This trip will introduce you to the Carpathian Mountains and Transylvania, known as a mysterious and spectacular land, famous through Bram Stocker’s legend of Dracula and well-known for its forests sheltering so many species of wild plants and animals.
Transylvania, surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains, was also a much sought for land. That is how the Saxons arrived here in the 11th century to guard the Carpathian Mountains passes between Transylvania and Wallachia against the Tatars and the Ottomans. But this is just a hint of the rich heritage that you will discover during this entire trip. An exceptional holiday is awaiting for you!
Your day by day program
Arrival. Train transfer from Bucharest North station to Zarnesti with a train change in Brasov. Zarnesti is a highland town and provides the main access to the Piatra Craiului National Park. Accommodation and dinner at a local guesthouse.
You will ride to the North, to a small typical village at the foot of Fagaras Mountains, the highest mountains in Romania. On the way, you can make a 7 km detour on a gravel road to visit the famous Bear Sanctuary off Zarnesti. From there you head to Ohaba where you will visit the oldest, water-powered, cereal mill in the county, and you will hear its amazing story, especially that of the Communism period. Dinner and accommodation in a local guesthouse. (BLD, ~50 km, +250m, -400m)
You cycle at the foot of Fagaras Mountains over Bucium river and you will pass by Lisa Village where a 100 years old machine tailoring thick woollen blankets is still in function. Later on, you will visit the impressive Brancoveanu monastery in Sambata de Sus; its history goes back to 1696. Crossing Victoria town and to the small village of Cartisoara, you will reach Carta, where you will visit the ruins of the Cistercian monastery. Hopefully you will have the opportunity to meet the pastor and hear his beautiful stories. Overnight at guesthouse in Carta village. (BLD, ~60 km, +300m, -450m)
Three extensions are possible in Carta:
1. One for the visit of Sibiu: we recommend to have an extra day in this magnificent village so as to go by train to visit Sibiu, one of the most beautiful medieval towns in Romania. This is certainly the reason why Sibiu was chosen as “the cultural capital of Europe” in 2007. Developed by Saxons on a Roman site, Sibiu was the residence of the Austrian government in Transylvania. The narrow streets, the picturesque courtyards and the carved stone stairs create a romantic atmosphere. Lots of monuments and interesting museums are also waiting for you there. In the evening you return by train to Carta village.
2. The same option, but with an overnight in Sibiu instead of Carta.
3. Another option meant for riding down the Transfagarasan road - details below.
The route through Transylvania continues towards Biertan and its enormous fortified church with several ring-walls. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage listed site since 1993. The trip carries on along country roads and you'll enjoy the pastoral landscapes, as well as the fortified church of Richis. Dinner and accommodation in a guesthouse in Biertan. (BLD, ~65 km, +600m, -650m)
This cycling day will allow you to discover more treasures in Transylvania. You will move on to Sighisoara, one of the few medieval citadels in Europe that is still fully inhabited and also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Discover the old town with its famous clock tower, which initially served as the main entrance to the citadel, but also have a look at the covered stairway, the mysterious medieval streets, the house where Vlad Dracul, Vlad the Impaler’s father, was born. On the way you can make a small detour to Dumbraveni, a town with an important Armenian Catholic church. Dinner not included. Accommodation in a charming 3* hotel. (BL, ~40 km, +380m, -400m)
Today you will cycle among Transylvanian hills to Apold, a village that also hosts a lovely fortified church. You will then arrive in Soars, where you will spend the night. The country road today will take you across remote and bucolic land, where you will surely encounter shepherds watching over their sheep. Do not miss the occasion to look into the traditional way of life! (BLD, ~48 km, +600m, -500m)
From Soars you carry on cycling to one of the highlights of this trip, Viscri, where you will have the opportunity to visit the local 0fortified church. This church was restored with the help of King Charles’ foundation. A ride day thorough those old and time-standing villages allows you to enjoy time for introspection, time to meditate at the passing of time and at the connection with the nature around. If you want the maximum out of your trip, you can go have a stroll through this postcard village, visiting the local blacksmith. (BLD, ~35 km, +300m, -250m)
Leaving Viscri right after breakfast, you will have a private transfer to Brasov from where you will take a train to Bucharest (several trains starting with 13:30). We highly suggest an extra night in this medieval town if you don’t have the time to visit it during the first day, when you change trains there. End of the trip.
From April to the end of October.
- Bucharest train station.
- Bucharest train station.
- Double occupancy:
- 1 night in 3* small hotel in Sighisoara (D5)
- 6 nights in guesthouses, exceptionally shared facilities
- Minimum of 2 people.
- 8 days of which 6.5 of cycling. Medium level (from 35 to 74 Km/day, with some climbs).
- Luggage will be transferred from one guest-house to the other.
- Single supplement : 110€
- : 80€
- Bike rental (Trek hybrid bikes with front suspension, bottle holder) : 95€
- E-bike rental : 260€
- Extra-night in Carta, guesthouse, 1/2 board, double based / person - for visiting Sibiu : 45€
- Extra-night in Carta, guesthouse, 1/2 board, double based / person - for riding the Transfagarasan road available only on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays : 75€
- Extra night in Brasov/Bucarest 3*, central, double based : 70€
- meals (7 breakfasts, 5 picnics and 5 dinners in the guest-houses)
- road-book, maps, luggage transfer
- 24h/24 local assistance available
- 1 lock for every 2 bikes
- Some of the meals (see above)
- drinks, items of personal nature
- bike rental with helmet
- transfer to the meeting point and from the drop off point
- insurances and personal expenses
- Suggested Items: light fleece top; Light windproof/waterproof jacket; headlamp, sun hat, personal clothing for mild to hot weather, sturdy walking shoes, sunblock, sunglasses.