Monasteries & Bran Castle

Transylvania Romania: (ZZ-HKRM01)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/outdoor_hike_romania_Painted_Monasteries.aspx

Introduction
Transylvania Romania
The first part of your journey leads up to the ‘Sweet Land if Bucovina’, with its world famous painted monasteries (UNESCO – World Heritage) and bucolic scenery.
The second part tackles you to Transylvania with the Carpathian Mountains, known through Bram Stokers ‘Dracula’ and Patrick Fermors ‘Castles of Transylvania’ are unique with its combination of history, legends, scenery and wildlife. You walk in three mountains: Posavarul, Bucegi and Piatra Craiului. You will pass idyllic alms with shepherds huts scattered around, walk through mountain villages, still unspoiled, and enjoy splendid mountain views.

Accomodation

Accommodations
If one hotel from the list below is not available at the date of the booking, we are using similar hotels (same standards).

Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1: Hotel in Bucharest
Night 2: Guesthouse in Putna
Night 3 & 4: Guesthouse in Sucevita
Night 5: Guesthouse in Manastirea Humorului
Night 6: Guesthouse in Bran
Night 7: Guesthouse in Magura
Night 8: Guesthouse in Zarnesti

Bucharest - Hotel Ibis Gara de Nord (option 1)
The Ibis Gara de Nord offers comfortable rooms with Wi-Fi wireless internet access, air conditioning, a minibar, LCD TVs and en-suite bathrooms with a shower and a hairdryer.

Bucharest - Hotel Minerva (option 2)
The hotel was opened in 1937 in a 6-story neoclassical building and was renovated in 2008. It offers 91 rooms that are cozy and Italian in design, and feature Wi-Fi, a private bathroom, a safe, TV, a fireplace and IDD phone.

Putna - Pensiunea Cabana Dorina Putna
Cabana Putna Dorina is set in Putna and offers a restaurant, a bar, and a garden with a terrace.
WiFi is available in some rooms. All units come with a balcony, a seating area, and a cable TV. Featuring a shower, the private bathrooms also come with bathrobes and free toiletries.

Sucevita - Casa Cazac Felicia
The building is surrounded on two sides by a beautiful wooden porch, covered with wooden tiles where, during the summer you can admire the gorgeous landscape while having a delicious meal. The terrace as well as the yard is full of beautiful flowers.
In the afternoon, after 5,30 PM, you can hear from the monastery the "toaca" (a nun is hammering on a board) and the sound of the bells calling the nuns to the evening prayer, and, possibly, this will take your thoughts to the glorious times when the monastery was gathering around the entire village.

Manastirea Humorului - Pensiunea Passiflora
Passiflora is located in the heart of Bucovina, a few minutes' walk from the Humor Monastery (UNESCO World Heritage Site). The guest house combines comfort and traditional Romanian style architecture.
Each room has its own bathroom and is equipped with a minibar, telephone with international access, cable TV, internet access and a balcony.

Bran - Pensiunea Ana
Just 30 m from Bran Castle, this guest house in Bran offers a pretty terrace and country-style rooms.
The Pension Ana Bran has brightly decorated rooms with TV and private bathroom. Free Wi-Fi is provided in all public areas.

Magura - Pensiunea ‘Nea Marin’
Pension Nea Marin offers a garden, free WiFi, a shared kitchen, and a shared lounge. The bed and breakfast features mountain views and all rooms have their own bathroom.

Zarnesti - Pensiunea ‘Hora cu Brazi’
In the foothills of Piatra Craiului Mountains, between Piatra Craiului National Park and Zărnești, Pensiunea Hora cu Brazi offers free Wi-Fi, and a Romanian restaurant.
All rooms have a balcony with views of the surroundings. A seating area, flat-screen TV with cable channels and a bathroom with free toiletries and a hairdryer are provided in each room.


Meals
8 breakfast and 6 evening meals are included in this trip.

The breakfasts are eaten at the accommodations and included evening meals are taken in either the restaurant (if it's a hotel) or in the dining room (if it's a pension).
The style of the food is mainly Romanian.

Special diets and dietary restrictions:
Vegetarians, gluten/lactose free, etc… can be catered for when notified in advance.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Itinerary

Sample itinerary - Subject to changes

Day 1: Arrive Bucharest
Overnight in a hotel in Bucharest.

Day 2: Train to the Painted Monasteries
Train journey to Suceava (5 ½ h) and transfer to Putna Monastery. Visit Putna Monastery, the spiritual center of Romania. You may have a short round walk (1 h) to “Chilia lui Daniil Sihastrul”, a small hermitage dug in a rock. In the 15th Century it was inhabited by the hermit Daniil who supposedly predicted to Stephen the Great that he will become ruler of Moldavia. After becoming ruler, Stephen the Great was advised by Daniil to build the Putna Monastery.  Accommodation in a guesthouse in the village, close to the monastery.

Day 3: Putna to Sucevita
From Putna you take the old monastery path to Sucevita Monastery. In summer, the forest is full of berries and wild mushrooms. The undercoat of emerald green on which the superb frescoes are painted (1596) gave the monastery the name ‘a Poem in Green and Light’. The iconostasis is supposed to be the most beautiful one in the country. Sacherverell Sitwell wrote in 1938: “The first view of the painted church of Sucevita is among the most impressive revelations of the Byzantine world”. The little museum houses the most precious collection of medieval art in Moldovia, including medieval embroidered portraits and an epitaph with 1000 pearls. The 2 following nights are spent in Sucevita, in a welcoming guesthouse with excellent food.
Approx. 5 hours walking

Day 4: Moldovita and round walk Sucevita
A car takes you over the Ciumarna pass with astounding panoramic mountain views. Visit Moldovita Monastery, famous for its warmth and brilliance of its frescoes. The blue undercoat for its tree of Jesse gave the monastery the name ‘a parchment dipped in blue color’. Very beautiful is the Ladder of Paradise, which has the ascetical mystic of John Klimakos as a theme and the depiction of the ancient philosophers. Maybe you meet Sister Tatiana (she speaks some English) who will show you around. The little museum contains, besides a priceless silver-cased Evangelistary presented by Catherine the Great of Russia, valuable icons and miniatures. Back in Sucevita you may have a round walk and enjoy the bird’s eye view upon the impressive, fortified monastery.
Approx. 1.5 hours walking

Day 5:  Voronet to Humor
Transfer to Voronet Monastery. “Voronet-Blue” is the key word. Its superb frescoes gave it the name ‘the Sistine Chapel of the East’. Architecturally it combines Gothic and Byzantine features. Petru Comanescu still holds its truth: ”…here in the clear mellow light of those parts of the walls of the church seem to have stolen the sparking blue of the sky, the green of the trees and the pastures, the gold of the sun and the red of the flowers growing in the peasants gardens”. Walk up to the Objina with good views over a valley and villages scattered around till you reach Humor. Humor monastery, which exudes friendliness and tranquil charm, is painted in warm blues, greens and reddish browns (from oriental madder pigment). Accommodation in a guesthouse in Humor. 
Approx. 4.5 hours walking

Day 6: Private car transfer to Bran
Today you’ll cross the Carpathians to Transylvania through the spectacular Bicaz gorge, drive into Hungarian villages and further on to Bran where you’ll stay overnight. One night in a guesthouse next to Dracula’s Castle. (5 – 6 h by car)

Day 7: Bran Castle and Magura village
Visit the Dracula castle. It served as backstage for Roman Polanskis film ‘Dance of the Vampires’ and in former years the Romanian Queen Mary of Hohenzollern, the Granddaughter of Queen Victoria, as refuge and Salon.
Short transfer to the Kalibash village of Magura, situated 1000 m up in the mountains. Round walk to Pestera. On your way you may see orchids, gentians, campanulas and endemic flowers like the ‘Carpathian Iris. Little farms are scattered around over beautiful alpine pastures and meadows covered with wildflowers. Overnight in this most beautiful surroundings in a guesthouse with beautiful views over the mountains.
Approx. 2.5 hours walking

Day 8: Magura to Zarnesti
Walk through the spectacular Prapastiile Zarnestilor (Zarnesti Canyon) to the rustic Curmatura mountain hut (1470 m) where you may have a drink or a meal, then walk to Zarnesti. You may see wall creeper, alpine swift and with some luck the tricky three toed woodpecker. Zarnesti once was made famous through a ‘Large Carnivore Project’. Overnight in a welcoming guesthouse in Zarnesti.
Approx. 5 hours walking

Day 9: Departure
Transfer to the airport and departure.


Rates and Dates for Monasteries & Bran Castle

Rates include:

8 nights in carefully selected accommodations with breakfast, 6 dinners, train ticket from Bucharest to Suceava, transfer Suceava - Putna, Moldovita excursion, transfer Sucevita - Voronet, transfer Manastirea Humorului - Bran, transfer Bran - Magura, transfer from Zarnesti to Bucharest airport, luggage transport during walks, route notes and maps, contact on ground

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20199 day self-guided trip€980$1175
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.2

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2019 Arrive to Bucharest hotel on your own on Day 1 0 $0
2019 Transfer from Zarnesti to Bucharest airport included on Day 9 0 $0
2019 Single supplement 190 $230

Season Seasons  Min / MaxReserve
A 2019 05/04 - 09/27 9d / 8n 9 day self-guided trip 2 /12 Reserve

Dates Note: Daily departures during season.

Rates do not include:

Transfer from Bucharest airport to hotel in Bucharest (25 euros a taxi or 5 euros with the shuttle bus/train), transfer from hotel in Bucharest to train station (10 euros), lunches, drinks, 2 dinners (Bucharest and Zarnesti), entrance tickets

Other Info
Meeting: Bucharest
Airport: Bucharest
Transfer: Bucharest Hotel

Climate:
                                                Suceava area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

33

36

45

58

68

75

77

76

68

57

44

36

Average Low Temperature (°F)

22

24

31

40

50

56

59

58

50

41

33

25

Average High Temperature (°C)

0

2

7

14

20

23

25

25

20

14

7

2

Average Low Temperature (°C)

-6

-5

-1

5

10

14

15

14

10

5

0

-4

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

4

4

5

7

8

9

8

6

5

5

5

5

Source: NOAA


Seasons
The climate in Romania is continental temperate with the average temperature in the summer of 22- 24°C. Annual rainfall all over the country is 677 mm, 1000 mm in the mountains. Due to the continental influences from the East, the summers can be dry with more rain in the mountains.

Up North in Bucovina, in Suceava County, the weather is cooler, more favorable for walking. This region ahs a temperate continental climate with hot summers and cold, snowy winters. Strong winds and storms are rare in the summer as they usually occur in the mountains during late autumn.

Bucharest, being situated in the South of the country, is hotter than the Bucovina area.

What To Bring:
Walking boots and walking socks (with a change of socks in rucksack), rucksack/day pack, warm pullover/jumper, waterproofs, water bottle, insect repellent, sunglasses, sun hat, sun block/cream, compass, torch, mobile phone, container for sandwiches and a first-aid kit.

Note:
You should have your luggage packed and ready to be transported by 9.30 in the morning.

…  this list is only a guideline for you

 

Hidden Trails Travel Documents and Trip Voucher (contains important local tour contact info.)
Flight tickets
Passport
Visa (check with your consulate)

 

Walking Gear
Walking Boots and Socks (with a change of socks in rucksack)
Rucksack/day pack
Warm pullover/jumper
Waterproofs
Water bottle
Insect repellent
Sunglasses
Sun Hat
Sun block/cream
Compass
Torch
Mobile Phone
Container for sandwiches
First Aid Kit
Towel and small bar of soap
Personal Toiletries
Personal medications
Sore cream (for an emergency)
Adapter for electric appliances
Camera and extra film or batteries