Romania Adventure Travel Guide
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Right, where were we. Set off for Transylvania after Budapest. We got as far as the other side of the Romanian border and we all immediately decided that this is where the hard work begins. Roughed it in some farmers field, what with the word... Read full post...Posted by Ian K on 9th August 2010
Yeah, so far so good! Somehow our trusty steed has made it to Budapest with absolutely nothing wrong with the car yet. Couple of things have fallen off and the flapping broken soft top is deafening on the motorways, but we soon realised that a... Read full post...Posted by Mark Pawlak on 30th July 2010
Romania is made up of an assortment of territories. A quarter of the country is covered by forests, home to the widest variety of wildlife in Europe, from bears and wolves to dear and lynx. The Carpathian Mountains (also known as the Transylvanian Alps) dominate the centre of the country and offer miles of meadows, lakes and mountain peaks. Nature lovers are spoilt for choice with the range of outdoor activities available. Romania has four distinct seasons, with the south being generally warmer than the north. In summer, temperatures in the lowlands in southeast Romania can often reach 40C, whereas the capital city of Bucharest averages around 28C. Winters can be extremely cold, with an abundance of snow in the highest mountains helping Romania attract skiiers.
The large amount of countryside in Romania allows for a great choice of terrain for mountain bikers of all levels. From the exciting and inspiring Bucegi Mountains and Piatra Craiului Massifs, to the more gentle rides through villages near the famous Bran castle, there is plenty to stop for en-route. Bucovina, home to the world famous painted monasteries, is one of the most interesting areas for mountain biking. For a more challenging ride requiring an adrenalin boost, the Piatra Craiului Mountains have plenty of technical ascents and descents, all with a stunning rural backdrop.
Hiking is a great way to enjoy Romania’s landscape, and with more than 400 parks and nature reservations, there’s plenty of choice. In the western Carpathians, the volcanic Vladeasa mountain ridge, and the caves and canyons of Padis are all accessible in one hike. There are numerous trails from gentle to challenging through terrain with a great variety of flora and fauna. During Spring, the wild crocuses turn the higher meadows purple, and the possibility of spotting a brown bear is at its highest. From gorges and lakes to extraordinary views, the hiking trails of Romania offer a great range of memorable walks.
Rock climbing in Romania is increasing in popularity due to the variety and quality of climbing available, and now convincingly rivals other climbing destinations in Europe. There are over 600 climbing routes to choose from, ranging from the easiest to the most challenging of ascents. It is possible to practice all climbing styles in Romania, at the main rock-climbing gateways, Busteni, Sinaia, Zarnesti and Petrosani. The highest rock wall is the Valea Alba Wall, which scales over 900m from "La Verdeata". The Bucegi Mountains have recently expanded their climbing opportunities, opening new areas to provide a good mixture of single and multi-pitch routes.
A lesser-known asset of the Romanian mountains is their ski resorts, the highest ski point towering at an altitude of 6,600ft. Being off the beaten track for the usual skiers, Romania boasts relatively empty slopes. Brasov, the most popular resort, offers striking scenery and gentle slopes for improving your skills, or off-piste encounters for the more advanced. With over a third of the country being covered in mountains, there are numerous resorts to choose from, including the major resorts of Poiana, Sinaia and Predeal, all set amongst green pine forests and sparkling snow.
The largest part of the Danube Delta lies in Romania, providing a range of rivers for rafting enthusiasts. The famous Olt River, in Romania is renowned for its white-water rafting opportunities, complete with looming boulders and powerful waves. Offering both tranquil waters and rushing torrents, this river is accessible to all skill levels, and is surrounded by the beautiful scenery of the Carpathian Mountains. The Beszterce and the Maros rivers are perfect for beginners, whilst the Jiu is known to have high floods. For a great view, the Nera and the Cerna flow through breathtaking countryside.
Romania’s dramatically changing regions allow visitors to explore the different sites within relatively short journeys. After marvelling in the views whilst hiking in the Carpathian Mountains, visit the world-famous painted monasteries in Bucovina. Beautifully decorated inside and out, these popular tourist attractions are protected by UNESCO. No holiday to Romania would be complete without a trip to Transylvania’s medieval towns, particularly to see the Gothic fairy-tale castle, Bran; the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. If you’re feeling brave, take to the waters of the Danube River to raft your way through the turbulent rapids, but if you prefer things drier, you can still enjoy hundreds of lakes and rivers which are a fisherman’s paradise. Whether you’re looking for a cultural getaway in the traditional villages of Maramures, or an adventure-packed holiday, complete with skiing, rock-climbing and mountain biking, Romania has a spot for everyone.
Take a break in the great outdoors and enjoy an afternoon of horseback riding across the rolling hills and meadows of Transylvania. With over 300 bird species and 160 game fish calling the Danube Delta their home, take advantage of viewing Romania’s spectacular wildlife with a fishing trip or bird watching. From late Spring until early February, the bird population flourishes in its natural habitat. Get closer to nature by camping at one of the many camping areas located in the heart of the Carpathian Mountains or beside the rivers; wake up to the breathtaking views of the Romanian countryside.