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Medieval Castles and Villages of Transylvania

Medieval Castles and Villages of Transylvania

Overview

Explore some of Romania’s most stunning mountain landscapes and soak up the unique culture of Transylvania on this inspiring self guided walk. Discover a beautiful country with a rich and fascinating history. The tour starts in Rasinari and will take you to Sighişoara – the birthplace of Vlad Dracula, the 15th-century ruler of Wallachia and the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula.

Highlights:

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival Rasinari

Your journey will start with a private transfer from Sibiu or Cluj Napoca airport to Rasinari (optional). The colourful town of Rasinari is just 12 kilometres south of Sibiu, and well worth the visit. Its streets are lined with colourfully painted Saxon-style houses, and the town is home to two outstanding churches.

Your accommodation for the next three nights will be Badiu’s Guest House. This beautiful rustic house features accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a shared lounge and a garden. The creative and passionate chef Mrs Badiu will delight you with the highest quality authentic cuisine. Most of the ingredients are carefully grown and picked fresh from the house’s gardens or sourced from local farms.

Day 2: Cisnădioara Circular walk

After breakfast, you will hike from Rasinari to Prislop village and then to Cisnădioara and its fortified church, one of the seven citadels founded by the Saxons of Transylvania centuries ago. It’s a rare example of Romanesque architecture in the region, especially its splendid western portal, that survived more than 800 years without major changes. Shortly after leaving the village, you will reach the “Half-Stone” with fossils from the Limestone Age. Continue to the Rose Garden, at about 1100 meters above sea level and to the Magura Peak at a height of 1300 meters.

Day 3: Păltiniș – Rasinari

Morning transfer to Păltiniș, the highest mountain resort in Romania (1,400 m), the starting point for an approximately 6-hour hike in the Cindrel Mountains. Our route leads us from Păltiniș, trough Oncesti and Tomnaticu to Rasinari. Do not forget to bring your camera to capture the overwhelming panoramic views over the Transylvanian Alps.

Day 4: Rasinari – Sibiu

Walk to ASTRA National Museum Complex, spread over a 10 km area located in the Dumbrava Forest, just 4 km from the city centre of Sibiu. The area of the museum complex is divided into six units with 340 buildings from different regions and periods, including old country houses, furnished and arched as the best of the authentic periodic tradition. Brought in their entirety from various areas of Transylvania, household equipment, windmills, water stations, a huge wine press, fruit and oil, a collection of wooden farm carts and various authentic items collections from different eras. During the summer months, a fair of authentic art and Gypsy festival are held in the park. Overnight in Sibiu.

Day 5: Richiş – Biertan

Transfer to Richiş (Reichesdorf), where residents of twelve nationalities live in this 700-inhabitant village – German, French, Dutch, Italian, Swiss, Lithuanian and American citizens live alongside the Romanian and the Saxon population. Visit the village of Ațel (Hetzeldorf) and its Gothic basilica. Ațel is one of the oldest Saxon villages in the area, dating back to the 1200’s. Your next stop will be Biertan – located in a long valley surrounded by hills and vineyards. The village was founded in 1283 and is dominated by Saint Mary’s citadel and church. This hilltop medieval construction, surrounded by three fortified walls, has been named a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO Foundation.

Day 6: Biertan – Mălâncrav

Walk to Copsa Mare (Großkopisch), Nous Sasesc and then to Mălâncrav – a remote village where time almost stood still. Villagers here still greet each other with ‘Grüß Gott’ – German for ‘God bless’. Malancrav one of the finest villages in Transylvania, where traditions, Saxon architecture, ethnic diversity and local flavors combine to create a unique experience. The history of the village, also known as Malmkrog in German and Malemkref in the local Saxon dialect, is at least 700 years old. Its fortified church and the Apafi Mansion are testimonies of its centuries-old stories and events. The village has one of the most important fortified churches in Transylvania. Built in the 14th century on the place of an older Romanesque basilica, the church is impressive even by today’s standards with its three naves and tall bell fry. Still, what makes the church truly rare are the interior frescoes that cover 20 meters with 53 scenes from the Old and New Testament.

  • Walking for the day: 5-6 hours, 16 km, ↑230 m ↓220 m
  • Accommodation: Guesthouse Mălâncrav 280 or similar

Day 7: Criș – Sighişoara

Short transfer to Criș (Kreisch). The village, one of the ancestral seats of the counts Bethlen, has a number of important heritage sites. The old castle, first documented in 1305, is one of the most famous Renaissance buildings in Transylvania and sits on a hill about 200 m away from the Caretaker’s house. Walk to Sighişoara – the town is infamous for being the birthplace of Vlad Dracula, the 15th-century ruler of Wallachia and the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula. Look inside Dracula’s home and see the city’s burgher houses, historic towers and lavish churches. Climb to the top of the city’s Clock Tower and admire beautiful views over the Old Town and Tarnava Mare Valley. Examine the tower’s ornate two-plate clock, decorated with 3-inch-tall (80-centimetre) figurines representing Peace, Law and Justice, as well as pagan gods related to each of the seven weekdays. Overnight in a 4-star hotel in Sighişoara.

  • Walking for the day: 5 hours, 16 km, ↑400 m ↓120 m
  • Accommodation: 4-star Hotel Korona or similar

Day 8: Departure or Onward Travel

After breakfast your tour comes to an end. Optional private transfer to Cluj, Sibiu or Bucharest airport and individual stay extensions available upon request.

Hotels

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.

Sample hotels: Badiu’s Guest House, Best Western Silva Hotel, Golden Tulip Ana Tower, Complex Medieval Unglerus, Guesthouse Mălâncrav 280Hotel Korona

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast on all mornings and 4 evening meals are included. 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 accommodation the night before.

Travel

Flights

Our recommended arrival airports for this holiday are Cluj and Sibiu. You can also fly into Bucharest and then by train to Sibiu.

  • Cluj Airport is easily accessible with several low-cost airlines covering the route from Luton, Doncaster, Liverpool, Birmingham and Dublin
  • Sibiu Airport: Flights are available to Sibiu Airport from Luton airport
  • Bucharest Airport: Sibiu is 6h by bus or train from Bucharest

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.

Baggage Transfers

Luggage 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. 

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance WorldNomads

We strongly recommend protecting the cost of your trip and other non-refundable travel expenses with travel insurance. Our Signature Travel Insurance allows you to insure all of your expenses. While a Signature Travel Insurance policy can be purchased at any time, purchasing a policy within 20 days of making your initial trip deposit gives you the widest range of policy options, including a Cancel for Any Reason coverage. For complete peace of mind, we also recommend enrolling with Global Rescue, the worldwide leader in field rescue, evacuation and security extraction services.

Read more and get a quote online

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 the 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 4.84 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.

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

Trip Info

Difficulty Grade: Easy to Moderate

This tour would suit a moderately experienced walker (no high mountain experience required) and requires an average level of fitness. The longest day is 16 km. The walks have a relaxed pace with enough time to take in the views and surroundings (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 November. Weather is best in June – 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.

View climate and weather info

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 (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 the accommodation
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve
  • Hat/Baseball cap
  • Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)

Included

  • Holiday information pack including regularly updated route descriptions and road notes; maps with daily routes and optional hikes marked
  • Accommodation for 7 nights in hand-picked hotels or family-run guest-houses as listed in itinerary
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 4 Evening meals
  • Daily luggage transport to next hotel
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

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

  • Extra nights before of after the tour
  • Private transfers from and to the airport

Excluded

  • Airport transfers
  • Entrance tickets
  • Lunch meals and the evening meals not listed in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses such as snacks, drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme
  • Travel insurance

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Medieval Castles and Villages of Transylvania
Average rating:  
 1 reviews
by Nick P on Medieval Castles and Villages of Transylvania

We had a great  trip - walking in 3 separate areas around Brasov was some of the best  we've done. We were treated warmly  by everyone we met. We 're all in our 60s and have done a fair bit of walking , but the consecutive long days  could be  a bit much for some people of our age. Having said that, we thoroughly enjoyed the challenges. Highlights  for me  were reaching the summits on each of the long days , seeing a pair of Ural Owls and the wildflower meadows around Majura. A meal at L'Artiste restaurant in Bucharest on our final night was an excellent end to our trip. Take a book on Romanian birds  - maybe insects and flora too  - even if  you have a minimal interest. Spend an extra day in Brasov, and a day or two  in Bucharest.  All transfers worked well , we didn't use the GPS facility, tho' we did get  briefly lost  on most days  (part of the fun of self guided trips  - so not a problem for us). I'd rate the holiday as a 5 overall, the route details 4, the accommodation 4 throughout, and 5 for Marian , the trails and the booking process.

by Chester on King Ludwig Way

Delightful moderate walk building up slowly to an interesting climax over the days. Varied and friendly hotels. Kirchberger in Wildsteig deseerves... Read full review

We are a retired couple of 73 and 70 years old. We enjoyed the trip very much. The trip was well organised; all went smooth, the accommodation... Read full review

This holiday not only had erupting volcanoes, fabulous hospitality and a plethora of dramatic landscapes to walk in, it also featured gorgeous... Read full review

We had a really great holiday and appreciated the good organisation from your company. Everything went to plan, very well organised and good... Read full review

We just completed the Catalan Coast and Mountain week-long self-guided walking tour. February was perfect in the off-season! [The] itinerary... Read full review

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