Overview for Transylvanian Alps Explorer
This holiday is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the different world that you will find in Transylvania and Romania. Dubbed the Transylvanian Alps, the Fagaras Mountains are impressive with multiple peaks of over 2,500 m height.
Your actual walking starts near Balea Lake, a picturesque glacial lake at just over 2,000 m above sea level. For a spectacular view of the Fagaras, you will hike to one of the highest peaks in Romania, before descending back to the beautiful Balea Lake and Balea Waterfall.
In the following days, you will explore the charming landscapes around Cisnadioara, where you also visit the Cistercian and Evangelical churches. 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 available on Days 5 and 6).
- Vânátarea Lui Buteanu Peak, 2,507 m
- Transfagarašan Road, arguably the most beautiful road in the world
- Balea Glacial Lake, 2,034 m
- Brašov, former capital city of medieval Transylvania
- Beautifully restored Old Town of Sibiu, the 2007 European Culture Capital
Itinerary for Transylvanian Alps ExplorerGo to top of page
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.
Day 2: Balea Lake, Vanatarea Lui Buteanu Summit
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.
Walking for the day: 4 hours, 5 km, 600 m elevation gain.
Overnight in a 3-star chalet next to Balea Lake (Cabana Balea Lac)
Day 3: Balea Waterfall – Cisnadioara
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. Transfer to the guesthouse in Cisnadioara (55 km / 1 hour), a small village famous for its Saxon heritage.
Walking for the day: 4 hours, 9 km, 900 m elevation loss.
Accommodation: a 3-star traditional guesthouse.
Day 4: Cisnadioara – Magura Peak – Rasinari
The central landmark is the Medieval Fortified Church on top of the hill where you enjoy 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 see their workshop. The hike of the day is a short but intense trek up to Magura Peak (1,500 m) and then back down to Rasinari.
Walking for the day: 4-5 hours, 10 km, 500 m elevation gain.
Accommodation: a 3-star traditional guesthouse
Day 5: Rasinari – 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 at the Găujoara Glade, the panoramic view of the Păltiniş is fabulous!
Walking for the day: 4 hours, 6 km, 180 m elevation loss.
Accommodation in a 4-star hotel with spa facilities (Hohe Rinne)
Day 6: Paltinis – Rasinari – Sibiu
The route for the day is a spectacular descending trail with an altitude difference of 880 m. The landscape alternates between wooded areas, meadows, sunny pastures, steeper heights and gentle slopes. Evening transfer to Sibiu (12 km, 25 minutes).
Walking for the day: 6 hours, 15 km, 880 m elevation loss.
Accommodation in a 4-star hotel with spa facilities in Sibiu
Day 7: Sibiu – Brasov
Walk around the beautiful and picturesque old town of Sibiu, a place where Europe’s culture has its unique place since the 1,800’s. Visit the Main Square, the Liars Bridge, the History Museum and stroll around Astra Outdoor Museum, one of the largest outdoor museums in Europe. Transfer to Brasov (150 km, 2.5 hours). Overnight in Brasov.
Accommodation: a hand-picked guesthouse close to the main square and the old town of Brasov
Day 8: Departure or Onward Travel
(optional private transfer to Bucharest International Airport)
Hotels for Transylvanian Alps ExplorerGo to top of page
3 and 4-star hotels and family run guesthouses, as indicated in the itinerary. Some of them will have spa facilities. 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.
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 pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. Dinner is available either from the restaurant in your hotel or restaurants in the village near your hotel.
Travel for Transylvanian Alps ExplorerGo to top of page
Our recommended arrival 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 to/from Airports
Day 1- From Bucharest Airport To Brasov
- Advised latest arrival time 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 about 2.5 hours and the price range is from 100 LEU to 500 LEU depending on the ticket range and time of the train (£18-70)
- Take a taxi from Brasov Train Station to the hotel – 15 minutes
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), journey takes 2.5 hours and costs from 100 LEU to 500 LEU depending on the ticket range and time of the train (£18-70)
- 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)
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 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.
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 sufficient cash for your daily requirements. Banks and ATMs are available, and credit/debit card payments are widely accepted in towns and cities and 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 Transylvanian Alps ExplorerGo to top of page
Difficulty Grade: Moderate
Appropriate for regular walkers. Requires a 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).
You will walk the hiking trails only which terrain is mostly rocky. 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 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.
The climate in the Fagaras 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 in the Fagaras Mountains with cool nights and occasional rain. Expect the 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 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)
Included for Transylvanian Alps ExplorerGo to top of page
- 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
- 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
- All internal ground transfers and baggage transfers as listed in itinerary
- 24/7 assistance by phone
Options and Extras
(please choose when booking)Private airport transfers to/from airport
- Half board accommodation instead of B&B
- Optional hotel upgrade: if you prefer to stay on Days 1 and 7 at the 3-star Bella Muzica 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.
Single Room & Solo Traveller Supplements
- Single room supplement: add 20% to the standard trip price. 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.
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
- On request, we can provide a private guide (choose when booking).
- Flights and connecting land transfers to first / from last accommodation from/to airport
- Lunches, dinners, drinks & snacks
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses such as phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
- Any items not specifically mentioned in the program
(please choose when booking)
- 1 extra night in Brasov before the walking holiday
- 1 extra night in Bucharest after the walking holiday