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Brown Bear, Romania
Getty: 814515612
4.7
| 120 reviews

Hiking and Bear Watching in Romania

Head into the Carpathian Mountains to hike wild trails, scout for brown bears and explore a legendary castle

Duration

3 nights

Annual Leave

2 days off work

Group Size

Up to 14 people

Season

Apr-Oct

Location

Romania

Meeting Point

Brasov International Airport

Comfort Accommodation

Hotel

Customer Reviews

(120)

4.7

Difficulty

Easy

From

From

What's it like?

4.7
| 120 reviews
Great trip with amazing guide and a lot to...
November 2023
Gary G.
Great trip with amazing guide and a lot to...
November 2023
Gary G.
Great trip with amazing guide and a lot to...
November 2023
Gary G.
Great trip with amazing guide and a lot to...
November 2023
Gary G.
Great trip with amazing guide and a lot to...
November 2023
Gary G.
This is a fantastic trip. You eat food you...
August 2023
Amanda
This is a fantastic trip. You eat food you...
August 2023
Amanda
I can’t recommend this trip highly enough....
July 2023
Simon
I can’t recommend this trip highly enough....
July 2023
Simon
A fabulous whirlwind 3 days in Romania with...
June 2023
Helen
A fabulous whirlwind 3 days in Romania with...
June 2023
Helen
A fabulous whirlwind 3 days in Romania with...
June 2023
Helen
A fabulous whirlwind 3 days in Romania with...
June 2023
Helen
I would definitely recommend this trip, my...
June 2023
Naomi
I would definitely recommend this trip, my...
June 2023
Naomi
I would definitely recommend this trip, my...
June 2023
Naomi
I would definitely recommend this trip, my...
June 2023
Naomi
This trip is amazing. The castles are great...
May 2023
Cass
This trip is amazing. The castles are great...
May 2023
Cass
This trip is amazing. The castles are great...
May 2023
Cass
A truly incredible trip - you should book i...
May 2023
Tom
A truly incredible trip - you should book i...
May 2023
Tom
A truly incredible trip - you should book i...
May 2023
Tom
A truly incredible trip - you should book i...
May 2023
Tom
Really good trip and would strongly recomme...
May 2023
Dominic
Really good trip and would strongly recomme...
May 2023
Dominic
This is an incredible experience. Bucharest...
May 2023
Andrew
This is an incredible experience. Bucharest...
May 2023
Andrew
This is an incredible experience. Bucharest...
May 2023
Andrew
This is an incredible experience. Bucharest...
May 2023
Andrew

Hike to an isolated hide in the Carpathians – home to 60% of Europe’s brown bear population – to see these incredible creatures in the wild

Visit a pioneering sanctuary which rehomes and rehabilitates formerly captive bears in a beautiful and inspiring setting

Bed down in a characterful boutique hotel in the bustling town of Brasov and explore Bran Castle, the medieval stronghold also known as Castle Dracula

The perfect adventurous long weekend combining hikes, history and memorable wildlife encounters

Day 1

Arrive in Brasov and head to the bear hide

Host Image: Truly Romania

Wildlife Watching

3hrs

Check into your boutique hotel in the heart of beautiful Brasov. Brasov is a fantastic base for a trip, a cosmopolitan and lively place with an alluring blend of ancient and modern. Late in the afternoon, you'll drive to a remote trailhead at the edge of a forest and hike in (for around 20 minutes) to reach an elevated bear hide, tucked away on the edge of a clearing. Settle in and keep your fingers crossed for bears entering the clearing. The hide is ethically run by the local wildlife authority and is similar to a treehouse, so you are in the perfect spot to view the bears from the best and safest vantage point, should they show up. If you’re lucky you might even see cubs! Head back to Brasov for a late dinner to toast an epic first day.

Day 2

Visit a pioneering bear sanctuary and hike the Carpathians

Piatra Craiului, Romania
Shutterstock: 62469094

Wildlife Watching

1.5hrs

Hiking

3-4hrs · 300m up · 300m down

Grab an early breakfast today before driving to Zarnesti, the site of an inspiring animal welfare project – Europe's largest of any kind. The Libearty Bear Sanctuary has been a beacon for change over the past two decades, as the founders campaigned to end bear captivity across Romania and to re-home and rehabilitate formerly captive bears. Many of these bears had been kept in awful conditions, but are now living with 120 other bears in 70 beautifully forested hectares at the foothills of the Carpathians. You'll take a private guided tour around the sanctuary, walking the trails between enclosures and watching the bears a short distance from you (the sanctuary is fenced). There are various pools where you can often see the bears swimming and playing together – a heartwarming sight given the dark history all of these bears share. The sanctuary only offers tours in the morning in order to limit the number of visitors, to give the bears space and peace for the majority of the day. Your visit supports the sanctuary financially and helps them continue their important work.

After lunch, you'll take a short drive through the scenic Transylvanian countryside to the base of the Piatra Craiului mountains, a stunning range nestled in the Southern Carpathians. Set off for a hike, spending the rest of the afternoon on trails in an area of forests and meadows with wonderful views over the Carpathians.

Day 3

More Carpathian capers, and visit Dracula's Castle

Bran Castle, Romania
https://www.canva.com/photos/MAE1mL1Irk4-aerial-drone-view-of-the-bran-castle-in-romania/

Hiking

3hrs · 250m up

Head out for the second hike of the trip as you hop to another part of the Carpathian Mountains, reaching the trailhead after a 30-40 minute drive. Postavaru Mountain is another stunning natural setting to hike through, taking in the lush green valleys, fresh mountain air and sweeping views of the Carpathians. Circling back to the road after a few hours, you'll head straight on to the legendary Bran Castle, better known as Dracula’s Castle, with its blood-red turrets, eerie rooms and creepy reputation. Have lunch here before exploring deeper inside the castle. Back in Brasov in the late afternoon, maybe grab a beer in the square to watch the light fade, or take the Tampa cable car to the top of Tampa Mountain for a sunset panorama over Brasov, before sampling another restaurant for dinner.

Day 4

Last morning in Brasov

City of Brasov, Romania
Getty: 481248380

You'll have some free time to enjoy a leisurely morning or to soak up a few more sights in Brasov before your adventure ends. Your host will transfer you to Brasov Airport in time for any early afternoon flights.

Nb. The above itinerary is valid for any trips starting on a Friday. If your adventure begins on a Saturday, your itinerary will run in a slightly different order, as follows, due to restrictions with opening hours: Day 1: Arrival in Brasov. Day 2: Hiking & evening bear hide visit. Day 3: Hiking & Bran Castle. Day 4: Bear sanctuary and departure.

Included

Guides

Local, English speaking guides

Accommodation

3 nights in boutique hotels

Meals

3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners

Transfers

To and from the airport and everything in between

Permits

Entrance fees to Bran Castle and the Libearty Bear Sanctuary

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Visas where required

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 3

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Romanian food is hearty, flavourful and heavily influenced by its neighbouring countries. Most traditional meals start with a soup, often made with meat, vegetables or fish. Sausages are also popular, as well as meat and vegetable pies, goulash, stuffed cabbage rolls and cheeses. Breakfasts are included at your hotel – these are buffet-style offering meats, cheeses, breads, cereals, pastries, juices and hot drinks. You have three dinners included in Brasov at one of your host's favourite restaurants, including chances to sample traditional Romanian food. You have one lunch in Brasov and one at Bran Castle included – these are taken at restaurants selected by your host. Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for – please just request this on your passenger info form.

What is the accommodation like?

Brasov

Your base for the trip is in the beautiful and bustling city of Brasov. You’ll spend three nights in a boutique hotel right on the main square – usually this will be Bella Muzica or Casa Wagner, depending on availability. 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

Brasov Airport

13:30 at the airport, or 15:00 at your hotel

Ends

Brasov Airport

11:30

Transfers

Your adventure begins at Brasov Airport with your airport transfer at 13:30. 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 15-minute taxi from the airport which costs £7-9. Your host can also organise a private taxi for you, please see the Optional Extras section. You will meet your guide and fellow adventurers at 15:30, after you have checked in, for a stroll around Brasov.

At the end of your adventure, you will be dropped back at Brasov Airport at 11:30 in time for any onward flights in the afternoon. You’re free to book any flight that departs on or after 12:45. Alternatively If you would like to be dropped off in Brasov city centre, please let your host know when booking.

If you are travelling to Romania and coming in via Bucharest, your host can arrange private transfers from Bucharest to Brasov to meet up with the trip. Please see Optional Extras for prices. Alternatively, there are regular direct trains between Bucharest and Brasov which take 2.5-3.5 hours and cost RON30-85 (approx. £5-£15).

Travel options

Brasov Airport is a newly opened airport in 2023, and currently has a limited network of routes. There are direct flights to Brasov Airport from Luton Airport in the UK and Munich in Germany, which connects well with various major international hubs in Europe and North America. If you can't find a flight into Brasov which suits you, you will likely find a wider variety of routes and times into Bucharest – you can then request a private transfer from Bucharest Airport to Brasov with your host. See Optional Extras.

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

  • Main backpack or case for luggage
  • A small daypack for hiking and the bear hide visit
  • Waterproof cover for your daypack

CLOTHING

  • Dark or neutral-coloured layers for the bear hide
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Fleece or similar
  • Warm jacket for at the bear hide
  • Sturdy hiking boots or trail runners
  • Warm hat and gloves for April and October dates
  • Trousers/shorts/skirts to hike in
  • T-shirts
  • Casual evening wear for downtime in Brasov
  • Underwear and socks
  • Sunglasses
  • Something to sleep in

OTHER

  • Reusable water bottle
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Universal travel plug adaptor
  • Suncream (for May to September dates)
  • Odourless insect repellent
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Ear plugs
*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Single Room

Payable Before Departure

Single Room

Twin/double room

Payable Before Departure

Twin/double room

Optional Private Room Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade

Brasov Airport Transfer One Way (1-3 people)

Payable Before Departure

Brasov Airport Transfer One Way (1-3 people)

Brasov Airport Transfer One Way (4-8 people)

Payable Before Departure

Brasov Airport Transfer One Way (4-8 people)

Bucharest Airport Transfer One Way (1-3 people)

Payable Before Departure

Bucharest Airport Transfer One Way (1-3 people)

Bucharest Airport Transfer One Way (4-8 people)

Payable Before Departure

Bucharest Airport Transfer One Way (4-8 people)

موزة ف.(November 2023)

Good.

Gary G.(November 2023)

Great trip with amazing guide and a lot to fit in to three days. The castles did have a lot of tourists around but seeing bears in the wild was great!!

Deryn(November 2023)

Great trip, great group, Cristina was fantastic

Nichola(October 2023)