Summary Itinerary: Carpathian Mountain Adventure
Day 1: Arrival in Bucharest
With group members arriving during the afternoon and evening (from home, or from their ‘Add On’ 3-day Adventure to the UNESCO Heritage Wooden Churches of Maramures in Northern Romania), today is a ‘free’ day for you to arrive, be transferred to the start hotel, and to shake off any travel fatigue, before meeting your local, English speaking guide, and enjoying a welcome dinner (included).
Day 2: Guided Walking Tour of Bucharest
Our adventure begins with a half day guided tour the highlights of this fascinating city striving forwards from its recent political history, and appreciated for its wide tree-lined boulevards and glorious Belle Epoque architecture. Enjoy the Old Town Lipscani area, and views of the city’s major landscapes, some of the most striking of which are those which link to Romania’s Communist era such as Revolution Square. In the afternoon you visit the beautiful Peles castle (1hr 45m drive); a masterpiece of German Neo-Renaissance style architecture and housing a fine museum of art and European furniture collected by the Romanian Royal family, over the centuries, before escaping to the Bucegi mountains for the first of a 2 night stay in Padina Cabin, Busteni.
Day 3: Bucegi Mountains Warm Up Hike (4-6hrs)
Waking up to the magnificence of the Carpathians, you are being beckoned to explore the mountains ! Weather conditions will influence the choice of route but all options are round trips and spectacular; Heroes cross with its striking Babele and Sphinx rock formations, or Omu Peak for breathtaking views over the Bucegi range. A perfect first day on the little explored Romanian trails..
Day 4: Bucegi Plateau Hike (7-8hrs)
Hiking across the Bucegi Plateau, with its continual dramatic views, allows you to traverse this mountain range via the Saua Struna or Saua Bratrana mountain passes. On the other side, at Mecca de Sis, you will be met with your private transfer to take you on to the picturesque village of Magura, nestled in the Piatra Craiului mountains at 1000m altitude.
Day 5: Hiking in the Piatra Craiului Mountains (7-8hrs)
Choices, choices, choices: from the sweet spot of Magura we are spoilt with options for hiking trails that take us into the Piatra Crauiului National Park: over 14,500hectares of protected nature and a host of habitats, thanks to the extensive limestone ridge and caves, the Alpine rivers with their herbaceous banks, grasslands, hay meadows and beech forests, to name but a few. Your local guide will choose a walk to suit the groups preferences and weather conditions.
Day 6: Bran Castle & Brasov
Enjoy a change of pace and scene with a blast of culture and history today. The medieval city of Brasov is the gateway to Transylvania, sitting at the foot of Mount Tampa. A guided walking tour will give you some insight into the history of the area and then you have some free time to wander at your own pace, enjoy a coffee and read your book, and walk or take the cable car up to the summit of Mount Tampa to enjoy far reaching views across the city. There are a few ‘compulsory’ visits in Romania, and Bran Castle is one of them! Surrounded in the myths and legend of Dracula, today’s visit will separate fact from fiction as well as giving an opportunity to wonder round the beautifully renovated building – now a museum of art and furniture collected by the Romanian Royal family.
Day 7: Wildlife Tracking in the Fagaras Mountains
Stepping well away from the usual visitor experience, today will be a highlight of your adventure: the opportunity to join a specialist mountain ranger from a private biodiversity and conservation reserve for some wild animal tracking on unmarked mountain trails. As well as (fingers crossed!) live sightings, you will be able to spend time in an observation hide in the early morning or evening, where bears are often spotted.
Day 8: Hike from Balea Lake, Fagaras Mountains (6hrs)
Balea Lake at 2034m, is a stunning location from which to start your hike, deep into the Fagaras Mountains. Your destination is the comfortable Podragu Cabin at 2136m, set in an impressive glacial valley with 360 degree views. There are several routes that our guide can select, based on weather conditions and the groups preferences but you are guaranteed immense views, quiet trails, fresh mountain air and a true sense of escapism.
Day 9: Summit Moldoveanu Peak (2544m) – (7-8hrs)
Building on the experiences you have gained in the Bucegi, Piatra Craiului and Fagaras mountains so far during this adventure, conditions permitting, you are today ready to take on Moldoveanu Peak, at 2544m altitude. The round trip from Podragu cabin to the summit is a full day of hiking and the sense of achievement you will feel on reaching the top, will be worth every ounce of effort. Breathe in the wide 360 degree views of neighbouring peaks and revel in the knowledge you have sumitted the highest peak in Romania.
Day 10: Hike to Victoria
A lighter day on foot today, as you reluctantly leave Podragu cabin in a new direction, back towards ‘civilisation’. It is a beautiful walk taking 5-6 hours to reach Victoria on the edge of the Faragas mountains. You are met by a driver to take you al back to Bucharest in time for a celebratory group meal at a recommended restaurant.
Day 10: Fly out of Bucharest
If you have to travel home today then it is definitely time to plan your next escape. Or perhaps you are one of the fortunate ones, who decided to extend your adventure with a 3 day trip to the Danube Delta – see below for more details.
To help you delve further into Romania, we have put together 2 ‘mini-adventures (‘Add Ons’) that can be taken before and after this holiday. Please see the website for more details of how you can customise your travel experience;
- Fly into Cluj Napoca to see the unique UNESCO Heritage wooden churches of Maramures in Northern Romania, before returning to Bucharest on Day 1 of your Cultural Adventure (3 day mini-adventure). Download Maramures Mini Adventure Pack
- On Day 11, the last day of this trip, delay your return home by visiting the peaceful and beautiful Danube Delta with its thriving wildlife for a bird watching boat trip, and to visit the Romanian historic coastal city of Constanta (3 day mini-adventure). Download Danube Delta Mini Adventure pack.