Transylvania Walking Holiday

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15 – 22 September 2024
A Traverse of the Southern Carpathians
7 nights
Traverse the Carpathian Mountains

Transylvania is the land of myths that inspired Bram Stoker’s famous Dracula novel, and the Carpathians whilst not especially high (up to 2,544m) are extremely diverse and boast some of the largest stretches of pristine forest to be found anywhere in Europe – covering more than one quarter of the country’s surface. The flora and fauna of these wild forests is also extremely rich and diverse – they are home to more than half of Europe’s bear population, over a third of Europe’s wolves and lynx and more than 1,350 species of wildflower, among which many are endemic. Is this Europe’s ‘great last wilderness’?

The Carpathians create a wonderful landscape, with green valleys nestled between foothills ascending to wild crags or precipitous gorges. The mountain villages you will encounter, the small summer lodges built for the annual hay harvests, and the secret shepherds’ paths through forests and meadows will all bring a unique, pastoral fragrance to your hiking experience.

This guided walking holiday traverses the more accessible Southern part of the range. The highlights include a visit to ‘Dracula’s Castle’ in the village of Bran; a circular trek around the King’s Rock in Piatra Craiului National Park – one of the most beautiful mountains in Romania; and the magnificent Bucegi Natural Park, where the wind and rain have turned the rocks into spectacular figures known as the “Sphinx” and “Babele” (the old ladies), whose existence supports the mystical role of the mountains.

At a glance


15 – 22 September 2024


Single Supplement – £450


Expect to walk for 3-7 hours each day, with between 200m – 1500m ascent and 350m – 1000m  descent.

What’s Included

7 Nights B&B in handpicked 3* & 4* hotels and guesthouses
2 Dinners in Magura (Days 5 and 6)
6 Packed Lunches one for each walk day
Local Mountain Guide throughout
Luggage Transfers from hotel to hotel (not Day 2)
Train tickets (Airport-Bucharest-Sinaia, Zarnesti-Brasov and Brasov-Bucharest-Airport
Transfer from Magura – Zarnesti (Day 7) and to Brasov rail station (Day 8)
Entrance Fees to Piatra Craiului National Parc, Bucegi Natural Parc and ‘Dracula’s Castle’


This holiday starts and ends in Bucharest. See UK – Bucharest Flights for example flights. Your outbound flight must land before 1530, and your return flight must depart after 1500.



Day 1 - Arrive & Settle in

Make your own way to Bucharest Airport where our guide will meet you. (The meeting time will be set having taken into account all arrival times, so some waiting is possible). As a group you will transfer by train to the rail station in Bucharest in order to catch a train to Sinaia. On arrival in Sinaia, it is a short walk (5 mins) to the hotel, where you will have time to settle in before a short welcome briefing.

Accommodation: 4* Hotel Rina, Sinaia

Bucegi mountains scene view from baiului mountains in Romania. G

Day 2 - Sinaia – Bucegi Plateau - Pestera

Route Statistics : Various options ranging from 8km, 200m ascent and 300m descent (shortest) to 14km, 1500m ascent and 1000m descent (longest), between 3-7 hrs walking.

You will spend today in the Bucegi Natural Park. Bucegi is believed to be the Dacians’ (ancestors of Romanians) holy mountain Kogainon, on which their God – Zalmoxis resided in a cave.  On the plateau, the wind and rain have turned the rocks into spectacular figures known as the “Sphinx” and “Babele” (the old ladies), whose existence supported the mystical role of the mountains. You can either walk the whole route or shorten the route by taking a taxi or the cable car (included). Together with the guide, the group will decide on the best option, given the weather forecast, and ability of the group. You will then climb up to 2000m/2200m on the mountain plateau. From here you will spend a few hours exploring the plateau and discovering the many strange rock formations that have made these mountains famous: the mushrooms, the old ladies, the Sphinx etc. You will then descend through a mix of woodland and vast open spaces shaped by glaciers until you reach the Ialomita river valley, and your overnight accommodation which is situated at 1600m. Dinner is not included but available at the Cabana. (Please note luggage will not be transferred to Cabana Alpina but will be transferred directly to Moieciu de Sus)

Accommodation: Cabana Alpina, Pestera

Moieciu de Sus, Brasov county, Romania

Day 3 - Pestera – Padina – Moieciu de Sus

Route statistics: 14km, 4-5 hours walking, 400m ascent / 1000m descent 

After breakfast you climb the western ridge of Bucegi massif until you reach Strunga ( The Saddle). This is an ancient passage for shepherds and their flocks, villagers from Valachia to Transylvania and also, during the time of the Austrian – Hungarian Empire, smugglers of all kind! In front of you lies Bran Country, with a landscape, shaped by millenniums of pastoral and traditional ways of life, made of houses, summer lodges and haystacks dotting the green hills. You start descending along the big limestone and granite walls, then into the woods, heading to Moieciu de Sus village.

Accommodation: 3* Poiana Soarelui Guesthouse, Moieciu de Sus

Panoramic view over Dracula medieval Castle Bran in autumn seaso

Day 4 - Moieciu de Sus – Bran

Route statistics: 13km, 4-5 hrs walking, 350m ascent and 700m descent

Today you cross the forests and meadows at the feet of Bucegi Mountains in order to reach Bran, home of ‘Dracula’s Castle’. You start with a short but steep climb, then follow a steady walk, slowly descending through the forests, meadows and  summer lodges and hay barns, down to Simon valley opening into Barsa land. Along the winding path you have excellent views of the Piatra Craiului limestone ridge to the west and the steep walls of Bucegi Mountains to the east. Then you reach the long Simon valley with its nice households. Finally you will pass by Bran Castle, perched on a rocky escarpment before you continue a short way down to your overnight accommodation. Today you will also participate in a ranger led bear observation visit.

Accommodation: 4* Guesthouse, Bran

Beautiful rustic landscape in Magura village,Romania, with tradi

Day 5 - Bran – Magura

Route statistics: 12km, 3 – 4 hrs walking, 750m ascent and 350m descent

Today you check out of your accommodation in Bran, and visit Bran Castle (included) before you climb on towards the high mountain village of Magura. Your path zig-zags north and south of the ascending ridge, from sunlight to shade, from hay meadows to wild forest, up to the Magura peak. A quick descent brings you to the centre of this typical mountain village, where you find your overnight accommodation.

Accommodation: 3* Samedru Guesthouse, Magura (Dinner included)

Moieciu de Sus, Brasov county, Romania

Day 6 - Magura – Piatra Craiului Mountains - Magura

Route statistics: 15-17 km, 6-8 hr walking, 700m-1000m ascent and descent

Today is a circuit in Piatra Craiului National Park of The King’s Rock – one of the most beautiful mountains in Romania. This very rocky, thin high limestone strip, 22 km long, is considered a geographical accident of the Southern Carpathians, due to their gentle peculiar profile in contrast with the enormity of the surrounding landscape. Today’s route starts with a stroll through the village, followed by a short descent and then a section of the Zarnesti Gorge, a narrow limestone passage leading up to the wooded slopes of Piatra Craiului Mountains. You then cross a patch of virgin forest which opens out into the meadows at the feet of the craggy eastern side of the Northern Ridge. The last climb of the day is through green meadows which ascend smoothly to the Curmatura Hut.
From here, depending on the weather and ability of the group you might have the option to climb Piatra Mica peak (1811m) – which is 350m above the Curmatura Chalet – and involves some limestone scrambling, three sections with fixed chains, some narrow ridge walking and a technical 400 m descent on a difficult path through the forest.  This summit loop can be bypassed if preferred. The descent from Churmatura Hut takes you to Zanoaga Meadows and its old sheepfold, then a steep descent through the woods will bring you back to the start of the gorges. In the afternoon, one final climb will you get back to Magura

Accommodation: 3* Samedru Guesthouse, Magura (Dinner included)

Brasov cityscape in Romania

Day 7 - Magura – Zarnesti - Brasov

Route statistics: 9km, 4 hr walking, 300m ascent / 750 descent, 

After breakfast, time for one last easy walk in a landscape that is typical of Romanian high mountain hamlets, with scattered houses, meadows dotted by haystacks and the occasional summer lodges. You first climb to the Galbinarea saddle with it’s wide open views of Bucegi and Piatra Craiului. Then follows a long descent to Zarnesti, the little town at the foot of the mountains where your Romanian mountain trail reaches an end. After a beer or an ice cream on a local terrace, you will take the train to Brasov (approx. 40 mins).
Brasov is one of Transylvania’s major cities, with a colorful medieval centre, one of the best preserved in Romania, housing The Black Church – the largest between Vienna and Constantinople, the City Council Square, and the medieval ramparts erected by the Saxon colonists. You will have ample time to discover the city on a guided walking tour.

Accommodation: 3* Schuster Boarding House, Brasov

Bucharest Old Town Sunny Summer Day - Romania

Day 8 - Depart

After breakfast, a private taxi (included) will take you the short distance to Brasov train station where you will catch a train to Bucharest Airport (approx. 3hrs). All flights must depart after 1500.
Alternatively, extend your stay and discover the delights of Bucharest.

Need to Knows

Itinerary – Please note that while this is the intended itinerary, the exact programme may differ slightly if trail or weather conditions necessitate.

Overnight Bagyou will need to carry your own personal belongings/overnight bag on Day 2 and Day 3 as there is no luggage transfer to/from Cabana Alpina. 

Booking Conditions – be sure to read our full terms and conditions here before booking.

At Your Own Risk – please read the important notes here.

Travel Advice – check your government’s travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice here.

Passport & Visa –  any questions should be directed to the relevant embassy of your destination country; find out more here. It is your responsibility to be in possession of a full passport, valid for your chosen destination.

Travel Insurance – having adequate and valid travel insurance is a condition of booking with us. Details of our insurance partner, Campbell Irvine, are here.

Health Information – You should carry either an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)  Neither is an alternative to adequate travel insurance. For more information visit and

ABTA – Independent travel advice and help is always available from ABTA by calling 020 3117 0599 or visiting

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