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Off road Romania tour – 3000 km / 16 riding days / 1 day resting

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 – Brasov.

Day 10: rest day in Brasov

Day 11: Moderate off-road day – 160 km: 70 km on-road/ 90 km off-road

We will go down on the mountain to the asphalt road and will go up on a sinuous road to the top of the mountain pass. From there we will say good-bye to the asphalt and will go up on an old dirt road to the altitude of 1700 m. We will go further on the ridge for tens of kilometers and enjoy the beautiful views offered to us by the mountains of Ciucaș, Bucegi and the extraordinary Prahova River Valley, the most important and appreciated touristic resort area in Romania. At noon we will go down from the mountains to have our lunch. In the second part of the day we will go up to the altitude of 1800 m again, on a macadam road. After that, we will go down on Prahova River Valley, on asphalt roads, to visit two of the most beautiful Romanian castles: Peleș Castle and the famous Bran Castle (as known as “Dracula’s Castle”). In the evening we will “settle down” in one of the most beautiful historical cities in Romania: Brașov. Obviously, beer time.

Day 12: Easy-to-moderate off-road day – 180 km: 60 km on-road/ 120 km off-road

The first part of the day will get us on beautiful picturesque roads. These mountains are not very high, but this is what makes them friendly, because at lower altitude there are conditions for the people to settle and live in small villages and raise animals. Raising animals is in many cases their only income source. The roads will be made of dirt and grass, because they are mostly frequented by the locals and their ox or horses carts. You will rarely see a car here.
In the second part of the day we will go into the taller mountains area in the Southern Romania and we will reach the altitude of 1700 m. We will go to the Eagles Lake and follow the mountain ridge on another dirt and grass roads to our accommodation place – a mountain chalet situated at 1600 m height, near the top of the mountains.

Day 13: Moderate off-road day – 170 km: 50 km on road /125 km off-road

In the morning we will go directly off-road, to the mountain peaks on our road to South. The road level will be medium with some technical parts. We will see beautiful landscapes and go through isolated mountain villages and almost all day long we will be on mountain ridges and take our time to enjoy the view, take photos and have some snacks. We will have our lunch in Miercurea-Ciuc city and in the afternoon we will go on other muddy off-roads, through beautiful beech forests, to our evening location – Băile Balvanyos. If you didn’t get enough of it already, you will have the unique occasion to enjoy some muddy therapeutic baths, but this time the motorcycles will stay out of this!

Day 14: Easy off-road day (rest day) – 155 km: 85 km on road/ 90 km off-road

Today we will start our trip on a beautiful asphalt road that serpents through the mountains to the end of the longest artificial lake in Romania: Izvorul Muntelui Lake. From there we will go to the heart of the Ceahlau National Park on a easy-to-medium off-road trail and we will see some beautiful mountainscapes and also some spectacular weird rocky formations. We will continue our trip through some isolated mountain villages, with muddy roads, where just a few old men still live. In the evening we will reach our accommodation from Lacul Roșu (The Red Lake), which is the biggest natural dam lake in our country. Before we have our beer time, we will also take a ride through Bicaz Canyon on a beautiful asphalt road through the massive and tall stone walls of the most spectacular Romanian canyon.

Day 15: Hard and long day – 170 km: 50 km on-road/ 120 km off-road

Spectacular and long day in such great heights: mostly medium level of difficulty, but we will have some high difficulty ups and downs and we will pass through 3 mountain ranges. The first part of the track is the most difficult, with stone, dirt and grass roads, forest and transhumance roads in Bukovina Mountains. We will stop for photo sessions, snacks or just to admire the landscapes. We will have our lunch in the small touristic city of Vatra Dornei and from this point we will change our direction to another historic area: Transylvania. But before we leave Bukovina, we will visit the last mountains range of this beautiful day: Călimani National Park. Here we will go through the highest and most spectacular off-road pass in Romania, at 2020 m altitude. In the evening we will get to another small touristic town – Toplița – where we will stay overnight and have our well deserved beer time.

Day 16: The hardest off-road day from Eastern Carpathian Tour 165km: 65 km on road/ 100 km off-road

We will start our day by visiting the Monasteries of Voroneț (UNESCO) and Humor, in the company of our guide, George, who will tell you everything you want to know about these two pieces of art and places of worship. After that, we will go off-road again, in the mountains of Bukovina. Today’s route is the most technical and hard from all our tour days: abrupt and muddy sections, stones on the mountain ridges. The two ridges that we will go on today are two former military roads, with trenches and monuments from World Wars 1 and 2. The first part of the track is short and has a medium-to-hard difficulty. At the end of this first part we will get to Sucevița Monastery, we will visit it and have our lunch in its nearby. The second part of our day is a slightly difficult 45 km road with many ups and downs on the mountain ridge. After these 45 km, we will finally have some asphalt road that will link us to the last day’s trail: an abrupt off-road trail that will get us to a spectacular mountain ridge. The landscapes are truly spectacular thanks to the unusual rocky formations. Here we will stay overnight, at 1650 meters height, in the Rarău Natural Reserve.

Day 17: Moderate off road – 170 km: 70 km on-road/ 100 km off-road

From the beginning of the day we will go off-road on an abrupt trail in Rodnei Mountains National Park to an isolated lake and from there we will go to Maramureș Mountains National Park. The landscapes are breathtaking. We will go up and down on the mountain ridges and there will also be some small slightly technical sections. Because our roads will be up-high in the mountains, we will take plenty of breaks through our trail just to admire the landscapes, take some photos and have some snacks. In the evening we will reach the land of the fortified monasteries – Bukovina – many of them are part of UNESCO World Heritage, places full of history and culture. Then we will get to our accommodation where we will review our day and plan the next one. That means beer time!

Day 18: Transit day – 300 km, 250 km on-road/ 50 km off-road

This day will be a transit day from Borsa to the northern point of the city Cluj Napoca, the beautiful area of Maramureș, the land of the wooden monasteries. We will have approximately 50 km to travel on off road roads, and then we will get into asphalt road. We will visit throughout this beautiful day the famous Bârsana Wooden Monastery (built in 1390) and the Happy Cemetery of Săpânța – probably the only happy cemetery in the world. Our guide, George, will introduce you to the cultural and historic aspects of the area and will also drive the assistance car with our luggage. At the end of the day we will recall the most important things of the day and get to Cluj Napoca for our final night together.

Price: 1700 euro

Passenger price: 1400 euro

Single supplement: 320 euro

 

Price includes:

  • 18 accommodation nights in 3-4 stars guesthouses in a shared double room
  • 18 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:

  • Gas
  • 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: June, July, August, September