Adventure Hiking in Romania
Experience the gorges and plateaus of the Apuseni Mountains by trails, ladders, caves and bridges.
Why it's much better
- 3 days of hiking, scrambling and via ferrata in the Apuseni Mountains in the heart of Romania's Western Carpathians.
- Hike across the Padis karst plateau, a spectacular region of forested limestone rock.
- Escape civilisation for a few days at your rustic mountain cabin base.
- Hike past canyons and waterfalls in the wild Galbena Gorge area.
- Climb the rocky walls of the Crisul Repede River valley on a via ferrata route.
- Explore the entrance to Cetatile Ponorului - 'The Fortress of Ponor - a spectacular karstic cave network.
- Be led by local guides with a passion for the mountains and a focus on sustainable tourism.
- Guides Expert, English-speaking local guides
- Accommodation 3 nights in a mountain cabin
- Meals All your food is included
- Transfers All airport transfers
- Permits All permits and entry fees
- Equipment All equipment for the via ferrata sections
- Happiness Guaranteed We're so confident that your holiday will be your best yet, we actually guarantee it
- Feel Good Vibes We mitigate 4x the carbon emitted by all our travellers and support important conservation projects
Thursday: Arrival and transfer to mountain hut base
Your host will meet you at the Debrecen Airport in Hungary and take you over the border into Romania, heading straight for the Padis Karst plateau, in the heart of Apuseni Nature Park. The drive takes approximately four hours. You'll stop for some lunch on the way at Oradea, an art nouveau town on the Romanian side of the border.
You'll arrive in the early evening at your mountain cabin - the base for this adventure. After checking in and dinner you'll have a quick briefing with your host on the plans for the days ahead.
4 hours driving
Friday: Hike though Ponor glade to Cetatile Ponorului
After breakfast you'll lace up your boots and get straight on with hiking some of the Carpathian's hidden gems. The route of your hike today will 'follow the water'. Hike beside the creeks and streams - and above them as they disappear underground due to the unique karstic geology in this region.
The hike takes will take you through a beautiful glade area and on to Cetatile Ponorului, known as the 'Fortress of Ponor Cave'. This is a cave network set in a forested, mountainous landscape with hidden springs, waterfalls and tunnels.
You'll end up back at the mountain hut for a cosy evening refuelling on plenty of traditional Romanian mountain food.
Hiking distance: 12km - Elevation ascent/descent: 800m - Duration: 5-6 hours
Saturday: Galbena Gorge
Today's route over to the wild and remote Galbena Gorge is quite a challenging one. There are several portions of scrambling and some basic climbing sections, with a total elevation gain of 1100 metres. On your way to the gorge you'll pass Focul Viu ice cave, an underground glacier.
If weather permits, the hike will culminate at Galbena Rock, a viewpoint with spectacular panoramas of the Western Carpathians.
Hiking distance: 16km - Elevation ascent/descent: 1100m - Duration: 7-8 hours
Sunday: Via Ferrata at Padurea Craiului
Today you'll have a final breakfast at the mountain hut and pack up ready for the final adventure of the trip. The via ferrata is installed on the Padurea Craiului massif: approximately 200 vertical metres of cliff to be climbed using metal steps and ladders. A spectacular finale to your Romania hiking adventure.
You'll have a final picnic lunch with your fellow hikers before you head back to Debrecen Airport, ready in plenty of time for the evening flight.
2 hours of via ferrata - Elevation ascent 200m
Hiking distance: 4km - Elevation ascent/descent: 80m - Duration: 1.5 hours
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.
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 typically stay in either a twin or triple room. 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.
Your hiking adventure takes place in and around the Padis karst plateau. This area forms part of the Apuseni National Park, which itself sits in the heart of the Western Carpathians of Romania.
'Karst' is a type of geological terrain characterised by rocky ground, caves, sinkholes and underground rivers. There is generally an absence of surface streams and lakes. Karstic regions are created soluble rocks such as limestone and dolomite being dissolved.
Galbena Gorge is one of the wildest parts of the trip. Here you'll scramble and hike up to the top of Galbena Rock, a spectacular viewpoint for the Western Carpathian range. In this area you'll pass Focul Viu ice cave, an underground glacier.
You'll visit Cetatile Ponorului, also known as the 'Fortress of Ponor' - one of Romania's largest and most spectacular cave networks and a biodiversity hotspot in the Carpathians.
The hike also takes you to the Padurea Craiului area of Apuseni, where you'll tackle the via ferrata sections of this adventure.
Debrecen Airport - 13:00
Your adventure begins at Debrecen Airport (DEB) at 13:00 with your airport transfer. Please schedule your flight to arrive more than 30 minutes before this time. Your host and driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals area. If you’re not able to join this transfer, your host recommends arriving the day before and spending the night in Debrecen city centre. You can book any flight and easily get to/from Debrecen centre via a 10 minute taxi.
Debrecen Airport - 15:30
At the end of your adventure, you will be dropped back at Debrecen Airport at 15:30. You’re free to book any flight that departs after 17:45. Alternatively If you would like to be dropped off in Debrecen city centre, please let your host know when booking.
Dates & Prices
Bespoke trips only
There are currently no planned group departures. Please contact this host to request a quote for a custom trip.Request a Quote
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