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Castles of Transylvania: Architecture, Culture, and Nature

  • 3.6

    (7)

  • 7 nights | 30 miles/day
  • Difficulty Level: 3
  • Guided from: €850
  • Self-guided from: €550
  • View Dates

Tours using road, hybrid or touring bikes:

  1. Mostly flat
  2. Flat with some gentle slopes
  3. Rolling, hilly terrain
  4. Some long and/or steep climbs
  5. Extensive climbing

Tours using mountain bikes:

  1. Mostly flat, wide trails
  2. Some gentle slopes, wide trails
  3. Rolling, hilly terrain and/or narrow trails
  4. Some long and/or steep climbs and/or technical trails
  5. Extensive climbing and/or highly technical trails
  1. Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  2. Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  3. Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge.
  4. Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year.
  5. Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  6. Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.

Tour description

Transylvania (the land "beyond the forest") is often known best through Bram Stokers Dracula and Patrick Fermors Castles of Transylvania and is one of the great cultural landscapes of Europe, while yet still relatively undiscovered.

The population is a mysterious ethnic jigsaw of Romanians, Magyars, Germans, and Gypsies. With our planned route, you will cycle along the spectacular Carpathian Mountains with splendid views, the lowland valleys with its medieval-looking villages left untouched by time, and lush forests which shelter the local deer, boars and even the more reclusive bears and wolves.

Some days, you meet only lone oxen-drawn carts, occasional horseback riders, and cross paths with herds of driven cows, or find buffalo cooling off in the rivers. You should hope to wander in upon a street wedding, where you find German Blasmusik with Romanian texts, and Gypsy tunes, and lots of tuica (plum brandy), all very part of Transylvania as much as the garlic. You may visit some of the numerous German/Saxon church castles along the way, with their beautiful Renaissance and Baroque altars and pulpits. In most cases, you have to get the keys from a nearby farmhouse! You will see the castles of Bran, Sighisoara (UNESCO Cultural Heritage) and Fagaras as well as the very beautiful medieval Saxon towns of Brasov and Sibiu the "Cultural Capital of Europe 2007."

Daily program

Day 1: Brasov
After arrival in Brasov, transfer by private minibus or taxi from the aiport to the hotel in Brasov. Stroll around the beautiful town square, surrounded by Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque patrician buildings. Visit the gothic 'Black church' with the world famous Buchholz organ and a rare collection of Oriental carpets, which Brasovian tradesmen brought back from their trading missions in the Ottoman Empire. In the evening, you may attend an organ concert and have dinner on the historic square.
Overnight in Brasov

Day 2: Zarnesti – Bran – Rasnov Castle (27 mi/45 km)
The day begins with a short transfer to Zarnesti at the footsteps of the Piatra Craiului Mountains. From there, you will cycle to Dracula Castle, which has splendid views of the Bucegi Mountains. It served as impressive backstage for Roman Polanski's 'Dance of the Vampires' and as a salon and refuge for Queen Mary of Romania, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria I. The route then continues to Risnov Castle, where you have marvelous views to the Postavarul and Piatra Craiului Mountains.
Overnight in Zarnesti

Day 3: Zarnesti – Fagaras (36 mi/58 km)
Today you cycle along a beautiful forest valley between two mountains in the Piatra Craiului National Park, which has the highest concentration of bears and wolves in Europe. Then you continue with spectacular scenery to the "Transylvanian Alps" through to former Walachian territory ("terra Vlachorum") and on to Fagarasch. On your way, there should be many opportunities to see rare flowers, birds, and butterflies. Visit the pretty, recently restored Renaissance castle and museum owned by the Hungarian Woiwodes that ruled Transylvania.
Overnight in Fagaras

Day 4: Fagaras – Sighisoara (25 or 31 mi/40 or 50 km)
Today begins with a transfer to Cincu or Dealu Frumos to avoid riding on a busy road. From there you cycle through quite a remote area passing numerous villages and fortified churches. You may see a street wedding on your way and hear German Blasmusik using Romanian texts and Gypsy tunes. Admire the beautiful Trappold (Apoldu) Castle that is guarded by a German artist. The town castle of Sighisoara is the largest inhabited castle in Europe and part of the UNESCO Cultural Heritage. Have a delicious Hungarian meal in the Casa cu Cerb, the "House with the Deer Antler," where the Prince of Wales dines when visiting Transylvania.
Overnight in Sighisoara

Day 5: Sighisoara – Biertan (25 mi/35 km)
Cycle to the old bishopric of Biertan, one of the most impressive castles of Transylvania and a UNESCO Cultural Heritage site.
Overnight in Biertan

Day 6: Biertan – Harbach Valley (33 mi/50 km)
Today you cycle through the remote Harbach Valley to the Transylvanian Alps. You may pass horse wagons loaded with hay and cycle through villages where time seems to stand still, as farmers on the fields still use scythes and sickles. On your way you can make a detour to Hosman Castle, featuring interesting Gothic sculptures. See the 'Speckturm' (bacon tower), and maybe the custodian will climb up to the top of the clock tower with you to show you its ancient mechanism.
Overnight in Nucet

Day 7: Harbach Valley – Sibiu (33 mi/50 km)
Today you will cycle to the Brukenthal summer residence and the impressive church castle of Cisnadie. Via Cisnadiora you reach the "Young Forest." Make sure you visit the peasant museum. Then a traffic-free cycling path will bring you through the Alder Park straight to your hotel in Sibiu.
Overnight in Sibiu

Day 8: Sibiu
Transfer to Bucharest via private minibus or taxi.

Daily program

Day 1: Brasov
Individual arrival to the hotel in Brasov. Stroll around the beautiful town square, surrounded by Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque patrician buildings. Visit the gothic 'Black church' with the world famous Buchholz organ and a rare collection of Oriental carpets, which Brasovian tradesmen brought back from their trading missions in the Ottoman Empire. In the evening, you may attend an organ concert and have dinner on the historic square.
Overnight in Brasov

Day 2: Zarnesti – Bran – Rasnov Castle (27 mi/45 km)
The day begins with a short transfer to Zarnesti at the footsteps of the Piatra Craiului Mountains. From there, you will cycle to Dracula Castle, which has splendid views of the Bucegi Mountains. It served as impressive backstage for Roman Polanski's 'Dance of the Vampires' and as a salon and refuge for Queen Mary of Romania, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria I. The route then continues to Risnov Castle, where you have marvelous views to the Postavarul and Piatra Craiului Mountains.
Overnight in Zarnesti

Day 3: Zarnesti – Fagaras (36 mi/58 km)
Today you cycle along a beautiful forest valley between two mountains in the Piatra Craiului National Park, which has the highest concentration of bears and wolves in Europe. Then you continue with spectacular scenery to the "Transylvanian Alps" through to former Walachian territory ("terra Vlachorum") and on to Fagarasch. On your way, there should be many opportunities to see rare flowers, birds, and butterflies. Visit the pretty, recently restored Renaissance castle and museum owned by the Hungarian Woiwodes that ruled Transylvania.
Overnight in Fagaras

Day 4: Fagaras – Sighisoara (25 or 31 mi/40 or 50 km)
Today begins with a transfer to Cincu or Dealu Frumos to avoid riding on a busy road. From there you cycle through quite a remote area passing numerous villages and fortified churches. You may see a street wedding on your way and hear German Blasmusik using Romanian texts and Gypsy tunes. Admire the beautiful Trappold (Apoldu) Castle that is guarded by a German artist. The town castle of Sighisoara is the largest inhabited castle in Europe and part of the UNESCO Cultural Heritage. Have a delicious Hungarian meal in the Casa cu Cerb, the "House with the Deer Antler," where the Prince of Wales dines when visiting Transylvania.
Overnight in Sighisoara

Day 5: Sighisoara – Biertan (25 mi/35 km)
Cycle to the old bishopric of Biertan, one of the most impressive castles of Transylvania and a UNESCO Cultural Heritage site.
Overnight in Biertan

Day 6: Biertan – Harbach Valley (33 mi/50 km)
Today you cycle through the remote Harbach Valley to the Transylvanian Alps. You may pass horse wagons loaded with hay and cycle through villages where time seems to stand still, as farmers on the fields still use scythes and sickles. On your way you can make a detour to Hosman Castle, featuring interesting Gothic sculptures. See the 'Speckturm' (bacon tower), and maybe the custodian will climb up to the top of the clock tower with you to show you its ancient mechanism.
Overnight in Nucet

Day 7: Harbach Valley – Sibiu (33 mi/50 km)
Today you will cycle to the Brukenthal summer residence and the impressive church castle of Cisnadie. Via Cisnadiora you reach the "Young Forest." Make sure you visit the peasant museum. Then a traffic-free cycling path will bring you through the Alder Park straight to your hotel in Sibiu.
Overnight in Sibiu

Day 8: Departure

Dates

May 26, Jun 16, Jul 21, Sep 1, 2018

Prices

Tour package
Per person, double occupancy
€850
Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room)
€157
Bike Rentals
Hybrid touring bike, 24-speed
€73
Electrically assisted bike
€167

Dates

Daily: Apr 29-Oct 6, 2018

Prices

Tour package
Per person, double occupancy
€550
Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room)
€157
Solo traveler surcharge (1 person in party; paid in addition to the single room surcharge)
€94
Bike Rentals
Hybrid touring bike, 24-speed
€73
Electrically assisted bike
€167
Please note: Instead of operating bicycle tours ourselves, BikeTours.com represents local bicycle tour operators around the world. Review the tour operator's information and terms below, then submit your booking request through BikeTours.com. The primary benefits of booking your tour through BikeTours.com include:
  • Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge
  • Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  • Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  • Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year. Or pay in euros!
  • Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  • Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.
Contact us with any questions about booking and paying for your tour through BikeTours.com. We look forward to serving you!

Hermannstaedter Reisen Terms and Conditions

1. CANCELLATION BY TRAVELER
1.1 The client may cancel his or her participation in the tour at any time before it commences. The point of withdrawal is taken to be the point at which the tour operator receives the notification. It is recommended that the client declare his withdrawal in writing.

1.2 If the client withdraws from the travel contract or does not begin the tour, then the tour operator may request payment of damages to cover tour arrangements made and expenses incurred by him. 

1.3 The tour operator may establish this claim for compensation in a lump sum as a percentage of the tour price in consideration of the arrangement given below. The following cancellation fees apply:

  • up to 45 days prior to departure 10 % per person
  • from 44 days until 30 days prior to departure 20% of travel price
  • from 29 days until 22 days prior to departure 30 % of travel price
  • from 21 days until 15 days prior to departure 40 % of travel price
  • from 14 days until 8 days prior to departure 50 % of travel price
  • from 7 days until 1 day prior to departure 70 % of travel price
  • no show at arrival date 90 % of travel price.

2. COMPLETION OF TRAVEL CONTRACT
2.1 With his booking the client legally agrees to the conclusion of a travel contract with the tour operator.

2.2 The booking can be done in writing, orally, by telephone or by e-mail. It is done by the client also on behalf of all other participants listed in the booking.

2.3 The travel contract comes into being upon the acceptance of the tour operator. Acceptance does not require a pre-set form. On or immediately after the conclusion of the contract, the tour operator will hand out a tour confirmation to the client.

3. PAYMENT
3.1 Payments towards the tour price before the end of the tour are effected on issue of a risk coverage certificate to insure against insolvency of the tour operator. Upon completion of the contract a deposit of 20% of the travel price will be due. The deposit will be deducted from the total tour price. The remaining amount must be paid 28 days before commencement of the journey without further reminder.

3.2 The travel documents will be made out 2 weeks before commencement of the journey. Vouchers, hotel list and directions will be forwarded without delay upon receipt of payment. Route descriptions and maps will be send or left for the guest with the first accommodation.

4. INSURANCE
4.1 We recommend that the client take out travel cancellation insurance and/or buy an insurance contract package including travel cancellation insurance together with his booking.

4.2 We recommend the option of buying international travel health insurance as well as luggage insurance for all journeys.

5. SERVICES
5.1 The scope of the contractually agreed services is laid out in the description of services on the Internet and in the relevant details given in the tour confirmation. Details which appear on the Internet are binding for the tour operator.

5.2 The details given in the travel information on the respective tour and forwarded together with the tour confirmation are made to the best of the tour operator's knowledge and belief.

6. CHANGES IN SERVICES
6.1 Any changes in or deviations of individual travel services from the agreed content which become necessary after completion of the travel contract, are only permitted where the changes and deviations are not extensive and do not substantially prejudice the overall concept of the tour booked.

6.2 Any warranty claims are not affected in so far as the changes in arrangements have faults.

6.3 The tour operator is obliged to inform the client immediately of any changes in or deviations from services. Where appropriate the tour operator will offer the client a charge-free change in reservation or a charge-free withdrawal.

6.4 In the case of a substantial change in a key tour service the traveller is entitled to withdraw from the travel contract at no cost or to request a transfer to another tour of at least equal value, as long as the tour operator is in a position to offer such a tour from his range without an increase in price to the traveller. The latter is required to assert these rights immediately upon notification of a change in any tour service by the tour operator.

7. LIABILITY OF TOUR OPERATOR
7.1 Within the scope of due diligence of a prudent businessman, the tour operator is responsible for:

a) careful preparation of the tour
b) careful selection and supervision of the providers of services
c) accurate description of all travel services indicated in the catalogues or on the Internet
d) proper provision of the travel services as contractually agreed.

7.2 The tour operator shall be liable for any faults of the person entrusted with the provision of services.

8. WARRANTY
8.1 Redress: If a travel service is not rendered in accordance with the contract, the traveller may seek redress.The tour operator may also offer redress in a manner providing replacement of the same value. The tour operator may refuse redress should it entail disproportionate expense.

8.2 Reduction in the Travel Price: The traveller can request a reduction in the travel price for the duration of a travel service not rendered as stipulated in the contract (reduction in price). However, said reduction in price fails if the traveller negligently or purposely refrains from advising the tour operator.

8.3 Termination of Travel Contract: If a tour is to a significant degree adversely affected by a fault or defect, and the tour operator fails to provide redress within an appropriate time period, the traveller may terminate the travel contract within the framework of the legal provisions of the travel contract – in his or her own interest expediently by a written declaration. The same applies if, due to a fault or defect for an important reason which is discernible by the tour operator, the traveller cannot reasonably be expected to undertake the tour. Determination of a time-limit for redress is not required only where such redress is impossible or is refused by the tour operator. The traveller owes the tour operator that part of the travel price relating to the services utilized.

9. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
9.1 Contractual liability of the tour operator for damage other than physical injury is limited to a total of three times the tour price:

a) if damage suffered by the traveler was not caused with intent or by gross negligence or
b) if the tour operator is responsible for damage suffered by the traveler solely through the fault of a provider of services.

9.2 The tour operator shall be liable for all compensation claims against him due to tort which are not due to intent or gross negligence in the event of property damage up to €4,100; if three times the amount of the tour price exceeds this amount, liability for property damage shall be limited to three times the tour price. The maximum liability amounts apply to one client and one tour.

9.3 A claim for damages against the tour operator is limited or excluded in so far as due to international agreements or statutory regulations based thereupon, which are to be applied to the services to be rendered by a provider of services, a claim for damages against the provider of services can be claimed or excluded only under certain conditions or limitations.

10. DUTY OF COOPERATION
10.1 Should disruption to services occur the traveller is obliged within the framework of the legal provisions to cooperate in avoiding and reducing as far are as possible any damage.

10.2 In particular, the traveller is obliged to present his complaints immediately to the tour operator at their place of business. The tour operator is obliged to take corrective action, if possible. Should the traveller refrain from reporting a fault, then his/her entitlement to a reduction in price is lost.

11. EXCLUSION OF CLAIMS AND STATUTE OF LIMITATION
11.1 Claims on account of non-contractual travel performance are to be asserted by the traveller against the tour operator within one month after termination of the journey specified in the contract. Claims as a result of tort are subject to the statutory period of limitation. In the traveller's own interest, such claims should be made in writing.

11.2 Any claims of traveller pursuant become statute-barred after one year, beginning with the day on which the tour was scheduled to end under the contract. Where negotiations regarding the claim or the circumstances substantiating the claim are pending between the traveller and the tour operator, then the limitation period is suspended until the traveller or the tour operator reject continuation of the negotiations. The limitation period can take effect no earlier than 3 months after this suspension.

12. PASSPORT, VISA AND HEALTH PROVISIONS
12.1 The traveller is personally responsible for obtaining information on entering the destination countries. In case of doubt, information is available from the local consulates.

12.2 The tour operator is not liable for the timely issue and receipt of necessary visa by the relevant diplomatic authorities.

12.3 The traveller is personally responsible for complying with all important regulations relating to the organisation of the tour. Any disadvantages, in particular payment of cancellation costs, due to traveller's failure to comply with such regulations, are borne by him or her except when caused by the tour operator's negligence due to incorrect information.

13. INVALIDITY OF INDIVIDUAL CONDITIONS
The invalidity of individual provisions of the travel contract does not entail the invalidity of the whole travel contract.

14. MISCELLANEOUS
Physical Requirements: Any information on physical requirements during hiking and trekking tours is generally given according to the tour operator's best knowledge and belief, however, without guarantee, since such information is not only subject to subjective assessment but is also influenced by external circumstances such as weather conditions in particular.

15. PLACE OF JURISDICTION
15.1 The traveler can only take legal action against the tour operator at their principal place of business. The place of jurisdiction for travels organized by the tour operator is Sibiu/Hermannstadt.

All photos used by permission. ©Hermannstaedter Reisen

Ratings

Ratings Snapshot

  • 5 Star 1
  • 4 Star 4
  • 3 Star 1
  • 2 Star 0
  • 1 Star 1

Average Ratings

  • Overall

    3.6

  • Difficulty level (Actual vs. expected) 3.9
  • Value 4
  • Included meals 4.1
  • Bikes & equipment 3.1
  • Hotels or boat 4
  • Scenery 4.6
  • Ease of navigation 3.6
  • Tour documents 2.7
  • Local tour company services 4
  • Route selection 3.6
  • Guides (if applicable) 4

Reviews

Mandar Velankar September 25, 2017

Transylvanian bike ride (03-09 Sep 2017)

The tour was an excellent experience. The hotels were nice; specifically the pension homes were great with proper place to park the bikes overnight. The restaurants attached with pension homes were also good with people ready to help. The stay at Pensiunea Biohaus Cioran Emilian was great with local food & drinks. The property is amazing.
The bikes provided were of good quality; in fact some of it were brand new. The maps and briefing information provided was adequate, however GPS tracks would have been of great help.
We were lucky to have a favourable weather with a light rain for 2 days only. Overall was a great bike ride with stunning Transylvanian views & mostly quite roads.

Responses from Biketours.com

Jim Johnson, founder and president April 23, 2018
Thanks so much for the review and ratings! I'm glad you had a great time. Transylvania is a hidden gem for bicycle tourists!
Ms B September 17, 2017

Transylvania 2017

We enjoyed our bike tour through Transylvania. Our guide, Renata, was compassionate about making sure we all had a good time, our needs were met, prepping for each days ride and making sure our equipment was in good order. If there was a problem or issue she rectified, either by placing a call to the tour company or notifying a pick-up driver of a change in plans (I.e., rider not riding, etc.). She understood the abilities of our riders and suggested arrangements for alternative bikes and routes. She is a Gold Star Guide! We could always rely on Renata! She made recommendations on food, and was our interpreter in restaurants and pharmacies.

Kerk September 12, 2017

Worst bike trip of my 5 European trips

The road surfaces in Romania are terrible. Instead of enjoying the scenery, you are constantly looking for the large potholes. We spent fully 50% of our time on trafficked
roads without bike lanes or shoulders and speeding motorists. It was dangerous and not pleasant. I'm not sure a Level 2 trip has as many hills, sometimes 1 and 3 mile climbs on the same day. The support staff was adequate and did get us round trip
to and from the cycle route. I would not recommend this trip to anyone of any biking level.
Kerk Lesh

Responses from Biketours.com

Jim Johnson, Founder and presidsent April 23, 2018
Dear Kerk, I'm so sorry you didn't enjoy your tour in Romania. We'll pass your comments along to the local tour company that operates the tour. To date, the feedback we've received and that clients have posted has been that the route is well-chosen and that the level of difficulty matched expectations. And, while I have not been on this tour, I was on a tour last year that overlaps about half of the route, and I found there to be minimal traffic and few potholes. But things can change in a year.
martin July 8, 2016

Lovely and Interesting Trip

I did this with 2 other friends from the US in early May 2016. The cycling was fun, and mostly on roads with little traffic. The scenery was mostly spectacular. The tour is mostly set up to visit or at least view, the Saxon fortified churches, built by German settlers in Transylvania in the 14/15 centuries. Romania is very cheap, especially meals which are tasty and very filling. There was a great mix of hotels and pensions from small family run places to more business oriented hotels. The hotel and pension operators were uniformly helpful and friendly. Almost always there was someone who spoke English at the hotels/ pensions. The rental bikes were okay. Our first day cycling started out badly because one of our bikes actually had a hole in the tire which caused a flat halfway through the day in the rain. The tour operator, however, was quick to remedy the problem, by having the pension operator take us to a bike shop, and taking care of the purchase of a new tire, and providing us with usable spare tubes and repair kits. We did miss half a day of cycling though, a problem which could have been avoided by supplying bikes in decent condition from the get go. The written cycling directions were often ambiguous and hard to follow, so make sure you have a smart phone and google maps to avoid getting lost. All in all a great tour. For US citizens, Romania is a great place to visit. They seem to all really like Americans!

Martin June 20, 2016

Lovely and interesting trip

I did this with 2 other friends from the US in early May 2016. The cycling was fun, and mostly on roads with little traffic. The scenery was mostly spectacular. The tour is mostly set up to visit or at least view, the Saxon fortified churches, built by German settlers in Transylvania in the 14/15 centuries. Romania is very cheap, especially meals which are tasty and very filling. There was a great mix of hotels and pensions from small family run places to more business oriented hotels. The hotel and pension operators were uniformly helpful and friendly. Almost always there was someone who spoke English at the hotels/ pensions. The rental bikes were okay. Our first day cycling started out badly because one of our bikes actually had a hole in the tire which caused a flat halfway through the day in the rain. The tour operator, however, was quick to remedy the problem, by having the pension operator take us to a bike shop, and taking care of the purchase of a new tire, and providing us with usable spare tubes and repair kits. We did miss half a day of cycling though, a problem which could have been avoided by supplying bikes in decent condition from the get go. The written cycling directions were often ambiguous and hard to follow, so make sure you have a smart phone and google maps to avoid getting lost. All in all a great tour. For US citizens, Romania is a great place to visit. They seem to all really like Americans!

frank s January 17, 2016

A Great Trip to Where Few Go.

Romania is a place where few go, even Europeans. However, the country is beautiful and there is a lot to see. Dracula's Castle is worth touring, but there many other castles and fortified churches that are more impressive, remnants from when the Turks invaded this part of Europe. Biking is a moderate challenge but very doable. Roads are fair. The most impressive aspect is that it is like stepping back in time 100 years, with horse carts, native people, and old churches. Be sure to bring a tire repair kit. We received our 2 bikes with 4 flats. In Romania there are a lot of bikes, but few phones, few bike shops and a lot of distance between towns and cities. Well worth a trip and very inexpensive.

Responses from Biketours.com

Natalie Cook April 23, 2018
Thanks for sharing your experience on this tour! I'm glad you enjoyed the trip, but I'm sorry to hear that you received the bikes with flat tires. I have addressed this with the tour company to ensure tires are checked in advance of bike delivery for future travelers. Great recommendation, though, to always have a repair kit on hand while touring (bringing your own if it's not explicitly stated as included in the tour package).