Things to do in Transylvania

Trekking in Transylvania

Jagged limestone ridges cast shadows over gorges, farmsteads and valleys below with precarious paths along narrow spines allowing access to some of the most stunning settings in the whole of the southern Carpathians. Piatra Craiului National Park is just one of several fantastic sites for trekking in Transylvania with fairly steep terrain to be found throughout Zarnesti gorge.
If you prefer pleasant pastures to steep ascents there are several sign-posted trails and quiet rural lanes linking villages where you'll find gentle gradients past farmers' fields as well as paths through beech, oak and hazel forests. The route from Brasov to Rasnov and then onwards to Bran provides walkers with a quintessential glimpse at rural Transylvania with the ever-imposing shadows of the Carpathians coming into closer perspective as you descend deeper into the valleys below.
There are still around 150 intact fortified churches dotted around the Transylvanian countryside, something which has not gone unnoticed by UNESCO.

Seek out the Saxon

Southeastern Transylvania boasts one of the highest numbers of 13th - 16th century churches on the planet. Seeking out the Siebenbürgen (German for 'seven cities') is certain to keep cultural travelers on their toes with six Saxon (and one Székely) settlements conjuring up medieval memories all the way from Biertan to Viscri.
Organised tours of Libearty Bear Sanctuary are a fantastic way to watch bears interacting in a safe and secure environment, far from the horrors of zoos, circuses and cages.

Volunteer with bears

If you'd like to take this experience further there are some really worthwhile volunteering projects at Libearty. These offer hands-on opportunities for volunteers looking to pitch in with the day-to-day running of the sanctuary within the peaceful confines of protected beech, oak and hazel forests.
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Transylvania or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.

Watch out for wildlife in Transylvania

Following a wildlife researcher into the central Carpathians is an incredibly enlightening experience with the chance to spot wolf, lynx, boar and bear tracks or scat, just a precursor for what may or may not lie ahead. Groups of no more than six ensure you're given every opportunity to approach with care and caution with minimal impact on the natural habitat one of the prime objectives for this type of wildlife watching tour. Although you can never guarantee you'll see animals in Transylvania you can push the odds in your favour by using well positioned hides and tracking during the snow covered winter months and known mating seasons.
Aside from the larger mammals, Transylvania boasts numerous smaller critters with roe deer, hedgehogs and badgers known to inhabit the area alongside bats, woodpeckers, Ural owls and nearly 200 species of bird. Listening out for telltale howls or screeches late at night before preparing to depart your cosy, family run guesthouse at dawn is pure heaven for animal lovers looking for an authentic alternative to hunting vampires.
Written by Chris Owen
Photo credits: [Page banner: Brandon Atkinson] [Trekking: Cinty lonescu] [Volunteer with bears: Erica] [Watch out for wildlife: Tom Bech]