Visit Transylvania, where the inspiration for Dracula was derived.
Trek through the lush, deep forests of Transylvania's National Parks.
Hike through Piatra Craiului National Park to the world famous Bran Castle, known as Dracula’s Castle.
Journey through the medieval streets of Sighișoara – a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Our week-long trip to Romania begins in the center of the country, in Transylvania, where the fictional inspiration for Bram Stoker’s cult 1897 literary classic, Dracula, was derived. Here we find the magical Carpathian Mountains of Romania, which stretch for more than 900 miles across Central and Eastern Europe, offering ample opportunities for hikers to leave civilization behind and travel on its well-marked trails.
We begin our journey in Sinaia, the country’s oldest mountain resort, named after Sinaia Monastery of 1695, which was named after the Biblical Mount Sinai in Egypt. Today it is inhabited by Christian Orthodox monks.
Over the course of the following week, we trek through the lush, deep forests of Transylvania’s National Parks, explore the mesmerizing alpine world of the wild Făgăraș Mountains, and visit the colorful countryside and authentic Transylvanian villages of Peștera and Magura. We hike along the forested slopes of Piatra Craiului National Park to the world famous Bran Castle, known as Dracula’s Castle. A highlight is our scenic drive along Transfăgărășan Road, one of the most scenic roads in the world. We end our journey on a tour through the medieval streets of Sighișoara – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our last night is enjoyed in the lively city of Brașov, which is known for its Gothic, Baroque, and colorful Renaissance architecture; Rope Street – one of the narrowest streets in Europe; as well as the Black Church, (Biserica Neagra), the largest Gothic church in Romania.
The mix of pristine forests stretching from the Carpathian Mountains to the Black Sea, the diverse wildlife, rich folk culture, and charming castles situated in medieval towns make this a trek that should be high on every hiker’s bucket list.
Travel independently to Bucharest, Romania’s capital, and shuttle or taxi to Sinaia, the country’s oldest mountain resort.
Today we visit Peleș Castle, one of the most stunning castles in Europe, nestled at the foot of Bucegi National Park in Sinaia. Afterwards we take a quick gondola up to 6800 ft and begin hiking across mellow alpine pastures and meadows with extensive views of the jagged eastern ridge of Bucegi National Park. Our hotel sits on the high plateau of Moroeni surrounded by a lush forest situated in the heart of the park.
Distance: 7 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 1000/1500 ft.
Our hike today takes us over meadows dotted with grazing sheep to Strunga Pass (6200 ft), and traverses along the western ridge of Bucegi National Park. Here the mountains merge with virgin forests, valleys, and springs. Enjoy the breathtaking pastoral landscape surrounded by looming peaks. Overnight in Amfiteatrul Transylvania, a 200 year-old farm property, which features authentic farm to table food.
Distance: 10 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 1500/2800 ft.
Hike through the picturesque valleys of Peștera and Magura, where unpaved roads, horse carriages, and traditional farming are part of daily life. We hike across the forested slopes of Piatra National Park to the best viewpoints of the famous Bran Castle before descending to the castle for a tour. An afternoon shuttle takes us to the village of Cincsor and our accommodations for the evening.
Distance: 6 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 600/1400 ft.
We spend today in the Făgăraș Mountains, home to countless species of wildlife, intact virgin forests, glacial valleys and soaring craggy peaks. A short shuttle opens the door to the mysterious valley of Sâmbăta, where we begin our hike. We follow the river bed as we head farther through the deep forest, intersected by waterfalls, before reaching a narrow alpine valley with breathtaking views of the rugged Făgăraș range. Return to Cincsor.
Distance: 8 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 1800 ft.
After a scenic drive on Transfăgărășan Road we head out on a circular tour among the high alpine glacial lakes around the Făgăraș Mountains. At our high point, we enjoy endless views of the surrounding valleys and peaks off the main ridge. We continue our journey with a two-hour shuttle to the medieval city of Sighișoara, a beautiful citadel right out of a storybook, located on the Târnava Mare River.
Distance: 6 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 2500 ft.
Today we experience the best of medieval Europe and central Transylvania. History, culture, and local cuisine will blend on a guided walking tour through the streets of Sighișoara and Brașov. Sighișoara is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best-preserved 16th century towns in Europe, with classic cobbled streets, colorful houses, and ornate churches. The region is also well-known for Târnave wines, Romanian water buffalo farms, delicious old Saxon dishes, and cake recipes. In the afternoon we shuttle to Brașov and our boutique hotel for the final evening.
Distance: 4 miles Elevation gain/loss: 600 ft.