Transylvania Winter Walk & Snowshoe

Transylvania Winter Walk & Snowshoe

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8 Days
From

$2175

$2115

Transylvania Winter Walk & Snowshoe

8 Days Starting and ending in Magura

Visiting: Bucharest, Măgura, Transylvania, Peștera, Măguricea, Piatra Craiului Mountains, Bucegi Mountains, Libearty Bear Sanctuary Zarnesti, Vulcan, Brașov, Bran Castle, Dracula House

Tour operator:

Exodus

Tour code:

CVE

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 16

Physical rating:

Moderate

Age range:

16 to 99

Special diets catered:

Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements

Tour operated in:
English
Trip Styles:

Active, Adventure Tours

From:
$2175
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Tour Overview

Transylvania - the name alone conjures up images of craggy mountains, gothic castles, horse-drawn carts and forests filled with hibernating bears. The reality is not that far off. Crisp winters add an extra dimension to this small corner of Europe as snow blankets the pastures, farmsteads and woodlands. Spend a week exploring this region, hiking or snowshoeing to small villages, into gorges, through valleys and up mountains as we also take time to visit a local bear sanctuary and of course one of the most famous castles in the world, Bran Castle, the fictional home of the infamous Dracula.



From our comfortable guesthouse in the small village of Magura, we head out to uncover the region’s treasures on foot. Snow conditions will dictate whether we hike or snowshoe but, either way, we get into the wilderness. Along the way we meet locals who still live a traditional lifestyle, learn about the region’s rich folklore and history, enjoy the mountain scenery and, with a bit of luck, see traces of the local wildlife including wolf or bear paw prints in the snow.

Highlights

  • The serene beauty of the Carpathian Mountains in winter

  • Walking through the Prapastiile Zarnestilor Canyon, formed during the Jurassic Period.

  • Looking for wolf and bear tracks in the snow

  • Visiting Bran Castle, Dracula's home

  • Warm hospitality of the local people

Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1 : Start Magura, Transylvania.
Location: Bucharest, Măgura, Transylvania
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Villa Hermani
Meals Included: Dinner

For land only clients the trip starts this afternoon in the village of Magura

at about 1040m, within the boundaries of the Piatra Craiului National Park in

Tranyslvania.



However, we strongly recommend that land only clients meet the group transfer

at Bucharest Airport when the group flight arrives due to the guesthouse

being located 165km away. Upon the group flight arrival in Bucharest, clients

booked onto the group flight or group flight transfers will be transferred to

our comfortable guesthouse, approximately 3.5hrs drive away. Dinner on

arrival will consist of a cheese and continental meat platter with bread. 



Our hosts at our guesthouse, the Villa Hermani, are very hospitable and enjoy

stopping to chat over a glass of local plum brandy.

*Villa Hermani*



Day 2 : Walk To A Local Bat Cave And The Village Of Pestera.
Location: Peștera
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Villa Hermani
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Heading out on foot again, our first destination today is a local cave which

is a hibernation roost for a number of bats including lesser and greater

horseshoe bats. Remember to bring a torch with you for the cave visit.

We then continue on our way to the nearby village of Pestera (which

translates as ‘the cave’) witnessing the winter rural life of these

mountain communities.

After lunch at a local pub we return to Magura.

*Villa Hermani*



Day 3 : Explore Kalibash Villages.
Location: Măgura, Măguricea
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Villa Hermani
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Magura is one of a number of villages known as the Kalibash villages. The

Kalibash once fled Walachia to this remote area which, at the time, was under

Austro-Hungarian rule. Here houses stretch along hilltops like pearls on a

string.

Starting right at our guesthouse we hike up to Dealul Magurice (1300m) where

we may spot wolf, lynx and bear prints in the snow in the forest. Later, as

we make our way back to Magura, we stop by a local farm to share a hot

‘tuica’ (home-made plum brandy) with the farmer.

*Villa Hermani*



Day 4 : Snowshoe Or Walk Between Piatra Craiului And Bucegi Mountain.
Location: Piatra Craiului Mountains, Bucegi Mountains
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Villa Hermani
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning we walk up to a high plateau between Piatra Craiului and Bucegi

mountain. In winter time this plateau is completely uninhabited, everything

is still and a quiet serenity permeates the air giving a sense of truly being

in a remote and special area.

In the afternoon you will return to the guesthouse.



*Villa Hermani*



Day 5 : Visit Libearty Bear Sanctuary, The Village Of Vulcan And Brasov.
Location: Libearty Bear Sanctuary Zarnesti, Vulcan, Brașov, Măgura
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Villa Hermani
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Driving down into the valley we make our way to Europe’s largest rescue

facility for brown bears: Libearty. Founded in 2005, the rescue centre is

home to nearly 100 bears, most of whom suffered over many years in captivity

as dancing bears or in circuses. The walk around the bear sanctuary will last

approximately one hour. 

We drive on to the village of Vulcan, which derives its name from the

Slavonic word ‘Valc’ meaning wolf. This region is closely related to the

history of Transylvanian Saxons who immigrated here 800 years ago from the

Rhine-Moselle valleys. They built fortified churches, some of which have been

designated UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Upon arrival in Vulcan we are greeted by warm coffee and traditional cake in

the yard of the fortified church.

From Vulcan we drive to Brasov and do a tour around town. We get some free

time to explore the town. We will then take our evening meal in a traditional

Romanian restaurant and later we return to Magura by minibus.

*Villa Hermani*



Day 6 : Walk To Bran Castle, Also Known As Dracula's Castle.
Location: Bran Castle, Dracula House, Măgura
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Villa Hermani
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we hike from tranquil Magura towards busy Bran where we visit Bran

Castle. It’s easy to see why Bram Stoker picked this castle to be the

residence of the infamous vampire, Count Dracula. The character himself was

based on Vlad Tepes, AKA Vlad the Impaler, Duke of Walachia and a brutal

tyrant. Though Vlad himself never went to Bran, Bram Stoker saw an image of

the castle and thought it the perfect setting for his dark tale.

After visiting the castle we stop by Dracula’s market where we can pick up

some vampire-inspired souvenirs. Later we will be picked up by the minibus

and return to Magura.

*Villa Hermani*



Day 7 : Snowshoe Through Zarnesti Canyon To Piatra Craiului Mountains.
Location: Piatra Craiului Mountains
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Villa Hermani
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning we walk through a spectacular canyon, a gorge formed during the

Jurassic Period. We continue towards Curmatura Cabin just beneath the rocks

of Piatra Craiului Mountain. The cabin is open year-round and we can relax

here before going back to our guesthouse.



Altitude gain:  We first walk down to the gorge 200m, then hike up 700m to

Cabana Curmatura, walk down again 700m and hike up to Magura 200m.



*Villa Hermani*



Day 8 : End Magura, Transylvania.
Location: Măgura, Transylvania, Bucharest
Meals Included: Breakfast

End Magura, Transylvania.



Clients booked on the group flight or group flight transfers will be

transferred (3.5 hours) back to Bucharest Airport in time for the group

flight departure.



What's Included

  • All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners

  • Transfers for group flights

  • Snowshoes and poles provided  

  • All accommodation

What's Not Included

  • Single supplement

  • Travel insurance

  • Visas & vaccinations

Food


All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners are included during our stay.

Meals are a mixture of local produce and Romanian/Transylvanian specialties.

Breakfasts usually consist of a small buffet including an egg dish, cold
cuts, cheeses, boiled eggs, vegetables, spreads, bread, yoghurt, cereals,
jam, juice, herbal teas and coffee.

Lunches included on this trip will include the following -a picnic lunch
provided by a local farmer on one day, traditional soups,  and self-made
sandwiches that you can choose your own fillings from the buffet in the
mornings.

Each evening there is a choice of a meat dish or vegetarian option.

If you are vegetarian or have special dietary requirements please let us know
at the time of booking.

One night we will have dinner in a traditional Romanian restaurant in Brasov,
this meal is not included and you should allow approx. €20 (without drinks)
for this.

Accommodation

We spend seven nights in Villa Hermani, a private guesthouse in the remote village of Magura. It’s ideally situated for our adventure, sitting at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains and within Piatra Craiului National Park. 



The property has twin and single rooms in a range of sizes and styles, almost all of which have private facilities (there are two rooms that share one bathroom). There is also wifi at the guesthouse; however, due to the weak internet lines in this remote location and the need to go via satellite, the hosts kindly request guests pay €5 for 750MB, which should be enough for a week of checking emails. Or you may prefer to just disconnect and enjoy the mountainous scenery from the garden or balconies.



Our friendly hosts, German couple Hermann and Katharina Kurmes, possess a wealth of knowledge on Transylvania, wildlife conservation and serve delicious homemade food. 

Videos

Check out our Q&As

  • Is there a supplement for solo travellers?

    If you would like to be paired with a tour member of the same gender, there is no additional charge. A single supplement can be requested if you would like your own room.

  • Are flights included in this tour?

    International flights are not included with this tour.

  • Who is Exodus Travels?

    At Exodus Travels, we've been exploring the world for nearly 50 years. From Walking and Trekking, Cultural and Cycling, Responsible Wildlife, to Polar and our new Premium Adventures, we are proud to offer award-winning small group and self-guided tours to 100+ countries worldwide.

  • Can you assist with pre or post tour accommodation?

    We are happy to assist with pre and post tour accommodation. Please enquire for detailed information.

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes, our local guides are English speaking.

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    The minimum age for this tour is 16 years old.

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    If you wish to make any changes to your booking, particularly if you need to alter any flights booked through us, please let us know as soon as possible. There is a booking or flight amendment fee of £40 per change and flight amendments often incur extra airline costs depending on the changes to be made and if the ticket has been issued or not.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Exodus has been trading since 1974

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Your final joining instructions and flight details, if booked with us, will then be sent out 2 to 3 weeks before departure. If you would like a hard copy posted, or if you require these any earlier, please contact the customer operations team. We advise that if you are booking connecting travel before receiving these, please ensure you leave plenty of time.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Travellers are welcome to opt to share a room with a tour member of the same gender for no additional charge. If you'd like your own room, we can request a single supplement so that you will have your own room throughout.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    You are welcome to meet the group after the tour has departed however there is no reduction in rate for joining a tour after the departure date.

Reviews from Travellers on this Tour

xx

A really interesting week's snowshoeing in beautiful mountians in an unspoilt part of the world

A great week, despite very little snow.

I'm just back from this trip, and had a great time. The trip was full, with 16 people, and everyone was lovely. Villa Hermani is a great small hotel, and the food is excellent. Katharine and Herman are lovely hosts, and their Romanian cook is excellent. Our walk leader was Leo, their son, and he was good fun and a very capable guide. He had to make some difficult decisions because of the dodgy and changeable weather, and the varying abilities in the group,which he handled very well. It was great to have Rares (Alex) along as a second guide, and we really needed him at times. Magura - like most of Europe - has had a strange winter, so there was only a dusting of snow when we arrived. But, with that and a couple of further dumps of snow during the week, we managed 2 walks with snowshoes and 1 with yaktrax, as well as ordinary walking in hiking boots. I liked the mix of walking and cultural visits - bears, Saxon history, Bran Castle. And I stayed for 2 days in Bucharest at the end to see a bit more of Romania. It was so different it seemed like a totally different country!

Snowshoeing in Romania

A really good, interesting holiday. Rather more moderate than leisurely but very enjoyable. The group had a good age range and we all got along very well. The weather was glorious for all but one day and the guest house was lovely. The food was very good and the staff were all very friendly.

Snowshoeing in Transylvania

This trip provides a varied programme of walking/snowshoeing in beautiful scenery, with visits to a bat cave, a bear sanctuary, Bran Castle, a fortified church and the medieval town of Brasov. Physically, two of the longer days were quite demanding, so a reasonable level of fitness is required. We stayed in a very comfortable and remote guesthouse in the mountains; the food was excellent and plentiful, special diets were accommodated and our hosts were friendly and spoke excellent English. We were part of a very sociable and well-travelled group, and came back with plenty of ideas for other trips. Romania has a fascinating if troubled history and our guide, Holger, was very knowledgeable and provided a good insight into both ancient and more recent periods.

Snowshoeing in Transylvania

This was my first snowshoeing holiday and despite being a bit apprehensive beforehand I absolutely loved it. Everything combined to make it a fantastic holiday - a get away location in the middle of the national park, a very homely hotel with superb food and hospitality, stunning scenery on each walk and a very interesting daytrip to some of the local places of interest. Add to that a really friendly group of fellow travellers and it truly was a week to remember.

A great intro to snow-shoeing in a really beautiful place

A great intro to snow-shoeing in a really beautiful place, with 'warm up days' to learn how to do it.

Snowshoeing Transylvania

I thought this was generally an excellent holiday. I loved Transylvania, the countryside, and mountain views and being able to walk and snowshoe in such a beautiful area. The hotel was excellent and Katharina was a very generous and involved hostess. The food was always wonderful. We were also lucky to have such a friendly and happy group. Everyone got on well and there was no-one left out and no awkward moments.

Winter Wanderings

We had never snowshoed before so were a bit apprehensive before the trip, but our nerves quickly dissolved when we arrived. Villa Hermani was excellent, with a strong focus on good quality local dishes and a wholesome experience. The owners Hermann and Katharina are very hospitable and welcoming. We had loads of fresh snow so the conditions for this snowshoeing trip couldn’t have been better. The trip was more tiring than regular hiking, though still was very enjoyable, and the mountain scenery was stunning. Snowshoes and poles are provided; you just need to take a day pack for extra layers, yak traks, lunch, snacks and a thermos of herbal tea.

Stunning scenery

We took part in this group tour in February 2018. It was the first time we had visited Romania and it was fascinating to learn about its history and experience its wild beauty. Pros: Very well organised from start to finish; we felt well looked after. Food at the hotel was delicious, and we were well catered for as veggies. Good variety of walking with stunning scenery. The area is very unspoilt and most days we did not see another person once we got into the mountains. The country has reasonable prices for food and drink. Our guide, Holger, plus the staff at the hotel made sure we all got where we needed to go safely. We were lucky to be in a good group of fellow travellers who we got on very well with. Flights and transfers were very good. Cons: Although the food was delicious be prepared that there is no choice for dinner options (as if often the case in chalet accommodation). At breakfast there is no juice, and the buffet choice is not huge. Be warned that there are lots of dogs living outside of the houses in the village, and sometimes they bark all night. If you’re a light sleeper, take ear plugs. In room 6 we also had a creaky bed and ended up putting the mattresses on the floor to get a good night’s sleep. The trip is rated as moderate. I am pretty fit and have completed two Moonwalks (walking marathons), and I found the two longer walks quite challenging. Ice under foot plus the elevation gain made these walks tough, so you’ll need to be fairly fit or a regular walker, not a novice. The yak traks recommended in the packing list are really essential when there is ice under foot.

Transylvania Winter Walk & Snowshoe

Definitely a moderate trip ( in winter ) . Some challenges with packed ice / deep snow so a reasonable level of fitness would be helpful.

Read all 15 reviews

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Book with Confidence

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Exodus allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform exodus, 43 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Exodus requires a minimum deposit of 25% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 90 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of exodus charges.

    Up to 70 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

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