Explore some of Romania's most stunning mountain landscapes and soak up the unique culture of Transylvania on this inspiring self guided walk. Piatra Craiului meaning royal stone, is a dramatic limestone ridge which rises sharply from the forests and plains below, offering one of the best ridge walks in Europe. En route to the Bucegi Mountains, explore the gorges and ridgetops of Piatra Craiului to experience exceptional views of the region. The Bucegi mountains are home to a diverse range of landscapes from pine and beech forests to flower laden meadows and high limestone cliffs. It is also where you can find Bran Castle, connected through folklore to the fictitious character, Dracula. Whilst the legends of Transylvania are an enticing reason to visit this region, the walking opportunities and the friendly atmosphere in the mountain refuges guarantee this will be a unique and diverse adventure.
MODERATE – GRADE 3
The walking is moderate (3) grade with daily guided walks of around 4-6 hours. There are some more demanding stages during the walk with steep uphills, descents, and some sections of the trail require more care. The accent is on keeping a steady pace to with time to stop and take photos (subject to weather conditions). You will need a good level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure. The planned walks may change depending on the group level of fitness or weather conditions.
On arrival at the Bucharest North train station there will be a handover of documents and a short briefing before your train to Brasov, a journey of around 2½ hours. At Brasov, you will be met and transferred by taxi to your guesthouse set in a traditional village at the foot of Piatra Craiului National Park. Overnight Magura.
Walk on a small ridge to Bran Castle at the foot of the Bucegi mountains. The castle, which was built as a gift from Ludovic d'Anjou in the 14th century to the inhabitants of the region, had a defensive role against the migratory peoples and later it protected Transylvania from the Ottoman invasions. The castle was also associated with the prince Vlad Tepes of Walachia. whom, it is widely thought, the fictional character 'Dracula' was based upon. Overnight Magura. (12km, +350m, -600m).
The walk continues at the base of the Piatra Craiului Mountains. It's an interesting contrast to the landscape of the previous day, as you traverse pastures, sheepfolds and woods. Scattered villages which seem to have not changed for centuries break up the landscape, while the surrounding mountains are a constant companion. Overnight Ciocanu. (13km, +450m, -450m).
This morning you leave the Piatra Craiului mountains and walk to the Bucegi Mountains. An easy walk with “picture postcard” landscapes to a traditional Romanian mountain village with small and ancient houses, at the foot of the Bucegi mountains. The inhabitants are livestock breeders and the village has a long tradition in cheese making. Overnight in Moeciu de Sus. (14km, -150m, +250m.)
A more strenuous day today as you ascend trails into the Bucegi mountains. A longer walk is possible along the meadow of Gutana and the vertical walls of the Bucegi’s ridge, which offers beautiful views of the surrounding landscapes and over Piatra Craiului ridge. Overnight in Moeciu de Sus. (Approx 18km, +650m, -900, or shorter).
Transfer to Brasov where you take the train to Bucharest. Trip concludes on arrival in Bucharest.
Per Person, Twin Share