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Adventures / Adventure Tapas

Bear Watching and Castle Hopping in Romania

Check out Bucharest then head into the Carpathian Mountains to scout for Brown Bears and famous castles. 1 day off work.

I'M UP FOR
Adventure Tapas
DURATION
2 Nights
DIFFICULTY
Open-To-All
COMFORT
Comfortable
LOCATION
Romania
SEASON
May—October
NEAREST AIRPORT

Put a wild spin on your weekend with this Romanian adventure. Hike to an isolated hide in the Carpathian Mountains to watch enormous brown bears feed right in front of you. It’s a chance like no other to connect with these animals, and the photo op is incomparable. You’ll also visit an acclaimed bear sanctuary, enjoy a night in buzzing Bucharest, and explore two famous Transylvanian castles. Your hassle-free adventure includes:

  • 3 days of exploring the cities and mountains of Romania
  • 2 nights of accommodation in 4-star boutique hotels
  • All meals
  • Bear watching from a forest hide
  • Visit to a bear sanctuary
  • Bucharest walking tour
  • Entrance to Peles and Bran Castles
  • Professional, experienced guide
  • Airport transfers
  • All activity transfers

Perfect for:
This is the perfect trip for adventurous travellers who want a little of everything: city, history, nature and learning.

Need To Know

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • Flights to/from Bucharest
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips for your guide (optional)

This trip will run with a maximum of 12.

Sure can! A lot of people do, and it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Our Epic Weekends are very social in nature and we’ve seen lots of new friendships born out of them. Expect a mix of solo travellers and very small groups, all with a shared appreciation of escaping the city for the great outdoors to try something new and meet new people.

Hunting Brown Bears was outlawed in Romania in 2005, so bear populations are on the rise. To help reduce human-bear conflicts around cities and towns, wildlife officials have begun leaving out bear-appropriate foods at designated spots far away from towns. They’ve also set up hides at these feeding stations to allow people to watch the bears in their wild habitat.

The bears are completely wild, not tamed in the least. Adults, sub-adults and cubs all visit the feeding stations. 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 the hunting of Brown Bears, the trapping and keeping of wild bears was outlawed in 2005. The Libearty Bear Sanctuary was established to rescue all the captive bears that could now be freed, but couldn’t return to the wild because they were too habituated to survive on their own.

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

Yes, you can book this trip as a private experience in which case it’s a great adventure for children too. The official minimum age for this trip is five. Please note, that it is essential that they are able to wait for a few hours quietly in the bear hide.

This trip is suitable for anyone in good condition. There is an easy 40-minute hike to access the bear hide.

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 and other meats are popular, as well as meat and vegetable pies, goulash, stuffed cabbage rolls and cheeses.

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

Breakfasts are served buffet style with many options, and the restaurants you’ll visit can accommodate most diets.

This trip is offered from April to October to hit 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.

No specialized gear is needed. We recommend you pack:

  • Dark-coloured layers (thermals, jacket) for the bear hide
  • A waterproof jacket
  • Sturdy walking shoes
  • Sun protection (hat, sunglasses and sunblock)
  • A small daypack
  • Water bottle
  • Camera
  • Binoculars

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.

Got a question not covered here? Contact the host.

Location

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Roughly 60% of Europe’s Brown Bear population lives in the Carpathian Mountains in Romania. After centuries of persecution, hunting of bears was outlawed in 2005, and more ethical bear tourism is on the rise.

The large, connected, undisturbed forest of the Carpathian Mountains helps protect and isolate 6,000 or so Brown Bears, along with chamois, wild boar, wolves and lynx. The area also happens to be incredibly beautiful, which you’ll get to see during your drives and the hike to the bear hide.

Brasov is a small medieval town at the foot of the mountains. It’s a very charming place with cobblestone streets, gothic churches, several historical sights, and a wealth of top-notch restaurants.

The capital, Bucharest, is a vibrant and bustling city with a lot of personality. You’ll be staying in the Lipscani district right in the heart of old town within walking distance of numerous historical sights and endless bars, restaurants and cafes.

Start point

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

Your adventure begins at Bucharest Airport (OTP) 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. You will meet your guide and fellow adventurers after you have checked in for a guided tour of the city.

Finish point

Bucharest Airport - 18:00

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 19:45. Alternatively If you would like to be dropped off in Bucharest city centre, please let your host know when booking.

What to Expect

Friday: Arrival

Hop on a flight to Bucharest where your friendly host is waiting for you.

Check into your boutique hotel in the heart of the city, then join your guide for a fascinating walking tour of Bucharest’s old town.

You have the rest of the evening to explore this vibrant city. Your guide will lead you to some excellent food and drinks in one of the many bohemian cafes, funky bars and top-notch restaurants.

Saturday: Peles Castle and wild bear watching

Enjoy a hearty breakfast at the hotel, then drive through the scenic Transylvanian countryside and into the rugged Carpathian Mountains.

Stop along the way to visit the fairy tale Peles Castle, then continue to the Medieval town of Brasov.

There you’ll check into your hotel then explore town and enjoy a delicious local lunch.

In the afternoon you’ll drive to a remote trailhead in the mountains, then hike a further 40 minutes through peaceful forests and meadows until you’re really in the wilderness.

Halt at an official bear hide operated by the local wildlife authority. It’s elevated like a treehouse, giving you a great view as the bears wander in for dinner. You’ll be able to observe and photograph these massive animals as they feed and play. Maybe you’ll get lucky and see some cubs!

As night falls you’ll hike out and return to Brasov. Go out for dinner and swap stories and photos of your incredible experience.

2.5 hours driving, 1.5 hours hiking, 2 - 4 hours bear watching

Sunday: Bear sanctuary, Bran Castle and departure

After breakfast you’ll visit the highly acclaimed Libearty Bear Sanctuary to learn more about these awesome creatures and the history of bears in Romania. It’s a great way to add perspective to yesterday’s experience.

Next you’ll visit Bran Castle, better known as Dracula’s Castle. With its blood-red turrets and eerie rooms the castle lives up to its creepy reputation.

Spend the afternoon driving back to Bucharest through beautiful countryside. You’ll be dropped off at the airport around 18:00 to catch your flight home.

1.5 hours at bear sanctuary, 3.5 hours driving

Note: On bank holiday weekends, this itinerary will run from Saturday - Monday to minimise time off work.
This itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, weather conditions and forecasts, special events, etc.

Accommodation

In Bucharest you’ll stay at the Rembrandt, Z Hotel or similar. These 4-star hotels are classy yet unpretentious with beautiful facilities in historic buildings. Amenities include free wifi, delicious breakfast buffet, onsite café and excellent location.

In Brasov you’ll stay in a 4-star 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.

You will be staying in shared twin or triple rooms. If you’re a solo traveller and would like a single room, a single supplement of £60 is available.

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Dates & Prices

Prices include

Accommodation · Airport Transfers · Guide · Local Transport · Meals As Described · Happiness Guaranteed · 100% Financial Protection · No Single Supplements

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

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These dates are guaranteed to run! As soon as you've entered your payment details your booking will be immediately confirmed. Then you can make your travel arrangements in a state of zen-like tranquility.

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Optional Extras

Make your life easy. Once you have reserved your space, your host can help you arrange the extras you’ll need. Here are some guide prices which can be confirmed with you during booking.

Additional Night Accommodation Payable Before Departure
Additional Night Double Room · · ·
Single Occupancy (2 nights) Payable Before Departure
Single Occupancy Double Room (2 nights) · · ·

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