Carpathian Mountains conservation & culture vacation

“This is a group walking vacation of alpine pastures, Saxon villages and incredible wildlife teamed with comfortable accommodation, minimal traveling and excellent local food.”

Highlights

Magura | Pestera | Visit to a bat cave | Wild bear watching | Traditional Saxon village visits | Piatra Craiului ridge | Libearty Bear Sanctuary | Vulcan | Bucegi Massif | Bran Castle | Brasov | Birdwatching | Horse-cart ride through the Barza Valley | Piatra Cruilui Mountains

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02 May 2020
US $1549
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30 May 2020
US $1649
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13 Jun 2020
US $1649
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27 Jun 2020
US $1649
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04 Jul 2020
US $1679
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25 Jul 2020
US $1679
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08 Aug 2020
US $1679
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15 Aug 2020
US $1679
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22 Aug 2020
US $1679
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12 Sep 2020
US $1649
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19 Sep 2020
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03 Oct 2020
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Our top tip:
It's worth investing in a decent all-weather walking boots and don't forget your insect repellent.
Trip type:
Small group, 4-15 adults (min. age 16), tour leader.
Activity level:
Moderate. The fitter you are the more you'll get out of it.
Accomm:
7 nights comfortable guesthouse.
Solos:
Solo travelers welcome. Single rooms available for a surcharge.
Meals:
7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners.
Included:
Accommodation, transport, listed activities, tour leader.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Carpathian Mountains conservation & culture vacation

Carbon reduction

Your vacation will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this vacation and how to reduce them.

Environment

Accommodation and Meals:
We spend the week in a comfortable, locally run guesthouse called Villa Hermani. The Villa uses LED lighting and solar panels in order to save energy, whilst their recycling policies are in line with Romanian environmental law. The majority of meals are included on this trip and they comprise of fresh, local produce and Romanian specialties like smoked meats, cabbage dishes and vegetable soups. On one evening the leader will accompany clients to dinner at a local restaurant in Brasov where we can enjoy regional cuisine; a good opportunity to support the community through local businesses.

Local Craft and Culture:
We get an insight into the rural, agricultural lifestyle of many in Romania when we walk through rural villages and countryside through the week. There will also be excellent opportunities to learn about some local crafts and traditions. Other highlights include Bran Castle, which was home to Vlad the Impaler in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. We also have a guided tour of Brasov and the unique Kalibash villages of Magura and Pestera, where the houses are built along the mountain ridges with deep ravines in between. Through this, we hope to contribute to the local economy by paying for guides and entrance fees.

Association for Ecotourism in Romania:
Our local tour partners are founding members of the Association for Ecotourism in Romania (AER) and hold positions on the Director’s Board. The Association is involved in promotion and marketing of sustainable tourism activity and accreditation of ecotourism tours and green accommodation. In a place where ecotourism is still in its infancy, this group is significant in raising public awareness of responsible ways to travel and this is reflected in the nature of this trip.

Conservation:
In the Carpathian Mountains above the Transylvanian town of Zarnesti, we visit Libearty Bear Sanctuary. This is Europe’s largest bear sanctuary and is set in 70 hectares of oak and hazel forests. The sanctuary is home to nearly 100 bears which have been rescued from captivity, having suffered as dancing bears or in circuses. By visiting, we are supporting the work goes on here with monitoring, maintenance and providing educational facilities for school groups to learn about animal welfare.

Activity:
We regulate our environmental impact by frequently using carbon free transport alternatives like hiking and traditional horse drawn cart. This trip is predominantly nature based and we are careful to enforce a ‘leave no trace’ policy- particularly when watching the bears and other wildlife. A local forester will accompany us to the bear hide and with ensure that our behaviour is in line with regulations set out by the forestry commission. In terms of community, our local partners are the only local employers in their village and we also support local cafes, pubs and shops wherever possible.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

16 Reviews of Carpathian Mountains conservation & culture vacation

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 25 Aug 2019 by

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. Read full review

Reviewed on 21 Jul 2019 by

The most memorable part of the vacation was seeing the bears in the hide Read full review

Reviewed on 28 May 2019 by

Seeing the bears from the hide was memorable, especially Mum bear with her two babies Read full review

Reviewed on 21 May 2019 by

Just being in the wonderful location was memorable - seeing the snow covered mountains of Bucegi on one side and the Piatra Craiului on the other was wonderful. Apart from seeing the bears, the other (unexpected) highlight was the wonderful ride in the horse cart, through the meadows with the sun shining. Read full review

Reviewed on 30 Sep 2019 by

The bears but it was all excellent. Read full review

Reviewed on 01 Sep 2019 by

The most memorable and exciting part of the vacation was watching the bears from the bear hide. Read full review

Reviewed on 24 Sep 2018 by

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

Reviewed on 05 Aug 2018 by

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

Reviewed on 21 May 2018 by

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

Reviewed on 03 Sep 2017 by

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. Read full review

Reviewed on 06 Jun 2017 by

The most memorable were the painted monasteries and the village of Viscri and Transylvania generally. Read full review

Reviewed on 07 Aug 2016 by

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. Read full review

Reviewed on 26 Jun 2016 by

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. Read full review

Reviewed on 29 Jun 2015 by

The most memorable or exciting part of your vacation? Seeing wild bears! Read full review

Reviewed on 25 Jul 2011 by

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. Read full review

Reviewed on 12 Oct 2010 by

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... I would say that the vacation was sensitive to the environment and local culture and gave a good insight into rural Romania. Read full review

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