Transylvania and the Carpathian Mountains

Trip code: W07RO 4.8 (31 reviews)

Guided group walking

7 nights,

Level: 2

20.0Kg CO2e


  • Beautiful fairytale castles and traditional churches - such as the royal summer retreat of Peles and atmospheric Bran - set amongst spectacular Carpathian mountain scenery
  • Opportunities to experience the region's rich and varied flora and fauna - from wildflower-covered pastures to rare birds, butterflies and larger inhabitants, if you're lucky
  • Walk the high Bucegi Plateau and the stunning Prapastiile Zarnestilor gorge, used as a location in the film Cold Mountain
  • Gothic, Baroque and Patrician buildings


  • 7 nights accommodation
  • All meals
  • Briefing at the start of your holiday
  • Comprehensive route directions
  • Services of an experienced walking guide
  • Entrance to listed sights and cable car rides


Surrounded, and partially divided, by the high peaks of the Carpathian Mountains, the fabled, mountainous region of Transylvania in central Romania has become synonymous with Bram Stoker's Dracula, but on this wonderful seven-night guided holiday we leave fiction behind to uncover a beautiful country with a rich and fascinating history.

The region presents a splendid mix of medieval castles, high peaks, incredible wildlife, and of course - welcoming and warm locals. Steeped in tradition, it's easy to see where the inspiration for the tales came from. Starting in Sinaia, our walks begin at the foot of the Bucegi range just a couple of minutes from the fairytale castle of Peles. From here the walks take us across high mountain plateaus and through beautiful wildflower-covered pastures, where you can see rare birds and butterflies. Our paths lead on through ancient forests and rocky canyons - home to black chamois, lynx, brown bears and even wolves - to medieval villages.

We visit the famous Bran Castle, a Gothic fortress that was the setting for Roman Polanski's 'Dance of the Vampires' as well as a place of refuge for Queen Mary of Romania. Then in towns like Brasov and Pestera, we explore medieval squares and winding alleyways, whilst marvelling at Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings, including the famous clock tower and the house with the deer antlers, where the real Vlad Dracula was born.

Your accommodation for the week offers a blend of high quality hotels and spectacular views; from the 5 star chalet-style Villa Oblique in Sinaia and the elegant 4 star Casa Din Bran Inn Center, to the mountain hotel Samedru, the 3 star Safrano Palace located in the heart of Brasov and the more rustic Transylvanian Inn. To complete the package, we've also included all meals.


Walks are on forest tracks, mountain paths and quiet country lanes, there are some short steep accents and descents. Many of the walks at 1000+ metres, and some cold weather clothes would be useful. Walking boots are essential, waking poles recommended.

Read more about this holiday in our blog.




Day 1: Arrive in Sinaia

We pick you up from Bucharest airport and transfer you (1hr 45min) to Sinaia in the Bucegi range of the Carpathian Mountains.

You stay at Villa Oblique.

hotel details


Villa Oblique, Sinaia



Just 500 yards from Peles Castle on the hill above the town of Sinaia is the 5 star guesthouse Villa Oblique. Opened in 2014, the Oblique is a modern, chalet-style building that offers free access to the onsite spa, featuring a sauna, a steam bath and a hot tub. Rooms at Oblique are individually decorated to a high standard and come with superb mountain views; many also have a balcony.

Day 2: Peles and the Bucegi Plateau 15km/9.5mi/4.5hrs

In the morning we visit the fairytale castle of Peles, summer residence of King Carol. Then we take the cable car up onto the Bucegi plateau (2,100m) and walk first to the Piatra Arsa Chalet and further on to Babele Chalet. Close to it are two natural rock formations, the Bucegi Sphinx (named so because of its resemblance to the Great Sphinx of Giza) and Babele (meaning 'the old women'.)

Day 3: Glajariei Valley to Bran 10km/6mi/3.5hrs

Scenic drive to the start of today's walk to Bran with stunning views of the Piatra Craiului Massif. In the afternoon we visit Dracula's castle, the setting for Roman Polanski's 'Dance of the Vampires', and a refuge for Queen Mary. The night is spent in Bran with dinner included at the hotel.

You stay at Casa Din Bran - Inn Centre.

hotel details


Casa Din Bran - Inn Centre, Bran



Conveniently located within a 5 minute walk from the history, the myth and intrigue of Bran Castle, this elegant hotel has 15 elegantly styled and comfortable rooms.

Enjoy traditional Romanian cuisine in the restaurant, which also has a large outdoor terrace for alfresco dining.

Day 4: Bran to Magura 15km/9.5mi/5.5hr +600m/-350m

A short transfer to the start of today's walk over meadows and pastures to the mountain village of Magura. On the way look out for orchids, gentians, campanulas and endemic flowers like the 'Carpathian Iris'. Enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and picturesque landscapes. You will spend the next two nights in a mountain hotel in Magura with dinner included at the hotel.

You stay at Hotel Samedru.

hotel details


Hotel Samedru, Magura



Hotel Samedru is a newly built mountain hotel offering spectacular views. Rooms are modern and comfortable and the restaurant offers traditional and local foods, focusing on sourcing local dairy, vegetables and other bio ingredients from nearby farmers.

Day 5: Magura Rural Life 11km/7mi/3.5hr +450m/-450m

Today's circular walk from Magura gives an insight into rural life along with beautiful mountain views. Pass farms with no car access, where farming is still done in traditional ways. Explore a cave in the limestone cliffs that is home to a few bat species.

You stay at Transylvanian Inn.

hotel details


Transylvanian Inn, Predelut



Perched on a hillside with panoramic views over Bran Castle (just 2km away), Rasnov citadel and the Bucegi Mountains, is the charming family-run Transylvanian Inn. The hotel offers comfort and tranquility along a quiet lane away from the popular town of Bran and the views from the terrace are second to none. Guests can dine on the terrace as the sun sets behind the mountains, enjoying traditional Romanian dishes made from fresh, local produce with superior local wines. Rooms are modern and comfortable, with earthy tones in line with the surrounding nature.

Day 6: Piatra Craiului Mountains 15km/10mi/6hr +600m/-700m

This morning we walk through the beautiful Prapastiile Zarnestilor gorge which has been used as a filming location for the movie Cold Mountain and is home to creeper, alpine swift and also the elusive three-toed woodpecker. We then make the climb up to the rustic Curmatura mountain hut where we will enjoy lunch (included) and a well-earned rest before descending again into Zarnesti and a transfer to your hotel in Predelut. Dinner is included at the hotel this evening.

Day 7: Postavarul Mountains and Brasov 8km/5mi/2.5hr

Visit Rasnov Fortress before starting a walk along the Sticlariei Valley as it descends to the medieval town of Brasov, where we visit the town square, surrounded by Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque Patrician buildings as well as the Gothic 'Black Church' with its world-famous Buchholz organ and a rare collection of oriental carpets brought back from trading missions to the Ottoman Empire. Stay in the centrally located Safrano Palace with dinner included at a local restaurant.

You stay at Safrano Palace.

hotel details


Safrano Palace, Brasov



Located in the heart of medieval Brasov overlooking beautiful Council Square in the cobbled old town. Surrounded by colourful Baroque buildings and lively cafes, the hotel is central to Brasov's main attractions.

Beautifully decorated and comfortable rooms, all with amenities such as flat screen TV and minibar.

Day 8: Leave Brasov

Group transfer to Bucharest airport.


We do not currently have departure dates and prices available on-line. The season may have ended for this tour, or we are still in the process of adding these details to our website.

Please contact our sales team on 01606 720199 to for further details or to discuss alternavie trip options.


Transylvania is an amazing and beautiful destination. The hiking is hard enough to make one appreciate the huge dinners provided, but it is easily manageable for anyone with reasonable fitness. (I recommend 2 poles for some of the descents.) The highlight is definitely the hiking from Magura village in the mountains. The castles are interesting and attractive and Brasov is fun.

Susan Lonie, 2 Sep 2023


A good introduction to Romania and it's mountains.

TAYLOR, 10 Jun 2023


Stunning scenery and our excellent guide Renate really made our trip. She was very informative, passionate about the area and good fun. The pace of the walking was just right for all age groups, we were a small group of 7 and Renate adjusted the the itinerary where necessary to work around the weather. We liked the mixture of terrain from mountains to forests and meadows and Renate was so knowledgeable about the wildlife, flowers, local customs etc. that we just wouldn't, have got if we had self guided. She really cared that we all had a good time answering all our questions with patience and enthusiasm and ensured decisions were made as a group. We enjoyed the visits to the castles, fortress and summer palace and it was good to learn a lot about the history of the country both on the official tours and from Renate. The transfer of luggage and pick ups went smoothly and our driver was really friendly and chatted to everyone as well. Definitely recommend!

GOODEY, 10 Jun 2023


Excellent we thoroughly enjoyed it. The guide was exceptional and made all the difference

JEFFREYS, 10 Jun 2023


It was great. Our guide Renate was wonderful and showed us lots of interesting things we didn’t expect. It was a blast with a great crew of people from all walks of life.

BERRY, 10 Jun 2023


Basically very good with excellent guide.

Mrs Orr, 24 Sep 2022


Lovely country and a good comprehensive trip. Brilliant guide Silvio, everything was well organised. There were a couple of challenging walks, which we all managed with his guidance, but you do need to be a walker, reasonably fit. Other than the fact the food was very local and quite frankly I never want to eat Sheep's cheese again it was a very good trip.

Mrs Travis, 3 Sep 2022


A most enjoyable holiday. A well thought out itinerary, high standards of accommodation and a friendly, knowledgeable and efficient guide.

Mr Gorman, 11 Jun 2022


Romania is a beautiful country. Our guide Silvius was excellent. He is extremely knowledgeable, personable and considerate. He went out of his way to ensure we all had an amazing holiday. Hotels were well chosen and the food delicious. We were blessed with very good weather on all but one day so had ample opportunity to soak up the amazing views.

Ms Lavelle, 28 Sep 2019


Great Walking in some wonderful and surprising countryside. Walks are tough but everyone managed OK. Hotels were all very comfortable. Guide was friendly, helpful, relaxed and knowledgeable.

Mr Orton, 28 Sep 2019


Our guide, Sylviu, couldn’t have been more knowledgeable, entertaining or considerate. The Carpathian Mountains are just stunning and local folk very friendly. We even had an impromptu lunch with locals who called us in as we passed by and entertained us.

We are a bit older and for the most difficult walk, Sylviu gave us an easier route and made sure we were safe. We can’t thank him enough.

But it wasn’t just about walking - Peres Castle was stunningly opulent, Bran (Dracula’s) Castle fascinating, built in a uniquely powerful position and Radnor Fortress again gave us a different perspective on Transylvania’s history. We learnt a lot about Transylvania during our time there

Mrs Thompson, 14 Sep 2019


It was definitely the right way to walk in Romania with Silviu who was good fun, serious, reliable and totally professional. The hotels were good. The transport was good.

Ms Hughes, 7 Sep 2019


Excellent guide, great companions, fascinating country and places, interesting walks and wildlife. One of the best I have ever done in the past 15 years.

Miss Pillar, 7 Sep 2019


Varied and interesting

Mr Langley, 1 Jun 2019


Amazing views, well worth the climbs and always good to share these times with many and varied fellow travellers!

Mr Fenton, 1 Jun 2019


A variety of walks and sight seeing made our first visit to Romania enjoyable and interesting. We found the countryside beautiful and our various hosts welcoming. We had a very good experience and would like to visit again. I would recommend talking through the fitness requirements with Headwater when choosing this trip. We were all except for one, over 65, and although we were fit the walk was tougher than we expected and if the weather had been unkind we would have found it much harder. Strongly recommend taking sticks.

Mr Lowes, 29 Sep 2018


An excellent holiday exploring Transylvania and the Carpathian Mountains, with plenty of variety - and we really enjoyed the historical/sightseeing elements. There was a good mix of scenery/landscapes when walking (the area is extremely attractive), however we did feel that there were some very strenuous sections to some of the walks which were definitely harder than the level 2 that the trip was graded at. The hotels were excellent and very comfortable, often with stunning views and all in excellent locations. Food throughout the trip was plentiful and tasty, we particularly liked our lunches in local villages. Despina, our guide, was professional, knowledgeable, helpful and fun and made sure we had an extremely enjoyable holiday. We would definitely recommend this holiday.

Mrs Hadfield, 8 Sep 2018


A fascinating introduction to Transylvania with a mix of serious hikes, gentle strolls and sightseeing. We had a seriously unpleasant windy/cold introductory long hike followed by perfect (but apparently unusual) weather for the rest of the week. The tour two weeks earlier had apparently experienced hot (30+) weather and crowds.

Mr Henderson, 8 Sep 2018


Very interesting place to see. Beautiful landscapes mountains, forests, villages you saw it all!

Ms Hansen, 8 Sep 2018


Lovely hotels, great tour guide.

Ms Ffrench, 25 Aug 2018


Beautiful scenery and flowers. Walking at times 2 1/2 boot not 2. Food variable -evening meals in Sighisoara poor. A restaurant rather than another hotel would have been better. Sightseeing very enjoyable and interesting.

Dr Owen-Jones, 23 Jun 2018


The holiday provided a very good balance between the walking element that one normally expects from Headwater and the opportunity to view the many historic castles, fortified churches, and villages. However some of the larger attractions, e.g. Bran were a lot busier than anticipated. The meals were good, and in particular the lunches were both generous and interesting as some were provided by the welcoming local villagers in the remoter locations visited! Despina our guide went out of her way to organise additional activities, e.g. a morning visit to the monastery in Sinaia, and was generally knowledgeable and helpful throughout.

Mr Collins, 23 Jun 2018


A very good balance between walking and sightseeing without too much travelling by coach.

Mr Beare, 9 Jun 2018


Excellent from start to finish-from initial enquiry to booking through Operations to on the actual on the ground Guiding.

Romania is a beautiful country with really nice welcoming people.

Our Guide Dispina was excellent couldn't have been better also our driver was always on time at the right place and very helpful and considerate.

Can recommend Headwater and this holiday without reservation.

Only slight issue is for any elderly,frail travellers the hotels don't have lifts ( except Belvedere) nor Portering( except Fronius) which can be a problem for rooms above ground floor.It didn't affect us as we are pretty fit but could be a problem for others.Also Hotel Belvedere is out of town and very upmarket and smaller friendlier hotel or guesthouse would be better.

Mr Browning, 9 Jun 2018


This is a varied itinerary consisting of walks and sightseeing in a small area of Romania. It's described as intermediate level and there were some steep sections but the walks were not overly long - longest about 7 hours including lunch at a mountain hut. The scenery is beautiful and the villages, castles and towns visited very interesting - Romania has a complex history. The wildflower meadows were an absolute delight, identifying some species quite challenging! The hotels we stayed at were good, Fronius Residence is a beautiful building. We did have 2 rooms in other hotels with dodgy shower drains which we reported. Eating establishments were all pretty good, traditional food which was more than acceptable. All coped well with people in our party who required gluten-free food or were vegetarian. Our guide, Despina, was exceptional. I cannot praise her enough - her English was excellent and she was intelligent, informative, helpful, receptive and also fun. She could explain to us the history, politics and culture of the country. She also coped very well with any difficulties that arose, going out of her way to visit a pharmacy for treatment for a damaged foot. Her sonic dog repeller was magic - there are a lot of dogs in the rural areas!

Personally I would have liked a little more walking and a little less lunching in the day times, though the lunches in open barns in Saxon villages were charming. There was certainly one day when we walked from Cris to Malancraz for lunch when I would have liked a further walk in the afternoon to another village.

All in all a very pleasant holiday with good company - interesting people and we all made the effort to gel together as a group. I have not been on a group holiday like this before - we normally travel independently, but I found it an agreeable experience which I would repeat in the future.

Mrs Curtis, 9 Jun 2018


A lot of walking and a lot of Sarmale (cabbage rolls) if you don't like both then maybe not for you!

Mr Cotton, 19 May 2018


Very enjoyable - mixture sight-seeing & walking. Guide was lovely and went out of her way to make sure we were safe & comfortable. Hotel Nobillis was awsome

Mr Laidlaw, 24 Sep 2017


Great combination of scenic walking, gourmet food and historical interest

Mrs Lucas, 10 Sep 2017


This was a real 5 star holiday. The scenery and walking were fabulous and it was great to end every day at wonderful hotels in superb locations. The local rep was brilliant and her local knowledge of the area was superb. Can't fault the holiday in any way.

Mr Davidson, 10 Jun 2017


Great holiday taking in some stunning walks and 'bucket list' site seeing. We were lucky with our group and guide, great fun, and fortunate to have a week of sunshine. All the hotels were welcoming with good food and comfortable rooms.

Mrs Walker, 10 Jun 2017


Beautiful scenery of rolling hills in vast valleys with wildflower meadows, exceeded expectations. Be prepared for a lot of climbing up & down hills. Extremely cold our first day as 2000m high & still some snow lying, so warm clothing needed! First day was long descent & we have recommended to guide that might be an idea to alter this walk slightly. Renate our guide was excellent & went out of her way to help us. Hopsitality, accommodation & food was superb, especially at the Hotel Nobillis.

Miss Chappell, 20 May 2017


Guided group walking

7 nights,

Level: 2

20.0Kg CO2e

This trip is currently unavailable, please call us for further details.

Call: 01606 720199