Bear Watching and Castle Hopping in Romania

Head into the wild Carpathian Mountains to scout for Brown Bears and explore famous castles

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Trip Ref #8798

Bear Watching and Castle Hopping in Romania

Head into the wild Carpathian Mountains to scout for Brown Bears and explore famous castles

DURATION

2 nights

LOCATION

Romania

ANNUAL LEAVE

1 day off work

SEASON

Apr—Oct

GROUP SIZE

Up to 14 people

MEETING POINT

Henri Coandă International Airport

ACCOMMODATION

Comfort

Hotel

OVERALL RATING

4.7

Based on 94 reviews
DIFFICULTY

Easy

It might be out in the wild, but this trip is suitable for anyone in reasonably good condition.

Hike to an isolated hide in the Carpathian Mountains – home to 60% of Europe’s remaining Brown Bear population – and see these incredible creatures up close and in the wild

Spend a night in the bars and bohemian cafes of Romania's buzzing capital and explore two famous Transylvanian castles

Perfect for adventurous travellers who want a little bit of everything – city life, history, culture and of course, wildlife

Bed down in characterful boutique hotels, nestled in the historic hearts of Bucharest and Brasov

Day 1

Bucharest

Check into your boutique hotel in the heart of gorgeous Bucharest and join your guide for a walking tour around the city's old town. Spend the rest of the evening exploring this vibrant town. Your guide will lead you to some of its famous bohemian cafes, funky bars and top-notch restaurants.

Day 2

Wild bears

Hiking

1.5hrs

Drive through the scenic Transylvanian countryside into the rugged Carpathian Mountains. Visit the fairy tale Peles Castle and then continue on to the Medieval town of Brasov where you’ll stay tonight. From the remote trailhead in the mountains, hike through the forest to a bear hide ethically operated by the local wildlife authority. The hide is like an elevated treehouse, with great views of the bears as they wander in for dinner. If you’re lucky you might even see cubs!

Day 3

Bran Castle

Visit the highly acclaimed Libearty Sanctuary and learn more about these awesome creatures - a great way to add perspective to yesterday's experience. Head to Bran Castle, better known as Dracula’s Castle, with its blood-red turrets, eerie rooms and creepy reputation. Return to Bucharest through beautiful countryside and back to the airport in time for your flight home.

Included

Guides

Professional, experienced guides

Accommodation

2 nights in 4-star boutique hotels

Meals

Munch on tasty food throughout

Transfers

To and from the airport and everything in-between

Permits

Entrance to Peles and Bran Castles and Liberty Bear Sanctuary

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Visas where required

Day 1

Hotel · Twin or triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Hotel · Twin or triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Romanian food is hearty, flavourful and heavily influenced by neighbouring countries. Most meals start with a soup, often made with meat, vegetables or fish and made sour with lemon or vinegar. Sausages are also popular, as well as meat and vegetable pies, goulash, stuffed cabbage rolls and cheeses.

Breakfasts are included at your hotels, while lunches and dinners will be eaten at restaurants along the way. 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?

Bucharest

You’ll stay at either the Rembrandt, Z Hotel or similar. Located in historic buildings, these boutique hotels are classy yet unpretentious, with beautiful facilities. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, a delicious buffet breakfast, onsite café and excellent location.

Brasov

In Brasov you’ll stay in a boutique hotel right on the main square, probably Bella Muzica or Casa Wagner. Both hotels are housed in historical buildings with modern amenities, excellent service, and lots of character.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price . Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability)

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Bucharest Airport or your accommodation in Bucharest

14:30 at the airport or 16:00 at your hotel

Ends

Bucharest Airport

18:00

Transfers

Bucharest Airport - 14:30 or Your accommodation in Bucharest - 16:00

Your adventure begins at Bucharest Airport with your airport transfer at 14:30. Please schedule your flight to arrive more than 30 minutes before this time, your driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals area. If you’re not able to join the transfer, you can book any flight and easily get to your accommodation via a 30-minute taxi from the airport. Your host can also organise a private taxi for you, please see Optional Extras below. You will meet your guide and fellow adventurers after you have checked in for a guided tour of the city.

At the end of your adventure, you will be dropped back at Bucharest Airport at 18:00. You’re free to book any flight that departs after 19:30. Alternatively If you would like to be dropped off in Bucharest city centre, please let your host know when booking.

Travel options

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

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 do I need to bring?

Bags

  • A small daypack

Clothing

  • Dark-coloured layers (thermals, jacket) for the bear hide
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Sturdy walking shoes
  • Sun protection (hat, sunglasses and sunblock)

Other

  • Water bottle
  • Camera
  • Binoculars

Additional Night Single Room incl Airport Transfer

Payable Before Departure

Additional Night Single Room incl Airport Transfer

Additional Night Twin/Double Room incl Airport Transfer

Payable Before Departure

Additional Night Twin/Double Room incl Airport Transfer

Private Room Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Private Room Upgrade

Airport Transfer One Way (1-3 people)

Payable Before Departure

Airport Transfer One Way (1-3 people)

Airport Transfer One Way (4-8 people)

Payable Before Departure

Airport Transfer One Way (4-8 people)

- Alison(October 2022)

Such a brilliant trip

- Katerina(October 2022)

The trip was perfect. Fast paced but didn’t feel rushed. The highlight was seeing two wild bears from the hide. Highly recommend this trip!

- Jo-Anne(October 2022)

A fun trip, we went in October, I would advise perhaps not going this late in the year, as there was very little daylight for the time in the bear hide.

- Elaine(October 2022)

Fantastic trip, exactly what is written on itinerary. Tour guide is the best in the business, gives perfect amount of information and looks after the group well.

Highly recommend to anyone thinking about it, worth every penny!

- Morag(October 2022)

This was a great fun, all taken care of weekend trip and a great way of getting a taste for Romania, a country I’d highly recommend. It was easy and sociable as a solo traveller.

- Maria(October 2022)

Enjoyable trip but expected it to be more focused on culture and wildlife.

- Megan(October 2022)

This was an amazing trip! Our local guide was fantastic, making sure we were all looked after, sharing her knowledge and generally making the trip a great experience. Our group was a mix of solo travellers, like myself, and pairs. We were all included as a group and had plenty of time to get to know each other. The food recommended by our guide was fantastic and it was lovely to learn more about Romania. Everything ran so smoothly and was well organised but allowed time to wander and explore as well. The highlights was the bears, they were magnificent and I hope to visit again!

- Taran(October 2022)

The trip was amazing. Everything was soo well organised . Our guide Allan was the best, so knowledgeable . He was very helpful in every way he could and went out of his way to assist everyone. We were a large group and yet very manageable. Watching the bears in the wild with Alex was the highlight of this trip and the bear sanctuary is a real eye opener . Totally recommend this trip to anyone remotely contemplating. Bucharest and Brasov are a perfect mix of city fun and nature packed in a fantastic weekend !

- Joshua(October 2022)

Castle hopping and bear watching in Romania was a very good tour. Everything was to a high standard. Definitely recommend!

- Rob(October 2022)

A really good trip overall. Group was large (14) but excellent dynamic. Guide was top notch. High standard of hotel and restaurants included. The wild bear watching and bear sanctuary definitely the highlights for me. Not too fussed about the castles! Lots fitted in and quite a lot of driving so quite tiring. In hindsight we would recommend spending an extra day/night in Bucharest if you can. Recommend this trip - Romania is beautiful!

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 93kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

This trip is suitable for anyone in reasonably good condition, with the bear hide accessed by an easy 40-minute hike.

Hunting Brown Bears was outlawed in Romania in 2005, so populations are on the rise. To help reduce human-bear conflicts, wildlife officials now leave bear-appropriate foods at designated spots far away from towns. They've also set up hides near these feeding stations that allow people to view bears in their wild habitat without alerting or scaring them.

These bears are completely wild and adults, sub-adults and cubs all visit the feeding stations regularly. They come and go as they please while you quietly observe and photograph them from above. There’s a 90% chance of seeing wild bears from the hide.

The site is accessed via an enjoyable 40-minute hike through woods and meadows in the beautiful Carpathian Mountains.

Along with hunting, trapping and keeping bears was also outlawed in 2005. The Libearty Bear Sanctuary was established to rescue captive bears that could not be returned to the wild as they were now too habituated to succesfully survive on their own.

The sanctuary provides a home for more than 70 rescued Brown Bears, often saved from inhumane captivity. They roam freely on 70 hectares of land with pools, trees and natural forage. They're safe and healthy and provide an incredible learning opportunity for visitors. Knowledgeable guides at the sanctuary will teach you all about bear behavior and their history in Romania.

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

This trip is offered from April to October (peak bear season). In Brasov the temperature ranges from 15 – 25 °C during the day and cools off to 3 – 12 °C at night. Most days are sunny with beautiful blues skies.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

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.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.

Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.

Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.

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Pay In Installments

You can choose to pay for this trip in as many installments as you like, with no interest or fees.

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