Cycle touring in Transylvania
Transylvania (the land beyond the forest), is a multicultural space where for centuries coexist different nations, who are speaking different languages, with different customs and traditions, which are enhancing the beauty and charm of the area. Multiculturalism has allowed preserving until today traces of various civilizations.Transylvania includes central Romania, Transylvania’s hollow and that Carpathian slopes that bowed to it and is by far the most romantic Romanian province. Here you can find many interesting places: winter sports resorts and treatment, paths for hiking and biking in the mountains and in their national and natural parks, fascinating medieval towns, art museums and quality accommodation. This tour is designed to discover by your own, the beauty of mountains laced by time, cold streams, crystalline, dense and shady woods, wooden churches, legendary castles, memories of an eventful history. Of course, all of these by bicycle!
moderate (possible to adapt the average km/day)
May to October
400 km with +2800m elevation
60% remote paved roads, 40% dirt roads
Do you need a bike?
Arrival (preferably Sibiu, Târgu Mureș or Cluj-Napoca) transfer to Sibiu city. Sibiu was the European Capital of Culture in 2007, together with Luxemburg, being the first city in South-Eastern Europe to receive this title. The city was colonized after the middle of the 12th century by Saxon colonists coming from the Rhine –Mosselle territory, the first documentary mention occurring in 1191 and was the capital of Transylvania during the period in which the region was a Habsburg principality and, over time it was also an important ecumenical, educational and cultural center. During the more recent history, Sibiu was an important city of the Revolution, actively participating in the events of December 1989. This charming city continues to be an attractive touristic location for both Romanian and foreign investors. Accommodation in a local guesthouse, bicycles checking, city tour, dinner.
Firstly you’ll start cycling to East, following a remote paved road to Cornatel village. You’ll cross green rolling hills, vineyards and small Saxon villages. Secondly you’ll stop in Nocrich at the Scout Centre-which offers the chance to the international people to explore and discover the beautiful landscapes and interactive activities. thirdly and the most importantly place for today is Medias village founded by German colonists in the 13th century on the site of a Roman camp called Media. Here you can admire old houses with tiled roofs, the tower from the center with an entrance gate and remnants from the walls of the 14th-century fortress. Accommodation and dinner.
In your way to Sighisoara you’ll pass through Biertan village. Biertan is located in a long valley surrounded by hills and vineyards. The village was founded in 1283 and is dominated by Saint Mary’s citadel and church. This hilltop medieval construction, surrounded by three fortified walls, has been named a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO Foundation. Founded by German craftsmen and merchants known as the Saxons of Transylvania, Sighişoara is a fine example of a small, fortified medieval town which played an important strategic and commercial role on the fringes of central Europe for several centuries; a UNESCO World Heritage site recognized as an outstanding example of a small fortified city. Visit the city, accommodation in a hotel and dinner here.
For the next two days we’ll follow “Saxon Greenway” Transylvanian Saxon Heritage Trail which starts from the picturesque medieval citadel of Sighişoara. The trail passes through a number of traditional Saxon villages, renowned for their castle-like stone churches and colorful houses with lime-washed facades and tiled roofs, nestling among narrow valleys, wooded hills and rich flower meadows. Using county and local roads, as well as old carriage lanes, the Saxon Greenway is the best way to understand and enjoy – by bicycle – the landscapes of high aesthetic and conservation value of the Sighişoara – Târnava Mare area, recently included in the European Natura 2000 ecological network. Today you’ll ride to Cloasterf village. Accommodation in one or more local guesthouses.
Another day for discovering Saxon villages. In your way you’ll cross Viscri – a small village, with no more than 500 inhabitants, from which only about 27 are Saxons. People say that Viscri hide the most picturesque fortified church of the Saxons from Transylvania., which is also part of UNESCO World Heritage. Viscri is also known due to the great job in restoring done by the “Mihai Eminescu Trust”, the foundation lead by The Prince of Wales. The trail continue crossing small villages until Soars-where is your host.
Șoarș-Sâmbăta de Sus
Today you’ll ride to South and you’ll leave behind Saxon villages to entry in a different, but not less charming area at the foothill of Fagaras mountains-Fagaras country. You’ll have all the time Olt river in front of you and the mountains in background. In Sambata de Jos village you have to cross the bridge over Olt and then to ride up to Sambata de Sus complex where you’ll overnight.
Sâmbăta de Sus-Zărnești
The last day… you’ll follow remote roads which connect villages as Lisa, Ohaba where you can visit a water mil still in use and a natural whirlpool. Then you’ll pass through Sinca Noua and Sinca Veche where you can visit an old wooden church and taste some traditional pie. The destination for today is Zarnesti village situated at the foothill of Piatra Craiului mountain and at the border with Bran country. A short visit by bicycles of Zarnesti Canyon. Accommodation in a local guesthouse. The next day after breakfast transfer to the airport for departure.