Castles and villages of the Carpathian Mountains

Castles and villages of the Carpathian Mountains

Romania » Self-guided (independent) hiking tours

  • Explore the best of Piatra Craiului and Bucegi mountains
  • Visit the historical sights of Brasov, Bran and Sinaia
  • Taste the traditional country life of the local villages
  • jan
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  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec

From 570 €

Duration (days): 8

Difficulty grade:  


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Piatra Craiului and Bucegi are some of the most popular and appreciated Romanian mountains, perfect for an independent walking holiday. Come here to discover the unbelievable diversity of flora and fauna in the National Park of Piatra Craiului, the great pastures and the spectacular landscapes at the feet of Bucegi Mountains. You will also visit perched sheepfolds in high mountain pastures and medieval fortresses. Add to this the highlight of Transylvania - the Bran Castle and the architectural masterpieces of Sinaia Monastery and Peles Castle, not the least the historical centre of Brasov, and you will end up with a thorough insight into the some of the best areas for hiking and sightseeing in Romania.
Our self-guided hiking tour in Romania includes all ground transfers (except for the last day, when regular trains to Bucharest can do the job), good accommodations with en-suite rooms (except one of the days, when these are shared on the floor) and a very good balance of scenic and peaceful hiking trails, good taste of the local traditions and time to visit some of the most famous tourist sights of Transylvania.

Day 1: Meet up at Bucharest Airport (or in your hotel in Bucharest) for a private transfer to Brasov, where you will stay overnight. Tour briefing. (2,30-3,00hrs drive).
Day 2: Breakfast. Transfer (10km) from Brasov to the starting point of first trekking day: Piatra Mare Mountain. You start the trekking tour to the top of the mountain through "The Seven Ladders canyon". This route is a medium one with narrow path, sometimes steep. As you get to the highest part of the trail you may prefer also to climb the highest peak (1843m) in the area. Then you walk down along an easier route. "The Seven Ladders Canyon" is one of the main attractions for the tourists hiking the rocky paths of the Piatra Mare (Big Rock) mountain. Its waterfall – the Seven Ladders Waterfall – is the second in Europe in height. Transfer back to Brasov. (7-8 hours, medium effort, uphill/downhill walk: 800 m/800 m, appr. 16 km).
Day 3: Transfer from Brasov to the town of Bran, where starts your second hiking day, this time in Piatra Craiului National Park. Forestry trails will lead you up to the vast green meadows, providing great views towards Piatra Craiului and Bucegi mountains. Past the traditional villages of Magura and Pestera, you will end up in the oldest guesthouse in the national park, where you will stay overnight. (4-5 hrs, uphill/downhill walk: 400 m/400 m.; appr. 11km)
P.S. This is a relatively short day, when you can fit the sightseeing of Bran Castle just before starting the walk.
Day 4: You are now in the heart of the Piatra Craiului (The Rock of the King) Mountains. The ridge is regarded as one of the most beautiful sites in the Carpathians. Crossing more meadows and dense coniferous forests, you soon reach the foot of the mountains and the town of Zarnesti, which is the unoffical gate to the national park of Piatra Craiului. There you meet your transfer for Bran. Overnight in Bran. (6-7hrs, uphill/downhill walk: 500 m/700 m.; appr. 16km)
Day 5: Short transfer will bring you to the trailhead in the Bucegi Mountains. Forestry tracks slightly ascend towards the meadows at the plateau areas, where you will have the option to make a roundtrip and visit The Evil Waterfall. Then continue on to a sheep farm, where you can make a stop and taste locally-made cheese for a small fee or a couple of cigarettes. Eventually you meet your transfer vehicle and get transferred to Brasov. Overnight in Brasov. (5-7hrs, uphill/downhill walk: 800 m/800 m.; appr. 14km)
Day 6: Rest day in Brasov, which you can spend on sightseeing the historical centre (incl. The Black Church) or hike on the Tampa mountain (960 m). The view from the summit is spectacular, offering a panoramic view of the city. You can take the cable car to the top (closed on Mondays) and then walk down. Guided walking tour of Brasov by night is an extra, which you can enjoy for free.
Day 7: Transfer to the village of Busteni, where starts the Gondola up to the main ridge of the Bucegi Mountains. Here you can make a round walk to see the rock formation "Sphynx" and continue on to the other lift, which you can use to descend down to Sinaia. The afternoon you can use to explore the Peles Castle and Sinaia Monastery. Overnight in Sinaia. (2-3hrs, uphill/downhill walk: 100 m/100 m.; appr. 4km)
N.B.: Busteni cable car doesn't work Tuesdays, while the lift in Sinaia doesn't work on Monday. If you are in the area on these particular week days you will only be able to use one of the lifts for the hike up in Bucegi Mountains.
Day 8: Take the train to Bucharest (running nearly every hour) or get a private transfer (extra cost) to your hotel or the airport.

Accommodation and luggage transportation: Family-run pensions with en-suite rooms all days except for Day 3, when you stay in a guesthouse with shared shower/WC on the floor; Breakfast included all days (lunch packs and dinners can be ordered in the accommodations); Luggage transfers included;

Group size: Min. 2 persons

Price: 570 Euro

Single supplement: 95 Euro

The price includes: accommodation and meals as mentioned above; private transfers as per itinerary (excl. Day 8, when you should choose between train and private transfer to Bucharest (paid extra: 100 Euros per car for up to 3 pers.); route notes and maps; guided tour Brasov by night; 24/7 emergency hotline;

The price does not include: flight tickets; transfers different than mentioned in the "included in the price" section; meals and drinks; entry fees; lift tickets; train tickets; personal expenses; insurance; tips;

Tips: Best travel time: June-October. Well-marked trails, part of the Carpathian hiking network. Changing weather in summer, requiring good rain gear just in case. Note that walking in the national parks of Romania means you may come across wild animals, incl. Brown bears. To avoid unexpected meetings, try to speak louder with your travel mates when hiking in some of the most dense forests.