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Transylvania Winter Walk & Snowshoe

from $1,399.00

Wander through the mountains and forests of wintery Transylvania.

  • Reviews 7 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Guided
  • Activity Level Moderate
    5/8
  • Group Size Small Group
    4 - 16
All about the Transylvania Winter Walk & Snowshoe.

Transylvania – the name alone conjures up images of craggy mountains, gothic castles, horse drawn carts and forests filled with hibernating bears. The reality is not that far off. Crisp winters add an extra dimension to this small corner of Europe as snow blankets the pastures, farmsteads and woodlands. Spend a week exploring this region, hiking or snowshoeing to small villages, into gorges, through valleys and up mountains and wandering through castles and a bear sanctuary along the way. From our comfortable guesthouse in the small village of Magura, we head out to uncover the region’s treasures on foot. Snow conditions will dictate whether we hike or snowshoe but, either way, we get into the wilderness. Along the way we meet locals who still live a traditional lifestyle, learn about the region’s rich folklore and history, admire stunning mountain scenery and, with a bit of luck, see traces of the local wildlife including wolf or bear paw prints in the snow.

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.

* All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners
* All accommodation
* Airport transfers (at designated times)
* Snowshoes and poles provided

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

Highlights

  • The serene beauty of the Carpathian Mountains in Winter
  • Looking for wolf and bear tracks in the snow
  • Visiting Bran Castle, Dracula’s home
  • Warm hospitality of the local people
  • Walking through the Prapastiile Zarnestilor Canyon, formed during the Jurassic Period.
  • 7 nights at the comfortable Villa Hermani guesthouse with twin and single rooms; most rooms are en suite
  • 6 days guided snowshoeing and winter walking
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Travel by private minibus
  • Sightseeing visits to castles and villages
  1. Day 1 Start Magura, Transylvania.

    For land only clients the trip starts this afternoon in the village of Magura at about 1040m, within the boundaries of the Piatra Craiului National Park in Tranyslvania.However, we strongly recommend that land only clients meet the group transfer at Bucharest Airport when the group flight arrives due to the guesthouse being located 165km away. Upon the group flight arrival in Bucharest, clients booked onto the group flight or group flight transfers will be transferred to our comfortable guesthouse, approximately 3.5hrs drive away.Our hosts at our guesthouse, the Villa Hermani, are very hospitable and enjoy stopping to chat over a glass of local plum brandy.*Villa Hermani*

  2. Day 2 Walk to a local bat cave and the village of Pestera.

    Heading out on foot again, our first destination today is a local cave which is a hibernation roost for a number of bats including lesser and greater horseshoe bats. Remember to bring a torch with you for the cave visit.We then continue on our way to the nearby village of Pestera (which translates as ‘the cave’) witnessing the winter rural life of these mountain communities.After lunch at a local pension we return to Magura.*Villa Hermani*

  3. Day 3 Explore Kalibash villages.

    Magura is one of a number of villages known as the Kalibash villages. The Kalibash once fled Walachia to this remote area which, at the time, was under Austro-Hungarian rule. Here houses stretch along hilltops like pearls on a string.Starting right at our guesthouse we hike up to Dealul Magurice (1300m) where we may spot wolf, lynx and bear prints in the snow in the forest. Later, as we make our way back to Magura, we stop by a local farm to share a hot ‘tuica’ (home-made plum brandy) with the farmer.*Villa Hermani*

  4. Day 4 Visit Libearty bear sanctuary, the village of Vulcan and Brasov.

    Driving down into the valley we make our way to Europe’s largest rescue facility for brown bears: Libearty. Founded in 2005, the rescue centre is home to nearly 100 bears, most of whom suffered over many years in captivity as dancing bears or in circuses.We drive on to the village of Vulcan, which derives its name from the Slavonic word ‘Valc’ meaning wolf. This region is closely related to the history of Transylvanian Saxons who immigrated here 800 years ago from the Rhine-Moselle valleys. They built fortified churches, some of which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage sites.Upon arrival in Vulcan we are greeted by warm coffee and traditional cake in the yard of the fortified church. From Vulcan we drive to Brasov and do a tour around town. We get some free time to explore the town. We will then take our evening meal in a traditional Romanian restaurant and later we return to Magura by minibus.*Villa Hermani*

  5. Day 5 Snowshoe or walk between Piatra Craiului and Bucegi mountain.

    This morning we walk up to a high plateau between Piatra Craiului and Bucegi mountain. In winter time this plateau is completely uninhabited, everything is still and a quiet serenity permeates the air giving a sense of truly being in a remote and special area.In the afternoon you will return to the guesthouse.*Villa Hermani*

  6. Day 6 Walk to Bran Castle, also known as Dracula's castle.

    Today we hike from tranquil Magura towards busy Bran where we visit Bran Castle. It’s easy to see why Bram Stolker picked this castle to be the residence of the infamous vampire, Count Dracula. The character himself was based on Vlad Tepes, AKA Vlad the Impaler, Duke of Walachia and a brutal tyrant. Though Vlad himself never went to Bran, Bram Stolker saw an image of the castle and thought it the perfect setting for his dark tale.After visiting the castle we stop by Dracula’s market where we can pick up some vampire-inspired souvenirs. Later we will be picked up by the minibus and return to Magura.*Villa Hermani*

  7. Day 7 Snowshoe through Zarnesti Canyon to Piatra Craiului Mountains.

    This morning we walk through a spectacular canyon, a gorge formed during the Jurassic Period. We continue towards Curmatura Cabin just beneath the rocks of Piatra Craiului Mountain. The cabin is open year-round and we can relax here before going back to our guesthouse.*Villa Hermani*

  8. Day 8 End Magura, Transylvania.

    End Magura, Transylvania.Clients booked on the group flight or group flight transfers will be transferred (3.5 hours) back to Bucharest Airport in time for the group flight departure.

Where you stay

Guesthouse

We will spend 7 nights in the comfortable private guesthouse, Villa Hermani that offers twin and single rooms.

Villa Hermani is situated in the remote and beautiful village of Magura at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains, located within the boundaries of the Piatra Craiului National Park. Our friendly hosts at the Villa Hermani possess a wealth of knowledge on Transylvania, wildlife conservation and serve delicious homemade food.

Almost all rooms have private facilities but some do have shared bathrooms. In such cases, however, there are never more than two rooms sharing one bathroom.

There is Wi-Fi available at the guesthouse, however, due to the weak internet lines in this remote location and the need to go via satellite which is provided by an external provider, the hosts of the guesthouse kindly request guests to pay a small fee of €5 for 750MB which should be enough for a week with checking emails.

Single supplements are available on request.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners are included during our stay.

Meals are a mixture of local produce and Romanian/Transylvanian specialties.

Breakfasts usually consist of a small buffet including an egg dish, cold cuts, cheeses, boiled eggs, vegetables, spreads, bread, yoghurt, cereals, jam, juice, herbal teas and coffee.

Lunches included on this trip will include the following -a picnic lunch provided by a local farmer on one day, traditional soups,  and self-made sandwiches that you can choose your own fillings from the buffet in the mornings.

Each evening there is a choice of a meat dish or vegetarian option.

If you are vegetarian or have special dietary requirements please let us know at the time of booking.

One night we will have dinner in a traditional Romanian restaurant in Brasov, this meal is not included and you should allow approx. €20 (without drinks) for this.

This trip is graded 3 for moderate.

Snow conditions dictate whether we will hike with snowshoes or hiking boots along with the duration of walks. Exact walks will be selected by the leader at the time to best fit current weather conditions and safety requirements. The walks will vary from 2 to 7hrs, however, with most being around 4-5hrs long.

Temperatures are generally quite cold, averaging 0°C in the valleys, though blue skies are common in winter, especially in the mountains. In the valleys, mornings tend to be a little foggier and nicer in the afternoon. Snowfall can happen any time between December and April.

Walking distances and hours stated within the itinerary are given as approximates only. Timings stated include lunch and photo stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group.

Please note: The leader has the right to adapt the route and length of the walks according to the weather conditions and the physical condition of the group.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 19/03/2020
5/5

The most beautiful views I have ever seen...

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    When I look back at my pictures, there are two moments that stand out. At the end of our visit to Brasov, we stopped at a viewpoint on our way to the restaurant. That view was epic. It was nightfall, the lights in the city were on and behind it, you could see the mountain, it was breathtaking. The walk to Bran was the most beautiful. I can not put it into words. I enjoyed every second of that walk.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Thomas, the group leader was perfect. He knows the area really well and has a lot of experience guiding groups.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes. For some bizarre reason, I hadn't done that and I didn't have the right gear. Luckily I was able to borrow it, but still. I felt uncomfortable doing that, knowing I could break or lose something.

Reviewed On 19/03/2020
5/5

A great week, despite very little snow.

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lunch at the Curmatura Cabin - it snowed heavily while we were inside, and the whole world had changed when we came out.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Leo was excellent. He was very capable in the outdoors, and very sensible in his approach to problems. He was very aware of our health and safety - helping us up and down difficult bits, cutting side branches off fallen trees etc.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Have at least a modicum of fitness. It's not terribly strenuous, but neither is it leisurely. Most people hadn't snowshoed before, and that was fine. And definitiely bring yaktrax or equivalent - you'd be lost without them if you have ice like we did. And this is not a holiday for people scared of dogs - farm dogs run free everywhere, and are completely unavoidable.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I probably spent a bit more than I expected, mainly on alcohol...

Reviewed On 20/09/2019
5/5

TRANSYLVANIA WINTER WALK & SNOWSHOE

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the wildlife: bears, chamoix, bats and the steep rocky mountain scenery.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Thomas Oyntzen. Very helpful generally, particularly with snowshoeing and knowledgeable about the local history and local routes to explore. Spoke very good English and gave very detailed explanations of local history and the peoples involved. Had obviously studied history to an academic level. There was a lot to explain in this area, where there was often conflict between the Austrian and Turkish empires and buildings like churches were often fortified to resist invasion. There was a lot of interesting historical facts to learn about a country, which was very different to Britain.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Come prepared for real deep snow and cold weather. A real Winter experience in a completely different landscape to Britain.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Very interesting holiday offering good exercise in deep snow. Great natural scenery.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

adventure in the snow

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    completing the 22-24km walk and still be laughing at the end of it although tired.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Holger was a first class leader as I said earlier, he was everything you want in a leader.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    you need to be relatively fit, and be prepared for tough terrain, depending on weather.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    great hoilday

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Snowshoeing in Romania

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Definitely the bear sanctuary was the highlight but the whole trip was quite something. The scenery is breathtaking and the mix of ancient and modern is really interesting.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Traian was very engaged with the group, friendly and entertaining. He was very knowledgeable about the history of Romania and was a good guide on the visit to Brasov.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I think we all agreed that this was a more moderate than leisurely trip. We didn't always need the snowshoes and YakTraks were very useful. You do need a decent torch for the bat cave.

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Package Confirmed Dates Trip Status Trip Status Price (PP) Excluding Flights Price (PP) Including Flights  
January 2, 2021
Available
$1,399.00
N/A
January 9, 2021
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$1,399.00
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January 16, 2021
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$1,399.00
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February 20, 2021
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$1,399.00
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