Romania | The Wild Transylvanian Alps

Bucegi National Park to the world-famous Bran Castle.

Romania Flag
  • Village in Romania
  • Bran Castle Transylvania, Romania
  • Beautiful Flowers, mountains, and grass in Romania
  • Sheep on a hiking trail in Romania
  • Church in Romania
  • Houses in Romania
  • Mountains and pine trees in Romania
  • Hiker hiking through the lush green forests of Romania
  • Wilderness of Romania

Trip Highlights:

  • 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, which stretch 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 the Biblical Mount Sinai in Egypt. The Sinaia Monastery, built in 1695, is currently inhabited by Christian Orthodox monks and is a short walk from the complex of the royal Peleș Castle.

Over the course of the 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. Our last night is enjoyed in the lively city of Brașov, 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 hiking in Romania is less well-known than Italy, France, and Switzerland; thus, the trails are less traveled. For peak baggers, there are upwards of 35 peaks to summit – the highest is Moldoveanu topping out at 8346 ft.

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.

Trip Itinerary

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 in the dense fur forest at the base of the Southern Carpathian Mountains. Afterwards, we embark on a trail that leads us under a jagged ridge in the Bucegi mountain range, up to Poiana Stânii, a mountain hut at 4500 ft, where we enjoy incredible veiws of Sinaia, Peleș Castle, and the Prahova Valley below.

Distance: 7 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 2000 ft.

Today’s hike in the high country provides spectacular, 360-degree views of the national park and historic Prahova Valley below. After a short cable car ride, our trail leads us across the mellow alpine pastures and meadows of the high Bucegi Plateau, and up to the natural rock formations of Sphinx and Babele, at an elevation of 7500 ft. From the plateau we descend to the Mororeni Valley, surrounded by a lush forest, in the heart of the park.

Distance: 10 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 1500/2000 ft.

Our hike today takes us through meadows dotted with grazing sheep to the 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: 1500/2000 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 Craiului National Park to the best viewpoints of the famous Bran Castle before descending to the castle for a tour. A short ride takes us to the villge of Rasnov and our accommodation for the night.

Distance: 9 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 1500 ft.

Our first stop today is Râșnov Citadel, offering some of the most beautiful views of rural Transylvania. Next we head to the mysterious Zărnești Canyon, where we begin our hike. Piatra Craiului National Park is home to countless species of wildlife, intact forests, glacial valleys, and soaring craggy peaks. We follow the river bed as we head deep into the forest, before reaching a narrow alpine valley and old Swiss-style alpine hut with breathtaking views of the rugged Piatra range.

Distance: 8 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 2000 ft.

After a short transfer to the Brașov, the gateway into Transylvania, we enjoy a guided walking tour through the streets where we experience a blending of history, culture, and local cuisine. It is a charming and lively city ringed by the Carpathian Mountains. The cobblestone council square is rich in colorful baroque buildings and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Distance: 7 miles  Elevation gain/loss: 1000 ft.

Ryder-Walker will provide a morning shuttle to Bucharest.

The Wild Transylvanian Alps | Romania

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