37730.jpg

Transylvania Winter Walk & Snowshoe

from $1,399.00

Wander through the mountains and forests of wintery Transylvania.

  • Reviews 13 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 25/06/2020
4/5

Stunningly beautiful

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    More than one: The bear and wolf sanctuary. The ice stalagmites inside a cave. The overall "wow factor". Seeing a wall creeper which I understand is rare.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Thomas was very knowledgable about wildlife and local history. He was the sort of person one could rely upon in a crisis. His estimates of difficulty and distance/time seemed a trifle optimistic sometimes!
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go for it - you'll be glad you did. The Romanian currency is the Leu with an exchange rate of a little less than 6 to the UK pound, but Euros are also accepted in some places. Consider getting yourself a pair of Yaktrax (Pro preferably) before you go.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Some of the equipment could have been better

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
4/5

Transylvania Winter Walk & Snowshoe

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    getting through a couple of very steep , snow and ice packed sections of a couple of the walks
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Thomas was full of historical info and local knowledge which he was more than happy to share. good sense of humour and encouragement when he thought it was needed.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    use clothing layer system, plus gaiters . Weather can be sunny / cold / rainy / snowy . There are times when you dont snow shoe but may need to walk in deeper snow as its safer than an icy path. Alternatively it could be muddy and gaiters do help keep you clean. Definitely take some shoe grippers that can fit onto your boots i.e. Yaktrax or those rubber /spiky things sold in many shops. Some paths are sheet packed ice and the grips give you that extra safety feature , but you will be putting on and taking off multiple times during a walk so make sure you are familiar with them. The paths vary depending on if they are in open / forest / gorge etc. If you can , carry an old hiking trousers belt / webbing/ bit of string . Its useful to help tie down the snow shoes onto your rucksack ( if you dont have side straps on the rucksack ) . The guesthouse is cosy and warm , plenty of hot water. No TV in rooms . You make your lunch sandwich at the breakfast table in mornings and carry it with you. Might be worth carrying your own trail bars / jelly babies etc if you like to snack en route . A flask to carry your own tea ( the guest house will fill with hot water or fruit tea ) may also be useful in cold weather. You really only need a bit of spending money as one night in a restaurant in Brasov ( I had 2 beers plus main plus starter and it was 60 Lei or 12 pounds total . Roughly 5 Lei to the pound ) . The guest house runs a tab that you settle on final night. You just help yourself to beers ( one beer is 5 or 6 lei depending on brand , teas in afternoon 4 lei ) from fridge , mark it on your list and settle at end . The guest house is in middle of nowhere , really isolated . So no town or shops to walk to etc.

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
4/5

Snowshoeing Transylvania

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the bears and wolves in the sanctuary and Dracula's castle at Bran - but I also loved the walking and snow shoeing - and in fact everything!
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Thomas was OK as a group leader but if I have any criticism at all about the holiday, it was that he didn't always seem very engaged with or interested in the group - and on occasion we could have done with more information about the activity. He was very well-informed about local history however.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    No. Just go. You will love it!
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
4/5

A very fine and scenic trip!

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    High points - 1:visiting Bram Castle, a very fine piece of architecture. 2. The final day, up to a mountain hut in the snows. Helping un-ditch the snowmobile a mile down the trail that got stuck carrying the resupply sledge. 3. 2 days up a very major gorge, 400' cliffs on either side! In England that'd be festooned with climbers - there, there's so much of it nobody even notices!
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Thomas really does know every trail on the mountain.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be fit. It's not the most strenuous snowshoe I've done, but deep, soft snow and steep slopes are arduous.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It's excellent value, in the Villa Hermani the beer is only £1 a bottle, and the local plum brandy (Tuica) you really have to try!

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
4/5

Stunning scenery

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Stunning mountain views in the middle of nowhere.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Holger was very friendly and obviously very knowledgable. He looked after us well. Holger is quite laid back - I don’t think anyone would mind if he was stricter with us about staying together in a group, telling us when and where we need to meet, etc.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take ear plugs and the best yak traks you can afford.

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT

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
Available
$1,399.00
N/A
January 16, 2021
Available
$1,399.00
N/A
February 20, 2021
Available
$1,399.00
N/A