Best time to visit Transylvania

Best time to visit Transylvania


temperature & rainfall

Winters in Transylvania can be quite romantic with horse drawn carriages and snowy alpine trails making classic Christmas scenes to accompany a flask of plum brandy. Autumn is equally impressive, with harvest soups and Halloween activities combining with a firework display of foliage as well as chances to spot wildlife whilst out walking. Summers can get really hot, especially in cities like Brasov and Sibiu, so it’s probably better to give them a miss or visit higher areas for a fresher alternative. The best time to visit Transylvania is late April as you’ll have the pick of the flowers whilst avoiding the May rains.

WHEN TO VISIT TRANSYLVANIA


A MONTH BY MONTH GUIDE

January, February and March in Transylvania finds the region, especially in the mountains and countryside, blanketed in snow; making for an extremely atmospheric experience. Snowshoeing is the order of the day with guided expeditions taking hardy trekkers over pastures and past farmsteads in search of warming bowls of ciorba upon reaching the nearest village tavern.

Snowfall also provides ideal conditions to track animals in the Carpathian Mountains.

The end of March and early April often provide the best time to visit Transylvania for listening out for lynx during their mating season or discovering bear or wolf prints embedded in crisp white snow.

Temperatures start to warm up with the advent of April with lush meadows adorned with lady slipper orchids appearing from the thaw as the rains of May all but wash away any traces of snow and provide slippery conditions for hikers; so take care over rocks and well-worn paths.

The start of June usually signals the reopening of the Transfagarasan Highway crossing the southern Carpathians although harsh weather conditions don’t always comply with official opening times.

Warm weather hikers will be in their element during July and August with areas like Piatra Craiului National Park and the foothills of the southern Carpathians providing ample stomping grounds and great opportunities for horse riding over high alpine meadows.

Transylvania in September and October equals fewer crowds, milder temperatures and an authentic atmosphere associated with the autumnal colours of harvest; although Halloween is fast becoming party time for vampire hunters gathering around Bran Castle.

As the Transfagarasan Highway closes, the cities of Transylvania lend themselves to Christmas markets and warming local festivals although it has to be said that November and December are often best enjoyed whilst supping a pálinka or tuica in front of a raging log fire.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN IN TRANSYLVANIA


OUR TRANSYLVANIA HOLIDAY RECOMMENDATIONS

Laura Vesa, tour leader of our travel partners Transylvan, recommends her favourite spring festival: “There’s an annual festival in Maramures that is believed to stimulate the earth’s fertility and ensure a good crop. Over a dozen well-dressed young men (flacai) decorate wooden yokes, that were once used by the village bulls, with flowers, leaves, ribbons and bells. They then take the decorated yokes to the village’s chosen ploughman before he ploughs the first field of the season. After he finishes he is taken from the field on the shoulders of the flacai before they circle his house three times and ritually bathe him in the nearest river or well. A party with traditional music and dancing follows. Udatoriul in Surdesti takes place on the second day after Orthodox Easter, and Tanjaua in Hoteni is usually on May 10th.”

FESTIVALS & EVENTS IN TRANSYLVANIA


OUR CULTURAL PICK FROM THE TRANSYLVANIA CALENDAR

Did you know about…?


Transylvania's Saxon heritage
Several celebrations of Saxon heritage take place across Transylvania. The weeklong Haferland Festival in August and the Biertan festival in September are both authentic local events to help travelers find out more about traditional Saxon culture through parades, dancing and live music performed in traditional costume.
Photo credits: [Temp chart: kirandulo] [Laura Vesa quote: Transylvan] [Transylvania's saxon heritage: Romania tourism]

Written by: Chris Owen
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