Hike Romania's Carpathian Mountains in Winter

Stomp through untouched powder, see the beautiful Apuseni Mountains and explore a mysterious network of caves and chambers


Trip Ref #9871

Hike Romania's Carpathian Mountains in Winter

Stomp through untouched powder, see the beautiful Apuseni Mountains and explore a mysterious network of caves and chambers


3 nights




2 days off work




Up to 8 people


Cluj-Napoca International Airport






Based on 24 reviews


No special skills are required but expect hikes of around 3 to 7 hours with no significant ascents.

Featured as, 'One of the best activity holidays in Europe' by The Guardian

Snowshoe through a winter wonderland and cross deep spruce forests and silky meadows to visit remote mountain communities

Investigate a network of caverns, including the famous ancient Vârtop Glacier Cave

Day 1

Casa de Piatra

Grab a late lunch in the small town of Turda and then drive to the village of Garda de Sus. From here you'll continue to the remote hamlet of Casa de Piatra. Enjoy a hot drink followed by a briefing with your guide and if time explore the area by snowshoe before dinner.

Day 2

Heart of the mountains


6-7hrs · 14km · 540m up · 540m down

Don your snowshoes and head deep into the wilderness. Stop for tea with a local family and learn about life in the mountains, then return to your guesthouse in time for dinner by following narrow trails lined with wild animal tracks.

Day 3

Explore an underground wonderland


7hrs · 11km · 340m up · 300m down

Hike to the Vartop Cave, famous for its limestone jewels and the unreal beauty of its rock formations. Return to your guesthouse, stopping off at the Coiba Mare caves to explore this unique cavern system. After lunch, head back out onto the snow and visit the Tauz karstic spring, the deepest underwater cave in Romania.

Day 4

One last hike


2-3hrs · 5km · 100m up · 60m down

Enjoy some final time on the powder, then after a spot of lunch, head back to the airport in time for your flight home.



Local, fully-certified guides


3 nights in a guesthouse


Munch on tasty food throughout


To and from the airport and everything in-between


All your snowshoe equipment


All permits and licenses

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Tips for your guides

Visas where required

Day 1

Guesthouse · Twin or triple share




Day 2 – Day 3

Guesthouse · Twin or triple share




Day 4

Departure day




What is the food like?

You'll eat delicious local food made with ingredients straight from the guesthouse farm. Usually this is a combination of vegetables, meat, home-produced dairy products and freshly baked bread. Warm soups are usually served as a starter and meals finish with herbal teas (mainly blueberry) and coffee.

Most dietary requirements can be accommodated, including vegan, vegetarian and dairy free, just let your host know beforehand.

What is the accommodation like?

Casa de Piatra

You’ll stay in a local guesthouse in the remote and beautiful hamlet of Casa de Piatra. The guesthouse offers comfortable twin or triple room rooms based on same-gender sharing with full-board meals.


Unfortunately private rooms are not available on this trip.

The Area




Cluj-Napoca Airport

13:45 on Day 1


Cluj-Napoca Airport

15:00 on Day 4


Your adventure begins at Cluj-Napoca Airport (CLJ) with your airport transfer to Garda de Sus village at 13:45. Please schedule your flight to arrive more than 30 minutes before this time, your host will be waiting for you in the arrivals area. As it is a 3 hours transfer to the guesthouse, your host is unable to organise a private transfer. If you would like to arrive early or extend your stay, you will need to hire a car.

At the end of your adventure, you will be dropped back at Cluj-Napoca Airport at 15:00. You’re free to book any flight that departs after 17:00.

Travel options

There are regular flights to Romania 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's included?

  • Snowshoes
  • Hiking poles

What do I need to bring?


  • 20 to 35 litre: you should be able to carry your gear comfortably so a bag with a waist strap is suggested
  • Dry bag to keep things dry in the backpack


  • Sun cap/warm hat/headband
  • Gloves
  • One pair of synthetic underwear (top & bottom)
  • One functional shirt for the hike (we recommend merino or synthetic)
  • One or two layers of socks (merino or synthetic)
  • One fleece or merino pullover/sweater
  • Rain/windproof (Gore-Tex) jacket with hood
  • Rain/windproof (Gore-Tex) trousers (we recommend either a combination of a thermal layer and a waterproof hard shell trouser, or insulated waterproof skiing pants)
  • Comfortable 3 season waterproof hiking boots (above ankle and not rigid boots)

Extra night in Garda de Sus (Single, Twin or Double)

Payable Before Departure

Extra night in Garda de Sus (Single, Twin or Double)

- Samuel(March 2023)

Really fantastic experience. The mountains are stunning and the routes through the snow were tough but not too challenging. Our guide Mihai was really friendly and helpful making sure everyone in the group were comfortable at all times, making sure the pace suited everyone in the group.

We were all taken good care of us with some very tasty homecooking from the local hosts to warm us up after a day out in the snow.

We had a good group and met some fun people through the adventure. Overall I thought this trip was great value and would absolutely recommend it. I will book through Much Better again.

- Ian(March 2023)

Mostly good - hard work, basic and clean accommodation but this was as expected. Views were amazing - loved the cave which was totally unexpected. The host at the accommodation was lovely - real family feel to the place. Not for the faint hearted - you need to be physically fit to do this trip! The guide worked hard to keep us on track and together.

- Simon(March 2023)

Great trip. Excellent host and local guide.

- Georgina(March 2023)

This is an incredible place to go to switch off and be in nature. The guest house we stayed in was on a small farm in the mountains and much of the food was made by the family. The landscape really is untouched. Physically it was a bit more demanding than I was expecting. Snow shoeing is very different to hiking and requires decent fitness. More than worth it though, a beautiful and peaceful place.

- Gregory(March 2023)

Wonderful experience with excellent host, beautiful scenery and fantastic food. Would 100% recommend!

- Patrick(January 2023)

I am fortunate enough to have been on a few MBA trips now, but this was by far my favourite. The scenery in the Carpathian Mountains is stunning and the experience of snow shoeing over fresh, unbroken snow was truly unforgettable (finding fresh brown bear tracks was also something I will never forget). Thanks to our fantastic, friendly and extremely knowledgeable guides (thanks in particular to Mihai), we learned loads about the area and were made to feel very welcome indeed. I would recommend this trip to anyone - it was brilliant.

- Somers(January 2023)

Can’t recommend this trip enough, the hosts are amazing (knowledgable, friendly and extremely helpful), food and accommodation also top knotch.

- George(January 2023)

An incredible trip from start to finish! The hiking was wonderful and the views were insane. Topped off by seeing fresh bear tracks on our final day!! Mihai, our guide, was a complete legend and always ensured we were having the best time. The lodgings were perfect and the hosts amazing. It was honestly the best weekend and there’s nothing I could say to make it better than it already was.

- Will(December 2021)

Very good and enjoyable trip, great guides with an indescribably good hostess. The main walk through the mountains is even better than the images lead you to believe!

- James(December 2021)

A beautiful and cultural experience in a great area of the mountains.

I recommend spending a few days in Cluj, it's a lovely city.

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 118kg 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 2023 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.

No special skills are required, just the ability to handle hikes of 3 to 7 hours with no significant ascents.

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

Temperatures drop below zero during the night and down to zero during the daytime. It's usually colder in the mornings but warms up around noon.

For current advice about travelling in Romania, have a read of the UK Foreign Office pages here.

The reviews say it all - as well as The Guardian in their piece '20 of the best activity holidays in Europe'!

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.


Pay In Installments

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

Full Financial Protection

Your money is safe. Every booking is fully financially protected.

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