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4.9
| 33 reviews

Rewilding Adventure in Romania's Tarcu Mountains

4 nights
Moderate

Track wild bison, bears and wolves on a remote ramble in the Southern Carpathians

What's Included?

Activities & Certified Guides

All itinerary activities with English-speaking wildlife trackers and rewilding guides from WWF

All accommodation

1 night camping, 1 night in a wilderness cabin, 2 nights in a guesthouse or modern cabin

Meals

All your breakfasts, lunches and dinners

Transfers

Airport transfers from Timișoara to your base in Armenis and back again

Equipment

Safari-style twin tents, camp beds, blankets and pillows

Small Like-minded Groups

Solo-friendly by design, join our small n’ sociable groups of up to 8 like-minded, active and outdoorsy people
From

excluding flights

What's it like?

4.9
| 33 reviews
Book the trip!
June 2024
Lauren M.
Book the trip!
June 2024
Lauren M.
Book the trip!
June 2024
Lauren M.
Book the trip!
June 2024
Lauren M.
Lovely experience
May 2024
Jannik H.
Lovely experience
May 2024
Jannik H.
Lovely experience
May 2024
Jannik H.
Lovely experience
May 2024
Jannik H.
Lovely experience
May 2024
Jannik H.
Lovely experience
May 2024
Jannik H.
Lovely experience
May 2024
Jannik H.
This trip was an amazing experience. The mo...
October 2023
Jasper
This trip was an amazing experience. The mo...
October 2023
Jasper
This trip was an amazing experience. The mo...
October 2023
Jasper
This is an absolutely fantastic trip for an...
August 2023
George
This is an absolutely fantastic trip for an...
August 2023
George
This is an absolutely fantastic trip for an...
August 2023
George
This is an absolutely fantastic trip for an...
August 2023
George
Wow! What a fabulous experience. Romania wi...
August 2023
Alice
Wow! What a fabulous experience. Romania wi...
August 2023
Alice
Wow! What a fabulous experience. Romania wi...
August 2023
Alice
Wow! What a fabulous experience. Romania wi...
August 2023
Alice
Wow! What a fabulous experience. Romania wi...
August 2023
Alice
An incredible experience. Learning about wi...
August 2023
Polly
An incredible experience. Learning about wi...
August 2023
Polly
An incredible experience. Learning about wi...
August 2023
Polly
An incredible experience. Learning about wi...
August 2023
Polly
We had a fantastic time tracking and learni...
June 2023
Tina
We had a fantastic time tracking and learni...
June 2023
Tina
We had a fantastic time tracking and learni...
June 2023
Tina

An incredible adventure in partnership with expert local wildlife trackers and conservationists from WWF

Follow the reintroduced herds of European Bison through a revolutionary rewilding area in a remote corner of Romania

Bunk down in wilderness cabins and safari-style camps beneath the stars and snatch wild swims in lakes and rivers

As featured in The Guardian's Where the Wild Things Are

Key Information

Day 1

Road trip to the Tarcu Mountains

Meet your host at Timișoara Airport and settle into the van for a 2 hour drive deep into a rural and remote part of Romania, heading for the small community of Armeniș in the west of the country. Check into your cosy guesthouse and stretch your legs with a short walk before meeting up with your guides for dinner and a chat through the adventure to come.

Day 2

Bison tracking

Wildlife Tracking

5-6hrs

Rising before dawn often brings the best rewards, so set your alarm early and slip out into the twilight to a nearby clearing to see the wildlife, often most active at this time of the day. Grab a late breakfast and then head into the wilderness to track bison, one of the areas most impressive sights and a key driver of the positive ecological changes happening in this part of the Carpathians. Tonight you'll be staying in a safari-style camp beneath the stars and hopefully listening to the distant howling of the wolves.

*The order of the itinerary can change due to the weather and the movement of the bison and the area they are in at any time

Day 3

Deeper into the mountains

Wildlife Tracking

5-6hrs

Wake up in one of Europe's wildest places and head straight out for a morning of wildlife tracking. Your guides will fill you in on the rewilding efforts here and the cascade of ecological benefits that occur when keystone species such as bison are reintroduced into the wild. Later you'll return to the guesthouse in Armenis for a well-earned shower and a traditional Romanian dinner.

Day 4

Bear hides and wilderness cabins

Wildlife Tracking

5-6hrs

Moving deeper into the Tarcu Mountains, you'll head towards Rusca and set off for a hike, keeping a keen eye open for the region's resident Chamois. Wolves, lynx, wild boars and bears also reside in the area. Your guides are on hand to look out for signs of the animals and you'll be split into groups of no more than 4 to better your chance of seeing them. You'll ramble towards a wilderness cabin located in a magical spot with two crystal clear rivers and a lake nearby to take a dip in. Later in the evening, you'll head out to a hide to look out for European Brown Bears.

Day 5

The adventure ends

It's time to leave the Tarcu Mountains after breakfast as you hike out to the nearest road where your host will be waiting with a van to drive you back to Timișoara in time for your flight home.

Day 1

Guesthouse · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Campsite · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3

Guesthouse · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Cabin · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

You'll enjoy locally sourced, traditional Romanian foods throughout the trip. Breakfasts are a fairly continental affair of cereals and breads with jam and juices. Dinners usually involve a meat or fish option alongside staples of polenta, salads, bread, hard cheese, egg and sour cream. While wildlife tracking you'll carry a packed lunch, usually sandwiches with fruit and snacks.

Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - please just request on your passenger info form.

What is the accommodation like?

Safari-style camping

You'll stay in twin-share safari-style tents complete with beds, blankets and pillows and shared compost toilet facilities, though no showers! The camp location is set in a clearing surrounded by forest which makes for a wild night beneath the stars, hopefully listening to the howling of the wolves.

Armenis Village Modern Cabin
Armenis village

In the small community of Armenis you'll stay in twin-share rooms in either small, modern cabins or traditional renovated houses, making for an atmospheric experience in rural Romania.

Wilderness cabin

Your final night of the trip is spent at a wilderness cabin set far from any civilisation in a spectacular location, deep within the Tarcu Mountains. The cabin has electricity and running water, a large terrace, BBQ area and a log swing with views down to a lake and out over the rewilding area. A natural whirlpool is located 150m from the cabin, in what is known as 'The Cold River' for anyone keen for a bracing dip after a long day tracking wildlife.

Upgrades

Due to limited space in the village and cabins, private rooms are only available if the group is below the maximum size of 8. For departures with fewer than 8 guests you can request a private room at no additional cost with your local host.

This trip has been rated as Moderate

This is a wild adventure in a remote part of Romania, and you'll be tracking wildlife off trail often during your escapades, so there can be some difficult sections with muddy terrain if there has been rainfall recently. You'll need to enjoy full days in the great outdoors with a sense of adventure. General fitness without much hiking experience is fine. The order of the itinerary can change due to the weather and the movement of the bison and the area they are in at any time.

What will I need to carry?

You'll need to have a larger bag suitable for all your belongings which will be transported for you, and then a small daysack to carry personal items during each day of hiking.

The mountainous areas of Romania offer a pleasant climate during the summer months. Day time temperatures average around 20°C / 68°F with highs of 26°C / 79°F in July and August. Evening temperatures during summer drop to around 10°C / 50°F. The area can see a fair bit of rainfall in the summer months, so be sure to pack good waterproofs and hiking shoes that keep out moisture.

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Timișoara International Airport

14:00 on Day 1

Ends

Timișoara International Airport

Afternoon of Day 5

Transfers

On Day 1, your host will meet you at Timișoara International Airport and transfer you over to Armenis, your base for the adventure.

On Day 5, your host will arrange a group transfer to drop you back at the airport in Timișoara in time for your onward flight. Please arrange a flight departing after 12:00 (midday). If some of your group have afternoon flights and others have evening flights, those leaving in the evening can be dropped off in Timisoara to spend some time exploring the city before their onward flight. If you need to book an earlier flight, it will not be possible for you to join the group transfer, however, your host can arrange a private transfer for you at an additional charge (see optional extras below).

Travel options

Timișoara International Airport is well connected to the UK with direct flights with Wizz Air from Luton Airport. Travellers from the US or elsewhere in Europe can fly to Timișoara via Munich & Frankfurt which has numerous connections.

Travellers with extra time on their hands can travel to Armenis - your base for this trip - through Europe's train network. If starting from Western Europe you'll need to head to Budapest in neighbouring Hungary before connecting on to the sleeper train service called 'Ister' which will take you to Timisoara - the largest city in Western Romania. From here you can connect to the rail service to Armenis and meet up with the group on Day 1.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's Included

  • Safari-style twin-share tent
  • Camping bed
  • Blankets and pillows

What do I need to bring?

BAGS

  • Soft duffel bag or rucksack for all your kit (this will be transported for you each day)
  • Daypack (just for carrying personal items during each day of hiking)

CLOTHES

  • Lightweight waterproof and windproof jacket
  • Fleece jacket or similar
  • Lightweight trousers for hiking
  • Lightweight shorts/skirts for hiking and/or for relaxing in
  • T-shirts
  • Underwear & socks
  • Swimsuit
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunhat
  • Warm hat
  • Something to sleep in
  • Waterproof hiking boots, preferably with ankle support (worn-in)
  • Lightweight shoes for around camp and the wilderness cabin

OTHER

  • Binoculars
  • Universal travel plug adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel Insurance documents
  • Suncream
  • Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
  • Toilet kit (toilet paper, biodegradable bags to carry paper out to dispose of)
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Face mask
  • Headlamp or torch
  • Reusable water bottle (x1 litre)

OPTIONAL

  • Earplugs
  • Energy bars and snacks
  • Camera
  • Hiking poles
  • Sleeping bag for trips in September and October
*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Extra night in Armenis (Full board)

Payable Before Departure

Extra night in Armenis (Full board)

Per Night

Extra night in Armenis (Room only)

Payable Before Departure

Extra night in Armenis (Room only)

Per Night

Private airport transfer Timișoara Airport to Armenis (one way)

Payable Before Departure

Private airport transfer Timișoara Airport to Armenis (one way)

Lauren M.(June 2024)
Book the trip!
Book the trip!
Book the trip!
Book the trip!
Book the trip!

Loved our time in Romania.

Our guide, Matei, was very knowledgeable and taught us a lot about the area, wildlife tracking, and the rewilding project. The hosts at the Campus (first location) were very welcoming (especially King the dog). The guide for the last day, Petru, was very skilled at spotting signs of Chamois and bears. One of the highlights of the trip was when Petru pointed out a black viper with a salamander in its mouth. At first, we thought both creatures were dead, the salamander having poisoned the snake, until the snake suddenly moved and dragged its prey into a crevice and carried on trying to swallow it (see video!).

We saw Bison, a wildcat, a boar, buzzards, including a honey buzzard, a bee eater, an eagle, an owl, lots of storks and red backed shrikes, and even more butterflies. We didn't see chamois, wolves or bears, but saw plenty of fresh tracks for them. Matei interpreted the tracks for us and helped us understand what the animals would have been doing at the time. For example, he showed us the direction from which a bear had approached a muddy area, which of its paws had made the tracks, and how the bear had jumped over a puddle and continued through the undergrowth.

The walks were challenging because of the terrain, and because when we visited there was a heatwave, but manageable for anyone with a basic level of fitness. There was a lot of shelter from the heat in the forest, we walked slowly and took frequent breaks. I would recommend wearing walking trousers rather than shorts as the long grass and thorns can irritate the skin, and there is a tick risk. I would also recommend carrying at least 2L of water every day.

The natural landscape was impeccable and, over the three days of walking, we didn't come across any other people in the forest.

The eco lodge, safari tent and lakeside house were clean and comfortable, with little packets of handmade soap and shampoo provided.

The food was delicious. Dosia was the chef at the Campus and ensured we never went hungry - serving us dishes made from locally sourced ingredients - such as cheese, cured meats, walnuts and salads. We particularly liked the elderflower tonic and the Wilder beer. We also tried schnapps at two of the locations (a homemade plum brandy which the group affectionately called the "magic bottle" as the hosts kept refilling it!).

The itinerary was well-planned, with plenty of time to chill in the evenings. We were a group of 6 - one couple and one group of 4 friends - and we all came together nicely and got on well.

For anyone on the fence about booking, go for it! You won't regret it.

Erica P.(June 2024)
Fantastic!

This trip exceeded our expectations; the landscape was beautiful and is a genuinely pristine environment for the wildlife. Matei did a great job of helping us track bison (which we saw) and bears (just saw the tracks this time!). We also spotted a wildcat. The forests were beautiful to walk in and good exercise on some of the steeper slopes! The accommodation, and food and drinks were a wonderfully positive surprise and the hosts could not have been more friendly! Highly recommend.

Gerard M.(June 2024)
Amazing adventure in Romania

We had an amazing time in Romania. We saw several bison from quite a far distance, but the overall trip was incredible. All the facilities are outstanding, and the food was delicious. I would definitely recommend.

Jannik H.(May 2024)
Lovely experience
Lovely experience
Lovely experience
Lovely experience
Lovely experience
Lovely experience
Lovely experience
Lovely experience

The trip was so well organised and our group had so much fun. We did see Bisons and a lot of animals tracks. Unfortunately we didn't see wolf and bear. Thank you to Much Better Adventures for a fantastic trip.

Tamsin G.(May 2024)
An unforgettable trip! We learnt

An unforgettable trip! We learnt so much from the incredible guides and hosts. We saw 3 bison and their calves, and so many animal tracks along the way.

The hikes are stunning and the hospitality of each night's stay was truly amazing filled with delicious traditional food and drink, and wonderful company.

A highlight was sitting in the hides late at night hoping to see a bear. We saw a wild boar who came down to the river searching for food. Walking back through the forest at night was really magical!

Thank you for the amazing work you're doing, for sharing your knowledge and reigniting a love for the wild outdoors!

Andrew(November 2023)

This trip is amazing. We were lucky to see both a Bison and a bear, but I would have recommended the trip anyway. The hiking is worth it alone, trails are interesting, views are incredible, and the pace and number of breaks make it accessible for most.

The food was great, and they accommodated the vegan and vegetarian in my group really well. The wine was a real highlight, and craft beer appeared as soon as we arrived.

The accommodations are surprisingly comfortable. The kit list is good, but note they supply plastic free soap, shower gel and toothpaste (but bring your own toothpaste, they need to work on that one!).

I travelled alone, and my party was a group of 4 friends and me, but no issues, a great group and we all got on really well. The hosts are lovely and really friendly. Matei is very knowledgeable, and you get a good education on tracking as you go around.

Jasper(October 2023)
This trip was an amazing experience. The mo...
This trip was an amazing experience. The mo...
This trip was an amazing experience. The mo...

This trip was an amazing experience. The moment we arrived we felt very welcome and at home. Matei and the team are very kind, and made sure we didn’t lack for anything. The local food was absolutely amazing, I’m going to miss it a lot. The views are incredible aswell, and the nature feels unspoiled in a way we could never get near to in the Netherlands.

We got lucky enough to see a bison and a bear, but even if we hadn’t I would not have minded. The whole trip was a blast, and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again or to recommend it to other people. Some hiking experience is definitely required, but the kitlist is accurate and the rest is all provided for you.

We’re grateful to Matei and his team for the experience, and we’ll definitely be back!

Emma(September 2023)

A fab trip! We were really lucky to see the wildlife, but even without that the trekking was great. Loved all the accommodations, the food and the group. Our guide was amazing!

George(August 2023)
This is an absolutely fantastic trip for an...
This is an absolutely fantastic trip for an...
This is an absolutely fantastic trip for an...
This is an absolutely fantastic trip for an...

This is an absolutely fantastic trip for anyone who loves animals, the outdoors & a little bit of adventure. Our guide Mattei was absolutely brilliant, teaching us how to spot the signs of bison & bears & track their movements. It took us nearly two days to find bison in the extraordinary woodlands covering the mountains but it was all worth it when we finally found them. They swished their tails and chewed a bit before catching wind of us and setting off at a gallop - but past us, rather than away! It was like something out of the Wild West or primordial Europe! A moment of a lifetime. Going to one of the hides with Mattei and discovering a young male bear waiting for us was another incredible experience. The locals who catered for us were lovely and the whole enterprise is incredibly innovative in linking rewilding with the local community. The trekking is not for the faint hearted so bring plenty of water & good shoes but it is all worth it. Five star trip & again a special shout out for Mattei, our hero.

Alice(August 2023)