Romania hiking holiday

“Hike the highlands of central Romania where the Bucegi and Ceahlau Massif mountains form the backdrop to a fantastic guided tour filled with castles, crosses and Carpathian charm.”


Bucharest | Sinaia | Peles Castle | wine tasting at Rhein cellar | Bucegi Mountains | Caraiman Peak | Heroe Cross | Pestera Ialomicioarei | Bolboci Lake | Tatarului Gorges | Brasov | Bran Castle | Carpathian Mountains | Bicaz Gorge | Piatra Neamt village | boat ride on Bicaz Lake | Neamt monasteries | Ceahlau Mountains |

Description of Romania hiking holiday

From medieval towns and hilltop castles, to the rugged peaks of the Carpathian Mountains and the historic monasteries of Moldavia, walking holidays in Romania never fail to inspire and excite cultural adventurers looking to wander off the beaten track.

Accompanied by an expert walking guide, you’ll be treated to an insightful commentary into the folklore and cultural traditions of the feudal village communities who live amongst the mountains of Transylvania with chances to taste hearty local cuisine, never to be missed.

As you’d hope of walking holidays in Romania, this nine day tour combines fascinating sites against a backdrop of hiking hot spots, with the Bucegi and Ceahlau mountains, the Tatarului Gorge and the stunning peaks near the medieval city of Piatra Neamt, all revered as outstanding areas of natural beauty.

If you’re dreaming of Dracula, Bran Castle usually fits the bill with Peles Castle, Neamt Monastery and the red tiled spires of Brasov adding to an imaginative itinerary that’s packed full of traditional treats and characterful charm, including visits to wine cellars and traditional picnic lunches.

Walking in Romania is certainly advisable outside of the colder winter months and departures can be booked for any reasonable date as a tailor made tour (minimum 4 people).

As one of Europe’s lesser-visited areas, walking holidays in Romania really help to unearth the country’s cultural and natural identity away from the myths and legends of the past.

Much of the country is untouched, unexplored, and teeming with wildlife, and walking with an experienced and knowledgeable National Guide enables travellers to discover traditional rural lifestyles that continue to thrive away from the city centres and tourist trails.

Staying with a local family, tucked away in a countryside community, is a fantastic introduction to life in rural Romania with cultural customs and authentic home cooked meals adding to the overall experience of walking within some exceptional landscapes.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1:Arrive in Bucharest and meet your English speaking guide. Transfer to Sinaia and pay a visit to one of Europe's best preserved royal palaces, Peles Castle, before enjoying wine and champagne tasting and dinner at the famous Rhein cellar which once supplied the royal Romanian court. Overnight stay in Azuga in a three star guesthouse.
Day 2:Return to Sinaia after breakfast before following the TransBucegi road to your next accommodation, a three star hotel in Piatra Arsa in the Bucegi Mountains. From here, some 6,400 feet above sea level, you'll hike for around two hours to Babele Chalet for some stunning views at 7,200 feet which include the famous natural landmarks of the Sphinx and Babele. Continuing to ascend from Babele you'll reach Caraiman Peak at 7,800 feet where the Heroe Cross marks a fitting landmark for an hour long picnic lunch under the shadow of the world's largest alpine cross. Depending on weather conditions you'll return the way you came or via a different route, Brana Caprelor, whereupon you'll reach your pension accommodation in Piatra Arsa within approximately three to four hours.
Day 3:After breakfast you'll hike towards Pestera Ialomicioarei at 5,400 feet on a fascinating two hour trail which culminates in a visit to the cavern and monastery. After a break for cultural sightseeing you'll continue to trek for three hours to Bolboci Chalet via the Bolboci Lake and Tatarului Gorges. After enjoying a packed lunch at the chalet you'll hike for approximately an hour and a half to Dichiu Chalet whereupon you'll be driven to the resort of Busteni where you'll be able to settle into the three star Casa Rodica guesthouse before enjoying your evening meal and overnight stay in Busteni.
Day 4:Today, after breakfast, you'll drive from Busteni in the Bucegi Mountains to the medieval town of Brasov within the heartland of Romania. Brasov is one of Europe's most secure and impenetrable fortresses with over 30 defensive towers and four heavily fortified gates. A guided tour of Brasov explains more about the history of the castle and the surrounding area with the Black Church, the Council Square and Rope Street providing just a few of the cultural highlights prior to lunch at a traditional tavern or restaurant. After lunch you'll bid Brasov goodbye as you transfer to Bran and discover the truth behind the legend of Dracula as you explore Bran Castle before settling into your four star guesthouse accommodation, Vila Arinul, as you prepare for your evening meal.
Day 5:After breakfast you'll leave the towers of Bran behind and head into the Carpathian Mountains via many of the traditional Szekely village communities en-route to a packed lunch at Lacu Rosu, also known as the Red Lake. For the next couple of hours you'll explore around the lake on foot before continuing your journey through the spectacular Bicaz Gorge and some of Romania's most incredible mountain scenery. A barbecued evening meal at the three star Ambiance guesthouse awaits in the village of Piatra Neamt.
Day 6:Today you'll be hiking in the local area as you take a boat ride over Bicaz Lake and climb in the Ceahlau Mountains to the Dochia Chalet via the Fantanele Chalet and Toaca Peak at over 6,200 feet. After a picnic lunch overlooking the surrounding slopes you'll descend via a different route which features the Duruitoarea waterfall and the Durau alpine resort before you return to the Ambiance guesthouse to relax and enjoy your evening meal.
Day 7:Today you'll step into the fascinating world of the Neamt monasteries as you hike to Varatec, Agapia and Neamt via numerous workshops and heritage museums which detail the history of the region through sculptures, antiquities and exhibitions of folk art, traditional costumes and ceremonial masks. Lunch today will be taken in the Tarpesti museum before returning to the Ambiance guesthouse for free time and your evening meal.
Day 8:Your penultimate day in Romania will be spent sightseeing in Piatra Neamt prior to hiking on the old railway road which leads to the peaks of Carloman and Cozla. Several shepherds will pass you by as you make the ascent, with lunch at a sheep farm allowing you to taste the delicious regional cheese that's produced on-site. More traditional Romanian delights await this evening as you head to a guesthouse in Bistrita where a farewell dinner accompanied by a folklore display and a chance to learn Romanian dancing, provide a thoroughly entertaining finale to your week of walking in Romania.
Day 9:After breakfast make the 60km transfer from Piatra Neamt to Bacau airport in order to meet your scheduled flight. Alternatively, transfers to Bucharest airport can be arranged for group departures.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

We have chosen to include places to stay where there is much more opportunity for you to interact more fully with the local people, to practice your language and to minimise your carbon footprint. The village guesthouses and local homes that we stay in use predominantly local produce in the preparation of meals, reducing the foodmiles and carbon footprint associated with larger hotels.

By including local walking guides they will offer plenty of information and practical advice on maintaining the local environment and ensuring no harm comes to the wildlife either directly or indirectly. We ask all our customers to respect the environment. Litter, in particular, is damaging to the landscape and can injure animals so we encourage people to act responsibly.

As a company we employ responsible policies such as recycling paper, ink cartridges, glass and cardboard; we minimize the use of electricity and conducting the vast majority of our correspondence and promotion via the internet and email, minimizing the amount of paper used for our activities. We also compost waste in our company garden.

The Impacts of this Trip

We only employ local guides and visit genuine craft workshops and traditional artisans (e.g. Agapia Monastery carpet weavers and mountain shepherds' cheese production). By walking in the mountains you will encounter and support local people and their businesses as well as appreciating for yourself the rural way of life.

Accommodation on this holiday is in, primarily, family run, guest houses. The food is primarily sourced locally and a large number of dishes on the menus are home made. We only employ local guides as their expertise and local knowledge will enhance your experience and understanding of the historical context and the environmental impact of your visit. You will, no doubt, read about the impact of the Ceauasescu period; the countryside was devastated in this time as whole villages were destroyed and communities forceibly removed to the cities - because of this experience rural Romania and its traditional way of life is so precious and through our tours we aim to assist the local economies to thrive with the help of tourism whilst not losing the integrity of the community structures.


1 Reviews of Romania hiking holiday

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 20 Jul 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

The tour provider who looked after us in Romania couldn't do enough to please us and really tried to cater to our desires. Alexander made up for the lack of 'proper' walks.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

I was very upset when I landed to find out that the group walking tour that I had booked, consisted of two people (including me). I had rejected another company as I did not want to walk just with the mountain guide and felt that a group would be much more fun. I had booked less than two weeks before the holiday started. This had caused issues with the Romanian travel company as they had not booked mountain guides due to the low numbers.We were taken by a person from one of the cabins as a guide and he led us on a walk along a track and then at least 5 miles along a road. I did not go on holiday to walk miles along a road! We were walking at low altitude. I think more could have been done to monitor the fitness levels of clients as this was advertised as a walking holiday. Although the holiday company was helpful in arranging my early departure back to the UK, I would not recommend the company to anyone as I feel that they are to blame for the mis-selling of this holiday.

Read the operator's response here:

We appreciate the concerns raised but I can assure you the itinerary for this holiday has been well thought out with good hiking combined with some cultural sightseeing. This particular departure had a couple of last minute cancellations which left just two persons of disparate ages and abilities. After a couple of days our clients were offered separate hiking so that each could be satisfied with the itinerary. Our partners in Romania were excellent in providing a bespoke service in the circumstances. We do not advertise this as a trekking holiday so the walking will not be particularly difficult nor overly challenging but it will be along interesting routes and paths through the foothills of the Carpathians as outlined in the detailed description. We are very sorry that the very best of intentions and efforts this specific departure did not live up to the expectations of Ms Plume and I can assure all potential customers that we do ask about experience and difficulty expectations; however, much of this falls into subjective response. We cannot accept that we mis-sold this holiday as we are always very careful to discuss details of all our holidays with our customers as we offer primarily a tailor-made service.

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