Welcome to Romania. There are no activities planned for today until 6pm when you will meet your tour leader for an important welcome meeting. Please look for a note at reception informing you of the location of the meeting and please bring along your passport, travel insurance documents and a pen. After this, you may like to join your leader and fellow travellers for dinner at a local restaurant.
In the morning we transfer to the Piatra Mare Circuit. We then begin our first day walking in the Piatra Craiului mountains, also known as the Bran-Rucar corridor. The route passes some of the country’s richest pastoral areas, dotted by shepherds’ huts, altitude single tracks and a wonderful view over two of the most spectacular massifs in the Southern Carpathians – Bucegi and Piatra Craiului. Enroute, we will enjoy a picnic lunch. Our hike today takes us to the Seven Stairs Canyon, formed from the Sipoaia River, and 160m in length. The hike ascends 1000 metres along the route up to the Piatra Mare cabin, through forested woodland along the route. In the evening return to our guest house and enjoy a dinner of local specialities. Today we have approximately 5 hours walking with a 1000 m climb
This morning we make our way to Bran village, before we continue our hiking in the Bucegi Mountains. These mountains are considered a spiritual place, special to the ancestors of the Romanian people. We start walking through fields filled with mountain flowers and woodland before we arrive at open plateaux. As we get higher up into the mountains, there is likely to be some scree slopes and some ridge walking. However, we are rewarded by spectacular views. Be sure to look out for the strange rock formations here, including the Sphinx, which resembles it's Egyptian couterpart. At the end of our hike we return to Bran where we spend the night Today we have approximately 7 hours walking with a 1200 m climb. Approximate travel time Moieciu de Jos to Bran, 10 minutes.
Today is dedicated to trekking in Piatra Craiului (The King’s Rock) National Park - one of the most beautiful mountains in Romania. The Park is very rocky, consisting of a thin high limestone strip, 22 km long, which is considered to is so unusual that it is considered to be a geographical accident of the Southern Carpathians. It is also home of The Carpathian Large Carnivore Project, as, although the Romanian Carpathians cover less than 1.5% of the European surface west of Russia, they are home to almost one third of all European large carnivores: The authorities estimate that the number of bears is over 6,000, that there are about 3,000 wolves, and some 2,000 lynx. Today's walking is approximately 6-7 hours trekking, 1000-1400m climb.
We have a change of pace this morning, as we head off to visit the infamous Bran Castle. Also known as Dracula’s Castle this beautiful 14th century castle was, renovated in the 19th century by the royal family of Romania. After leaving the castle, we transfer first to Sambetei Monastery, where you can stop for a visit if you are interested. Built in the seventeenth century as a wooden church, a monastery has stood on the site ever since. The name comes from 'Apa Sambetei', the ocean that once encompassed the whole earth. From here we continue our hike up into the Fagaras Mountains to Valea Sambetei chalet where we spend the night Approximately 3 hours walking with a 650 m climb.
Starting at Valea Sambetei chalet this morning, we follow the Moldoveanu Peak circuit, completing our trek to the summit of the highest peak in Romania. This is a full day climb and with changeable weather conditions it can be treacherous underfoot. Make sure you have your walking boots for this hike. From the top of Romania, views stretch out across the Fagaras mountain range and beyond, a great end to our journey. Today's trekking time is approximately 9h, (1200 m climb)
From Valea Sambetei Chalet decend to Sambata Monastery and transfer to Viscri village. Viscri is a German village, like most of the saxon settlements nestled between the dense oak forests that cover these hills. It is included in the UNESCO heritage list and it can be considered an enormous open air museum. It is also one of the villages in Romania where Prince Charles of Wales bought a traditional house and the only place in Romania with an organic water waste plant. Tonight we are accommodated in a village guesthouse and are treated to a traditional meal. Approximately 2 hours walking with a 650m decent.
In the morning we visit the fortified church in the village and then we take a horse pulled carriage ride around the village. We will meet a family of wood burners and a family specialised in manufacturing handmade tiles and bricks. Return to Viscri for lunch. In the afternoon transfer to Brasov where the tour finishes on arrival. Please do not book any international flights until after 3pm in the afternoon today.