The mountains of Romania have yet to fully sink into the American trekking consciousness but the genuine wilderness in Romania is some of the most enchanting in all of Europe! The deep forests of Transylvania conjure images of abandoned castles and Dracula lore, yet Transylvania is also home to towering mountains and fields of wildflowers too. Step into a new journey entering both the spookiest and most idyllic region of Eastern Europe this summer!
Ryder-Walker’s The Wild Transylvanian Alps trek explores the mountainous heart of Transylvania. Our trek begins in the lush Bucegi National Park and wanders through the undisturbed Alps hiking in the Făgăraș Mountains, the highest mountains of the Southern Carpathians and includes a visit to Bran Castle, the legendary home of Dracula and a true medieval castle in all of its glory. Two favorite highlights in the Carpathian mountains are the Black Church – a gargantuan gothic church and the lively mountain village of Sinaia, with its gorgeous walled church. The mountains here are defined by the contrast between their rolling wildflower-dotted meadows and the jagged ridgelines that form the eastern border of the Carpathians.
Romanian history and lore are famous throughout the world and it is easy to immediately understand why. Massive gothic churches, cathedrals, and castles are all immaculately preserved and hidden away in the Transylvanian wilderness. The Dracula story takes place in the deepest recesses of the Transylvanian forests, based on the life of Vlad the Impaler – the despotic ruler of what was then called Wallachia. While historians are divided about whether Vlad ever set foot in the legendary Bran Castle, and it’s certainly true that he never ruled in the castle controlled by his Germanic enemies, the legend does insist that Vlad was imprisoned there. Whether the legend has truth or not, the gothic and truly unsettling walls of Bran Castle make the perfect location to birth the legends of Romania’s vampiric rulers. Today, Romania is a far cheerier place, offering good beer, local sausage, and lively tours of the multitude of historic locations throughout the countryside.
Transylvania contains some of the most remote and undisturbed wilderness in all of Europe. While the Alps have largely been tamed by farmers, climbers, and tourists alike, unknowable forests still cover the Carpathian mountains along the European frontier. This tangible mystery, amplified by the region’s unparalleled gothic architecture, drew us into the Carpathian Mountains and we have loved every minute we’ve spent in Romania. The hiking is engaging but not overly rigorous, while the accommodations are all situated in historic locations. Transylvania is the perfect destination for nature lovers and history fanatics alike!