Discover Romania countryside in an active way: walk-through Romania quaint villages, visit a local attraction, meet its people, observe their daily activities, learn more about their lifestyle, enjoy the local gastronomy.
During this 14 days tour, we will discover Romania in an active way, walking around 10 kilometres per day in the Romanian countryside. Each day we will try to serve a home-cooked lunch, prepared by the ladies in the village, using mainly local ingredients. Also, most of the accommodations will be in rustic guesthouses. Moreover, if possible, we will visit local craftsmen or the village touristic attractions. This is how we do our share to promote sustainable tourism, directing revenues to rural communities and encouraging activities with a lower carbon footprint.
Every 3 or 4 days we will have a lazy day, where we will have more relaxing activities, like going to spas or visiting bigger cities at a slow pace. We designed this tour starting from Bucharest, as is Romania most important transport hub, but we can tailor the trip to start in any other city.
The highlights of the trip are:
The price starts from 1100 EUR/person. This price is valid for a group of 6 persons and for a price of accommodation of a maximum of 70 EUR/night for a double room, including breakfast. Depending on the final itinerary, the type of accommodation you choose and the size of the group, the price can modify, so, for a personalised offer please contact us.
Meet you at the airport in Bucharest, drive to Transylvania, in the villages near Bran. Dinner and overnight at a rustic guesthouse at the foothills of the Carpathians mountains. The next day, we will start our countryside walks.
The area with those mountain villages (Pestera, Magura, Sirnea, Dambovicioara, Fundata) is so beautiful that we could spend there an entire week. Just imagine being waked up in the morning by the sound of a cowbell. Open the window of your room to admire the mountain peaks and breath the fresh morning air, enriched with scents from the grasslands abounding with wildflowers. Then have a delicious breakfast with cheese made from the milk of the cows or sheep grazing nearby. Then wandering the narrow village trails for hours, admiring the beautiful mountain scenery. But this will be the program for just one day, as Romania countryside has so much to offer and our time is limited.
Optional extra day: As a first-time visitor of Romania, you may be interested in visiting the country’s most important touristic attractions. Peles Castle and Bran Castle are close to our villages and we can add an extra day to visit them. A walking tour of Brasov is also possible.
Leave Bran area and drive for about 2 hours to reach Viscri. We are now deep in the Transylvanian plateau, a hilly area with isolated villages scattered around grasslands and forests. 800 years ago, the German colonists were invited to settle here, to defend and develop the area. Since then, they have profoundly influenced and shaped the Transylvanian cultural heritage.
Viscri is one of the German (or Saxon) villages of Transylvania which stands out just retaining unchanged its own way of life. UNESCO site, the village is dominated for centuries by the white fortified church on the hill. The village is also the host of Prince Charles of Wales who comes here almost every year, attracted by the unaltered simplicity of the rural display.
We will arrive in the village by noon and after check-in at our guesthouse, we will visit the fortified church and the little museum inside to learn more about the Transylvanian Saxons lifestyle. Then, after having lunch, we will start a walk around the village, for the rest of the afternoon. In the evening we will admire the display of village life, farmers and their livestock returning back home after a busy day.
Dinner and overnight at the guesthouse in Viscri.
– horse-driven carriage ride to a nearby sheepfold to see how the shepherds are milking the sheep and making the cheese after.
– visit the village blacksmith to watch him in action
Daily life in Viscri
Leave Viscri in the morning and drive to Biertan, another former Saxon village listed on UNESCO list.
In Biertan we will visit the fortified church and then we will have a guided walk to the nearby village of Copsa Mare. The walk, partially in the forest, will give us an outstanding view of Biertan and its massive fortified church. During the walk, we may encounter farmers, sheep flocks or cows or we can see wildflowers or wild birds. After returning to Biertan, we will drive to the nearby village to have a home-cooked lunch, and if we want, a tasting of the local wine.
In the afternoon we will drive to Sibiu, where you can have a slow pace walking tour in the Old Town.
In Sibiu, we can choose to stay at a hotel in the city, or a chic chalet-style hotel with SPA facilities at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains.
Biertan in winter
Our guided walks in Romanian countryside reach the 4th day. Today we will walk through 2 neighbouring villages, but very different. One is a Romanian village, Rasinari, from Marginimea Sibiului, and the second one, just over the hill, a Saxon one – Cisnadioara. At the end of the walk, we will have our traditional home-cooked lunch in the village. Then, we will return back to the hotel in Sibiu for a lazy afternoon or a short walk in the Astra Museum.
Marginimea Sibiului is an area made of 17 villages scattered in the south part of Transylvania, at the foothills of the Carpathians. Even though a lot of its inhabitants are having a job in Sibiu, still, a significant amount of them are involved in agriculture, shepherding being there a traditional occupation. For this reason, the cheese from Marginimea Sibiului is one of the most praised dairy products in Romania.
– Transfagarasan road tour
–Corvin Castle tour
Leave Sibiu and head to Rosia Montana, a former mining village from Apuseni Mountains. Is the oldest mining place in Romania, dating back from Roman times.
We will arrive in Rosia Montana at noon, and after lunch, we will start exploring the village. We will see the 7 churches from 5 different religions or old miners houses. After around 50 minutes, we will reach the Museum of Gold Mining where we will have a guided tour of the former Roman galleries.
Next, we will continue our walk with a panoramic tour of the village and the surrounding mountains, climbing the nearby heights. We will walk on mountain pastures, see livestock and farmers working the land. Also, we will be able to observe the traditional old wooden houses, cover with straw roofs. In the late afternoon, we will return to the guesthouse for dinner and rest.
Today we are visiting the village of Rimetea.
We leave Rosia Montana, but we stay in the Apuseni Mountains. After one and a half-hour drive through the winding valley of the Aries River, we arrive in one of the most beautiful villages in Romania – Rimetea. A former siderurgical centre in the Middle Ages, nowadays the village is welcoming its visitors with the beautiful white houses lined along the main road. Nothing is now related to iron, and actually, Rimetea is a picturesque farming village surrounded by a limestone massif: The Szeclers Rock. The cut in the mountain located in the east part of the village is making the village enjoying the sunrise twice in the same day. After having a walk through the village we will move further to Coltesti, which is just a few minutes away. There we will check in at the chic mansion where we will spend the night. After lunch, we will have our daily walk to the ruins of the nearby fortress. Return back to the mansion for a Hungarian themed dinner.
A view of Rimetea from Szeckler Rock
Our trip of guided walks in Romania countryside is entering in its Maramures part. Today we are leaving Transylvania and arrive in Maramures. Located in the northern part of Romania, bordering Ukraine, Maramures is a bucolic fairytale. It’s a mostly rural area, with well-kept traditions, where locals are still proudly wearing their colourful traditional costumes. Maramures is the place where you can find the strongest fruit alcohol and toughest people in the country. The architecture is dominated by wood, which is used to build almost everything, houses, roofs, tall churches or richly decorated massive gates.
Before reaching Maramures, we will spend a few hours in Transylvania, where we can have a walk in Turda Gorges or visit Turda Salt Mines. Then, we will drive to Breb, a beautiful village in the heart of Maramures, where we will spend the next 2 nights.
Turda Salt Mine
Today, in the morning we will visit the Merry Cemetery in Sapanta and then we will see one of UNESCO wooden churches in Maramures.
The Merry Cemetery is a unique place in the world and it’s telling a lot about the Maramures people character. Bold, proud, with a unique esthetic sense, not even death could scare them. The wooden crosses of the cemetery are painted in bright colours, blue being the predominant one. On the cross, the epitaph is written in a rather funny manner, as death is seen as a normal part of the cycle of life.
After lunch, we will have our walk around the village of Breb.
Today, in the morning, we will have our walk in the countryside near Breb. After lunch at our host, we will visit a local woodcarver, to learn more about the symbols of the Maramures gates, and then in the afternoon, we will visit Barsana Monastery.
We will return back to Breb, for our last night in Maramures.
We continue our countryside hikes with Bucovina region.
We will leave Maramures in the morning and head to Bucovina through a mountain road. Before reaching our guesthouse in Bucovina, we will have a stop at Ciocanesti. This village, laid at the foothills of the mountains, is adorned with beautifully decorated houses. The houses are unique in Romania, being painted with symbols from the traditional Bucovinean costumes. In Ciocanesti, we can visit the painted eggs museum in the village. We can also have our daily walk, for a few hours, on the trails around the village.
In the afternoon we will reach our guesthouse in Bucovina for a well-deserved dinner and rest.
Traditional house in Ciocanesti
On our second day in Bucovina, we will visit Moldovita Monastery in the morning. Then, we will enjoy the Bucovinean landscape from the Steam Train. The ride, which will take around 3 hours, will take us deep in the Bucovinean countryside. At the end of the line, before returning back, we can enjoy lunch cooked for us by the local cooks. For the rest of the day, we can relax at the spa centre in the area or we can have a short walk in the villages near.
Dating back from the 15th and 16th centuries, the painted monasteries of Bucovina are valued not only for their beauty and quality of artisanship but also for their durability over the ages and their overall cultural importance. The monasteries are praised mainly for their colourful outside frescoes, which served as both expressions of faith and as an effective method of displaying biblical stories to mostly illiterate people. But the rich interiors aren’t to be missed, where every inch of the walls is filled with religious and cultural metaphors.
We will continue exploring Bucovina with a visit to Voronet painted monastery and a pottery workshop in Marginea. The Voronet church, one of the 8 UNESCO sites of Bucovina, is also known as the ‘the Sistine Chapel of the East’ due to its splendid frescoes. The church of Voronet Monastery is illustrative for the Moldavian style, mixing together harmoniously also Gothic and Byzantine-inspired elements. Voronet’s vividly murals use a blue-grey shade so distinctive that it has given its name to colour: the Voronet blue.
Voronet monastery murals
Today we leave Bucovina and return back to Transylvania, driving over the Borgo Pass. The pass is the mysterious place where Bram Stoker placed Dracula Castle. Actually, the area is peacefully beautiful, a mountain landscape, with villages scattered over mountain pastures. And to confirm the supremacy of good over evil, we will stop at The Borgo Pass monastery, to climb the vantage point nearby, to thoroughly enjoy the scenery. Then, we will have a shepherd style picnic, at a sheepfold nearby.
In the afternoon we will arrive in Colibita, a tourist resort in the heart of the mountains, at the shore of the lake with the same name. It is said that Colibita has the cleanest air in Romania, and we will test this, having our daily walk around the lake. In the evening, we can relax at the spa facilities of our chalet.
Unfortunately, our guided walks in the Romania countryside are finishing. Today we will head to Cluj, the largest city of Transylvania. We will spend the rest of the day discovering at a slow pace the historical district and leisurely enjoying the finest cuisine of Cluj.
The tour will end in Cluj, as the city’s airport has very good connections with Europe. If your home town is not reachable by plane from Cluj, you can fly back to Bucharest from Cluj.
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