Romania’s Transylvanian Alps
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Overview

The Transylvanian Alps self-guided walking holiday is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the totally different world that you will find in Transylvania and Romania. Your active trip starts near Balea Lake, a picturesque glacier lake at just over 2.000 m. For a spectacular view of the Fagaras you will hike to one of the highest peaks in Romania, before descending back to Balea Lake and Balea Waterfall. For a glimpse into medieval Transylvania and its towns with narrow, winding streets, you take a stroll around the stunning cities of Sibiu and Brasov. Accommodation is in hand-picked 3 or 4 star hotels (spa facilities and indoor pool available on Days 5 and 6).

Highlights:

  • Hiking the Transylvanian Alps and reaching Vanatarea lui Buteanu Peak, 2.507 m
  • Transfagarasan Road, dubbed the most beautiful road in the world
  • Balea Glacier Lake, 2.034 m
  • Brasov, former capital city of medieval Transylvania
  • Beautifully restored Old Town of Sibiu, the 2007 European Culture Capital

Itinerary

Day 1 - Brasov
Arrive in Bucharest, the capital of Romania and start your transfer to Brasov. Visit the medieval fortress, the Black Church and stroll the beautiful streets of the old town. Easy Jet, Wizz Air and Ryan Air all fly directly to Bucharest; Brasov is then accessible via a 2 hour train ride. Accommodation: a hand-picked 3 star hotel next to the main square and the old town.

Day 2 – Balea Lake
Morning transfer to Balea Lake (150 km / 2.5 hours from Brasov), a beautiful resort in the heart of the Carpathian Mountains situated at just over 2.000 m. Arrive at hotel. Afternoon hike to one of the highest peaks in the Carpathian Mountains (Vanatarea lui Buteanu, 2.507 m) where you can enjoy the impressive panorama of the surrounding mountains. (4 hours, 5 km, 600 m elevation gain). Overnight in a beautiful renovated mountain hotel.

Day 3 – Balea Lake / Albota
Hike from Balea Lake towards Balea Waterfall, the largest step waterfall in Romania. You get the chance to experience multiple levels of vegetation starting with the high alpine and reaching down to the dense coniferous forests. Hiking for the day: 4 hours (9 km, 900 m elevation loss). Transfer to the guesthouse in Albota (20 km / 20 minutes). Accommodation: a 3 star traditional style guesthouse.

Day 4 – Albota
Walk in the peaceful Arpasel Natural Reserve towards the Alpine heights for a spectacular view of the Fagaras Mountains. The Arpasel Reserve is home to numerous rare plants and trees. Here you can also stumble upon marmots, wild black goats, brown bears and wild boars. Walk back to the guesthouse through the village of Albota. Hiking for the day: 8 hours (12 km, 900 m elevation gain). Overnight in Albota in a 3 star traditional style guesthouse.

Day 5 –  Rasinari
Transfer to Cisnadioara (55 km / 1 hour) a small village famous for its Saxon heritage. The main landmark is the Medieval Fortified Church on top of the hill where you have a spectacular view of the entire region. Also you visit the Evangelical Church. In the village you can still find traditional potters and you can visit their workshop. The hike of the day is a short but intense track up to Magura Peak (1.500 m) and then back down to Rasinari: 5 hours, 10 km, 500 m elevation gain.  Accommodation: a 3 star traditional style guesthouse in Rasinari.

Day 6 – Paltinis
Morning transfer (30 km, 40 minutes) to Paltinis a famous ski resort but also a base camp for various treks in the region. The trail for today is very smooth, just perfect for a relaxing walk in nature through a dense spruce forest -an oasis of freshness in hot summers. Take a break in the Găujoara Glade, the panoramic view of the Păltiniş is fabulous! Hike for the day: 4 hours, 6 km, and 180 m elevation loss. Accommodation in a 4 star luxurious hotel with spa facilities.

Day 7 – Sibiu and Brasov
Morning transfer (30 km, 40 minutes) to Sibiu. Walk around the beautiful and picturesque old town of Sibiu a place where Europe’s culture has its special place since the 1800’s. Visit the Main Square, the Liars Bridge, the History Museum and stroll around Astra Outdoor Museum one of the largest outdoor museum in Europe. Take the train to Brasov (150 km, 2.5 hours, ticket price 8€). Overnight in Brasov.
 Accommodation: a hand-picked 3 star hotel next to the main square and the old town.

Day 8 – DEPARTURE (optional private transfer to Bucharest International Airport)

Hotels

ACCOMMODATIONS
3 and 4 star hotels and family run guesthouses, as indicated in itinerary. Some of them will have spa facilities. All places have been carefully handpicked by us and their quality is regularly monitored. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Sample hotels: Paltinis, Brasov

MEALS
Breakfast is included. When no restaurant location is available on route lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be preordered from your hotel the night before. Dinner is available either from the restaurant in your hotel or from restaurants and taverns in the village near your hotel.

Travel Info


AIRPORTS AND AIRLINES

Flights

Recommended airport

Our recommended arrival airport for this holiday is Bucharest (www.bucharestairports.ro).

Flights are available from London to Bucharest six times per day with British Airways, Wizz Air, Ryanair and Hahn Air Systems. There is public transport to/from all of them, or we can arrange a private transfer.

London Stansted - Bucharest (Ryanair)

London Luton - Bucharest (Wizz Air)

London Luton - Bucharest (Hahn Air Systems)

London Heathrow - Bucharest (British Airways)

Transfers to/from Airports:

i) Bucharest Arrivals 

Day 1- From Bucharest Airport To Brasov

  • Advised latest time arrival is 17.00
  • Alternative 1: Take a taxi from the airport to the train station (Gara de Nord), takes 20 minutes, 25-30 LEU (£5)
  • Alternative 2: Take bus 780 from the airport to the train station (Gara de Nord), takes about 60 minutes
  • Take the train to Brasov, you can travel with either Intercity or Eurocities. The journey takes between 1.5 and 2.5 hours and the price range depends on the type of the train (£5-10)
  • Take a taxi from Brasov Train Station to the hotel – 15 minutes

ii) Bucharest Departures 

Day 8 - From Brasov Hotel to Bucharest Airport

  • Advised earliest flight departure is 14.00
  • Take a taxi from the hotel to Brasov Train Station – 15 minutes
  • Take the train to Bucharest (Gara de Nord), the journey takes between 1.5 and 2.5 hours and the price range depends on the type of the train (£5-10)
  • Alternative 1: Take bus 780 to the airport, journey is about 60 minutes
  • Alternative 2: Take a taxi to the airport, 20 minutes, 25-30 LEU (£5)

Private transfers

Private transfers offer a very economical alternative to public transport in Romania in some cases equivalent to cost of public transport in the UK. Private transfers can be arranged from/to airport to hotel for arrival and departure upon request.

BAGGAGE TRANSFERS

Baggage transfer is included and your bags will be transferred by your current hotel (or by private transfer) to your next hotel. Baggage limit 25 kg per bag.

ROMANIA: COUNTRY INFO

Language: Romanian. In big cities many people speak English, but in remote areas this might not be the case. However most of the hotel personnel where we stay speak English and are ready to help you. Road signs/markers are in Latin alphabet – and you can always call our 24/7 help line if there are any problems.

Electric supply and plugs: 220V, 50hZ, two pin round plugs.

Currency: Romanian New Leu (RON) is the official currency in Romania (1 Euro equals 4.45 RON). We strongly advise taking adequate cash for your daily requirements. Banks and ATMs are available and credit/debit card payments are widely accepted in towns and cities and in big petrol station chains, but might be limited at some of the villages we visit.

Cost of living: in Romania is much cheaper than in the UK or Western Europe. Some sample prices follow:
• 3-course meal in a standard restaurant: RON 25-45 pp (£5-10)
• A flask of mineral water from a street shop: RON 3 (40 p)
• A cup of coffee: RON 5 –10 (£1 – 2)

Up-to-date travel advice on Romania is available here.

Detailed up-to-date travel information and hints will be provided in your holiday information pack.

Useful Info

DIFFICULTY GRADE: MODERATE TO STRENUOUS

FITNESS LEVEL
Appropriate for regular walkers. Requires reasonable level of fitness. May include 4-6 hours of walking per day (up to 18 km of walking). Total elevation gain is 2,000 m, average daily elevation gain is 285 m  (read more about difficulty grades).

ROUTE NAVIGATION

You will walk mostly on unpaved timber roads and hiking trails; some sections may include walking on asphalt. Most of the trails are well marked and sign posted. Still, you will be provided with a detailed road notes, visual photo guide and map, and you will have a 24/7 help phone number. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack.

WHEN TO GO

Late spring, the whole summer and early autumn are beautiful in the Fagaras Mountain with colorful foliage in late spring, gorgeous sunsets in summer and warm panoramas in Autumn.

WEATHER

The climate in the Fagaras Mountains is continental with sub-polar aspects. Depending on location and altitude, temperatures vary, but generally in the May-September period the daily averages are 15 - 25C. Spring and autumn are cold in the Fagaras Mountains with cool nights and occasional rain. Expect weather to change rapidly during the day.

WHAT TO BRING

We recommend that you travel as light as possible - airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers place might be limited. Ideally, you should bring one piece of luggage weighing not more than 25 kg (to be checked in) and a daily pack (15 – 20 l rucksack) for your daily essentials (snacks, drinking water, camera, etc). Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack. If you need further advice, please contact us or a reputable outdoor retailer.

  • Good hiking boots
  • Hiking socks
  • Several t-shirts (cotton or preferably breathable/fast drying)
  • Packable Waterproof and windproof jacket with hood
  • Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece
  • Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside accommodation
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve
  • Hat/Baseball cap
  • Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)

Prices

This trip as available from June until October.

Weather is best in July - September.

The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your holiday on any date in the season - so please indicate desired starting date when booking.

You will not be asked to make any payments to us before your trip availability has been explicitly confirmed.

PRICE: GBP 490 per person

(group discounts applicable to parties of 4 or more)

 

INCLUDED

  • Detailed pre-departure holiday information pack including:
    • gps-checked and regularly updated route descriptions and road notes
    • detailed maps with daily routes and optional hikes marked
    • visual day-by-day photo guide
    • daily distances and approximate walking times
    • daily vertical profiles and elevation gains
    • transfer information (airports, bus stations)
    • travel connection schedules for public transport (or private transfers can be pre booked)
    • hotel locations and contact data
    • destination information and background guide to destination’s history, culture and cuisine
  • Accommodation for 7 nights in hand-picked 2 to 4 star hotels or family run guesthouses as listed in itinerary
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • Daily luggage transport to next hotel of 1 bag of up to 25 kg per person
  • All internal ground transfers as listed in itinerary
  • 24/7 assistance by phone

Options

  • Single room supplement: add 20% to standard trip price. Where solo travellers or individual members of a group require a single room, a single room supplement is applicable. (for further details of costs applicable to solo travellers see section below);
  • You can rent from us a Garmin handheld GPS with preloaded tracks for all walks: GBP 20 for 7 days;
  • If flying to/from Bucharest - private transfers from Bucharest Airport to Brasov hotel on Day 1 and from Brasov hotel to Bucharest Airport on Day 8 (£60 total per transfer for a group of up to 4 persons).

Solo Traveller supplement

This holiday is available for solo travellers. As costs are not shared a 20% supplement is payable on the standard trip cost (including the single room supplement above) and also on any private transfers required which are not included in the trip price.

SELF GUIDED+

  • On request, we can provide a private guide (£40 per day for a group of up to 6 persons)

EXCLUDED
• Flights and connecting land transfers to first / from last accommodation
• Lunches, dinners, drinks & snacks
• Travel insurance
• Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
• Any items not specifically mentioned in the program

OTHER TRIP-RELATED COSTS
• Taxi from Bucharest Airport to Bucharest North Railway Station: £5 -10 (up to 4 persons)
• Train from Bucharest to Brasov: £10 pp

Booking and Payment details

  1. When you book (deposit payment):
    No payment is needed when you book initially. Within 48 hours (72 hours on weekends and bank holidays) we will send you a confirmation email with deposit payment instructions (you can pay online by credit card, debit card or by bank transfer). Deposit is 20% of the trip price including options.
  2. Balance payment:
    Four weeks before the trip, the full balance will be due for payment (we will send you a reminder email with payment instructions at least 7 days prior to this).
  3. Receiving Information pack and trip notes:
    Upon confirmation of your balance payment you will receive the information pack and detailed trip notes (no later than 3 weeks before your trip).
    A member of the Natural Adventure Team will always be available to answer any questions you may have right up to the time of your trip. During the trip you will also be able to call a member of our team any time (24/7).

For detailed information on payment and booking please see below links:


Enquiry Form

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