Cycle through the heart of the Transylvanian Alps, exploring beautiful countryside, medieval towns, imposing castles and the Libearty Bear Sanctuary.
Bran and Peles Castles – Atmospheric medieval and neo-renaissance castles
Sighisoara – Discover this beautiful UNESCO listed medieval town
Bucharest – Stay in Romania’s capital city, known in the 1930’s as the Paris of the East.
Day 1 Trip starts Bucharest airport, drive to Moieciu
Our trip begins at Henri Coanda International Airport (OTP) at 7.30pm. If you would like to join the complimentary airport transfer today, the latest your flight can arrive is 7pm. We will travel together as a group in our mini bus, to Moieciu, which takes approximately three and a half hours. We will stop for dinner (not included), comfort breaks and a money changing opportunity on our way.
If your flight arrives earlier in the day, you may have time to wait ahead of our group transfer to Moieciu. You can make the most of this time by heading in to Bucharest city centre. A taxi costs around 20 and takes about 20 minutes but up to one hour at peak times. There is a direct bus which cost 0.85 and can take up to one hour.
Please note that due to airline schedules, on our 25-Jul and 05-Sept trip, the transfer will leave from Bucharest Airport at 8.30pm so the latest that your flight can arrive is 8.10pm.
Day 2 Bran castle and Libearty Bear Reservation, cycle to Piatra Craiului National Park
Today starts with a short drive to Bran for our included visit to the castle (known as Dracula’s Castle). Perched on a crag in a valley between two high mountain ranges, the castle controlled an international trade route, but it is now a rural backwater. We then leave Bran and after a short drive arrive for our included visit to the Bear Sanctuary, which was created to rescue bears found suffering throughout Romania where they had been pets or attractions for restaurants and petrol stations. The bears now live in 160 acres of oak and hazel forest which is run by the Millions of Friends Organisation. Our visit helps fund the upkeep of the sanctuary and you get to view these magnificent creatures in a natural setting. After our visit, we have lunch and then familiarise ourselves with our bikes and begin cycling at the foot of the Piatra Craiului National Park. We cycle along a beautiful forest valley passing Piatra Craiului. Then we cycle mainly downhill with spectacular views of the Transylvanian Alps to Bucium.
Your total cycling distance today is approximately 41km, with approximately 141 metres total ascent and 248 metres descent.
Day 3 Visit the Sambata Monastery, cycle via Arpasu to Albota
Today we continue cycling with good views of the Fagaras Mountains – the longest, highest ridge of the Carpathian Mountain range. Stopping for our picnic, we may visit the ancient water barrel whirlpools, traditionally used for felting cloth and washing large fabrics. In the afternoon we will have an included visit to the Romanian Orthodox Sambata Monastery, dedicated to the Domitian of the Virgin Mary. Continuing along the valley, we pass through Arpasu to our final destination in Albota set by the water at the foot of the mountains.
Your total cycling distance today is approximately 53km, with approximately 338 metres total ascent and 150 metres descent.
Day 4 Cycle the Olt River Valley to Talmaciu, drive to Sibiu
Departing Albota on our bikes, we cross the plain to join the riverside, and then use gravel tracks to follow the water course. Passing villages, dams and herds of water buffalo, we arrive in Avrig to visit the 18th century Orangerie and the park of the summer residence of the former governor of Transylvania, Samuel Von Brukenthal. Today’s ride ends in Talmaciu, we then drive by bus (30 minutes) to the city of Sibiu for a walking tour that takes in the 15th century city walls and bastion fortifications. Sibiu is known as the red city due to its brick construction and is the most fortified town in the Principality of Transylvania. We then check into our accommodation.
Your total cycling distance today is approximately 55km, with approximately 120 metres total ascent and 160 metres descent.
Day 5 Drive to Carta, ride via Agnita to Dealu Frumos
After a short drive this morning, we arrive in Carta, an area in which time seems to have stood still. The farmers here still use traditional methods including scythes and sickles to farm their land and horse drawn wagons to move their hay. Here we visit the ancient church and ruins of an old Cistercian Abbey. Passing local villages with a few rest stops, we then cycle into the Hartibaciu Valley. Passing through Agnita, where the fortified church still hides a few secrets from its shady past, there is a final hill climb to arrive at our accomodation for the night in Dealu Frumos.
Your total cycling distance today is approximately 38km, with approximately 385 metres total ascent and 220 metres descent.
Day 6 Cycle to UNESCO listed Sighisoara
For our final day on the bikes we have the option to ride as much or as little as you like. Cycling firstly to Biertan, we stop at the 15th century fortified church- a World Heritage Site. there is time for an optional guided visit and lunch before continuing on the final section of our ride to the destination of Sighisoara. On arrival, leaving the bike behind, there is free time to allow exploration of the town on foot, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The rest of the afternoon and evening is free to explore. Don’t miss the old town fortifications, the Church on the Hill, covered stairs and the clock tower.
Your total cycling distance today is approximately 37 – 74km depending on which option you chose, with approximately 450 metres total ascent if you 74km.
Day 7 Visit Peles Castle, drive to Bucharest
Today we drive Bucharest (290km); it will take about 6 hours but we will make plenty of stops. One of these stops will be to see the wonderful Peles Castle. Built for the Hohenzollern monarch Carol I, Peles resembles a Bavarian chateau and is richly decorated with stained glass, Persian carpets, Renaissance weapons, ebony and mother of pearl. Our journey ends in Bucharest, Romania’s largest city and the capital since 1832. Bucharest became run down in the communist days, but thanks to a period of urban renewal and modernisation, it’s now a bustling city at the centre of Romanian culture, art and media. We spend our last night in Romania here and look back on the great week of cycling in Transylvania before heading home in the morning.
Day 8 Trip ends Bucharest
The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Bucharest.
There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Bucharest at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you need to depart from Henri Coanda International Airport (OTP), which is 40 minutes’ drive from the hotel.