This Transylvanian cycling adventure starts in bustling Bucharest and takes you through several historical Saxon villages, as well as the medieval city of Brașov. As you pedal, enjoy views of rolling hills nestled under the Carpathian Mountains, stop at fortified churches, visit organic farms, and mingle with locals in unique heritage towns. You'll stay in charming guesthouses, family-run farms, and a refurbished castle, all while eating like a local with fresh, homemade food sourced from the region.

Highlights

  • Cycle through historic towns and monuments from medieval Saxon times
  • Ride a cable car to the top of Tâmpa Hill for incredible views of Brașov
  • Taste fresh, regionally-sourced, and organic meals prepared by your local hosts
  • Sleep in a refurbished castle in one of Romania's most popular rural villages
  • Learn about the complex history of eclectic and buzzy Bucharest

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bucharest - Explore Bucharest
Day 2 Transfer to Transylvania - Explore the City of Brasov Brasov
Day 3 Cycle to Bucium via Râșnov Bucium
Day 4 Visit the Hartibaciu Plateau and a Local Bee Farm Veseud
Day 5 Cycle to Cobor Farm - Visit a 13th-Century Fortified Church Cobor
Day 6 Cycle to Viscri - Stay at Daniel Castle Talisoara
Day 7 Return to Bucharest - Depart Romania  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bucharest - Explore

Bucharest's Incredible Parliament Building
Bucharest's Incredible Parliament Building

Welcome to Bucharest, the dynamic capital city of Romania!

After settling into your accommodation, take some time to explore this interesting and complex city. Make the most of your first day by taking a walk around the newly-preserved Old Town, enjoying a stroll through the city's oldest and most charming park, Cișmigiu Park, or enjoying the impressive National Museum of Art. Other suggested activities include:

  • Take a tour of the Palace of Parliament. It's the largest building in Europe—measured by usable space—and the heaviest in the world. Also known as the "House of People" in Communist times, this almost surreal building is symbolic of the love-hate relationship between the city and its dwellers.

  • Enjoy a coffee break in one of the many specialty coffee cafes that have newly spawned all over the city, placing Bucharest on the hipster coffee map. Some great options include Artichoke, M60, Bandit, Sonder, and more.

  • Take a guided tour of Bucharest. This complex city is best understood through the eyes of its locals, especially those who lived through its recent, turbulent history. Take an alternative tour of the city to learn more about how the effects of Communism still linger, and how a younger generation is breathing new life into the city.

In the evening, you'll meet with your local guide for a welcome dinner at one of the city's traditional restaurants. You won't be in the city center surrounded by other tourists; rather, you'll dine in a truly authentic restaurant loved by the locals.

Day 2: Transfer to Transylvania - Explore the City of Brasov

The Old Town in Brasov, Romania
The Old Town in Brasov, Romania

After breakfast in Bucharest, your guide will transfer you to the city of Brașov in the beautiful region of Transylvania. Here you will begin your tour through one of the country's most beloved and historic areas. After settling into your hotel, take some time to explore this incredibly historic city, known as Kronstadt in the German language.

Founded on an ancient Dacian settlement by Teutonic knights in 1211, the city was originally established to guard the southern border of the Kingdom of Hungary. Thanks to the German Saxon population that followed, Brașov blossomed into a medieval citadel known for its trade due to its location on a popular route linking Western Europe with the Ottoman Empire to the east. This city exudes a distinct medieval ambiance, and is filled with picturesque buildings, squares, and cobblestone streets.

Wandering the streets is an excellent way to enjoy Brașov. To help guide your exploration, some suggested activities include:

  • Take a peek inside the Biserica Neagră (Black Church), the largest Gothic church in Romania.
  • Visit the two towers Turnul Negru (Black Tower) and Turnul Alb (White Tower) for scenic vistas of the Old Town.

  • Walk through the 16th-century stone gate, Poarta Ecaterinei.

  • Stroll down Strada Sforii (Sforii Street), one of the narrowest streets in Europe.

  • Ride the cable car to the top of Tâmpa Hill for a spectacular view of the city from behind the Hollywood-like Brașov sign. Alternatively, you can climb up a small hill to Cetățuia de pe Strajă (The Fortress on the Sentinel) for an eye-catching and different view of the city.

  • Take an alternative guided tour that will help you explore some of the best places for craft beer and authentic local cuisine.

After exploring the city, find a cozy restaurant to grab a traditional meal. Due to its Germanic Saxon roots, the city has a delicious mix of both German and Romanian cuisine.

Day 3: Cycle to Bucium via Râșnov

Rasnov Fortress
Râșnov Fortress, Romania

After breakfast, you'll get your bike and start your cycling adventure through beautiful Transylvania. You'll enjoy views of rolling hills, rural countryside, and historic Saxon villages, all nestled at the base of the Description
Făgăraș Mountains.

You'll start the day with a beautiful climb up to Poiana Brașov, a famous Romanian winter resort. The climb is relatively short (6 miles (10 km)) and not too steep, although it will test your legs on this very first day. After enjoying a few scenic vistas, you'll descend into the town of Râșnov, home to one of the most well-preserved fortresses in Transylvania.

From here, you'll continue cycling on rolling hills before arriving at your destination in Bucium. On the way, you'll stop at an Orthodox Monastery Ensemble, comprised of a newly-constructed building and a medieval monastery built inside a cave. Local folklore claims that the caves have a special energy and those who visit will get their wishes granted.

In the vicinity, you can also visit a spectacular, unique and protected daffodil meadow,  if you are lucky enough to arrive in the appropriate. season. A natural washing machine constructed in the tumultuous water of a nearby river, as well as the oldest working watermill in Romania, are both also right around the corner. 

Your accommodation in Bucium will fill you with tasty treats sourced from the best regional food products and drinks. Your contribution to the local community is best expressed by merely enjoying the owners' overwhelming hospitality. Here you will meet local, hard-working people and show appreciation for their craftsmanship by simply being their guest.

Cycling Details:
Distance: about 44 miles (70 km)
Elevation Gain: about 2,000 feet (600 m)

Day 4: Visit the Hartibaciu Plateau and a Local Bee Farm

Biertan's Fortified Church, Transylvania
Biertan's Fortified Church, Transylvania

Today you'll  head towards the Hartibaciu Plateau, a half-million-acre terrain that is unique in Europe in terms of natural and cultural values. The sight was strongly influenced by the architecture and land use of the Saxons living here for centuries. The Saxons clustered in small villages, quite far from one another. The “core” of the Saxon village was always the fortified church.

You'll explore this land and its culture in the following days by cycling around some of the important highlights of the area, and also meeting the local people who give the region its authenticity. On your way, you'll stop at a bio farm that grows various types of wild berries and other regional produce. As you arrive in Veseud, the small village where you'll spend the night, you can make a special visit to a beekeeping farm. The owners are enthusiastic about preserving the pastoral methods of honey making.

Your accommodation for the night is an old Saxon house built in 1883, newly refurbished in 2015 to offer tranquility and relaxation in a unique, histocial atmosphere.

Cycling Details:
Distance: about 44 miles (70 km)
Elevation Gain: about 2,000 feet (600 m)

Day 5: Cycle to Cobor Farm - Visit a 13th-Century Fortified Church

Rural Villages of Transylvania
Rural Villages of Transylvania

In the morning, you'll continue exploring the region's Saxon heritage and culture as you cycle towards today's destination: a local organic farm with two modern guesthouses, a wonderful place to stay and enjoy Transylvania's tranquillity and amazing biodiversity.

The route is gentle, taking you through green meadows, shady forests, and sprinkled with some short climbs. On the way, you'll stop to visit a 13th-century Saxon fortified church and learn about why Transylvania is home to 150 of these medieval structures.

After settling into your accommodation in the village of Cobor, you can enjoy an optional activity. The area's landscape is very scenic, with amazing views of the surrounding mountains and settlements. Enjoy it with either a short, guided hike or a ride in a traditional horse-drawn cart.

Cycling Details:
Distance: about 44 miles (70 km)
Elevation Gain: about 2,000 feet (600 m)

Day 6: Cycle to Viscri - Stay at Daniel Castle

Daniel Castle, Transylvania, Romania
Daniel Castle, Transylvania, Romania

After a delicious, locally-sourced breakfast, you'll cycle to Tara Secuilor, a region in Transylvania where “secui”, a Hungarian ethnic minority, are living alongside the remaining Saxons and the Romanians. You'll cycle alongside the Olt River, the longest river that only flows in Romania, and arrive at Mercheasa, a unique place renowned for its hundred-year-old trees that can still be seen in the surrounding meadows.

On the way to your destination, you can make a 9-mile (15-km) detour to Viscri, a village with a history that goes back to the 12th century and is today one of Romania’s most famous villages. Prince Charles’ repeated visits, its UNESCO World Heritage fortified church, and the ceaseless activity of the local foundation, Mihai Eminescu Trust, have helped this small village dust off its last decades of oblivion. Viscri is right now one of Romania’s most popular off-the-beaten track attractions with plenty of activities to help discover the typical rural life in Transylvania.

Your accommodation is in a 17th-century castle that has been refurbished into a spectacular, 4-star hotel, complete with a spa and a restaurant that features the finest of Transylvanian recipes.

Cycling Details:
Distance: about 44 miles (70 km)
Elevation Gain: about 2,000 feet (600 m)

Day 7: Return to Bucharest - Depart Romania

View of Bucharest's Historical Architecture
View of Bucharest's Historical Architecture

Enjoy a relaxing breakfast before your return to Bucharest. Enjoy a final walk around the grounds of your guesthouse to get one last glimpse of the beauty of Transylvania.

Your driver can take you to the Henri Coandă International Airport (OTP) or to the train station, where you can catch your connection home or onto your next destination.