Romania adventure holiday

“A two week, small group guided tour of Romania’s cultural highlights, with private transfers, local guides and staying in small hotels or homestays. ”


Bucharest | Brasov | Bran | Viscri | Sighisoara | Sibiu | Alba-Iulia | Cluj | Carpathian Mountains | Monasteries of Bucovina | Popa Museum and Agapia Monastery | Boat trip on Danube Delta

Description of Romania adventure holiday

This Romania holiday takes you on a two week cultural circuit, travelling in a small group into the heart of a country that is not only captivating but also, in many ways, a complete revelation. It is also still very much off the tourist trail, despite its cultural gems and splendid Carpathian Mountain landscapes, and so we can travel through large swathes of rural Romania hardly seeing another tourist.

With two weeks, we have time to really immerse ourselves in Romanian culture and take time in each of the places we visit, such as the medieval towns of Sighisoara and Sibiu in Transylvania, the stunning, painted monasteries of Bucovina or wooden churches of Maramures. However, we also spend time in smaller, lesser known villages where we have some wonderful homestays. These are, of course, sometimes the most treasured cultural experiences that we can have, simply chatting and learning from our generous and most welcoming hosts.

Romania’s Carpathian Mountains provide a spectacular backdrop to this holiday. A landscape where primeval forests and alpine meadows are still habitat for wolves and bears. Another natural wonder in Romania is the Danube Delta, where we stay in an isolated village in amongst this wonderful wetland of floating reed islands, home to over 300 species of bird, and where Europe’s longest river comes to a fine finish, dispersing into a wonderful wetland.

Travel Team

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Check dates, prices & availability

29 May 2021
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 29 May 2021 departure
05 Sep 2021
excluding flights
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28 May 2022
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 28 May 2022 departure
03 Sep 2022
excluding flights
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25 Sep 2022
excluding flights
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Travelling by train:
For most journeys from the UK to Eastern Europe you can expect a 2 or 3 day adventure travelling by combination of high-speed daytime trains and overnight services. Indeed, if time is a factor taking one or two overnight trains is a great option. It also means you can avoid the cost of hotels. One option is to travel via Brussels, Cologne and Vienna, however other routes are available so please do enquire for further details.
Holiday type
Small group holidays
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Meet a group leader
As well as taking care of all the day-to-day practicalities, your group leader is the one who will turn your trip into an adventure. Leaders are extraordinary characters – the kind of person who has spent 14 Christmas days on the slopes of Mount Everest, runs marathons wearing tiger suits to raise funds for their conservation and thinks nothing of leading an overland trip in Sudan or Afghanistan. Fearless and inspiring, group leaders are as important as the destination itself.

Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure. As well as doing crazy things like climbing Kilimanjaro 100 times, they also donate their time to local projects supported by travellers – such as rebuilding Sri Lankan villages following the 2004 tsunami.

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 spend time walking in pristine environments such as the Carpathian Mountains, and our guides are careful to brief travellers on appropriate behaviour and the importance of taking all rubbish with us. Travellers also have the opportunity to go bear watching – the fees paid for this go towards the conservation of this increasingly rare European mammal.

On our full day spent in the Danube Delta we use small rowing boats to travel through the waterways and look for wildlife. This not only enables us to get closer to the prolific birdlife of the region, but the quiet method of transport, in contrast to the motorboats that are used for most visitors, means that we do not disturb birds – especially important in the nesting season.

The village guesthouses and local homes that we stay in use predominantly local produce in the preparation of meals, avoiding as much as possible bringing food from far away and thus reducing carbon footprints.

Most of our tours include daily breakfast and one main meal only, normally lunch. For dinner we encourage clients to choose their own places to eat and the guide will always be happy to suggest local restaurants which specialize in local dishes.

We do not send a tour leader from the UK to accompany our tours. We believe that to send a foreign tour leader along to accompany the group is unnecessary and increases the carbon footprint.

If you would like to avoid taking flight, we are happy to book trains for you - reaching the start point by train is an enjoyable option and a real alternative to flying.


The Impacts of this Trip

This trip has a strong focus on staying in rural communities. We believe that staying small village guesthouses and family homes in regions such as Maramures and Transylvania not only gives travellers an authentic and very special insight into the lives of Romanian people, but brings tangible benefits to small communities that may otherwise be overlooked by the tourism industry. Spending time with local hosts enables far more cultural interaction than travellers would experience when staying in large hotels, and staying with such welcoming hosts as the Trandafir family in Sucevita makes this tour very special. In the Danube Delta we forgo the usual quick day trip into the region and stay two nights in a small village deep within the waterways, allowing us to see the area as local people do.

Our philosophy is to only use small and locally owned suppliers, meaning that the income remains within the country and creates a real economic contribution. We also feel that the passion inherent within such suppliers means that your experience will be enhanced. We also try to engage with our suppliers on an equal basis – getting the lowest possible price usually isn’t the best outcome for local communities and is ultimately unsustainable. We aim to always treat our suppliers fairly and with respect; they are after all part of the key to our success and to us working together is much more than just a business arrangement, but an ongoing relationship that we aim to ensure truly benefits everyone involved.

We believe that tourism is a double edged sword that needs to be wielded very carefully. Our philosophy is to have a limited amount of departures – usually between one and three a year - for each of our itineraries. By limiting our presence in areas where local culture can be quite fragile, we hope to avoid as much as possible the phenomenon whereby an area changes in character due to repeated and prolonged exposure to tourism. We want to visit an area as friends, not intruders and to ensure that what we see will also be there for others to enjoy for many years to come.

We only employ local staff and unlike many operators we believe that to send a foreign Tour Leader along to accompany your trip is an unnecessary burden on your wallet and our carbon footprint. We believe that locals know best. Our local operators only use locally owned accommodation. This means your money stays in the area to benefit the local community. When possible we use local transport, (i.e. rail or bus) and we always use local restaurants, markets and shops and encourage our clients to interact both financially and socially with the communities that they are passing through. In doing this your travels are supporting and encouraging the development of local services.

We only work with operators who are as committed as we are to putting something back into the communities we visit. This may include giving a percentage of the profits from each tour to a foundation to help street children or local conservation projects. Furthermore, in order to allow our clients to make an informed decision on where a greater proportion of their money should be spent, we avoid including pre-paid full board meals where possible. Local restaurants and cafes then benefit.

Our groups average only six clients, and many tours operate on a private basis with just two travellers. This has much less impact when travelling through rural areas, reducing our environmental and social affects. Finally to emphasis our commitment to Responsible Tourism all clients will receive a copy of our Travellers Code of Conduct with their travel documents.


4 Reviews of Romania adventure holiday

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 24 Sep 2019 by

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

Cultural experience and interaction with locals and fellow travellers.

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

A very comprehensive tour, well paced, good hotel stays and good food, and good guide with a small tour group of 7 people..

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

Yes. Especially the home stays in the less developed areas of Romania.

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


Reviewed on 10 Aug 2014 by

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

There is no doubt that the best part of our holiday was that we were fortunate to have Andrei as our guide. He was fantastic and always went that bit extra to make what is a great tour into a fantastic tour. He was friendly, efficient, extremely knowledgeable and was proud to be Romanian so that journeying through the country was a delight. Consequently, there were too many highlights for us to single out any one experience as the most memorable. Every day was memorable and for all the right reasons. However, if forced to name one best attribute of the holiday as the most memorable, it would have to be the home stays and the opportunities it offers to meet the "real" Romanians and some very interesting fellow travellers.

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

Just hope that Responsible Travel continues to use the same Romanian travel company and request Andrei as the guide. Also, don't be deterred by the prospect of rural home stays. They are a great enhancement to the overall Romanian experience.

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

Certainly. The home stays put the money in at the local level and provided income for small family guest houses and individuals.
Our guide always commented on environmental issues at every place we stayed at.

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


Reviewed on 29 Sep 2013 by

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

Just being in the country...

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

Bring WARM clothes for the mountains.

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

Benefited local people.

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


Reviewed on 21 Jul 2012 by

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

One of the most memorable things was the beautiful Carpathian countryside and the people working in the fields as of yesteryear. The haymaking and haystacks were fascinating and we all fell in love with rural Romania.

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

This trip is most worthwhile - our guide was outstanding.

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

Most of our accommodation was in small B&B type places and we visited many local craftsmen and women.

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

Really outstanding.

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