Transylvania Castles & Mountains

Transylvania Castles & Mountains

Trip Highlights

  • Exploring Bran Castle and the legends of Dracula
  • Discovering unique villages
  • Walking along limestone ridges to take in the stunning landscapes of Piatra Craiului
  • Experience genuine cultural exchange with the local people

Trip Summary

Explore some of Romania's most stunning mountain landscapes and soak up the unique culture of Transylvania on this inspiring self guided walk. Piatra Craiului meaning royal stone, is a dramatic limestone ridge which rises sharply from the forests and plains below, offering one of the best ridge walks in Europe. En route to the Bucegi Mountains, explore the gorges and ridgetops of Piatra Craiului to experience exceptional views of the region. The Bucegi mountains are home to a diverse range of landscapes from pine and beech forests to flower laden meadows and high limestone cliffs. It is also where you can find Bran Castle, connected through folklore to the fictitious character, Dracula. Whilst the legends of Transylvania are an enticing reason to visit this region, the walking opportunities and the friendly atmosphere created by your hosts in the rural pensions guarantee this will be a unique and diverse adventure.



The walking is moderate (3) grade with daily walks of around 4-6 hours. There are some more demanding stages during the walk with steep uphills, descents, and some sections of the trail require more care. The accent is on keeping a steady pace to with time to stop and take photos (subject to weather conditions). You will need a good level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure.


On arrival at the Bucharest North train station there will be a handover of documents and a short briefing before your train to Brasov, a journey of around 2.5 hours. At Brasov, you will be met and transferred by taxi to your guesthouse set in a traditional village at the foot of Piatra Craiului National Park. This transfer takes around 1 hour. Overnight Magura. We suggest arriving in time for one of the following trains: departing Bucharest at 10:00am, arriving in Brasov at 12.42pm; departing Bucharest at 12:15pm, arriving in Brasov at 2:58pm; or departing Bucharest at 2:00pm, arriving in Brasov at 4:23pm.

Meals:  D

Walk along a small ridge and through flower filled meadows to Bran Castle at the foot of the Bucegi mountains. The castle, which was built as a gift from Ludovic d'Anjou in the 14th century to the inhabitants of the region, had a defensive role against the migratory peoples and later it protected Transylvania from the Ottoman invasions. The castle was also associated with the prince Vlad Tepes of Walachia whom it is widely thought the fictional character 'Dracula' was based upon. Entry into the castle is optional (long queues are possible in peak season). Transfer back to your guesthouse in Magura for overnight accommodation. (12km/7.5mi, +350m/1148ft, -600m/1969ft).

Meals:  B,L,D

The walk continues at the base of the Piatra Craiului Mountains. It's an interesting contrast to the landscape of the previous day, as you traverse pastures, sheepfolds and woods. Scattered villages which seem to have not changed for centuries break up the landscape, while the surrounding mountains are a constant companion. Overnight Ciocanu. (14km/8.7mi, +550m/1804ft, -550m/1804ft).

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning you leave the Piatra Craiului mountains and walk to the Bucegi Mountains. An easy walk with “picture postcard” landscapes to a traditional Romanian mountain village with small and ancient houses, at the foot of the Bucegi mountains. The inhabitants are livestock breeders and the village has a long tradition in cheese making. Overnight in Moeciu de Sus. (14km/8.7mi, -150m/492ft, +250m/820ft)

Meals:  B,L,D

A more strenuous day today as you ascend trails into the Bucegi mountains. A longer walk is possible along the meadow of Gutana and the vertical walls of the Bucegi’s ridge, which offers beautiful views of the surrounding landscapes and over Piatra Craiului ridge. Overnight in Moeciu de Sus. (Approx 18km/11.2mi, +650m/2133ft, -900m/2953ft, or shorter).

Meals:  B,L,D

Transfer to Brasov where you take the train to Bucharest. Trip concludes on arrival in Bucharest. There are a number of trains departing between Brasov and Bucharest, and you can choose a time that best suits your onward travel plans. Some suggested train times include: departing Brasov at 7:40am, arriving in Bucharest at 10:32am; departing Brasov at 9:38am, arriving in Bucharest at 12:05pm; departing Brasov at 1:42pm, arriving in Bucharest at 4:05pm; or departing Brasov at 2:15pm, arriving in Bucharest at 5:03pm*. We highly recommended you take a later train so that you can have time to explore Brasov (luggage can be left at the station in the left luggage office). We can also arrange an additional night here. Please ask our office for details. *train times subject to change without notice

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • 5 breakfasts, 4 picnic lunches, 5 dinners - Continental breakfasts are served and will often consist of breads, spreads, tea, coffee & juices. Picnic lunches will include fresh produce such as bread, spreads, salad and meats sourced from local hosts. Dinner is generally 3 courses consisting of entrée or soup, a main dish and dessert, including local and international dishes. Occasionally dinner is only 2 courses.
  • 5 nights rural pensions on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities (shared facilities on one night - Ciocanu)
  • Information pack including route notes and maps
  • Luggage transfer
  • Train from Bucharest to Brasov and return and private transfer from Brasov train station to Magura and from Moeciu de Sus to Brasov train station
  • Emergency hotline

What's Not Included

  • Travel to and from Bucharest train station
  • Breakfast and lunch on day 1 and lunch and dinner on day 6, all drinks
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tour guide – this is a self guided walking trip
  • Entrance fees
  • Travel insurance

Upcoming Travel Dates


Well organised and fantastic hiking routes, showing spectacular views across Transylvania and beyond. We will be returning and would highly recommend.

L. Granell, Farnham, UK, 26 Oct 2019

The people in Romania (our guides/hosts etc) were lovely and friendly and very helpful.

C & N Minogue., Sydney, Australia

This was a fascinating trip in a beautiful country. The walking was all within national parks and covered some fabulous countryside. It was lovely to see a "traditional" way of life, with meadows full of wildflowers, the hay being cut with scythes and stored in ricks, wood etc. being transported by horse and cart, and sheep being taken up into the mountains by shepherds and their dogs. The walks were amazing and well-designed. The map was excellent and the route instructions were good; we liked the extra information about Brasov too. We did struggle a bit because we were not as fit as we should have been (entirely our fault) but some of the descents were really tough, not just because they were steep and could be slippery but also because they were so long. They were rather underplayed in both the walking instructions and the summary of the trip. We would recommend that those with elderly knees do some serious practice beforehand - and consider taking walking poles. We were really impressed by the professional way that the trip was organised, both in the UK and in Romania. Raluca in Romania was very helpful and efficient; the private transfers were very good (calm, reliable, nice, competent drivers); and the accommodation was very good, also with nice, friendly people and some excellent food, including delicious soups for starters. Brilliant! Just don't expect to find the perfect little bar at the end of your walk - there is nothing at all in the first two villages. We spent a couple of days in Brasov at the end of the trip; it is a delightful city with beautiful buildings and lots of bars and restaurants. We would strongly recommend that others consider spending a night or two there if they possibly can.

Sue B., London, UK, 22 Jul 2018

We loved our trip! Our hosts were warm and welcoming, and the food was fantastic (one vegetarian, one eats-everything).

L. Berman, Illinois, USA, 14 Sep 2018

This self-guided tour is a great way to see the Transylvanian mountains and countryside. If you enjoy getting away from all the tourists in Europe then this is the trip for you. Navigation was relatively easy, and the scenery was magnificent.

R. Bakogianis, Nathalia, VIC, 05 Oct 2018

We had an amazing time! I was grateful that UTracks organized everything for us in a very rural part of Romania where we are not fluent in the language. UTracks was also very responsive when we requested an early transfer due to freak bad weather. We'd travel with UTracks again.

H. Holland, Maryland, USA, 05 Oct 2018

We had a great time - the walking in Romania was wonderful, the scenery stunning. We loved that there weren't many people (at least at this time of the year) so it was great to have the place to ourselves.

J. Small, Safety Beach, NSW, 06 Oct 2018

We really enjoyed our walking holiday in Romania, stunning countryside, well mapped walks, nice accommodation & lovely friendly hosts. I'd definitely go again.

I. Lumsden-Ly, Ireland, 02 Jul 2019

We are at the end of our trip on the self guided Transylvania Castles and Mountains tour. We had a fantastic time. The organisation was superb. Everything ran to schedule, the people were very helpful and the food was hearty and good. We felt as though we really experienced rural Romania. The scenery was spectacular, far more than we had imagined. The walking at times was tough with some days of solely steep ascents and descents, but so worthwhile for the variety of scenery experienced. It was lovely to walk through the wild flower meadows full of insect life. It felt as though we had gone back in time. We are finishing our trip at a hotel in Bucharest, all very luxurious, bit frankly we could be in any city - good to have a bath though! Thank you for a great holiday.

Katherine W., London, UK, 21 Aug 2019

We had a very enjoyable trip in a lovely part of the world, the scenery was spectacular, the people incredibly friendly and the food and especially the wine excellent. Overall it was all very well organised and Raluca in Romania was very helpful and efficient. All went to plan and on the one occasion on which we did make a call to the contact number as the taxi whch was picking us up in Bran at the end of the first day's walk was late due to the traffic caused by a festival in the town, our query was dealt with immediately. All the guesthouse owners were very hospitable serving local tasty food, with beer on request, and we enjoyed staying in local villages! The walking was excellent and the route instructions were good, although some of the descents were really tough and indeed the ascent on the last day was also long and steep. It could be avoided by going the short route given as an option but this is mostly within the forest and the views at the top of the long route are just fabulous making it well worth the effort. We bookended our trip with two days in each of Bucharest and Brasov and enjoyed both immensely. Brasov in particular is well worth spending time in as the centre is both charming and interesting (we joined an excellent free walking tour), as well as lively with plenty of bars and restaurants. We also took the train to Sinaia and visited Castle Peles which was a great day out. We will definitely be back to see more of Transylvania.

P. Crouch, Wonersh, UK, 11 Oct 2019

This was a well organised and very enjoyable trip, moderate walking along old trails, cart tracks and past abandoned villages, all in all very pleasant. The food was very good and much of it was home made. Each of our hosts in all the pensions were very hospitable and a pleasure to deal with. We will certainly be back.

R. Scott Mitchell, Kendal, UK, 18 Jun 2018

Great trip! Don't hesitate to visit Romania. Self-guided trip is an excellent way to explore the country. Friendly and warm people. Everything went smoothly. The last day was spoiled because of rain, but the most important when you travel is to have sunshine in your heart. Thank you UTracks for providing such a great trip. We can also recommend to stay some days in Bucharest. A pleasant surprise.

A. Lie, Hommersåk, Norway, 12 Jul 2018

The trip provides challenging and varied walks in a glorious and ancient landscape. Remote villages, simple but comfortable accommodation, welcoming people and good food.

R. Jones,, UK

Lovely hosts, surprisingly good food, beautiful scenery.The chance to see a "different" world!

R Bryce, Crafers, SA

My husband and I enjoyed Romania hiking very much. When we mentioned our destination to folks, a few eyebrows were raised, but I have to say the scenery was breathtaking, the routes were (somewhat) clear, and the price was on target. We particularly enjoyed the pensiunes; our hosts went out of their way to make us comfortable, and the food each night was outstanding!

B. Schleusener., Cary, NC, USA.

Transylvania Castles & Mountains trip is an excellent trip. Stunning scenery with different views every day. Romanian people very friendly. Guest houses were basic but very clean and comfortable. Food was was excellent. Would have no hesitation in recommending this trip.

S. Sheridan., Dublin, Ireland.

This was an amazing trip which we are not going to forget. Our hosts were very friendly and spoke either French or English. The pensions were rustic as expected. The Romanians we met on our hikes were puzzled at our presence and surprised that we were on holiday in their country. All were very friendly and waived at us when we walked past. The countryside is very beautiful, it reminded me of Europe's countryside about 40/50 years ago.

C. Weinstein., London, UK.

I loved this trip! Discovering the beauty and culture of Romania was an amazing experience and really would not have been as rich and rewarding (or even possible) without the careful, thoughtful, and accurate planning that went into the trip by UTracks. The trails were spectacular - the routes included stunning natural beauty and rural charm and the castle was so cool. We loved getting there via a great hike through the woods rather than on a tour bus. The inns we stayed at were such an amazing addition to our total experience. I cannot go on long enough about how perfect everything was. The guide materials were flawless.

T. Long,, UK

This trip exceeded expectations - in scenery, landscapes, interesting culture/village life, accommodation and hospitality. Even the weather was perfect. Also the prices in Romania were cheaper than anticipated which was an added bonus thanks so much, a great week and we were very well looked after in all respects.

C. Randell., South Fremantle, WA. Australia

We chose a self-guided walking holiday in the Romanian Carpathians. Transport is all very flexible and smooth, just whatever way you prefer. Locals and guesthouse-owners were all very friendly and happy to help us. Don't expect very modern accommodation, but it's all there. Paths are always good to find. All by all, a very good first experience with Utracks

H. van den Meijdenberg, Oxfordshire, England, 20 Oct 2016

This was a great holiday. Our hosts were welcoming and the home cooked fresh food was just what we needed. The routes provided great views and varied terrain with a few surprises . Being late September it did get a bit cold at night but was still a good day time temperature for walking. We had been anxious about the arrangements to meet the agent to receive our walk guide and maps, the train tickets and vouchers at Bucharest station, however it all went to plan, we boarded the train and started our Romanian adventure.

C. Howell-Jones, Birmingham, UK, 10 Oct 2016

This self guided walk was absolutely fantastic from start to finish and I could recommend it to anyone looking for something slightly out of the ordinary. Transylvania is a mountainous area of forests, streams, and lush meadows with people living in remote villages and carrying on a lifestyle that reminded me of England in the 1950s, cutting crops by hand and travelling by horse and cart. The ridge walks are spectacular, most of the climbs and descents are reasonable with one or two challenges, and the tracks and paths are well marked for the most part. The guesthouse accommodation and food was excellent, and the hospitality outstanding. The pre-trip information was very comprehensive, although a map of the route would have been helpful before we got there, and the travel arrangements worked as planned with our bags waiting for us each evening. The walking guide times and distances was pretty accurate, and the recommended 600 lei per person was spot on. This trip combines the challenges of walking and map reading with the excitement of seeing part of a country once under control of the old Soviet bloc. We stayed an extra night in the ancient town of Brasov - strongly recommended - as is the whole trip. Well done U-Tracks.

E. Black, Harpenden, England, 31 May 2017

This was a very picturesque walk through Romanian hills, valleys and farms. Bran Castle was a highlight but the whole walk was beautiful with many photo opportunities. Accommodation was quite rural and basic, but that only added to the experience! Organisation by UTracks was faultless.

J. Moore, Coburg, Australia, 17 Aug 2017


Duration:6 Days
Starting Point:Bucharest
Finishing Point:Bucharest
Grade:moderate  Click for more information
Trip Code:TCM
Prices From:GBP£585 Per Person
Single Supplement:GBP£80  Click for more information
Single Traveller Surcharge:GBP£150  Click for more information
Please do not book any flights or extra arrangements until such time that your booking is confirmed by Sherpa Expeditions by phone or email.