Western Carpathians off road tour – 10 riding days – 1975 km
Day 1: Meeting
We meet, we go to the guest house and after settling down we go out in a local pub to know each other and for a short presentation of the next day.
Day 2: Moderate off-road day – 175 km: 150 km off-road/ 25 km on-road
We leave from Cluj-Napoca and after only a few kilometers on asphalt roads we will go off-road in the Apuseni Mountains National Park. These mountains are not very tall, with a maximum altitude of 1846 m, but because of their light and friendly slopes and hills with lovely meadows, people were able to built scattered villages throughout their surface. The majority of the roads here are dirt, grass or macadam roads and they connect the scattered households in this area. We will also see, beside the human landscapes, some stone formations, waterfalls, lakes and we will have some difficult off-road segments. The highest altitude that we will reach today is 1836 m.
Day 3: Moderate off-road day – 180 km: 60 km on-road/ 120 km off-road
The karst area of the Apuseni Mountains is well-known for its high density of caves, one of the highest in Europe. In the morning we will visit one of these wonderful caves with lots of beautiful specific limestone formations. Because we still are in Apuseni Mountains National Park, the roads will be pretty much the same as yesterday, and we will reach the maximum altitude of 1846 m. We are absolutely sure that you will be amazed to see that in Romania people are living in the mountains in the same way they lived hundreds of years ago, working on their lands helped by animals instead of tractors in the middle of the beautiful meadows, surrounded by nature. In the evening we will reach our accommodation in Alba Iulia city, a beautiful historical city that was built around an old fortress with the same name, which dates from the XVIIIth century.
Day 4: Easy off-road day – 190 km: 90 km on-road/ 100 km off-road
In the morning we will visit the old Alba Iulia fortress. The first part of the day we will ride on asphalt road, as a transition segment between the cosy Apuseni Mountains and the tall and massive mountains from the Southern Romania. On our way to south we will stop and visit the ruins of the oldest Romanian citadels – Dacian fortified settlements built around 106 AD: Sarmisegetuza and Sarmisegetuza Regia, now part of the UNESCO World Heritage. In the past, these were very important military and religious centers and Sarmisegetuza Regia was the capital of the former state of Dacia. From this point, our road will be a mix of asphalt and off-road. In the evening we will reach our accommodation place where we will make sure that we will have a nice rest because the next day will come with the hardest part of the tour.
Day 5: The hardest off-road day – 174 km: 74 km on-road/ 100 km off-road
This day will be the hardest of all our tour, full of excitement because of the marvelous landscapes, hard and technical off-road segments and the fact that we will reach the highest altitude of this trip: 2160 m. The first part of the day will start with a spectacular road on a river valley with many waterfalls. After that, the road will become harder and more technical, with huge boulders and stone blocks, tree roots, muddy parts, high slopes, abrupt ups and downs. The last 5 km to the mountain peak are very difficult (remember that we will also have to go back down from the mountain peak). This part of the trail will be done only if the weather allows us, if the road is dry and there is no storm approaching. The descent will also be difficult because the road is old and waters have washed and gnawed it. The evening will find us back on asphalt at a small distance to Danube River, where we will stay overnight.
Day 6: Easy off-road day – 220 km: 120 km on-road/ 100 km off-road
We will start the day on light, dusty off-road trails, in a not-so-populated area of our country. We will visit two national parks with amazing lakes, waterfalls and gorgeous… gorges . From a total of 220 km that we will do today, many of them are on asphalt on the most picturesque area of Romania – the huge Danube Canyon, which expands on 144 km. In this area, the second longest Europe river is forced by the nature to override some very narrow areas between mountain massive cliffs. People call them “The Danube Boilers”. You can also admire here the face of the Dacian king Decebal, our local “Rushmore”, carved directly in the mountain body. This rock sculpture took 10 years to be finished and it was very hard work because of the high temperatures and inaccessible terrain (above the water, with no access roads at all etc.) We will sleep somewhere on the Danube bank and if we are lucky we’ll have some fresh fish for dinner.
Day 7: Moderate-to-hard off-road day – 200 km: 60 km on-road/ 140 km off-road
Long and spectacular day with many off-road kilometers and amazing landscapes! In the first part of the day we will pass through another spectacular canyon and after that we will go up to the mountain ridge. We will ride along this ridge and stop many times for photographs and snacks. After we have our lunch in a mining area we will go up through the last off-road pass from our tour. This road will take us to another spectacular canyon and we will finally get to Târgu-Jiu, another beautiful Romanian city. Here you will have the chance to admire some of the most appreciated sculptures of the well-known Romanian artist – Constantin Brâncuși: The Table of Silence, The Kiss Gate, The Infinite Column. We will have our lunch and stay overnight in this city.
Day 8: Moderate off-road day – 200 km: 40 km on-road/ 160 km off-road
We will have again a long and beautiful off-road day. In the early morning we will go up in the mountains and we will spend our day at high altitude. By the lunch hour already have we seen 2 mountain passes and a beautiful river valley and also the beautiful highway and pass Transalpina – as known as its name that have been given by the locals – The Pass of the Kings. Up high in this pass we will stay a little to enjoy the view and have some rest, and after we take the lunch we will continue our trip on high altitude mountain roads through Parâng. There are about 60 off-road km to ride. In the evening we will go down to the Lotru River Valley and sleep in a guesthouse on a lake shore.
Day 9: Easy-to-moderate off-road day – 200 km: 120 km on-road/ 80 km off-road
We will start our day with the off-road part in the beautiful Făgăraș Mountains – well known as the tallest and most massive in Romania. From the beginning we will meet some harder off-road segments, but on our way to Făgăraș the road will be sometimes better, sometimes worse. We will reach the altitude of 2000 m on some stone, dirt and grass roads, up-high in the alpine meadows. After that we will go down on a lower altitude and enter on the asphalt famous and beautiful Transfăgărășan Highway. This highway was visited some years ago by the guys from Top Gear TV show and they classified it as the “World’s best road trip”. They totally loved it and we are sure that you will also adore it! There are about 100 km of asphalt road that serpents through amazing landscapes. By the evening we will reach to one of the most beautiful Romanian cities – Sibiu – which was the Cultural European Capital in 2007.
Day 10: Moderate off-road day – 230 km: 100 km on-road/ 120 km off-road
We will have lots of off-road kilometers in 2 massive mountains with some harder and technical segments, also muddy trails sometimes and stony paths where we will accelerate our bikes more. As you are already used from the past days, we will go high again (I mean, high in altitude!) in the beautiful alpine landscapes where we’ll ride for about half a day, on the mountains that also guest a small ski resort. By the evening we will be back in Alba Iulia city where we will spend our night.
Day 11: Easy off-road day – 200 km: 100 km on-road/ 100 km off-road
Today is the last day of our tour and we finish the almost 2000 kilometers through Romanian Carpathians. This day will be an easier one, with some muddy, dusty, rocky or grassy trails. The massive southern mountain ridges are far behind us and we go again in the friendly land of the Apuseni Mountains, with godforsaken scattered small villages. In the evening we will get to the start-finish point of our trip – Cluj-Napoca – where we will throw the best beer time party in one of the coolest pubs of the city.
Hope we’ll see you next year to see the other half of the Carpathians with us!
Note: Because all of the off-road routes from this program are altitude routes, they are not maintained by the authorities and there is a risk to become impracticable because of the natural factors influence: heavy rains, fallen trees, land slips etc. In this case, our route will undergo some changes.
If you like a resting day or to add more off road days to this tour ask for a offer.
Price: 980 euro
Passenger price: 650 euro
Single supplement: 220 euro
- 10 accommodation nights in 3-4 stars guesthouses in a shared room
- 10 breakfasts
- Motorcycle guide, English speaker
- Cultural and historical guide at the touristic attractions that we visit
- Assistance car for luggage (it will reach to the accommodation places only)
- Photographs and movies from our route
- Carpathian Trails gift (surprise)
Price does not include:
- Other meals or snacks than the ones we mentioned in the detailed description
- Health insurance
- Plane ticket
Tickets and visiting taxes at the touristic attractions in our program
Available periods: 1-11 August