This walking holiday features an incursion into the alpine meadows, hay fields and wild forests of Romania. Most of the hiking occurs on forest trails or field walks, but there is some ridge walking involved!
The no-snow season is mid-May to November in Bucegi Massif. The rest of the hikes are snow free much quicker, maybe the first weeks of April. Even if there is still snow in May and possibly early snow layer in November, a good pair of mountain boots should be enough.
For the winter and early spring months, Bucegi massif traverse may require snowshoes or touring skis (depending on whether the path has been walked or not). Late March and April are extremely pleasant to walk as the days grow longer and there is enough power in the sun radiation (that is during sunny days), to allow you to walk in a T-shirt even at 0 Celsius. During the typical winter days and early spring (March), Bucegi massif may be throwing quite extreme weather at hikers, so decision making is very important, especially as we are talking about self-guided trips. Also the weather changes very quickly so, again, for these months, hikers should be aware of the conditions and also their endurance, technical and orienteering level and adapt their decision making.
Arrival at Bucharest airport. Transfer by your own to the railway station in Bucharest. (By public bus = 0.8 Euro/pax, by taxi ~ 9 Euro/taxi)
Train to the royal resort of Sinaia. Dinner and accommodation in a 3* hotel/guesthouse.
After spending the night in the royal resort of Sinaia, you will spend the day in the Bucegi Natural Park, which is believed to be the Dacians’ holy mountain Kogainon.
There are several options for reaching the mountain plateau. You can either climb up to 2000m/2200m, take a taxi, or take a cable car, all depending on your preference and physical condition. On the mountain plateau, there are strange rock formations that you can search for, including the mushrooms, the old ladies, and the Sphinx.
After exploring the plateau, you will head towards your accommodations in Pestera by hiking through wooded landscapes and the Ialomita River Valley.
After enjoying breakfast in Pestera, you get to climb the western ridge of Bucegi Massif until you reach Strunga, otherwise known as The Saddle. When you reach The Saddle, the landscape before you is representative of years of pastoral life and traditional life, that has been shaped by the shepherds, villagers, and smugglers.
The day ends after you descend along the granite and limestone walls to Moieciu de Sus, where you will be spending the night.
Once you leave Moieciu de Sus, you will walk along the base of the Bucegi Mountains, headed towards Bran and the home of Dracula’s Castle. The hike consists of a hike over hills, through forests, and across meadows into Barsa Land. Throughout the walk, you will be exposed to the Piatra Craiului limestone ridge, and the Bucegi Mountains.
Just through the Simon Valley and right past the legendary Bran Castle, you will find your accommodations for the evening.
If you so desire, before you begin your journey to the village of Magura, you can visit Bran Caslte, home of Dracula. The climb to Magura is quite a trip, as you will be ascending all the way up to Magura peak. The climb will take most of the day, so once you reach the peak, your lodging for the evening is located only 20 minutes away.
During the sixth day of the trip, you will be taking a round trip to Piatra Craiului National Park and The King’s Rock. The King’s Rock is considered a geographical accident because it is a 22 km long strip of limestone. The National Park is also home to a large number of carnivores, including an estimated 6,000 bears, around 3,000 wolves, and approximately 2,000 lynxes.
The trip begins by descending from Magura to a part of Zarnesti Gorges that will head towards the slopes of the Piatra Craiului Mountains. After passing the forest of the Northern Ridge, you will climb to Curmatura Hut. From there, you have the opportunity to climb to Piatra Mica peak, which will involve scrambling on limestone, 3 fixed chain passages, walking on narrow ridges, and a 400 m technical descent to Zanoaga Meadow.
After an intense day of climbing, you will return to Magura for the evening.
During the seventh day of you trip, you will hike Brasov, then take a transfer to Bucharest. Once you leave Magura, you will hike through alpine meadows, seeing a few houses and summer lodges as you go. You will also see the outstanding views of Bucegi and Leaota, before a car or minibus will take you to Bucharest where you will be staying for the last night.
As the official last day of the walking holiday, you can spend the last day exploring the capital city of Romania.
You are responsible for your transfer, by public bus or taxi, back to the airport to catch the flight home.
It is ideal to fly to Bucarest-Henri-Coandă Airport. There are direct flights from Dublin offered by RyanAir and Blue Air.
If you choose, there is another airport in the area: Aurel Vlaicu Airport (Bucharest). To reach Bucharest from the airport, you will have to use the railway station in Bucharest, by public bus (costing 0.8 Euro per passenger), or by taxi (~ 9 euros).
To return home from Bucharest:
The same airport, either Bucarest-Henri-Coandă Airport or Aurel Vlaicu Airport can be used to return home.