Traveling in Transylvania with kids

As a child I made haystacks at my grandparent's home in Apuseni; I was very proud to keep the record of hay crowns I put on each completed stack. Visiting kids can still do this today.
Hay making, horse drawn cart rides and learning how to milk cows are just some of the reasons why a trip to Transylvania with kids will have families extolling the virtues of life without technology. This is a chance for families to get back to basics where imaginations can run riot listening to stories over supper in a candlelit cellar or keeping eyes wide open whilst exploring bat caves by torchlight. The dinosaur park near Rasnov is definitely worth a roar or two as is the tree top adventure park in Brasov; and if you can't resist the urge any longer there are more than enough castles to keep little vampire hunters happy and safely tucked up in bed from dusk till dawn.

Activities for families in Transylvania

volunteering at Libearty Bear Sanctuary

Families with children over 14 will find volunteering at Libearty Bear Sanctuary a unique and rewarding experience as they roll up sleeves, pitch in and learn what it takes to attend to the wellbeing of over 80 bears. Food prep, monitoring welfare and aiding staff with tours are part and parcel of volunteering with bears alongside free time to let you explore Transylvania.

Helping on the farm

Staying in the foothills of the Carpathians will get you back to basics with horse drawn cart rides, horse riding and traditional methods of farming. Kids will love helping out on the farm almost as much as the locals will enjoy their enthusiasm with hand drawn milk, freshly laid eggs, homemade cheese, and potato bread, just rewards for little helpers.

Snow in Transylvania

There’s plenty to get excited about when the snow falls in Transylvania, not least of all horse drawn sleigh rides, tobogganing and snow shoeing before returning to a guesthouse complete with log burning stoves and candlelit cellar suppers. The snow also makes for ideal tracking conditions with lynx, bear and wolf tracks to be found en-route to glistening bat caves and frozen volcanic lakes.

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Traveling in Transylvania with kids

Laura Vesa, tour leader of our travel partners Transylvan, shares memories of growing up in Transylvania: “All across Transylvania and Maramures families can learn how cheese is made, listen to stories about wolves and bears told by the shepherds, track the footprints of wild animals, collect wild mushrooms in the morning and count in the evening how many hay crowns they have made during the day. As a child I made haystacks at my grandparents in the Apuseni area; I was very proud at the end of summer to keep a record of the crowns I’d placed on each completed haystack.”
Count Tibor Kalnoky, owner of carefully-restored Transylvanian guesthouses, reveals some of the pleasures of traveling in Transylvania with kids: “Transylvania is certainly good for families. Kids love to explore the bat-caves with torch lights, go for a swim in the volcano crater lake and drive out into the hills on horse-drawn carts. Or they can follow the tracks of wild animals in the winter snow - bear, wolf, lynx, boar and deer. Plus they can help milk cows in the village or help the blacksmith in his forge. It's like living in a fairy tale.”
Mihai Olenici, of our suppliers Eco Transylvania, talks about traveling in Transylvania with kids: “The meadows in the Apuseni Mountains are famous for their richness and diversity. The landscape is very accessible for children – they can do hiking, biking, alpine touring skiing and snow shoeing no matter what their age or level of outdoor experience. They can do light wall climbing and caving too. The landscape is a living, outdoor laboratory where adults and children alike can learn about karstic systems – how they are formed, how they work.”
Written by Chris Owen
Photo credits: [Page banner: Brandon Atkinson] [Top box: Count Kalnoky] [Volunteering at Libearty Bear Sanctuary: Beverly & Pack] [Snow in Transylvania: kirandulo] [Mihai Olenici: George Damian]
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