The Carpathian Ring – 8 riding days
Day 1: Meeting
We meet in Cluj Napoca , then we go to the hotel and them we go together to a pub to know each other.
Day 2: Cluj-Napoca – Bârsana – 280 km
Highlights: Maramureș County – Gutâi Pass (987 m altitude) – Săpânța – Bârsana
The Cemetery in Săpânța – Maramureș, as known as “The happy cemetery” is unique in the world, having a distinct style. It is the creation of a local man, Stan Ioan Pătraș, who began to manufacture funeral monuments for the dead people of the village: embellished crosses, painted in vibrant-blue and bright colors. The paintings represent scenes of the life of the dead one and some lyrics about his passions or the way he died.
Bârsana Monastery – marvelous wooden construction, orthodox sanctuary, this monastery proves the artistry of those who built it piece by piece: high and narrow, made of logs, with beautiful towers covered in ornamental wooden shingles. It was built in 1720 and today is on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Day 3: Bârsana – Rarău – 270 km
Highlights: Bukowina County – Prislop Pass – Mestecăniș Pass –“ Trei Movile”Pass – Voroneț and Moldovița Monasteries – Transrarău Road – Natural Reserve of Rarău
From the beautiful region of Maramureș we will continue our tour to Bukowina. Passing through the mountains at 1.416 meters high through Prislop, we will see marvellous mountainscapes and maybe sit a little to enjoy the view and the taste of a coffee. We will go through another two spectacular mountain passes – Mestecăniș (1096 m alt.) and Trei Movile (1080 m alt.).
After that, we will reach two pieces of art, religion and history: the painted monasteries of Voroneț and Moldovița – both of them are on the list of UNESCO World Heritage.
Voroneț Monastery was built in 1488 at the demand of Moldova’s king – Stephen the Great (legend says that in only 4 months!) and apparently nobody could find the “secret recipe” of its spectacular blue color found in the outside paintings. In those times, divinity was very present in people’s lives and churches were often built after victories in wars. Moldovița Monastery was built in 1532 at the demand of Stephen the Great’s son – the king Petru Rareș. The inside and outside paintings of these two monasteries are very well preserved, their vibrant colors faced hundreds of years and still look fresh today.
After the incursion in culture and history we will get back to our beautiful mountain roads. Transrarău Road is one of the most spectacular in Romania. It was recently built, causing an immediate increase of tourists here. They come to see the road itself, but also the Natural Reserve Rarău with its spectacular rock formations – Lady’s Rocks – the place where magic of legends meets the beauty of reality.
Day 4: Rarău Mountains – Sighișoara – 290 km
Highlights: Transrarău Pass (1500 m) – Bistrița River Valley – Bicaz Lake – Bicaz Gorge – The Red Lake – Pângărați Pass – Sighișoara
On the 3rd day we will leave Rarău Mountains, going down to the other side of Transrarău Road and along Bistrița Valley. We will reach Izvorul Muntelui Lake Lake, the largest man-made lake in Romania. It was built in 10 years during the communism times, with soviet equipment and thousands of young Romanians as workers. Hundreds of thousands of people and their houses were displaced and 22 villages disappeared while it was built. People took away even the bones of their beloved ones from the cemeteries.
Bicaz Gorge is truly spectacular, you feel so small between the huge vertical walls of stone! It may take your breath away! It is also a wonderful place to take photos riding your motorbike!
The Red Lake (Lacul Roșu) is the largest natural barrier lake in Romania. Its name comes from the red alluvia deposited on its bottom. It was formed after a massive earthquake in 1838 and it is also known as “Killer Lake”. You can see pieces of petrified trees coming out of the water, which makes it unique. There are many interesting legends about it.
We will reach the Pângărați Pass (1256 m) and go to our next destinations in Ardeal region.
Day 5: Sighișoara – Bolboci – 190 km
Highlights: Sighișoara – Viscri – Peleș Castle – Transbucegi Road – Bucegi National Park – Prahova River Valley
Sighișoara citadel city (UNESCO) is a timeless place where you can feel, see and taste history. What’s unique about it is that is the only medieval citadel still inhabited. Take a walk along the colorful streets and enjoy!
Many people heard about Viscri Village after Prince Charles itself fell in love with and bought a house here. It’s a place where the time froze; you will feel like in the Middle Ages. You can visit the Citadel Church (UNESCO) and enjoy walking through the old houses.
Peleș Castle is a jewel, a piece of art and one of the most beautiful castles in Romania and maybe Europe. Built in 1874 by King Carol the 1st, now it is a well-known and appreciated museum where you can see many interesting exhibits and collections. You can also enjoy some stories and legends about the castle.
Transbucegi Road is another wonderful road that serpents through Bucegi mountains. It goes to Bucegi National Park – a beautiful mountain plateau with some bizarre rock formations that resemble the Egyptian Sphinx and the stoned ”old ladies” which are chattering for centuries…
Then we will go down the Prahova Valley, the most appreciated touristic area in Romania, thanks to its beautiful landscapes and touristic facilities.
Day 6: Bolboci Lake – Transfăgărășan Highway – 220 km
Highlights: Dracula’s castle – Vidraru Lake – Transfăgărășan base
Who has not heard of Dracula’s Castle in Romania? It is a great mix of architecture and history, thrill and excitement, myth and reality. It was built in 1211 by the Teutonic Knights, but it is known more because of Vlad the Impaler, our ”local Dracula”, famous for its cruelty and tyranny. There are many things to say about him, but romanian people „recall” him as a man who hated laziness and theft. He easily killed the people who didn’t want to work by impaling them or burning them alive. There are many legends and stories about him.
Vidraru Lake – lying in the shadow of Făgăraș mountains, it is another man-made lake in Romania, built between 1960 and 1965 for electricity, irigations and flood prevention. Many people died while it was built, during the cruel communist regime years. Today, it is, besides its economic role, a touristic attraction and people practice bungee-jumping and leisure boat racing here.
Day 7: Transfăgărășan – Obârșia Lotrului – 190 km
Highlights: Transfăgărășan Pass – Lotru River Valley – Vidra Lake
Transfăgărășan Highway is one of the most spectacular roads in Europe, reaching the altitude of 2042 m. It connects the historical regions of Transylvania and Wallachia. Despite of its stunning beautiful landscapes, this road is a witness of pain and suffering. It is also a communist construction where lots of people worked in extremely hard conditions and some of them even died. Nowadays, the road gained a lot of popularity after the guys from Top Gear show visited it, totally loved it and described it as the most impressive road they’ve ever been on. It is definitely a wonderful place to visit. You will love its serpentines and landscapes.
Lotru River Valley is full of artificial lakes and the most impressive and beautiful one is Vidra Lake. Clear waters reflecting the deep blue skies, framed by smooth mountain peaks…
Day 8 : Obârșia Lotrului – Șugag – 240 km
Highlights: Transalpina Pass – Brâncuși’s works of art – Jieț Gorge
Transalpina Highway is another altitude road in Romania, crossing 5 protected areas, very appreciated and loved by tourists and very impressive. Violent abrupt and great mountainscapes – this is what you will see and live! Some people say that it was built by Roman legions during Daco-Roman wars, as a strategic road. It was also known as “The Devil’s trail” and used by shepherds to cross the mountains with their sheep to another region – Oltenia. It was used again as a strategic road during both World Wars (I and II) and then restored again during the communist years, when it became a touristic attraction. Many years after the fall of communism and political instability in Romania, this road was closed because its deplorable conditions. In 2015 it was opened again and it is now one of the most beautiful mountain roads in Europe.
In Târgu Jiu we will visit some of the most known, appreciated and disputed pieces of art: the sculptures of Brâncuși: the Infinity Column, the Gate of kiss, the Table of Silence.
After that we will go through the Jieț Gorge – a mix of lacy abrupt cliffs and small beautiful waterfalls. Another witness of Romania’s beauty
Day 9: Șugag – Cluj – 270 km
Highlights: Trascău Mountains – Apuseni Natural Park – Beliș Lake
Trascău Mountains are not very high, approximately 1300 m on the highest peaks, but they compensate with the very complex landscapes. Volcanic rocks, karst, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks blend together beautifully with the small villages lost through the hills and the thin roads and paths which reach even the heart of the mountains.
So is the Natural Park Apuseni. With a surface of 75.000 ha, this natural park is a beautiful blend of everything. The mountain forests are wrinkled with small canyons and gorges, peaks and valleys, sinkholes, caves and steeps. Here we will see Beliș Lake, another beautiful man-made lake. When the summer season is very dry and the water level decreases a lot, you can see the abandoned houses and the churches towers of what was a village decades ago.
8 driving days / 1950-2000 km
Price/person based on 2 people sharing the same room:
– 800 euro driving your own motorcycle
– 800 euro + rent a bike
Single room supliment : 190 euro
Passenger price : 650 euro
8 accommodation nights with breakfast in 3-4 stars hotel/guest house
Assistance car if you are renting bike from us
Carpathian Trails gift (surprize)
Motorcycle Guide/ English speaker
Price does not include: Insurances, Entrance fees at the tourist spots we visit,Gas,road taxes, parking, lunches and dinners, beverages, individual activities, plane ticket, airport fees, photo, video tax and other not mentioned
Available periods: 7-15 June, 5-13 July, 3-11 August, 1-9 September