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The Natural Adventure Company

Self Guided Walking Holidays and Cycling Holidays

Carpathian Mountains and the Danube Delta

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carpathian mountains and the danube delta, carpathian mountains and the danube delta walking hoiday, carpathian mountains and the danube delta self guided
Rating
Average rating:   4,  1 reviews
Country
Romania
Activity type
Self Guided Walking
Duration
10 days & 9 nights
Difficulty
Easy to Moderate
Accomodation
Various
Availability
April - October

Itinerary

Day 1: Brasov
Day 2: Seven Ladders Canyon
Day 3: Piatra Craiului, Bran Castle
Day 4: Magura, Curmatura 
Day 5: Tampa Mountain
Day 6: Bucharest, Tulcea
Day 7: Danube Delta Lakes
Day 8: Letea Forest
Day 9: Tulcea, Bucharest
Day 10: Departure

 

 

Overview for Carpathian Mountains and the Danube Delta

Explore two mountains in Transylvania: Piatra Mare (Big Stone) Mountain and Piatra Craiului National Park (King’s Stone) at your own pace; then move to discover the beauty of the Danube Delta on a guided boat & hike tour.

Piatra Craiului Mountains – with their narrow and saw-like ridges are considered to be the most beautiful in the Carpathian mountains range.

The Danube Delta is the second largest river delta in Europe, after the Volga Delta, and is the best preserved on the continent.

For a glimpse into medieval Transylvania and its towns with narrow, winding streets, take a stroll around the old city of Brasov.

Highlights:


Itinerary for Carpathian Mountains and the Danube Delta

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Day 1: Bucharest – Brasov

Arrive in Bucharest, the capital of Romania and start your transfer to Brasov. Easy Jet, Wizz Air and Ryan Air all fly directly to Bucharest; Brasov is then accessible via a 2-hour train ride or a private transfer. Visit the medieval fortress, the Black Church and stroll the beautiful streets of the old town.

Accommodation: a hand-picked guesthouse close to the main square and the old town of Brasov (Casa Timar or similar). Optional upgrade to a 3-star hotel (Bella Muzica hotel, Gott Hotel or similar).

Day 2: Piatra Mare Mountain and The Seven Ladders Canyon

Breakfast. Transfer from Brasov to starting point of the first hiking day: Piatra Mare Mountain (10 km). You will walk almost to the top of the mountain  (2 – 3 hours to the Chalet Piatra Mare – 1,628 m) passing through the beautiful Seven Ladders Canyon. Optional: hike to the top of the mountain (1,843 m), from the Chalet, round trip about 2 hours more. Walk back down (2 hours). Transfer to Brasov.

Walking for the day: 7-8 hours, 16 km, 800 m elevation gain, 800 m elevation loss.

Accommodation: a hand-picked guesthouse close to the main square and the old town of Brasov (Casa Timar or similar). Optional upgrade to a 3-star hotel (Bella Muzica hotel, Gott Hotel or similar).

Day 3: Piatra Craiului National Park and Bran Castle

Breakfast. Transfer Brasov – Bran town (30 km). Walking route: Piatra Craiului National Park – Magura village – an authentic and picturesque mountain village. You start the walking from Bran, following the red stripe signs on the main tourist route which links Bucegi Mountains to the Piatra Craiului National Park. The path is of easy to medium difficulty, through forest and meadows, with great views of both the mountains and the Bran area with its mountain villages. In about 2 hours you will see the Magura mountain village.

Walking for the day: 4-5 hours, 8 km, 400 m elevation gain, 400 m elevation loss.

Accommodation in a hand-picked guesthouse in Magura or Pestera Village (Nea Marin, Pepino or similar). Note: our default guesthouses for this overnight offer double or twin rooms with en-suite facilities. However, depending on availability, on some bookings, they may be replaced with another guesthouse which is nice and clean, but facilities are shared.

Optional: as this is a relatively short day, you can do sightseeing of Bran Castle just before starting the walk.

Day 4: Magura Village – Pestera Village – Curmatura chalet (1,470 m) – Brasov

From the guesthouse in Magura, you continue the hike to the next mountain village Pestera, about 2 km. Walk through meadows, hardwood and pine forests to the bottom of the Piatra Craiului Mountain (“Rock of the King” or “King’s Stone”) and reach Curmatura chalet.  You can have lunch at the chalet, and then you continue the walk to Zarnesti town, the main gate to the National Park, and then walk to the guesthouse in Magura village. Transfer to Brasov.

Walking for the day: 6-7 hours, 16 km, 500 m elevation gain, 500 m elevation loss.

Accommodation: a hand-picked guesthouse close to the main square and the old town of Brasov (Casa Timar or similar). Optional upgrade to a 3-star hotel (Bella Muzica hotel, Gott Hotel or similar).

Day 5: Brasov Walking Tour and Tampa Mountain

Walk in the Tampa mountain (960 m) overlooking Brasov. The view from the summit is spectacular, offering a panoramic view of the city. The route is easy; you can take the cable car to the top and go down by foot (round trip about 2 hours).

Go to Brasov train station (walk or take a taxi, not included) to take the train to Bucharest (not included; about 3 hours, around 12 euro/person). Transfer from the Bucharest train station to your hotel in Bucharest (not included; taxi – around 10 – 15 euro).

Walking for the day: 2-3 hours, 4 km.

Accommodation: a hand-picked 3 or 4-star hotel in Bucharest (Siqua, Venezia, Opera or similar).

Day 6: Bucharest – Tulcea – Danube Delta

Breakfast. Transfer from the hotel to the train station/bus station (not included; taxi – around 10- 15 euro). Transfer by train (6:20 am, about 6 hours / approximately 20 euro, not included) or by bus (7:00 or 9:00 am, about 5 hours / around 20 euro, not included) to Tulcea. You will have 2-3 hours for Tulcea sightseeing. Our representative will wait for you at Port Aval – Tulcea, at 4 pm. From there we will take you to your Danube Delta accommodation for the next three days. Mila 23 Village. We will travel by boat, through one of the most beautiful parts on Danube Delta, via Canal 36, Sireasa Channel, Sontea Channel, Olguta Canal, Old Danube Canal. In the evening we will prepare for you a traditional fish meal and brief you about the program for the next days.

Walking for the day: no walking, optional sightseeing of Tulcea

Accommodation: a hand-picked 2 or 3-star guesthouse in the Danube Delta (Fisherman’s House, Vanessa, Dalmatian Pelican or Mile 23).

Day 7: The Lakes of the Danube Delta

Note: subject to availability all activities in the Danube Delta listed on Days 7-9 below may be provided in an order different from the one presented below. You will have all tours described below but not necessarily in this order.

Our traveling speed with the boat will be slow for better exploration of the Danube Delta. Our boat’s cruising speed is around 10 km/h (6 miles/h), we will stop at all local attractions, we will take pictures of fauna and flora, enqjoy the beautiful sights. We will NOT transform your trip into a boat race 🙂

The boat we will use during our trips in Danube Delta is an open boat, with a full view of the nature around, equipped with benches with backrest and pillows for a high degree of comfort. The boat is also very stable and safe. Each person in the boat will receive a life jacket. We designed these boats especially for this type of slow paced tourism together with our local partners.

Our guides are local; their English is at medium level, but they love the Danube Delta, they know very well the places you visit, the plants and birds. However, they are NOT specialised guides for birding or photography. We will take you to see different parts on the Danube Delta which are not accessible to the mass tourist and immerse in its spectacular and ever changing nature.

After breakfast (8:30), we will go on a boat tour on the lakes (9:30). We will leave Mila 23 for the surrounding lakes on two boat tours, each about 4 hours long, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Depending on Danube water level and on updated information on where large groups of birds are feeding, we will pick the best route each time. At 13:30, we will return to the resort to have lunch, relax for a few moments, then for 4 hours before sunset; we will leave for the second lake tour. When we get back (after sunset), we will have a traditional dinner, based on fresh fish.

Accommodation: a hand-picked 2 or 3-star guesthouse in the Danube Delta (Fisherman’s House, Vanessa, Dalmatian Pelican or Mile 23).

Day 8: Letea Forest and Letea Village

After breakfast (8:30), we will depart again on water (9:30). We will travel to Letea Village by boat. From there, we will go to Letea Forest by car. We will see local attractions, walk in the fine sand then head back to the boat and Mila 23 resort. We will have lunch in a lovely local home where our hosts will cook us a great meal. In the evening we will have a traditional fish dinner.

Accommodation: a hand-picked 2 or 3-star guesthouse in the Danube Delta (Fisherman’s House, Vanessa, Dalmatian Pelican or Mile 23).

Day 9: Back to Tulcea and Bucharest

Breakfast at 8:30 then at 9:30 we will head back by boat to Tulcea, following the same route we took on day 6. We will reach Tulcea around 13:00. Take the bus or train back to Bucharest (not included) and spend another night there. Transfer to the hotel by taxi (not included, 10-15 euro).

Accommodation: a hand-picked 3 or 4-star hotel in Bucharest (Siqua, Venezia, Opera or similar).

Day 10: Departure or Onward Travel

Hotels for Carpathian Mountains and the Danube Delta

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2, 3 and 4-star hotels or family-run guesthouses, as indicated in the itinerary. All places have been carefully hand-picked 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.

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates it will be replaced with a hotel of equal value and quality level. Exact accommodation details will be provided to you upon booking confirmation.

Sample hotels: BrasovMagura, Bucharest – Siqua, Venezia, Opera; Danube Delta

Meals

Breakfast is always included. Accommodation in Bucharest, Brasov and in the mountains is on B&B basis (Days 1-5; 9). Accommodation in the Danube Delta is on a half-board basis (breakfast and dinner included on Days 6, 7 and 8).

When no restaurant location is available on route lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. Dinner, when not included, is available either from the restaurant in your hotel or restaurants and taverns in the village near your hotel.

Travel for Carpathian Mountains and the Danube Delta

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Recommended airport

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

Flight information can change rapidly, and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner before finalising any booking with us. Please do not book your flights before we have confirmed your booking.

Transfers



Full details will be provided in the holiday information pack depending on the hotels you are staying at in Brasov and Bucharest)

Private Transfers

They offer a very economical alternative to public transport in Romania in some cases equivalent to the cost of public transportation in the UK. They can be arranged from/to airport to hotel for arrival and departure upon request (please indicate when completing the online booking form).

Please note that only one airport transfer per party is included, though additional transfers can be arranged. It is advisable therefore that all party members arrive on the same flight or at least at a similar time. Night transfer extra charges may be applicable to private transfers in case of late night arrivals.

Baggage Transfers

Luggage transfer is included on walking days as per itinerary.

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 helpline 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 sufficient 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 cheaper than in the UK or Western Europe. Some sample prices follow:
• a 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.

Trip Info for Carpathian Mountains and the Danube Delta

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Difficulty Grade: Easy to Moderate

Appropriate for casual walkers. Requires a basic level of fitness. This 10-day trip includes 4 walking days in the mountains and 4 days of guided boat tours in the Danube Delta (read more about difficulty grades).

Route Navigation

We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to Go

This trip is available from April until October. Weather is best in July – September. The Danube Delta program is not available in the following periods: 24 – 28 May and 12 – 16 August 2018.

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.

Weather

The climate in the Carpathian Mountains is continental with sub-polar aspects. Depending on location and altitude, temperatures vary, but, in the May-September period, the daily averages are 15 – 25C. Spring and autumn are cold with cool nights and occasional rain. Expect the weather to change rapidly during the day. In the Danube Delta it can become very hot in July and August.

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 everyday 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 a reputable outdoor retailer or us.

  • 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)
  • Long-sleeved clothes and mosquito repellent for your stay in the Danube Delta

Included for Carpathian Mountains and the Danube Delta

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  • Detailed pre-departure holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions and road notes; maps with daily routes and optional hikes marked for the self-guided part (Days 2 – 5)
  • Professionally guided boat tours of the Danube Delta and boat transfers to/from Tulcea on Days 7 – 9
  • 3 nights at a 2-star B&B in Brasov (upgradeable to a 3-star hotel)
  • 2 nights at a 3 or 4-star hotel in Bucharest
  • 1 night at a hand-picked guesthouse in Magura or Pestera
  • 3 nights at a lovely 2 or 3-star guesthouse in the Danube Delta
  • 9 breakfasts
  • 3 dinners
  • Car transfer to trailhead and back to Brasov on Day 2
  • Car transfer Brasov – Bran and luggage transfer Brasov – Magura/Pestera on Day 3
  • Car transfer Magura/Pestera – Brasov on Day 4
  • 24/7 assistance by phone

Single Room & Solo Traveller Supplements

  • Where individual members of a group require a single room, a single room supplement is applicable
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers. As costs are not shared, a supplement is payable on the standard trip cost

Options and Extras

(please choose when booking)

  • Private airport transfers to/from airport
  • Half board accommodation instead of B&B on Days 1 – 5 and 9 (dinner is already included on Days 6, 7 and 8)
  • Optional hotel upgrade: if you prefer to stay on Days 1, 2 and 4 at the 3-star Bella Muzica hotelGott Hotel or similar near the Old Town of Brasov rather than at Casa Timar B&B (or similar), you can add this option when completing the online booking form.

Other Trip-Related Costs

  • Taxi from Bucharest Airport to Bucharest North Railway Station: EUR 7-12 pp (up to 4 persons)
  • Train from Bucharest to Brasov: EUR 10-15 pp (EUR 20-30 return)
  • Entrance to Bran Castle: EUR 8 pp
  • Entrance fees for 7 Ladders Canyon (2.5 euro pp) and Piatra Craiului National Park (1 euro pp)
  • Train from Bucharest to Tulcea: EUR 20-25 (EUR 40-50 return)

Excluded

  • Flights and connecting land transfers to first / from last accommodation from/to airport
  • Train or bus transfers between Bucharest and Tulcea (Days 6 and 9)
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks & snacks unless  specified in the itinerary (you have 3 dinners included)
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses such as phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned in the program

Extensions

(please choose when booking)

  • 1 extra night in Brasov before the holiday
  • 1 extra night in Bucharest before or after the holiday

Gallery for Carpathian Mountains and the Danube Delta

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Carpathian Mountains and the Danube Delta
Average rating:  
 1 reviews
by Vivien T on Carpathian Mountains and the Danube Delta

Trails were lovely; loved the Guesthouses, especially Pepino in Magura, (would have liked to stay another day in Magura); transfers okay and Marian could have been more helpful. Our first meeting with him to get details was too rushed. We were tired having been up from 4am and he rushed. Overall, very good holiday.


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