

67

72

77

77

69

58

45

34

Average Low Temperature (°F)

19

21

29

37

46

52

55

54

47

38

29

21

Average High Temperature (°C)

0

3

9

15

19

22

25

25

20

15

7

1

Average Low Temperature (°C)

-7

-6

-2

3

8

11

13

12

8

3

-2

-6

Source: NOAA


Seasons


Spring (April to May)
It is usually short but is one of the best times to visit as temperatures are relatively mild and the landscape is covered in wildflowers.

Summer (June to August)
This is peak season. It can get quite hot around this time. The occasional thunder storm is likely during summer.

Autumn (September to November)
Autumn is pleasant, with September and October being the driest months. Temperatures usually drop again but remain warm until November. The fall colors on the October trails are incredible and it is our favorite time of the year.

Winter (December to March)
Winters tends to be long and snowy, which is why we don’t offer our tours during this time.

What To Bring:
Taxis and hotel vehicles transfer clients’ luggage from one boarding house to the next.

Walking boots and walking socks (with a change of socks in rucksack), rucksack/day pack, warm pullover/jumper, waterproofs, water bottle, insect repellent, sunglasses, sun hat, sun block/cream, compass, torch, mobile phone, container for sandwiches and a first-aid kit.

If travelling in April or early May, we recommend tall trekking boots, gaiters and trekking poles.

We also recommend you bring a Tupperware or lunch box for your picnic lunch (in order to reduce plastic use).

While water is potable, some people can experience mild digestion problems in some cases. In order to prevent this, we recommend bringing a water filter or purifying pills. 

Less than 1% of our customers have been attached by shepherds dog and only a couple have been bitten. We can provide a dog repellant spray for a small fee (about 15 euros). This is a Pepper spray and should be pointed towards the dog.

…  this list is only a guideline for you

 

Hidden Trails Travel Documents and Trip Voucher (contains important local tour contact info.)
Flight tickets
Passport
Visa (check with your consulate)

 

Walking Gear
Walking Boots and Socks (with a change of socks in rucksack)
Rucksack/day pack
Warm pullover/jumper
Waterproofs
Water bottle
Insect repellent
Sunglasses
Sun Hat
Sun block/cream
Compass
Torch
Mobile Phone
Container for sandwiches
First Aid Kit
Towel and small bar of soap
Personal Toiletries
Personal medications
Sore cream (for an emergency)
Adapter for electric appliances
Camera and extra film or batteries