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Adventure Travel & Exploration

Day Trip options in the Brasov, Piatra Craiului National Park, Bucegi and Saxon Transylvania area
South East Transylvania - with Brasov and the Piatra Craiului National Park - is a fascinating area to explore for a day, as well as for a longer tour. Nature, wildlife, birds, mountains, forests, castles, fortified churches, small-holder farmers, shepherds and charcoal burners - they are all here!

Roving Romania primarily offers railor-made tours from 2 days to 2 weeks duration. However even our Day Trips are tailored to your specific interests. And if you are looking for something not mentioned here - just ask!

Please note:
- We are based near Brasov so can only realistically offer Day Trips in South East Transylvania. If you want to explore other areas, please ask about a short (or longer) tour.
- Day Trips are usually only bookable a month or so in advance. Last minute bookings are also often possible.

For a FULL DAY you can choose 2 or 3 of the options below - with the exception of Options 11 and 12, which are in themselves full day options. Full Day Trips cost GBP £100 per group per day for our time (GBP £85 for just 1 or 2 people), plus GBP £0.20p per kilometre for the use of the Land Rover with Colin as driver, guide and translator. Most day trips from Brasov will not exceed 200 kms (GBP £40) - where they do, a distance/cost estimate is indicated below.
HALF DAY trips, which consist of just ONE of the Options from 1 to 10 and 13 to 18 below, cost GBP £60 per group, plus GBP £0.20p per kilometre as above, with additional costs as shown.

The above costs are PER GROUP (not per person) with a maximum group size of 6.  We can accept local payment ONLY for Day Trips - in cash £GBP, Euros, or Romanian Lei. Additionally there will often be entry fees per person, photo permits, donations, etc. required, which can be paid in Romanian Lei only.  These are listed below under each activity. 

Colin Shaw of Roving Romania
is a founder member of the
Association of Ecotourism
in Romania
1. Tour of historic Brasov - anything from a 30 minute "flying tour" by Land Rover, to a 4 hour comprehensive exploration on foot. Discover remnants of the city's old fortifications; look at Orthodox and Lutheran churches including the massive "Black Church" that dominates the old town - the largest Gothic cathedral east of Vienna.  Entry fees variable but not likely to be more than GBP £2 to £3 per person.  Some places (like the Black Church) have unpredictable opening hours/days.

Roving România

Brasov, Romania

Telephone: +40 (0)724 348272
or +40 (0)744 212065


Mediaeval Brasov with the Black Church
2.  Rasnov Saxon fortress - a hilltop fort built as a refuge by German "Saxon" settlers in the Middle Ages to defend themselves against frequent raids by Tartars and Turks.  Look for the legend of the extraordinary 147 metre deep well, cut through solid limestone!  30 mins from Brasov, minimum 1 hour visit.  Entry fees GBP £3 ppincluding photo permit.  Open Daily in summer.
3.  Bran Castle - atop a rock in Bran village, this castle was home and palace to Queen Marie of Romania - one of Queen Victoria's many granddaughters.  Also mythically linked to Vlad Tepes "The Impaler", and thus indirectly to the "Dracula" story.  Very touristy in summer but worth a visit if you can cope with the crowds.  Note that Dracula is NOT here and never really was!  45 mins from Brasov, 1 hour visit.  Entry fee GBP £4 pp including photo permit.  Open Daily except Monday mornings.
4.  Prejmer Saxon fortified church - the Saxon settlers (see Rasnov above) fortified their village churches as refuges.  Prejmer is the largest - and most impressively fortified - of these, with a heavily defended curtain wall and a unique "death organ".  30 mins from Brasov. Entry fees GBP £1.50 per person. Closed Mondays and some Sundays.

5.  Bear (and wolf) Sanctuary - set up in dense woodland near Zarnesti (45 mins from Brasov) to rescue bears from circuses, zoos and private collections. This is the easy way to see European Brown Bear at close quarters, and is ideal for families with children. There are more than 50 bears here, as well as several wolves and at least one fox. The Sanctuary is not yet fully open to the public but we have special permission to visit. Open daily by arrangement. Minimum 60 Euros donation to the Sanctuary per GROUP of up to 10 people.

6.  Shepherds camp at Plaiul Foii, at the foot of Piatra Craiului Mountain.  Possibly one of the potential costs of EU entry for Romania will be the demise of mountain shepherding and transhumance.  Like many bands of shepherds in Romania, those at Plaiul Foii are 4 shepherds with some 400 sheep. They are milked 3 times per day by the shepherds, who also herd the sheep AND make a variety of cheese products!  Best times to visit are 12 midday, 6 pm and 5 am (!!!) for milking.  Within the Piatra Craiului National Park.  1 hour from Brasov. No entry fee but either a donation to the shepherds of GBP £5 or £6 per group, or better still bring a bottle of strong alcohol, cigarettes, and some food (not cheese!). May to September only.

Shepherds making Urda cheese
7.  Zarnesti Gorge "Prapastiile Zarnestilor" - this deep and narrow limestone canyon was formed by the collapse of a cave roof.  Good for bird watching - Alpine swifts, Crag martins, Grey wagtails, Dippers, Buzzards and occasional Wallcreepers, MAY be seen here - though none are guaranteed!.  The gorge itself can only be explored on foot - anything from a gentle 30 minute stroll to a full 3 hour exploration.  The dramatic closing scenes of the Nicole Kidman/Jude Law film "Cold Mountain" were made here.  Within the Piatra Craiului National Park.  1 hour from Brasov. No entry fee.

8.  Hilltop villages of Magura and Pestera - within the Piatra Craiului National Park. From near the entrance to the Zarnesti Gorge (see 7 above) a rough road climbs steeply to the hilltop village of Magura at 1000 metres, with some of the best scenic views in Romania, and the Bucegi and Piatra Craiului mountains as backdrops. You can just visit Magura by Land Rover and stop for a drink - and maybe some of Adriana's excellent home-made cakes. 1 hour from Brasov. Or you can continue for a pleasant 1.5 to 2.5 hour walk along a ridge-top cart track in stunning scenery to Pestera village, from where we collect you by Land Rover.  No entry fee but drinks and cakes cost a little extra!

Magura village, Piatra Craiului Mountains
9.  Cristianul Mare Mountain and walk back down.  Drive to the mountain tourist resort of Poiana Brasov; take the cable car to the top of Cristianul Mare mountain at 1440 metres, and walk back down.  Superb mountain and forest scenery.  The walk down is fairly steep, mostly on a good cart track although the gravel surface can be slippery in places.  Walk takes 2 to 3 hours for reasonably fit walkers.  30 mins from Brasov. Cable car costs GBP £3 per person.  Cable car runs unpredictably in summer.
10.  Dumbravita Fishponds - Special Protection Area for birds.  A good bird watching area for keen bird watchers, these reclaimed lakes are primarily a commercial fish farm.  However where there are fish there are also Herons and Egret, Marsh tern, Bittern (if you can only find them!), Buzzard, Harrier, Black kite, and a variety of warblers.  30 minutes from Brasov.  1 hour or longer visit.  Entry fee GBP £6 per person.  Daily by special arrangement.
11.  Saxon villages and Sighisoara - a longer FULL Day Trip from Brasov, visiting several Saxon villages and their fortified churches.  Via Fagaras, Soars (visit fortified church if keyholder is home), the isolated villages of Barcut, Retis and Bradeni, Apold (visit fortified church under restoration), and Sighisoara.  Time in Sighisoara will be limited on such a day tour.  Return to Brasov by main road.  Entry fees depend on which places are visited - expect a donation of GBP £2 pp at Soars, a minimum of GBP £3 pp at Apold, and GBP £2.50 pp entry to the Clock Tower in Sighisoara.  Fuel costs for this trip will be GBP £60 total.  Clock Tower usually closed on Mondays.
12.  Sighisoara and the Charcoal Burners.  A more direct full day trip to Sighisoara, taking a shorter route through a few Saxon villages and with more time to explore medieval Sighisoara, its impressive Clock Tower, and its narrow cobbled streets.  A walking tour and quiz of Sighisoara will draw your attention to the most interesting elements (takes about 1.5 hours) AND will offer you a small but valuable prize!  On the return journey we detour on rough roads to visit charcoal burners near the isolated Saxon village of Viscri (also a very good bird watching area).  Take home a piece of charcoal to keep your fridge odour-free!  Fuel costs GBP £60 total.  GBP £2.50 pp entry to the Clock Tower - usually closed on Mondays.  Other entry fees variable, and a donation of food and alcohol for sustenance to the charcoal burners!

Imre, the charcoal burner, near Viscri
13.  Bear Watching Hide.  This is an early evening activity from about 6pm until just after dusk.  This is also totally dependant upon the one effective hide in the area not being prior booked. Not usually available during the hunting season.  An evening visit to the hide costs as follows: 25 Euros per person for the visit (may be more if only 1 or 2 paying visitors), additional 25 Euros for every photo camera taken, and an additional 50 Euros for filming or video.  1 hour from Brasov. In addition you will need us, or a local guide to go with you, and transport, the costs of which must be added.
14.  Bird Watching, and Walking in Transylvania.  Exploring the Transylvanian Plateau to the north and west of Brasov by Land Rover and on foot. There are many good areas for finding birds - raptors, shrikes and more "exotic" species like Bee-eater, Hoopoe and Golden Oriole - away from towns and main roads. 20 mins or more from Brasov. No additional costs. Bird book and binoculars provided on loan.
15.  Bird Watching, and Walking in the mountains.  Access by Land Rover, horse-drawn cart and on foot with Colin, or a longer hike With Ana-Marie or a local mountain guide, in Piatra Mare, Vrancea, the Piatra Craiului National Park or the Fagaras Mountains. 20 mins or more from Brasov. Horse-drawn cart costs GBP £20 per group - see 16 below.
16.  Local travel by horse-drawn cart.  This can be ADDED to Options 6, 7, 8, and 15 for LOCAL transport in the Zarnesti / Piatra Craiului National Park area, or as a Day Trip on its own. Especially recommended for families with children! A far more eco-friendly means of transport than the Land Rover, enabling you to see local life at a more leisurely pace! Horse-drawn sleighs are available in winter – bring warm clothing! 45 mins from Brasov. GBP £20 per group.

17.  Hiking with Ana-Maria.  New for 2012 and as part of Roving Romania, Ana-Maria (see About Us page) is offering hiking, cycling and mountain biking tours, including Day Trips. Half day and Full day hikes are available in the Fagaras, Piatra Craiului, Bucegi and Piatra Mare mountains, as well as the Transylvanian plateau. Up to 10 people per group. From gentle, easy walks up to advanced mountain hiking.

18.  Cycling and Mountain Biking with Ana-Maria.  Ana-Maria is also offering mountain biking Day Trips and tours in the Fagaras, Piatra Craiului, Bucegi and Piatra Mare mountains, as well as more relaxed, cutural Day Trips and tours by bicycle through the Saxon villages of Southern Transylvania. Bikes are available for hire at several locations with advance notice, at around GBP £10 per day. Up to 10 people per group. Varying ability levels.

Discover the REAL Romania with Roving Romania!