Much Better Adventures

Adventures / Epic Treks

Adventure Hiking in Romania

Explore the gorges and plateaus of the Apuseni Mountains by trails, ladders, caves and bridges

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Trip Ref #10039

Adventures / Epic Treks

Adventure Hiking in Romania

Explore the gorges and plateaus of the Apuseni Mountains by trails, ladders, caves and bridges

DURATION
3 nights
LOCATION
Romania
ANNUAL LEAVE
2 days off work
GROUP SIZE
Up to 8 people
MEETING POINT
Debrecen International Airport
ACCOMMODATION
Mountain hut
DIFFICULTY
Challenging

This hike can be fairly strenuous, so you'll need to have a decent level of fitness and be comfortable with heights.

Escape civilisation and stay in a rustic mountain cabin

Hike the Padis Plateau and explore the Fortress of Ponor - a spectacular karstic cave network

Climb the rocky walls of the Crisul Repede River Valley and trek through the heart of Romania's Western Carpathians

Included

Guides

Expert, English-speaking guides

Accommodation

3 nights in a mountain cabin

Meals

Munch on tasty food throughout

Transfers

To and from the airport and everything in-between

Equipment

All your equipment for the via ferrata sections

Permits

All permits and entry fees

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

The Area

Logistics

Starts

Debrecen Airport, Hungary

13:00

Ends

Debrecen Airport, Hungary

15:30

Transfers

You'll be picked up on arrival and dropped off in time for departure. Please schedule your flight to arrive more than 30 minutes before the scheduled time and to depart anytime after 17.45 If you are staying in Debrecen and would prefer to be collected in the city centre at the start or dropped off there at the end of the trip, just let your host know.

Travel options

There are regular flights to Debrecen from airports across the UK and Europe.

What about all the carbon?

We mitigate 4x the carbon generated by all our customer flights annually through our partnership with Cool Earth.

Day 1

Mountain hut · Twin or triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 3

Mountain hut · Twin or triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Romanian food is hearty, full of flavour and heavily influenced by its neighbouring countries. Most meals start with a soup, usually made with meat, vegetables or fish and made sour with lemon or vinegar. Sausages and other meats are also popular, as well as meat and vegetable pies, goulash, stuffed cabbage rolls and cheeses. Each hiking day includes a picnic lunch of sandwiches, snacks and fruits. The mountain cabin can accommodate vegans and vegetarians, just let your host know in advance.

What is the accommodation like?

Apuseni National Park

You'll spend each of your 3 nights at the Cetatile Ponorului mountain cabin, situated within the Apuseni National Park. The rooms here are basic but clean and comfortable and the staff super friendly and helpful. You'll stay in your own room, or you can share a room if you are travelling as a couple. All bedding is provided, so you don't need to bring a sleeping bag.

There is a restaurant at the cabin where you'll fuel up on traditional Romanian food. You can also wind down with a drink in the bar after long days out hiking in the mountains.

Day 1

The cabin

Fly to Debrecen Airport in Hungary and cross over the border into Romania. Stop for lunch in the art nouveau town of Oradea and then continue onto the Padis Karst plateau in the heart of Apuseni Nature Park. Arrive at the mountain cabin, your base for the next few days, in time for dinner and a briefing on the adventure ahead.

Day 2

The Fortress of Ponor

Hiking

5-6hrs · 12km · 800m up

Lace up your boots and hike to some of the Carpathian's hidden gems. The aim is to follow the water as you hike beside creeks and streams and then see them disappear into the region’s unique underground cave system. Continue hiking to Cetatile Ponorului, - the Fortress of Ponor - a cave network surrounded by a forested and mountainous landscape with hidden springs, waterfalls and tunnels. Return to the cosy cabin for a night of traditional Romanian mountain food.

Day 3

Galbena Gorge

Hiking

7-8hrs · 16km · 1100m up

Tackle the challenging route to the wild and remote Galbena Gorge, including several sections of scrambling and basic climbing (total elevation gain 1100 metres.) On the way you'll pass the Focul Viu ice cave, an underground glacier. If weather permits, hike to Galbena Rock, a viewpoint with spectacular panoramas of the Western Carpathians before returning to your cabin for a final night.

Day 4

Via Ferrata and then home

Hiking

1.5hrs · 4km · 80m up · 80m down

Climbing

2hrs

Time for the final adventure of the trip - a 200 metre via ferrata network up the flank of the Padurea Craiului massif - a spectacular end to your hiking adventure. After a final picnic with your team, head back to Debrecen in time for the evening flight home.

Please Note

All our adventures take place in wild places. Things can go wrong in wild places. Your perfectly planned itinerary may change a bit (or a lot) if the weather turns, someone gets hurt, or a volcano erupts. Usually though, changes make it all the better.

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock, Runner's Need, and Cycle Surgery.

What do I need to bring?

Bags

  • Soft overnight duffel bag or rucksack
  • Daypack
  • Waterproof liner (or dry bags) for kitbag or rucksack

Clothes

  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Fleece jacket or similar
  • Warm hat
  • Buff or neckscarf
  • Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts
  • T-shirts, underwear & socks
  • Swimwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hat
  • Something to sleep in
  • Hiking boots (worn-in)
  • Sandals

Other

  • Padlock for left luggage
  • Universal travel adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Spare camera batteries
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel Insurance documents
  • Earplugs
  • Insect repellent
  • Suncream
  • Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
  • Toilet kit (toilet paper, biodegradable bags to carry out)
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Headtorch or torch
  • Reusable water bottle x 2 litre
  • Biodegradable wet-wipes
  • Energy bars and snacks
  • Water purification tablets/treatment system

This hike can be fairly strenuous at times, so you'll need a relatively good level of fitness and be able to hike for 7-8 hours in a single day. Being comfortable with heights is also an advantage during the via ferrata sections.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Summer is the best season to explore the area, but spring and autumn are also very pleasant, although come with a higher chances of rain. The average daily high is around 27°C in summer, but it cools down at night, so pack warmer clothes for evening hangouts at the cabin. Please note that the itinerary is subject to change depending on weather conditions, as some of the scrambling and via ferrata sections can be dangerous in bad weather.

Yes, you can safely leave your luggage at the mountain hut and just take a daypack out for each of the hikes.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

We’ve teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here.

We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book the trip, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

For current advice about travelling in Romania, have a read of the UK Foreign Office pages here.

All of our group adventures are especially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded.

"I cannot recommend this highly enough! The people on the trip were amazing. Easily the best trip I've ever been on!" Charlotte, 2019, Trustpilot.

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

Via-ferrata routes are a popular way to access the mountains without any mountaineering experience. Essentially it's a series of iron rungs, ladders and cables fixed into a steep cliff. On this trip, you'll ascend 200m using a harness that's permanently clipped into a continuous safety cable. This, combined with expert guiding, ensures that you are in the safest hands possible, allowing you to enjoy an otherwise inaccessible environment. You don't need any previous experience, just a head for heights. You should also not suffer from vertigo.

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