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Cycle Romania

from $2,049.00

Cycle through the ancient villages and isolated landscapes of Romania

  • Reviews 22 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 25/06/2020
5/5

Cycling in Transylvania

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Everyone knows the expression 'until the cows come home', but we saw it first hand. Many village homes keep a few cows in their back yard sheds. A local shepherd takes all the cows from the village to nearby hillside fields to graze, and at the end of the day, as they return through the main street, the cows of their own accord leave the herd and return to their respective homes for the night. Remarkable!
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide, Raluca, is warm, cheerful, competent and very knowledgeable. She has a genuine passion to relate her country's ancient and recent history to the group. For this trip, she was the sole support during the rides (carrying tools and snacks), although we rode independently with set re-groupment points and vehicle support was on-call.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Romania is well worth seeing. The scenery is beautiful, the food is wholesome and fresh and the trip is excellent value. Bucharest is hot in the summer but the weather in Transylvania is pleasant.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Sleeping in guest houses was more comfortable than I expected and allowed us to stay in smaller villages where hotels don't exist which helped us experience more aspects of rural life by interacting with the host couple.

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

Cycling in Romania

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I think the thing that inspired me most was the unexpected variety of each day. The visit to the flour mill on the first day (most were destroyed in soviet times) through to the sightseeing at the end in Bucharest and the unbelievable palace of Ceausescu in Bucharest. Every day was exciting but probably my favourite was staying in Viscri which has been beautifully restored with the help of the Prince Charles foundation. I've never seen bricks and tiles being made by hand before. Or woken up to cows going along the Main Street at 06:30 and people wheeling their milk home in the old fashioned milk churns!!
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was brilliant. She was informative, friendly, took care of all our needs (lots of short stops and snacks). Her knowledge of the history was good and answered all our questions intelligently. She directed us to the best sights, great restaurants and was fun to be with.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go. It is a great holiday.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Cycling good - it is a 3 moderate. Food so fresh and healthy - loved it. Country beautiful and interesting. Whole trip was better than my expectations.

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

A HIDDEN GEM?

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling into the UNESCO sites of Sighisoara and Viscri and learning/understanding the history of the region.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Raluca is energetic, organised, knowledgeable and above all very passionate about her country. It is no surprise she has taken up some form of 'councillor role' in Bucharest. As well as a superb Leader Raluca would make a good history teacher as she was able to retain my interest which can sometimes be limited.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This category has used the correct terminology 'potential travellers' - It is for travellers not tourists because there is a need to be flexible to and appreciate some of the accommodation used and amenities available. Go now because whilst some of the villages/towns are protected it will change as more people find this 'hidden gem' of an area.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Like a lot of countries around the world they meaning Rumania have a image problem. This adventure will possibly change your perception of the country.

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
4/5

Cycling, cows and churches

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I really enjoyed meeting traditional craftspeople and learning about how close their skills came to being lost forever in the Communist era. We met quite a few entertaining characters along the way. The countryside is beautiful and the medieval town of Sighisoara is picturesque.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Raluca was a great guide - cheerful, patient, experienced and passionate about Romania. She offered lots of personal insights to bring the history of the country to life, and there was a great balance between cycling and culture. She really went out of her way to make sure that we were all enjoying ourselves. Liviu was a great helper too, keeping us fed and watered on the rides.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for mixed standards of accommodation - some excellent and some a little basic, but all with character. Hot water can be a little hit and miss. There are no hair dryers or kettles, so take your own if those things are important to you. It helps to be not too fussy about food as options can be limited if you have specific dietary requirements. We went in May and the weather was very changeable - some hot and sunny days and some cold and rainy days, so if you are going early or late in the season make sure you take clothes for all weather. But above all, go now before it changes too much!
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    You don't actually visit Bran Castle on the way back to Bucharest because it's a tourist trap and involves long ticket queues - the compromise is to take pictures from the road and visit a different (and impressive) castle instead.

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

A truly amazing experience

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The warmness and friendliness in which we were greeted in people's homes. Our hosts could not do enough to help us, it was lovely to experience and feel the welcome of the local people. We often sat out after arriving from a days cycling with cakes and drinks whilst chatting to the hosts in a lovely relaxed environment. Life in the villages was hard but the children always waved and looked happy as we passed through.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Raluca and Liveu worked together superbly to give us a faultless, interesting holiday constantly surprising us with visits along the way. Any problems were dealt with efficiently and promptly. Raluca had a vast knowledge of her country and she passed that on to us during the week with a history lesson most evenings before we had our meal. She was passionate about her country and her enthusiasm was infectious.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you have enough local currency to last the first few days as apart from the airport there is no where to exchange money in the villages . It was day 5 before we entered a large town with exchange facilities. Beware the roads generally are in poor condition so you have to keep an eye out for the numerous potholes, some of which are quite a size and depth.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    An excellent , cultural and historical holiday. You find yourself totally immersed in a very diverse and different country. Raluca's passion was infectious and contributed to a fantastic experience/holiday.

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Package Confirmed Dates Trip Status Trip Status Price (PP) Excluding Flights Price (PP) Including Flights  
May 8, 2021
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$2,049.00
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May 15, 2021
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May 29, 2021
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July 31, 2021
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August 14, 2021
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August 28, 2021
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September 4, 2021
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October 2, 2021
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