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Cycle Romania

from $1,879.00

Cycle through the ancient villages and isolated landscapes of Romania

  • Reviews 9 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Guided
  • Activity Level Moderate
    5/8
  • Group Size Small Group
    4 - 14
All about the Cycle Romania.

Few places can match the beauty and mystery of Transylvania and the Carpathian Mountains. Rich with Saxon history and a landscape dotted with spectacular castles, churches and breathtaking views. Starting at the foot of the highest mountain range in Romania, our route takes us through fortified towns and hilltop citadels, past dense forests and across open fields where we meet shepherds as they watch over their sheep. With a final day to explore the fascinating capital city of Bucharest this trip will allow you to discover both the modern and traditional sides of Romania all from the seat of your bike.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

* Cycling guide throughout
* Rental bike with one pannier bag
* All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners
* All accommodation
* Airport transfers (at designated times)

What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Cycle through ancient villages and isolated landscapes
  • Visit UNESCO citadels and fortified churches
  • Experience medieval Transylvania and modern Bucharest
  • 6 days cycling with partial vehicle support (limited seats)
  • 80% tarmac roads, 20% hard pack dirt paths
  • Scenic route, some climbs to be expected
  • Group normally 4 to 14 plus leader, min age 16 yrs
  • 6 nights guesthouses, 2 night hotel with en suite facilities

 

  1. Day 1 Start Bucharest.

    Start Bucharest; upon arrival we will be greeted by an Exodus leader and transferred out of Bucharest to the small town of Vulcan in Brasov Country, Transylvania. This transfer is roughly three hours long but will be broken up with a short break en route.*Comfortable guest house*

  2. Day 2 Ride to Bucium, stopping at Ohaba flower mill en route

    After breakfast we set up the bikes and start our ride with a lovely stretch of flat road with an amazing view of the snow covered peaks of the Bucegi Mountains as we pass through the town of Zarnesti. Today we visit the oldest flour mill in Romania which is still powered by the river that runs past it; we will hear the amazing story of how it has survived through the communism period before continuing our ride to Bucium.If the weather is good we will make a detour to a worship cave, were Romanian ancestors were praying to Zalmoxis. Zalmoxis was the supreme God of the Dacian people inhabiting these lands 200 years ago. The only important information concerning this enigmatic god is the text of Herodotus: “The scholars have interpreted Zalmoxis as a Sky-god, a god of the dead, a Mystery-god”.

  3. Day 3 Cycle to Carta at the foot of the Fagaras Mountains.

    We start today’s ride by heading to the small village of Lisa where a 100 year old machine tailoring woollen blanket is still operational. Here we will take a tour around the wool mill and see a demonstration of how they still make woollen blankets and clothes. We then cycle through the town of Victoria and from there to the village of Cartisoara (”little Carta”) or Carta itself, where we visit the ruins of the Cistercian Monastery and have the opportunity to meet the pastor and hear his beautiful stories. The ridge of the Fagaras mountains, the highest Romanian mountain range, will delight us the entire day!Possible detour to Sambata Monastery, + 10kmPlease note that on some departures our groups stay in the town of Cartisoara and will visit the Monastery in Carta on day 4.

  4. Day 4 Cycle to Biertan; visit the UNESCO church.

    Today’s ride starts with a crossing of the river Olt and continues along quiet country roads, we cycle through pastoral landscapes and past the fortified church of Richis as we make our way towards Biertan. Once in Biertan we will have a tour of the enormous fortified church with several spiralling towers and ring-walls, the church has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1993 and is a fascinating place to visit.

  5. Day 5 Visit the fascinating Citadel of Sighisoara.

    Today we have a beautiful ride through the countryside and remote villages of Transylvania. We will cycle along the river Tarnava Mare and past hop fields. The destination for this evening is a real treat: Sighisoara, one of the few medieval citadels in Europe that is still fully inhabited and also included on the list of UNESCO world heritage sites. Here we have the whole afternoon free to discover the old town with its famous clock tower, medieval streets and the house where Vlad Dracul, the father of Vlad the Impaler was born.

  6. Day 6 Cycle trough quaint villages and past shepherds to Soars.

    Today’s ride follows a lovely quiet country road through the Transylvanian hills to Apold Village where we look around the fascinating old town before getting back on the bikes to continue our ride through small farming towns and past Shepherds watching over their sheep. Bradeni church will be our lovely lunch spot where once again we will discover a different particularity of the Saxon traditions. Today’s ride ends in the small town of Soars; here our accommodation will be split over four small family houses. This is a great opportunity to experience real Romanian life and get to know your hosts. Today’s evening meal is eaten as a group at the largest guesthouse house and will be a traditional Romanian meal cooked by the family.

  7. Day 7 Cycle to Viscri; explore the town and fortified church.

    After breakfast we hop on the bikes and leave Soars. The day starts with a short climb through the forest before a lovely stretch of road through several small towns before arriving in Viscri. Here we have the opportunity to explore this lovely old town as well as visit Viscri’s well-known fortified church and meet the brick maker and blacksmiths who helped restore the building. The church was restored with the help of the Prince Charles foundation in 1991 and is now regarded as one of the best examples of a fortified church anywhere in the world. There will be plenty of time to fully explore Viscri as we stay in the centre of town.

  8. Day 8 Morning transfer to Bran Castle for a tour; transfer to Bucharest.

    After breakfast we have a private transfer to Bran Castle, situated on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia. Here we take a tour around this spectacular building which has become known as ’Dracula’s Castle’. Inside there are displays of art and furniture collected by Queen Marie and the grounds feature a small open air museum displaying Romanian peasant structures. After exploring the castle and grounds we hop back in the vehicle and continue our journey to Bucharest. The afternoon is free to explore Bucharest and we can go out for a final meal as a group.*Please note.* Bran Castle is an extremely popular tourist destination and can be very busy. Therefore our local guide will give the option to either visit Bran Castle (as stated above) or make a quick stop to see the castle from the outside before transferring to the spectacular though less well known Peles Castle for a tour.

  9. Day 9 The tour ends in Bucharest. 

    After breakfast we have most of the day to explore Bucharest; we can wonder the old streets and do some last minute shopping or visit some of the fascinating old museums and Palaces before the trip ends here.

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Where you stay

Guesthouses and hotels

For the majority of the tour we stay in guesthouses and family owned B&B’s, all the buildings are very well kept, clean, comfortable and are truly one-off places to stay. These old buildings were never designed to be hotels, this means that a very limited number of single rooms are available and only on some nights. In some locations, bathrooms will need to be shared between a maximum of two rooms. Our hotel in Bucharest is a modern building with good facilities located in the city centre.

Single supplement available on 5 nights (Days 1, 2, 5, 7, 8; limited availability)

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 6 picnic lunches and 6 dinners are included in the price of the trip.

Romanian cuisine has strong influences from its surrounding countries like Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary.

We get to indulge in some fantastic home cooked meals on this trip as we spend most nights staying with local families and in guesthouses. Breakfasts will consist of homemade bread and cheeses as well as a selection of locally sourced meats, salad and tea of coffee. The picnic lunches are made by our guesthouses and will usually be sandwiches, salad, fruit and more of their homemade cheese. Some days we will have a traditional vegetable soup for lunch with homemade crème fraiche and bread.

Dinners are usually centred around pork or beef. Lots of guesthouses will prepare Sarmale cu Mamaliguta which is a traditional Romanian dish made of minced pork wrapped in pickled cabbage leaves and served with polenta and a chilli.

It’s not all about the food though; every household makes their own Tuica (pronounced “tsweeka”) which is a spirit usually made from plums and flavoured with herbs from their garden or the surrounding area. This is usually drunk while being welcomed into the house and after dinner.

Activity Level: 3 Moderate

6 days of cycling with an average distance 50km, 80% tarmac and 20% gravel tracks with partial vehicle support.

Our routes follow mainly quiet backroads and paths. There are some undulating sections but the distances are not challenging. This tour is run at a very relaxed pace allowing you to stop and take in the surroundings, or chat with any locals you might meet along the route. The support vehicle follows the group and carries all essential items like food, drinks and tools. You are welcome to put any items you don’t want to carry in the vehicle and can access them at any point throughout the ride.

All hire bikes are supplied with a rear pannier rack and one large bag, this allows you to carry any small items you might need quick access too, like cameras and waterproofs.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 07/10/2019
5/5

My first cycling holiday, definitely not the last

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Romanian short hills proved more challenging than the bastard long ones! Seeing rural Transylvania and the life people lead a real treat, coming back to the busyness of London and M25 quite a shock. And how great a place to visit is Bucharest, people had warned me it would disappoint.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Radu is superb. Well organised, knowledgeable, friendly and wanting everybody to have the best experience. Manged to smile and soldier on whilst wrestling with a nasty sore throat for a few days.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Expect mixed cycling terrain (much good road, but also gravel/dirt roads, rutted farm tracks, and a little bit of unpleasant congested main road) because that's what you'll get. If you want to see Bucharest then go early or stay on after, definitely worth a couple of days. Pay to go on the tour at Peles, worth it.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    My recommendations would be to forego a visit to Bran Castle and get back to Bucharest earlier on Saturday (we arrived back near 7.30 pm). And shorten the rest periods at breaks, people were keen to get cycling, if possible exchanging the shorter breaks for more cycling.

Reviewed On 20/09/2019
5/5

Touring Transylvania

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is difficult to identify a single "inspirational" moment as it was not really that kind of trip. It is probably more appropriate to point to the local people as an inspiration as they have emerged from an oppressive communist governed administration at the end of the 1980s and have spent the last thirty years working hard to evolve into a more democratic country, integrating into the EU.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Tudor was without doubt one of the best guides we have had the pleasure of meeting on any of our Exodus trips. He was unfailingly charming, helpful, extremely hardworking, very informative and knowledgeable, and became a firm friend of our group. He was not only a great ambassador for Romania but also a very nice and gentle person.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get your currency (Romanian Lei) from one of the ATMs at the airport on arrival in Bucharest and choose the option not to take the conversion rate offered by the machine. By leaving your own UK bank to apply their conversion rate you will get a far better rate of exchange. As a couple, we found that £200 (1000 lei) cash was enough to cover our needs for the whole trip as the majority of meals are included in the cost of the trip, but we used credit cards on a couple of occasions (in Sighisoura and Bucharest) for dinners. Tips for the guides went on top of this £200 so we drew a little more out at the end of the holiday from the ATMs in Bucharest. A crossbar bag is handy for carrying a camera so photos can be taken whilst cycling, but panniers are provided for carrying other essentials so a rucksack is not really necessary. The support vehicle is never far away so access to day bags is easy. Bring your own water bottle for filling up and carrying in the bottle cage on the bike. You need to be relatively fit for some of the climbs but there is nothing overly difficult if you already enjoy cycling.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Do this trip before Transylvania changes too much. Despite the changes being made since entering the EU it is a country that is still very much living in the past out in the countryside and this only adds to its charm and interest. If you get Tudor and Liviu as your guide and driver you will have an even better experience! If you should get the option at the end of the trip, choose to miss the visit to Bran and Bran Castle (it's a dreadful, over-commercialised place after such a lovely week in the countryside and, anyhow, has absolutely nothing to do with Dracula etc.) and ask to visit the bear sanctuary as an alternative. This may not be possible but it's worth a try.

Reviewed On 20/09/2019
4/5

Beautifully Organised and Fun Holiday

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Encouraging the less able cyclists and learning from others experiences.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent, very supportive and knowledgeable, extremely kind and friendly.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t expect luxury accommodation or exciting cycling. Don’t expect a lift on the broom wagon either. Practice cycling up hills and in traffic before you go.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thanks for a great holiday, our last one was 18 years ago and this was in a different league for organisation and professionalism.

Reviewed On 20/09/2019
5/5

Cycling through Transylvania

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Umm - for me there is nothing that stands out from the many great times I had. The church service in Vulcan, the fascinating fortified churches, the rural communities , the peace and quiet of the cycling, the homesteads we stayed in - they all combined to make an enjoyable holiday
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Madalina - what can you say … such enthusiasm , organisational skills, personnel skills, knowledge and a smile that lit up the room. Always willing to help and it was pleasure to have her as our leader . A great lady !
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You need to be reasonably fit but nothing special. There are few places to change money during the trip so get money either in your home country or from the airport ATMs. You don't need that much cash as almost all meals are included. Don't drink the local water and use hand gel before eating. . Its a great trip that brings you close to rural Romania.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Its just a very peaceful and interesting place to visit ( except the tourist infested Bran and Peles Castles !) . Go for it !

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Biking in Transylvania

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Enjoyed every day
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Great!
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Bottled water should be provided on a daily basis as I was not willing to drink the water from the tap. When I did ask, the water was provided.

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