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Hidden Gems
Transylvanian Alps Explorer  The Natural Adventure Company 12

Transylvanian Alps Explorer

Overview

Our Transylvanian Alps Explorer is the perfect way to immerse yourself in a different world that you will find in Transylvania and Romania. Dubbed the Transylvanian Alps, the Fagaras Mountains are impressive, with multiple peaks of over 2500 m.

Your actual walking starts near Balea Lake, a picturesque glacial lake at just over 2000 m above sea level. For a spectacular view of the Fagaras, you will hike to one of Romania’s highest peaks 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).

Highlights

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Itinerary

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.

Day 2: Balea Lake, Vanatarea Lui Buteanu Summit (2507 m) | 5 km

Morning transfer to Balea Lake (150 km / 2.5 hours from Brasov), a beautiful resort in the Carpathian Mountains’ heart situated at just over 2000 m. Arrive at the hotel. Afternoon hike to one of the highest peaks in the Carpathian Mountains (Vanatarea Lui Buteanu, 2507 m), where you can enjoy the impressive panorama of the surrounding mountains.

  • Walking for the day: 5 km, 4 hours, 600 m elevation gain
  • Accommodation: 3-star chalet next to Balea Lake (Cabana Balea Lac or similar)

Day 3: Balea Waterfall – Cisnadioara | 9 km

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: 9 km, 4 hours, 900 m elevation loss
  • Accommodation: a 3-star traditional guesthouse

Day 4: Cisnadioara – Magura Peak (1500 m) – Rasinari | 10 km

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 (1500 m) and then back down to Rasinari.

  • Walking for the day: 10 km, 4-5 hours, 500 m elevation gain
  • Accommodation: 3-star traditional guesthouse

Day 5: Rasinari – Paltinis | 6 km

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: 6 km, 4 hours, 180 m elevation loss
  • Accommodation: 4-star hotel with spa facilities (Hotel Cindrel 3* or similar)

Day 6: Paltinis – Rasinari – Sibiu | 15 km

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: 15 km, 6 hours, 880 m elevation loss
  • Accommodation: 4-star hotel with spa facilities in Sibiu (Continental Forum 4* or similar)

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 1800s. 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.

Day 8: Departure

Departure on your own after breakfast (or optional private transfer to Bucharest International Airport)

What to Expect

Accommodation

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.

Click to view default hotels

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.

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 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.

Difficulty & terrain

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 2000 m, average daily elevation gain is 285 m  (read more about difficulty grades). The walks are mostly on rocky hiking trails. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never 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. The 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 – 25 C. Spring and autumn are cold in the Fagaras Mountains with cool nights and occasional rain. Expect the weather to change rapidly during the day.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airport for this tour is Bucharest.

By train or bus

From Bucharest Airport To Brasov

  • Advised latest arrival time is 17.00
  • Option 1: Take a taxi from the airport to the train station (Gara de Nord), takes 20 minutes, 25-30 LEU (£5)
  • Option 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

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)

Inclusions

Included

  • Accommodation for 7 nights in hand-picked 3/4-star hotels or family-run guesthouses as listed in the itinerary
  • Holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions and road notes, maps with daily routes and optional hikes marked
  • 7 breakfasts
  • Daily luggage transport to the next accommodation
  • All internal ground transfers and baggage transfers as listed in the itinerary
  • Arrival meeting
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Private airport transfers to/from airport
  • 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
  • Extra nights in Brasov before and after the tour

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