Discovering Transylvania’s Heritage by Bike
From 850 € pp
April - October
Enjoy a self-guided bike ride through the hills of Transylvania, and discover the rich heritage of this mysterious and spectacular land.
This trip will take you into the Carpathian Mountains and Transylvania’s hills. Transylvania is famous thanks to Bram Stoker’s legend of Dracula, and well-known for its forests which provide shelter for many species of wild plants and animals. Surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains, Transylvania was a much sought-for land. The Saxons arrived here in the 11th century to guard the Carpathian Mountain passes between Transylvania and Wallachia against the Tatars and the Ottomans. This is just a hint of the rich heritage that you will discover during this entire trip. An exceptional holiday is waiting for you!
- Visit the Fagara Mountains, the highest in Romania, and the Bear Sanctuary
- Reveal the hidden secrets of the Cistercian monastery ruins in Carta
- Cycle through the lovely villages of Biertan and Richis
- Appreciate a UNESCO heritage site, the fortified church of Biertan
- Roam the ancient streets of the medieval citadel of Sighisoara
- Savor home-made meals at local guesthouses
Immerse yourself in the captivating legends, awe-inspiring landscapes, warm hospitality, and fascinating historical ambiance of this magical region. Prepare for an extraordinary adventure that will leave a lasting impression. Pedal through the breathtaking hills of Transylvania, enjoying invigorating exercise along the way. Cycling through this region provides diversity in terms of taking you through cultural sites as well as several small nature reserves. Further, nature in the region is hardly touched by chemicals which draws nature lovers seeking to enjoy the beautiful pastoral landscapes.
We recommend taking this trip anywhere from the end of April to the beginning of October. During this period, the weather is most favorable for outdoor activities, and the region offers a variety of natural and cultural experiences.
In April, spring begins in Transylvania, bringing mild temperatures and longer daylight hours. The countryside comes alive with blooming flowers and lush greenery, providing a picturesque setting for cycling. The weather is generally pleasant, with moderate temperatures and lower chances of rain compared to summer.
From June to August, the warm and sunny weather of summer attracts many cyclists. The longer days offer ample time for extended trips and exploration of the vibrant landscapes. During this time, you can also take part in local food festivals and events that showcase the region's culinary delights.
In September and October, autumn sets in, offering mild and pleasant weather for cycling. The foliage that transforms into a stunning display of colors creates a lovely backdrop for your rides. Autumn also brings the harvest season, allowing you to savor local produce and experience traditional practices.
Day 1 Bucharest [Romania] (arrival day)
Arrival and welcome at Bucharest Northern Train Station before 2 PM. Train transfer to Zarnesti. Change in Brasov. 2nd train transfer to Zarnesti, a mountain village and main entrance to the Piatra Craiului National Park.
Our agent will join you at the train station or we can send all the documents by email.
Day 2 Bike near the Fagaras Mountains, Zarnesti, & Ohaba (~50km | ~31 miles | +250 meter elevation gain | -400 meter elevation descent)
You will ride to the North, to a small typical village at the foot of the Fagaras Mountains, the highest mountains in Romania. You can take a 7 km detour on a gravel road to visit the famous Bear Sanctuary near Zarnesti. From there you head to Ohaba where you will visit the oldest flour mill in the county, powered by water and you will hear its amazing story from the communism period.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 Bike by Sambata de Sus, Dragus, Cartisoara, & Carta (~60km | 37 miles | +300 m | -450m)
You cycle at the foot of the Fagaras mountains over the Bucium River. You will step by the original village of Lisa where a 100-year-old machine, tailoring thick woolen blankets is still working; then pass by Sambata de Sus with its impressive Brancovenesc monastery from 1696. After that, the trip goes further over Dragus (ethnographic museum). You cross Victoria town and to the small village of Cartisoara and from there to the village of Carta, where you will visit the ruins of the Cistercian monastery. Hopefully, you will have the opportunity to meet the pastor and hear his beautiful stories.
2 extra nights possible in Carta:
- One for the visit to Sibiu: we recommend having an extra day in this magnificent village and going by train to visit Sibiu, one of the most beautiful medieval towns in Romania. This is certainly the reason why Sibiu was chosen « the cultural capital of Europe in 2007 ». Developed by Saxons in a Roman village, Sibiu was the residence of the Austrian government in Transylvania.
The small streets, the picturesque courtyards, and the rock stairs create a romantic atmosphere. Lots of monuments and interesting museums are also waiting for you. In the evening you return by train to Carta village.
Also possible overnight in Sibiu. (+$53 / pax double base, +$65 / pax in single) The price includes a hotel with half-board and train tickets to Sibiu and back (around 1h15 per section). This price doesn’t include lunch.
- One for riding the Transfagarasan route (+$90 / pax double base, +$100 / pax in single) Ride on Transfagarasan road, one of the most amazing mountain roads in Europe. This price includes a hotel with half board, a bus in the morning to Balea Lake (2050m), and a bike rental. This price doesn’t include lunch. More info about this road here.
This activity is only available on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 Bike through villages of Biertan and Richis (~65km | ~40 miles | +600 m | -650 m)
The route through Transylvania continues towards Biertan and its enormous, fortified church with several ring walls. It has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1993. The trip continues along country roads and you'll enjoy the pastoral landscapes and fortified church of Richis.
Optional Activity: Visit the city of Sibiu and spend the night. (+$65 / pax double base, +$70 / pax in single). Price includes hotel in Sibiu with breakfast and train tickets to Sibiu and back (around 1h 15minutes per section). This price doesn’t include lunch & dinner
Meas: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 Bike through Sighisoara & Dumbraveni (~40km | ~25 miles | +380 m | -400 m)
This cycling day will allow you to discover other treasures from Transylvania. You move on to Sighisoara, one of the few medieval citadels in Europe that is still fully inhabited and included on the list of UNESCO World Heritage. Discover the old town with its famous clock tower, which initially served as the main entrance to the citadel, but also covered stairs, medieval streets, the house where Vlad Dracul, the father of Vlad the Impaler known by Bram Stocker’s legend as Dracula, was born. On the road you can make a small detour to Dumbraveni, another town with an important Armenian Catholic Church, another witness of our glorious past.
Accommodation: Charming 3-star hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 6 Bike through Apold & Soars (~48km | ~30 miles | +600 m | -500 m)
Today you will cycle through the Transylvanian hills to Apold village which also has a lovely fortified church. Then you will arrive in Soars village where you will spend the night. The country road will take you to remote and bucolic areas where you will surely meet shepherds watching over their sheep herds. Do not miss this meeting!
Meas: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 Bike through Viscri & Soars (~35km | ~22 miles | +300 m | -250 m)
From Soars we bike to one of the highlights of this trip, Viscri, where you will have the opportunity to visit Viscri’s fortified church. This church was restored with the help of Prince’s Charles Foundation. A day ride through these old and time-standing villages offers a peaceful immersing into yourself; time to meditate on the passing of time and connection to nature. If you want the maximum out of your trip you can go have a stroll through this post-card village and visit the blacksmith and the gipsy-Hungarian blacksmith.
Meas: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 Leave from Viscri, transfer to Brasov, train to Bucharest (departure day)
Leaving from Viscri after breakfast, you will have a private transfer to Brasov from where the train departs to Bucharest (several trains starting at 13:30). We highly suggest an extra night in this medieval town if you don’t have the time to visit it during the first day. End of the trip.
Prices exclude flights to/from the destination.
Prices are for double room occupancy unless indicated otherwise.
Deposit per person
20% of the trip price
Shared Room - sleeps 2 - price per person
850 € pp
We have different options for you to rent the bike that suits you best:
- Arcade Hybrid Bike: $95
No suspensions, v-brakes, bottle holder for men’s frame only. 21 gears, light aluminum frame, Shimano derailleur.
- Trek Hybrid Bike: $115
Front suspension, disk brakes, bottle holder. 21 gears, light aluminum frame, Shimano derailleur
- Electric Bike: $307
Frame: Alpha Aluminum, specially designed for the Bosch Active Line system, luggage rack, and mudguard. Fork: Rigid. Tires: Schwalbe Big Apple, 700x50C, K-Guard puncture protection. Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. Cassette Shimano 9-speed Crankset Miranda Delta. Battery: Bosch PowerPack (diagonal tube), 500Wh. Engine: Bosch Active +, 250 Watt, 50 Nm.
As a certified partner of the Association of Ecotourism in Romania, our primary goal is to promote sustainable and authentic travel experiences. We encourage non-motorized transportation and off-the-beaten-path exploration, aiming to minimize our carbon footprint. Our cycling tours enable a close connection with nature and begin with a train journey from Bucharest to the starting point. We emphasize the importance of recycling, using biodegradable or reusable items, and sourcing local food supplies.
All our partners are local Romanians who contribute to the country's development. By traveling on less-popular roads, we support local communities and provide employment to around fifteen regional providers on average. Additionally, we actively promote and educate about the cultural and artisanal productions of the regions we visit. We collaborate solely with independent artisans and craftsmen who demonstrate a deep respect for traditional expertise.
Our trip is committed to a range of sustainable initiatives that contribute to the conservation of ecosystems and the preservation of biodiversity. We prioritize using environmentally friendly products throughout the journey, ensuring that our choices have minimal impact on the environment. We promote green transportation by encouraging non-motorized means, such as cycling, and using public transportation like trains whenever possible.
When it comes to dining, we seek out local and organic restaurants, supporting the local economy. In our efforts to minimize waste, we prioritize reusable and biodegradable items, such as food containers and water bottles. We also implement responsible waste management practices, including recycling and proper disposal. To reduce our reliance on conventional energy sources, we incorporate solar thermal panels, harnessing the power of the sun to meet our energy needs. Additionally, we employ water flow reducers to minimize water usage and promote conservation.
One of our key focuses is connecting travelers with local products, enabling them to experience the authentic flavors and craftsmanship of the region. We actively engage with local communities, fostering meaningful interactions that promote cultural exchange and mutual understanding. By staying with local communities, we not only support their economy but also deeply immerse in their way of life.
With the local population's health and well-being in mind, we carefully choose our activities, so that they all have a positive impact on their physical and mental well-being. In our commitment to inclusivity and equality, we practice non-discriminatory hiring, providing opportunities to individuals from all backgrounds. Ultimately, our goal is to provide travelers with genuine and immersive experiences, allowing them to truly connect with the destination and its people.
Throughout this trip, we provide local employment opportunities, ensuring that the benefits of tourism reach the hands of those who reside in the destination. By supporting local businesses, we contribute to the economic growth and sustainability of the region, fostering a thriving local economy. Our tours are specifically designed to benefit the local community, whether it's through engaging with local artisans, collaborating with independent providers, or promoting cultural and artisanal productions. We believe that by involving and uplifting the local community, we create a more meaningful and impactful travel experience for our guests while leaving a positive legacy in the destinations we visit.
Health & Safety
Be sure you have traveler's insurance.
What does the physical rating of "Average" mean?
You need an intermediate level of fitness - you do not need to be an advanced, highly sportive, or expert cycler.
You'll be cycling most days of the trip and going 22 to 46 miles/day (35 to 74 km/day), with some climbs.
What are the accommodations like?
Accommodations include a 3-star hotel for one night and guesthouses run by local families for the other nights. Bathrooms are private unless there's an exceptional case needed for two rooms to share one bathroom based on group size and guesthouse availability.
The guesthouses you will be staying at are run by local families we've worked with for years, that will prepare you homemade dishes. Tourism truly helps their families and communities to thrive.
What do I need to bring?
Please bring the following for your bike trip:
- Your own bike helmet
- Sunglasses and sunscreen
- Refillable water bottle (bikes are equipped with water bottle holders)
- Headlamp (some rooms are not equipped with lamps close to the bed)
- Snacks & energy bars for the day
- Credit card & a small amount of cash
What about my luggage?
Luggage will be transferred from one guest-house to the other.
How do I prepare for a cycling holiday?
Getting fitter doesn’t have to mean an arduous and serious training plan. For most cycling holidays specific training isn’t necessary however ensuring the daily distances are well within your capabilities will mean that you remain fresh enough to enjoy the stunning scenery and interesting culture around you. The first step is as simple as spending a bit more time on your bike.
If you rent the bikes from us, we’ll have them ready at the first guesthouse with side panniers, locks, and a set of repairing tools.