Trek

Transylvania Winter Challenge

Country: Romania Region: Transylvania

Transylvania Winter Challenge

£695

8
DAYS

Book

Overview

  • Five days snowshoe trekking in Carapathian Mountains
  • Staying at the best available mountain hut in Ciucas
  • Explore rural villages and Dracula Castle
  • Visit Libearty Bear Sanctuary 

Let’s face it, the only way you can get closer to nature in winter time by putting on snowshoes, turning your back to the man-made environment, and starting to admire the otherwise inaccessible Transylvanian mountains, peaks or valleys, covered with unspoiled snow. FrozenGround is delighted to offer this beautiful, demanding snow trekking holiday which takes you three different regions of the Carpathian Mountains. Neighbourhood of Dracula Castle – which we visit – just make our stay in the lovely, comfortable hotel more memorable.

Piatra Craiului – The Rock of the King – is probably Romania’s most loved mountain especially by hikers and nature lovers. It is a beautiful limestone ridge, about 25km long, from where you have superb views over the surrounding country. The wildlife is very divers and there is still black chamois on the high cliffs and brown bear, wild boar, deer and stag, foxes, wolf and even lynx in the forests.

Bucegi Mountain well known for hiking, winter sports and climbing, these mountains are high compact blocks, edged by steep slopes which dominate the Prahova Valley (Busteni, Sinaia, Predeal) a popular land for its mountain resorts. The landmark of Bucegi Mountains is a stunning monument that seems to watch over the entire Prahova Valley – The Heroes Cross, built between 1926 – 1928 on top of Caraiman Peak, in the memory of the heroes that died defending the country in the First World War.

Ciucas Mountains is especially well preserved and offer perfect surroundings for hiking even in winter. You understand that once you will see the beauty and richness of the landscape. But what will impress you maybe even more are the rural areas where you will be immersed.

An unforgettable journey… A step back in time that will surprise you.

Itinerary

DAY

1

Arrive in Bucharest and transfer to hotel

Bucharest Airport – transfer to Bran through Prahova Valley – during the transfer you will see the eastern walls of Bucegi Mountains (more spectacular) –  a good teaser!

Accommodation: Standard hotel in Bran

 

DAY

2

Hike in Piatra Craiului National Park

After breakfast, we will start our first day trip through the Zărneşti Strait reaching the Curmătura house. The road through Defileul Zărneşti promises continuous sights. In the grip of 150 – 200 metres cliff, we pass near some icy frozen waterfalls, cave openings and rock layers which draw attention to themselves.  After we reach the clearing, suddenly the whole block of Piatra Craiului towers above us, which we will see in all its glory from the downward path.

Accommodation: Standard hotel in Bran

Meals: Breakfast

Walk: 6 hours

DAY

3

Explore rural mountain villages and Dracula Castle

Even in Transylvania, the sight of scattered individual farms, surrounded by mountains is unique.  People still live like they lived in the earlier centuries, and the Dracula castle rather complete this atmosphere. After breakfast, we start out our day by driving to the village of Peştera, which is at 20 minutes’ drive from our accommodation. From here, we start our trip on the road between houses to Măgura village, hike the mountain that dominates the village, and back to our car. In the afternoon, we discover the mystical world of Dracula Castle.

Accommodation: Standard hotel in Bran

Meals: Breakfast

Walk: 4-5 hours

DAY

4

Day hike in the Bucegi Mountains to Mălăeşti Valley

If you ask us about our preferred place in the Carpathian Mountains, we will answer without hesitation that it is the Mălăeşti Valley. It is also many other people’s favorite place too! The glacial valley surrounded by high walls offers a true alpine landscape.

After breakfast, we start at Râşnov city, from where we reach the Mălăeşti shelter, situated in one of the most beautiful valleys of the Carpathians. From there we walk up to the top of the glacial valley and we then descend on the same road from the house.

Accommodation: Standard hotel in Bran

Meals: Breakfast

Walk: 6-7 hours

DAY

5

Hiking in Ciucas Mountain

After breakfast, we pack our bags, because we will be moving to another accommodation, and head to Bran – Bratocea Pass. Also, because the pass is already at 1,270 metres, we will not pass through forests.  Already within the first 10 minutes of walking, we will see a beautiful panorama, which will remain with us all the way. A fairytale cliff towers lined landscape.  From the top of the mountain, all the middle Carpathian Mountains can be seen. At sunset and sunrise all the mountains are covered in red, and we will be there to immortalise this spectacular view.  We follow the Bratocea crest to the highest peak of the Ciucaş Mountains which is 1,954 metres.

Accommodation: Cabana Ciucas mountain hut

Meals: Breakfast

Walk: 6 hours

Drive: 1.5 hour

DAY

6

Bear Sanctuary and discover Brasov

After we have our breakfast at the retreat house, we will descent the mountain using off road vehicles.  Today, we can rest our feet before the last day’s great march. From here, we will travel by car to Brasov, where we will visit the Bear Sanctuary. In the afternoon, we will take a walk and have some free time in Braşov.

Accommodation: Standard hotel in Brasov

Meals: Breakfast

Drive: 1.5 hours

DAY

7

Bucegi Mountain hike from the other side

After breakfast, we go to Buşteni city. From here we take the lift to Platoul Bucegi.

One of the characteristic features of the Platoul Bucegi is the Babele (old ladies) rocks, formed through the millennia by wind and water. Another must see at the Platoul Bucegi is the 33 metres tall cross, that was built in memory of the World War Heroes, not only for its meaning, but for the panorama which opens from there. We find ourselves above the Eastern Walls of the mountain, and look down to the cities, which is visible far beneath us. This is an indescribable feeling.  Practically we are above Romania’s tallest mountains … 1,500 metres above anything.  Not accidentally the Sphinx rock became the symbol of these mountains. It has mystical, interesting, and a photogenic shape.

If the weather conditions and the group permit, we will climb at the Omul Peak too. Otherwise, we will descend from the Caraiman Cross to the lift, which will take us down from the mountain.

In case of a strong wind, and the lift is not working, as an alternative to this day’s program, we will take a 4 – 4.5-hour tour which include Gura Diham house – Poiana Izvoarelor house – Diham house – Gura Diham house. This tour is also very spectacular.

After a long and eventful day, we will go back in Braşov at our accommodation.

Accommodation: Standard hotel in Brasov

Meals: Breakfast

Walk: min.3 – max 8 hours

Drive: 1.5 hours

 

DAY

8

Bucharest at leisure & departure

After breakfast, according to our planes schedule, we will transfer to Bucharest and make our departure.

Meals: Breakfast

Additional Nights and Extensions

Tour Facts

Trip Cost Includes

  • Accommodation with breakfast as per itinerary
  • One night in mountain hut with breakfast
  • Private transport as per group size
  • English speaking tour/trekking guide
  • All entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Snowshoes

Trip Cost Doesn't Include

  • International flight ticket to Romania
  • Lunch and Dinner
  • Travel insurance
  • Alcohol drinks
  • Tips for guide

Meals

Breakfast

However we stay at good standard hotel every day with restaurant facilities. Alternatively your tour guide take you to good restaurant in the city or village. You should allow approx. £ 10-15 per meal.

We also help you to arrange your lunch pack from the hotels, which cost you £ 4-6.

Accommodation

6 nights in 3* hotel / 1 night in mountain hut

We will spend 6 nights in comfortable hotels in Bran and Brasov. Most rooms in hotels are en-suit and arranged on a twin sharing basis. If you are travelling by yourself, you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. In hotel, single rooms are available for a supplementary cost.

We will spend an unforgettable night at the best mountain hut in Transylvania. Cabana Ciucas mountain hut has descend restaurant and room facilities.

Date and Price

Available Tour Dates

If these dates don’t suit you get in touch and we arrange your own departure.

General Info

What to expect

This trip is graded moderate to demanding depending on each day. Snow conditions dictate whether we will hike with snowshoes or hiking boots along with the duration of walks. The walking routes and daily schedule will be selected by the group leader to best fit weather and group fitness conditions. Temperatures are generally quite cold, averaging 0’C in the valleys, though crystal clear skies and sunny daytime are common in winter, especially in the mountains. In the mornings tend to be a little more foggy and nicer in the afternoon. Snowfall can happen any time between December and April.

Equipment

The following is fairly exhaustive list of what you should pack for the trip: trekking trousers, waterproof and windproof over trousers/rain pants, thermal base layer shirts, casual shirt and/or T-shirts, fleece jacket, waterproof and windproof jacket, warm jacket (down), sunhat, warm hat, sunglasses, warm gloves or mittens, head torch with spare batteries, sun protector, toiletries, antibacterial hand wash, small towel, shampoo.

Trekking pole is not essential, but can be useful on the challenging ascent and descent. Good pair of boots are one of the most important on the gear list. You need to make sure that your boots are braked in before trek.

What you Carry

While you are trekking you only have to carry a backpack with water, snacks, extra socks, waterproof light jacket and your camera. Your main luggage will be stored at the accommodation where we will stay.

First Aid

A medical kit will accompany each group. You should also bring your own personal first aid kit, which should include the following: broad spectrum antibiotic, antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, Diamox (altitude), diarrhoea treatment (Imodium) painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, Insect repellent (DEET), and re-hydration salts (Dioralyte).

Visa and Vaccination

No visa required for British passport holders. There are no specific health risks.

Altitude

This trekking holiday not involves high altitude.  During your trip you will reach altitudes of 2000-2500 metres.  Most people will have no difficulty with this level of altitude, but we are here to help you if you have any concern about altitude.

Climate

The main season trekking season in Transylvania is from Jun to September. During this period, we can expect daytime, valley temperatures of between 20ºC and 25ºC, dropping to 12ºC at night, sometimes less dependent on the altitude we stay.  Rainfall is usually quite low except in the mountains, spring and summer are the wetter seasons. The Carpathian Mountains can be blanketed in snow until mid to late May at higher altitudes.

Winters are quite cold, with average highs even in lower-lying areas being no more than 3 °C and below −15 °C in the highest mountains.

Tour Leaders

All our tours are escorted by well trained, knowledgeable and English spoken local guides.

Group size

This holiday is guaranteed to run with minimum of 4 person.

Private trip

If you`d rather share the moments just with your partner, family or friends then we can help to arrange a trip as private departure just for you and your group on your chosen date.

Preparing Yourself Physically

Being properly physically prepared for trekking and its serious physical challenges is very important. First, assessing your own individual physical condition and training accordingly is a significant must. Basically, handling a rigorous trek will be much easier the more fit you are at the onset. For a training program that is well-rounded, be sure to include aerobic cross-fit training, hiking (at high altitudes if possible) and strength training.

Preparing Yourself Mentally

Making the hardest portions of your trek achievable could simply come down to mental stamina. Many trekkers tend to make the mistake of overlooking their mental preparation. Keeping a positive mind-set and never ignoring your body’s signals are significant considerations on your trek.

Additional Nights and Extensions