Best time to visit Transylvania

Best time to visit Transylvania

temperature & rainfall

Winters can be quite romantic with horse-drawn carriages and snowy alpine trails making classic Christmas scenes to accompany a flask of plum brandy. Autumn is equally impressive with harvest soups and Halloween activities combining with a firework display of foliage, plus numerous chances to spot wildlife whilst out walking. Midsummer can get really hot, especially in cities like Brasov and Sibiu, so it’s best to give them a miss or visit higher rural areas for a fresher alternative. The best time to visit Transylvania is March to April as you’ll have the pick of the flowers whilst avoiding the May rains.

Transylvania activities


Things to do in

No matter whether you're exploring the foothills and high meadows of the Carpathians or just watching traditional methods of farming, four legs are certainly considered good in rural Transylvania. A couple of excellent equestrian centres offer the opportunity to spend time in the saddle or take the reins of a carriage and if you're looking for a sprinkling of winter magic there's always a horse-drawn sleigh ride to get those bells jingling.
Transylvania makes the ideal habitat for many of Romania's indigenous wildlife with access to protected areas like Piatra Craiului National Park offering all manner of animal encounters amongst limestone gorges and secluded caves. Brown bears, wild boars, lynx, wolves, bats and beavers are all known to inhabit the lower valleys and following a local guide into the forests will unveil woodpeckers, flycatchers and the occasional Ural owl.
Remember your walking boots. Walking between the medieval towns and Saxon villages of Transylvania offers a real insight into the way things were and as you pass curious locals, call out a friendly 'buna ziua' (Boo nuh Zee wah) and watch for an appreciative nod in return. The foothills of the Carpathians have loads of easy to follow single tracks with little or no road walking and there are also several more challenging ascents to limestone peaks and jagged outcrops for fantastic views over the surrounding forest covered valleys.

Things not to do
in Transylvania…

Ignore the poverty. Although horse-drawn vehicles trundling over uneven roads or women and children manually operating water standpipes can look like photo ops, remember these images are part of Ceausescu's legacy and many communities in rural Transylvania are suffering in poverty. Bringing smaller denominations for tipping, staying in locally-owned pensini (B&Bs) and packing stationery equipment for local schools are all good ways to visit responsibly.
Another of Ceausescu's ill-conceived social strategies was to forbid Romanians from birth control which led to a rise in birthrates and subsequently, abandoned children. Although popping into an orphanage may seem like a good idea it's not going to help these kids in the long-term. There are volunteer organisations which place people with the right skills in the right care centres and finding out more rather than just visiting ad-hoc is much more beneficial.
Only visit in the summer. Transylvania's countryside is an absolute delight in the winter and if you're into Christmas markets and fairytale castles covered in snow then this is the place to be. Alpine skiing and snowshoeing are a couple of responsible winter activities with the Bucegi and Piatra Craiului mountains showcasing locations to spot animal prints in the snow en-route to a traditional taverna for a warming bowl of Ciorba de fasole.
If you'd like to chat about Transylvania or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Rosy & team.
01273 823 700

Transylvania travel advice


Count Tibor Kalnoky, our supplier and owner of several authentic Saxon cottages, including the Prince of Wales' nature retreat, shares his local knowledge of Transylvania and offers advice for travellers:

Appreciating the landscapes

“Don't rush around in order to see and experience everything. It's not possible. Not only is there so much to see, but travellers usually underestimate the required time and effort to get from A to B. I'd recommend choosing two or three 'base-camps' situated on strategic points between regions, and stay there between three and five days each. Transylvania is incredibly diverse in its landscape and culture. Landscapes can alternate within a few kilometres, as well as the local cultures. Crossing a river, you might find that the architecture in the village on the other bank is not the same as in the area you just passed.
On his first visit to Transylvania in 1998, HRH the Prince of Wales was immediately struck by the precious legacy of this area and said he was ‘totally overwhelmed by its unique beauty and its extraordinarily rich heritage.'”

Advice on when to go

“Autumn is gorgeous due to the wonderful colours of the forest, the green fields dotted with purple saffron and the special autumn blue sky above the snow-tipped mountains.”
And as for the vampires…?
“My favourite myth about Dracula is that it’s only a myth!”

Transylvania travel advice


At Responsible Travel, we think the best people to advise our travellers are often... other travellers. They always return from our tours with packing tips, weather reports, ideas about what to do - and opinions about what not to.

We have selected some of the most useful Namibia travel tips that our guests have provided over the years to help you make the very most of your holiday - and the space inside your suitcase.
“Be aware of the language difference. Up in the mountains they do not speak Romanian - they speak Hungarian! Your Romanian phrase book will not help you here.”Mark Stickley

“Romania is a very poor country by UK standards so be prepared to see what we would call real poverty, with unsurfaced roads, water standpipes in the villages and crops being cut and collected by hand with no mechanisation in the area.” Margaret Norah
“Once you have slowed down for your first horse drawn cart you will quickly immerse yourself into driving Romanian style. With so much to see from amazing volcanic lakes to Saxon fortified villages a car is essential to get the most out of your time.”Martin Davis
“Where else would you be allowed to be pulled up hill a few kilometres on a sledge attached to a 4x4 Lada?” Lois Carrington King
“Be aware of the language difference. Up in the mountains they do not speak Romanian - they speak Hungarian! Your Romanian phrase book will not help you here.” Mark Stickley

“The local school does not have many resources, so if you can fit pens, notebooks, art supplies into your luggage it will be welcome and can be distributed by your guides.”Kiki Robinson
Photo credits: [Transylvania sun: lraul06] [Transylvanian town: Kyle Taylor] [Transylvanian Autumn: Kyle Taylor] [Snowy landscape: Alex Ford] [Wild flowers: Cristian Bortes]

Written by: Chris Owen
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