16 independent reviews for Carpathian Mountains conservation & culture vacation

Reviews for Carpathian Mountains conservation & culture vacation

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review 25 Aug 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The beautiful scenery, the total peace and the great company!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Wear comfortable footwear and bring poles if any concerns with downhills.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, hopefully all of these.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

It was excellent- excellent value for money, wonderful food and accommodation, great itinerary, wonderful varied walks, excellent guide, very good group size. All worked towards a fab vacation experience

review 21 Jul 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Seeing the bears in the hide

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Be prepared for bad weather on the walks - we were very lucky but it could have been wet & slippery - take good footwear

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Very good

review 28 May 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Seeing the bears from the hide, especially Mum bear with her two babies

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Make sure you break your walking boots in before you go

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

All of the above

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

10 out of 10. Did so much, saw so much and amazingly beautiful scenery. The lodge, owner, staff and especially our guide Thomas were superb.

review 21 May 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Just being in the wonderful location - waking up in the hotel (having arrived in the dark) and seeing the snow covered mountains of Bucegi on one side and the Piatra Craiului on the other was wonderful. For this reason the first day's walk around the local area was very memorable. Apart from seeing the bears, the other (unexpected) highlight was the wonderful ride in the horse cart, through the meadows with the sun shining.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Be prepared for all weathers! We went in early May and had lovely warm sunshine on some days, but also heavy snow on another day! (The snow was actually quite fun, but I did need to borrow gloves). But the hotel may be able to lend some equipment, eg walking poles, if you need it. There is a good drying room for boots and cagoules. We changed money before we left home and were glad we did so, simply because we didn't have to think about it while away. But you won't need much before the trip to Brasov (where you can change money anyway). We stopped at a local village shop on the first day, to buy a drink and a snack. Our leader (Thomas - who was wonderful by the way) offered to lend money to any who needed it. We settled up with the hotel (drinks and the bear trip, plus tips) in Romanian Lei on the last night, but they will also take pounds or euros or a mixture. You have to pay cash though. We also chose to stay on in Bucharest for the Saturday night and were delighted we did so - a really interesting town. Take the 783 bus from the airport after everyone has been dropped off there.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes to all three. Apart from those employed looking after us, we enjoyed hospitality from the monks and from the people in the church in Vulcan, who I hope also benefited from our visit. As far as possible walks were done direct from the hotel or involved a small minibus transfer. The hotels are clearly very involved in conservation (and not just bears).

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

We had a fantastic time. This was our first "led" vacation, and it was very restful not having to worry about what to do each day, where to go, or what to eat. The planned trips were excellent and our leader Thomas was great. The food in the hotel was very good, and we found we got on really well with all the others on the trip. We really enjoyed the walks and getting to know this wonderful, wild, part of Europe.

review 30 Sep 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The bears but it was all excellent.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Make sure you are fit and choose a vacation that is suitable for you.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes. All the food was locally sourced. We did use minibuses but it would have been impossible to do otherwise.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


review 1 Sep 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Watching the bears from the bear hide.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Expect some fairly strenuous days if traveling in the heat of August. Expect simple accommodation (no fancy toiletries and a very basic mattress on the bed). Be prepared to hear dogs barking on and off all night; take earplugs to help you sleep.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I felt that the vacation definitely benefitted local people and businesses, e.g. by flying with the national airline, staying in a modest locally-owned guesthouse, using local guides, and drinking the local beer!

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Very good indeed. The food was excellent, and vegetarians well catered for. Katarina is a wonderful host and Sebastian an excellent local guide.

review 24 Sep 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

All great but Bear hide!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Make sure clear on all dietary issues, so if not keen on rabbit or fish or pasta you are fully catered for. I had know issue as a veggie but others who had not mentioned certain dislikes did.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I think vacation benefited local people, including staff at hotel and small local business we used. Not sure about environmental impact but I felt that it supported local conservation efforts eg bear hide and reduce center

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Fabulous, it was our 1st group vacation and would definitely be happy to do similar again.

review 5 Aug 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The visit to Dracula's Castle, the cable car rides and the hike along the canyon

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Make sure you have hiking boots, because there is a lot of hill walking.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Everyone used their own common sense not to litter the country side, which was kept really clean and we were given advice regarding sanitation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

An excellent trip with places to hike and see, friendly and helpful people and fantastic hosts and guides.

review 21 May 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The whole trip was memorable but I loved the walk in the snow and rain at the top of a mountain.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Come prepared to walk in all conditions.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes. Particularly with the bears.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Brilliant

review 3 Sep 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Walking in the Carpathian Mountains was stunning. Watching bear and wild boar at close quarters and visiting the bear sanctuary was definitely one of the highlights. Gaining an insight into the history of Romania by visiting castles, fortified churches and local towns was also fascinating. Due to very little backlight, the stars were amazing.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

If you want to have a vacation with lots of shops to visit and a wide range of entertainment then this vacation is not for you. The hotel was in a remote part of the national park with no shops, cafes or organized entertainment near by.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Very much so. Our trip on the horse and cart to the starting point of one of our walks was not only great fun but also helped the local people earn income. Our meals were made locally from fresh produce. The hotel also encouraged us to be mindful not to waste water and encouraged us to use different ways to help reduce the impact on the environment. Visiting the bear sanctuary provided income to support the care and well-being of the bears there, most of whom had been cruelly treated.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

An excellent vacation. The owners and staff in the hotel were extremely caring and helpful. Our guide was very knowledgeable about the local area and there was a good balance of easy to more challenging walks, wild life, and cultural visits.

review 6 Jun 2017

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The painted monasteries and the village of Viscri and Transylvania generally

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Be prepared for a few long travel days but these were well balanced

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent insight into Romania

review 7 Aug 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The most memorable part of my vacation was watching the brown bears from the bear hide. While we were there we saw around 10 different bears including a mother with her two cubs. Katrina, the hotel owner who accompanied us on the trip, had excellent knowledge about the bears and was able to identify most of them. My second memorable part was the scenery, so breathe taking, beautiful.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Don't be put off by the length of the longer 20km walk. It's easy going and covers a range of beautiful scenery, from walking along a limestone river gorge, through a forest and out into alpine pasture. Udo, (the local guide) gives you plenty of rest breaks and leads at a leisurely stroll. Before you realise it you'll be back home in the village. One of our group didn't go and later regretted it.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

All food is locally grown, much of it by the hotel owners and the hotel benefits the village by drawing in tourists and employing locals. As this is a walking vacation the main thing we left in the countryside were our footprints which had little impact on the environment. We also traveled by horse and cart but when we needed to travel further we went by minibus. During our stay we went to Libearty, Bear Sanctuary which had been set up to give a home to bears that have been rescued . We heard about how the bears there had been rescued from many years in captivity as dancing bears or in circuses

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Excellent!! Udo, the guide, was very knowledgeable about the area and a good walk leader. The hotel, Villa Hermani, was in an idyllic setting with breath taking views and Katrina (owner) made us very welcome. She went out of her way to cater for those with dietary problems getting in foods suitable for them. The food was simple but healthy and very tasty. The walks gave a showcase of the Carpathian mountains. The only suggestion we could make is the Romanian restaurant visited we felt was too modern and did not have a traditional feel.

review 26 Jun 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Bear watching, the tour guide who was absolutely great, slightly madcap but it all added to the experience, the people, the food, and the accommodation

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Some of the walks were challenging. My wife and are reasonably fit 55 and 63 year old but not regular 10K+ walkers. We did all the walks but I can see some people not being able too. Don't be misled by the easy label if you are not a regular walker.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes our vacation did all of those things

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Thoroughly enjoyable vacation. My wife was somewhat apprehensive but came back having enjoyed a different (for us) invigorating vacation that was much much better than either of us expected.

review 29 Jun 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Seeing wild bears

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Be prepared for all weathers - one day blazing sunshine, next torrential downpours and mud everywhere.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes - apart from the organised trip to the bear sanctuary, the guest house, walks etc were all sympathetic to the natural environment

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

9.5 out of 10

review 25 Jul 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Seeing wildlife i.e. Bears and Beavers. Seeing and experiencing local people, culture and hospitality.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Travel with the Tarom flights recommended not independently by Wizzair as Banesa airport is a cattle market. The programme you will have received 5 times before you arrive, i.e. brochure, booking, confirmation, paying, final, final final isn't actually the programme for the vacation, but the actual local programme is equivalent, as good or better, but slightly different.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Absolutely excellent, awesome experience, briliant hospitality from the local agent and excellent guiding. Very good accomodation that exceeded our expectations. Very friendly group of travelers that really gelled through the vacation. Will certainly be considering other vacations from this operator for the future. Our 16 year old daughter had a brilliant time too.

review 12 Oct 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Overall the trip was excellent with the day walk in the mountains being the highlight.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Be prepared for a busy schedule.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Staff were from the area, and the food was sourced locally. Activities were based on what was available e.g horse and cart ride driven by local farmers using their farm carts. I would say that the vacation was sensitive to the environment and local culture and gave a good insight into rural Romania.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

An excellent vacation, a good destination and range of activities. One of the best group vacations I have been on, everyone got on well from the start.

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