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Transylvania and the Carpathian Mountains

Transylvania and the Carpathian Mountains

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  • Holiday typeGuided walking
  • Duration7 nights
  • Accommodationhotel-to-hotel
    , and
  • Activity level
  • From $2415per person, tour only
  • Departures
    Selected Saturdays from 25 May '19 to 28 Sep '19
  • What your holiday price includes
  • 7 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of , and hotels
  • All lunches and evening meals
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Services of an experienced walking guide
  • Entrance to listed sights and cable car rides
  • Optional Upgrades
  • Excellent choice for
  • Flora & fauna, bird spotting opportunities, art & history, solo travellers, couples, high peaks
      from 15 reviews

Mr Lowes says...
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 ...
Read reviews »


Transylvania and the Carpathian Mountains

  • 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 and the UNESCO-listed Viscri Saxon village.

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 mediaeval 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 mediaeval villages such as UNESCO-listed Viscri.

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 Sighisoara, we explore mediaeval 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 ***** chalet-style Villa Oblique in Sinaia and the authentic ***** C17 Fronius Residence in Sighisoara citadel, to the **** Nobillis Carpathian Residence, the **** Hotel Belvedere that sits above Brasov and the more rustic Transylvanian Inn, all offering unrivalled views of the surrounding Carpathian landscape. To complete the package, we've also included all evening meals.

Read more about this holiday in our blog.

We're here to help

If you have any questions about this holiday call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347, use our live webchat or email usa@exodustravels.com

Typical holiday itinerary

Walking information

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.

We're here to help

If you've any questions about this holiday call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 , or email usa@exodustravels.com

Day 1 Arrive in Sinaia

We pick you up from Bucharest airport and transfer you (1.5hrs) to Sinaia in the Bucegi range of the Carpathian Mountains. (Staying at Villa Oblique, Half board)

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'.) (Staying at Villa Oblique, Half board)

Due to time restraints we no longer vist Pelisor Castle.

Day 3 Piatra Craiului Mountains 13km/8mi/4hr

After breakfast we take a short transfer into the Piatra Craiului Mountains. On the way we stop to visit Bran Castle, the setting for Roman Polanski's 'Dance of the Vampires', and a refuge for Queen Mary. We then walk over meadows and pastures to the mountain village of Pestera. On the way look out for orchids, gentians, campanulas and endemic flowers like the 'Carpathian Iris'. There are still black chamois seen on the high cliffs along with brown bear, wolf and lynx hiding in the forests. (Staying at Nobillis Carpathian Residence, Half board)

Day 4 Pestera to Zarnesti 16km/10mi/5.5hr

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 and a well-earned rest before descending again to be picked up just outside Zarnesti. We're then transferred to Predelut, just outside Bran, where we'll spend the night in a hotel with incredible views over Bran Castle to the Bucegi Mountains. (Staying at Transylvanian Inn, Half board)

Day 5 Viscri and Sighisoara

Today we leave the Carpathian Mountains and drive to the Transylvanian Hills, to Sighisoara, stopping along the way to explore the UNESCO-listed Saxon village of Viscri, with its impressive church castle. The beautiful old farmhouses here were bought and restored by the Mihai Eminescu Trust under the patronage of HRH the Prince of Wales (who also has a house in the village). We will have a traditional lunch in one of the village houses then drive to Sighisoara and discover the biggest lived-in castle in Europe; exploring the open squares and winding alleyways, and admiring the mediaeval church, the Patrician houses and the guild towers (along with the famous clock tower). (Staying at the Fronius Residence, Half board)

Day 6 Cris to Malancrav 11km/7mi/3hr

It's a 30-minute transfer to the village of Cris this morning, where we'll find the ruins of C14 Bethlen Castle. We then follow a well-marked path for a wonderful walk with views of the surrounding countryside, to Malancrav, where we visit the C15 church with its Gothic altar and original frescos, followed by lunch at Apafi Manor (also restored under the patronage of HRH the Prince of Wales). After lunch we head back to Sighisoara to explore some more of the mediaeval citadel. (Staying at the Fronius Residence, Half board)

Day 7 Brasov / Tampa Mountain 5km/3mi/2.5hr

Today we drive back to the Carpathians, to Brasov, where we visit 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. We will take lunch in the town square before climbing on the Tampa Mountain (960m), part of the Postavaru Massif. Most of the mountain is declared a nature reserve, due to the rare animal species (bears, birds, butterflies) and vegetation (amongst the undergrowth there are plants such as fritillaries, yellow lady's slipper and iris.) The view from the summit is spectacular, offering a panoramic view of the city. On a clear day, the entire Burzenland is visible. (Staying at Hotel Belvedere, Half board)

Day 8 Leave Brasov

Group transfer to Bucharest airport.

Where you stay

During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking.

To find out more call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347, use our live webchat or email usa@exodustravels.com

Villa Oblique, Sinaia

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Just 500 yards from Peles Castle on the hill above the town of Sinaia is the ***** 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.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Nobillis Carpathian Residence, Pestera

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High on a hillside with unrestricted views of the Bucegi and Piatra Craiului Mountains is the Nobillis - Carpathian Residence. Recently built, this cosy **** hotel offers a garden, a terrace, a Finnish sauna and a Turkish bath, and the hotel's restaurant serves Swiss cuisine that can be enjoyed in the large dining room. All rooms feature a large balcony with spectacular views and are elegantly furnished with solid dark wood furniture.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Transylvanian Inn, Predelut

Hair dryer iconNEARBY:

Perched on a hillside with panoramic views over Bran Castle (just 2km away), Ra?nov 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.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Fronius Residence, Sighisoara

Hair dryer iconNEARBY:

Right in the centre of Sighi?oara's mediaeval citadel, at the bottom of the Scholar's Stairs, is the boutique C17 Fronius Residence. This atmospheric renovated building features individual rooms full of character, with modern amenities and vaulted ceilings, built in local stone and fitted with antique wooden furnishings. There is also an outdoor sun terrace where guests can relax with a drink from the bar. The hotel is just a couple of minutes' walk from the famous C13 Clock Tower and Sighisoara's wonderful 'Church on the Hill'.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Hotel Belvedere, Brasov

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Hotel Belvedere, located just over half a mile from the centre of historic Brasov, boasts fantastic panoramic views of the old and new parts of the city as well as the Postavaru and Bucegi Mountains. Facilities include an outdoor swimming pool (seasonal), a terrace and a top floor restaurant, all with spectacular views. The evening views from the restaurant are truly magical with the contemporary artistry of the Romanian and international dishes inside and the street lights of Brasov below!

The spacious, contemporary styled bedrooms are air conditioned and are equipped with a flat-screen TV, a computer, a safety deposit box and a minibar. Each ensuite bathroom comes with bath or shower, toiletries, slippers and bathrobes. Most rooms also have a balcony and there is complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. Other facilities include a bar, sauna and hot tub as well as laundry and ironing services.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Please contact us for extra night prices.


Transfers included from Bucharest airport at 18:35 and back to Bucharest airport at 14:00.

Please call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 or email usa@exodustravels.com to arrange connecting flights.


Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus an overall rating and comments about their holiday.

Any feedback collected is posted to our website, so that people can make an informed decision based on past experiences before heading off on holiday. We don’t edit the reviews, the only thing we do is proofread them and alter any typos, where necessary, to ensure they are easy to read for everyone. All reviews will be published (except in certain extreme circumstances), and a member of the Headwater team will respond to any constructive criticisms/comments under the reviews, at their discretion. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Mr Lowes, 11/10/2018

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.

Ms Hansen, 03/10/2018

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

Mrs Hadfield, 20/09/2018

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.

Ms Ffrench, 05/09/2018

Lovely hotels, great tour guide.

Mr Beare, 13/08/2018

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

Dr Owen-Jones, 04/07/2018

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.

Mr Collins, 04/07/2018

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 Browning, 21/06/2018

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.

Mrs Curtis, 21/06/2018

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.

Mr Cotton, 29/05/2018

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

Mr Laidlaw, 18/10/2017

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

Mrs Lucas, 20/09/2017

Great combination of scenic walking, gourmet food and historical interest

Mr Davidson, 07/07/2017

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.

Mrs Walker, 04/07/2017

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.

Miss Chappell, 30/05/2017

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.

Dates and prices

You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday. Find out about The Headwater Price Promise to ensure you're getting the very best value for money.

For further details, or to check availability, speak to our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 or complete our holiday enquiry form (we'll contact you at a time that's most convenient for you).

To enquire about this holiday, or for further information, call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 or complete our holiday enquiry form.

  • May
  • Jun
  • Sep
May 2019 Tour only Availability
25th May US$2415 Check availability
Jun 2019 Tour only Availability
1st Jun US$2435 Check availability
15th Jun US$2445 Check availability
Sep 2019 Tour only Availability
7th Sep US$2445 Check availability
14th Sep US$2435 Check availability
28th Sep US$2415 Check availability

The prices quoted for each individual departure supercede those published in our current brochures. Air prices are subject to change and we advise early booking to obtain the best prices. Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information.

Holiday details

Minimum group sizes
A minimum of 6 people (in total) are required for each departure.

This holiday is unsuitable for children.

Holiday type
Guided walking Managed locally by Headwater appointed agent.

Selected Saturdays from 25th May 2019 to 28th Sep 2019, for 7 nights.

All lunches and evening meals

Tailor-made travel

Tour only
Transfers included from Bucharest airport at 18:35 and back to Bucharest airport at 14:00.

If you choose to book your own flights please check with us first that your chosen departure date is definitely operating as our guided holidays are subject to minimum group sizes.

How to book

For further details, or to check availability, speak to our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 or complete our holiday enquiry form (we'll contact you at a time that's most convenient for you).

To enquire about this holiday, or for further information, call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 or complete our holiday enquiry form.

We are ATOL registered We are an ABTA member
Independent customer reviews and ratings

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