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  • The Brown Bear Experience
  • The Brown Bear Experience
  • The Brown Bear Experience
  • The Brown Bear Experience

THE BROWN BEAR EXPERIENCE

The Overview

Step into the wild and experience the thrill of tracking the mighty Brown Bear in the depths of Transylvania’s extensive forests and across the Carpathian Mountains. This exciting four-night adventure is an absolute must for wildlife lovers and adventure seekers and includes bear hide and tracking excursions along with visits to Bran Castle (aka. Dracula’s Castle) and the Libearty Bear Sanctuary in Zarnesti.

The experience begins with a bang in Romania’s buzzing capital city, Bucharest. After a night dazzled by the city’s vibrant mix of history, culture and entertainment, guests are whisked through the scenic Transylvanian countryside, stopping at the mountain town of Sinaia to admire the breathtaking beauty of Peles Castle before heading off to Bran Castle, would-be home of Dracula, for some exploring before arriving in Brasov. Located on the cusp of the Carpathian mountains in the heart of Transylvania, the medieval town of Brasov is picture-postcard-pretty and the perfect spot for a taste of authentic Transylvanian grub. Stoked up and ready for action, guests travel to the heart of bear country to get up close and personal with the animals in their natural habitat from the safety of secrete tree houses in the heart of the Carpathian Mountains.

Follow in the footsteps of celebrities like Alesha Dixon and Leonis Lewis with a morning visit to the Libearty Bear Sanctuary in Zarnesti where you’ll be shown around, greeting the bears that have been rescued over the years and learning about the work of this fantastic charity. After that you’ll re-embark on the adventure trail with a nature and wildlife walk through the beautiful Carpathian Mountains. With the help of an experienced local tracker you’ll inspect the bark of trees and search the muddy ground for footprints trying to pick up on the presence of both bears and other wild animals found in the Carpathian Mountains such as the grey wolf, lynx and various birds of prey. The experience ends back in Bucharest where you’ll discover fabulous restaurants and quirky bars in the charming old town of Lipscani.

 

The Experience

Day 1: Arrival in Bucharest followed by a private airport transfer to your boutique accommodation in the Lipscani district where you will be greeted with a coffee or glass of wine before you head out into the old town to explore and discover the plethora of restaurants and bars

Day 2: Morning transfer to Transylvania via Sinaia with a visit to the magnificent Peles Castle before heading to Bran Castle, known to many as Dracula’s Castle, and then on to the medieval town of Brasov. Evening transfer to the Carpathian Mountains for the Bear Hide experience

Day 3: Morning visit to Transylvania’s wonderful Libearty Bear Sanctuary followed by a transfer to the Carpathain Mountains for the bear tracking and nature walk in the afternoon. Travel back to Brasov for the evening

Day 4: Spend the morning enjoying the relaxed atmosphere in Brasov for breakfast and lunch then transfer back through the Transylvanian countryside to Bucharest for the final night

Day 5: Private transfer back to the airport in time for the flight home

 

The Price

Prices for the Brown Bear Experience start from £539 per person.

Includes private airport pick-up and drop-off, all in-country transfers, two nights boutique B&B accommodation in Bucharest, two nights boutique B&B accommodation in the Transylvanian town of Brasov, visit, entry and tour of Peles Castle in Sinaia, visit and entry to Bran (aka. Dracula’s) Castle, the bear hide experience, the bear tracking and wildlife walk, visit to the Libearty Bear Sanctuary, the services of a bi-lingual guide and professional tracker, the Brown Bear Experience booklet, and welcome drink on arrival.

 

The Experience Combos

If you’re keen to stay in Romania a little bit longer, may we humbly suggest swapping over to the Transylvania Experience which gives you a full week to enjoy Transylvania’s delights whilst still ticking all the brown bear experience boxes. As well as making the trip to Bran Castle and the medieval town of Brasov, you’ll also spend time in Transylvania’s equally charming towns of Sighisoara and Sibiu. Get your fix of peace and tranquility at the serene Inn on Balaban in the Carpathian Mountains and get involved with village life in Crit and Viscri with shepherding, bee-keeping and rustic cookery. For more information, just head over to the Transylvania Experience page here.

 

The Gallery

Bears aren’t the only incredible sights you’ll be seeing during your time in Transylvania. There’s the beautiful town of Brasov with its sun-drenched cafes and quaint squares, the stunning natural landscapes of the Carpathian Mountains, the leafy green paradise of the Libearty Bear Sanctuary and even the buzz of excitement in Bucharest. Open up this gallery to take a peek.

THE BROWN BEAR EXPERIENCE

The Location

Romania

Ask most people what comes to mind when they think of Romania and you’re likely to hear something along the lines of Dracula, vampires and gypsies. Yes, the spooky castles pitched on rocky hilltops are certainly vampire-worthy but the only real fangs you’re likely to be exposed to here are those belonging to the wild bears, wolves and lynx that roam the Carpathian Mountains. Once you place the stereotypes aside for a moment, you’ll soon understand how misunderstood, overlooked and vastly underestimated this country is.

From the untouched Transylvanian countryside and the beautiful mountain scenery in the Carpathian Mountains, the wooden churches and painted monasteries of Maramures and the medieval towns of Brasov, Sibiu and Sighisoara, to the Danube Delta’s abundance of birds and wildlife, and the magnetic buzz of the fast-paced capital of Bucharest, the variation and contrast across Romania is staggering.

Of course, there’s far too much to see in just one visit but here’s what to expect from the Carpathian Mountains…

 

The Carpathian Mountains

Home to one of the largest undisturbed forests in Europe and 60% of the last strong and healthy populations of Brown bear, the Carpathian Mountains form a protective loop around Transylvania. Often nicknamed the ‘Yellowstone of Europe’, the region exhibits some of the most spectacular mountain scenery on the continent with its patchwork of exposed rocky peaks, lush green pastures, wildflower-filled meadows, thick, virgin forests and beautiful National Parks.

Aside from its population of Brown bears, the national park also shelters one of the largest biodiversity of wildlife in the country including chamois, wild boar, wolves and the elusive lynx as well as hundreds of species of bird, butterflies and a plethora of fauna.

The Brown Bear Experience itself takes place in Piatra Carilului National Park which is over 24km long and almost 2,000m high. It also features the longest and highest limestone ridge in Romania and boasts some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Carpathian Mountains. In fact, the landscape is so beautiful that the backdrop scenes for Cold Mountain were shot here.

‘…every known superstition in the world is gathered into the horse-shoe of the Carpathians, as if it were the centre of some sort of imaginative whirlpool.’  Jonathan Harker, Dracula.

 

Other Locations

bucharest-romania.jpg-284x164.jpg  brasov-transylvania.png-284x164.jpg

THE BROWN BEAR EXPERIENCE

The Season

The season for bear tracking in Transylvania spans from April all the way through to October, before and after which the bears go into hibernation and the chances of viewing the animals is slim to none. Although it is certainly possible to get a glimpse of the bears in April and October, we consider these to be cusp months and therefore do not tend to run our brown bear experiences during these months.

From May all the way through to September, the bear watching season is in full swing and you’re highly likely to see the bears in their natural habitat within the natural paradise of the Carpathian Mountains. In fact, in the ten years that our professional trackers have been running these excursions, there has only been one instance where bears were not sighted so the probability is around 90%.

The difference between specific months is mainly related to temperature, the finer details of which are outlined below.

May: The weather in May is pleasant throughout Transylvania as the intense heat of the summer is yet to arrive. However, the spring also brings a higher risk of rainfall, which may decrease your chances of seeing the bears, as they tend to seek shelter when it is raining. Don’t let this deter you though, we’ve not had any issues to date! The other plus side to travelling in the spring is the presence of stunning wildflowers and butterflies that fill the Carpathian Mountains and the Transylvanian countryside.

June, July & August: In the full swing of summer, visiting the Carpathian Mountains in June, July and August affords long hot sunny days and blue skies with little chance of rain and almost guaranteed sightings of the bears. While temperatures can soar to around 40 degrees in Bucharest, the Transylvanian countryside tends to be a little cooler so you can enjoy the great outdoors, the quaint town of Brasov and of course the bears.

September: September brings slightly fresher temperatures to Transylvania as well as the mating season for the bears. As is the case with the weather in May, the chances of rain at the beginning of autumn may affect bear sightings but you would be unlucky not to catch a glimpse of the animals during your visit to the Carpathian Mountains.

 

The Duration & The Calendar

The Brown Bear Experience takes place over four nights and five days and typically commences every Friday during the season. However, the arrival and departure times of your chosen flights may well affect the exact duration of your stay. Many use the flexibility of booking their own flights to add an additional night or two (or three) in Bucharest at the beginning and/or end of the experience to make the very most of their time in Romania. Or you can even upgrade over to the seven-night Transylvania Experience to make the very most of your time in Transylvania.

The calendar on the right shows exactly when the Brown Bear Experience trips are available throughout the season (May to October). As well as displaying which trip dates are fully booked or available, the calendar also highlights specific dates that have been discounted or are on special offer.

Once you’ve decided on the dates you’d like to travel, head over to the BOOK NOW tab and fill out the enquiry form with all the required details. Once submitted, we will get back to you with confirmation and/or next steps within 24 hours.

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Loading

£539 per person

£399 per person

*£325 per person

Fully Booked

Unavailable

Out of Season

yes
1404172800
1
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THE BROWN BEAR EXPERIENCE

The Highlights

There are hundreds of reasons why we think you would be mad to miss out on the Brown Bear Experience in Romania’s Carpathian Mountains but here are a few of our personal trip highlights to help persuade you…

The Bears: This is what you’re here for. Of an estimated worldwide population of 200,000 brown bears, the Carpathian Mountains in Romania host a whopping 60% of Europe’s brown bears. The Ursos Actos are amongst the largest living carnivores in the world, weighing up to 350kg and living for approximately 30 years with strong hearing and an excellent sense of smell. In Romania, the record weight found here is reported as 480kg! At the bear hide, you are highly likely to catch a glimpse of the bears feeding with around a 90% chance of sightings. While the bear tracking excursion does not guarantee bear sightings, your trip to the Libearty Bear Sanctuary will provide plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with the rescued bears.

The Scenery: The Carpathian Mountains and Piatra Cariului National Park in particular, boast spectacular alpine views that stretch across over 15,000 hectares and feature beautiful alpine meadows rich in wild flora and fauna as well as caves, mountain creeks and waterfalls and of course dense forests hosting an impressive number of wild bears, wolves and other mammals. On your bear tracking excursion you’ll head out in search of animals’ prints through an area carpeted with an abundance of wild flowers and peppered with hundreds of butterflies. Aside from the scenery in the Carpathains, we also never fail to be charmed by the medieval town of Brasov with its cobbled streets and church adorned squares.

The Wildlife: The vast array of flora and fauna present in the Carpathian Mountains deserves a special mention. Sheltering one of the largest biodiversity of wildlife in Romania, Piatra Cariului National Park is home to thousands of species of plant, representing a third of all plant species in the country, around 270 butterfly species, 110 bird species, 17 bat species and a large number of large carnivores including wolf, lynx and, of course, the mighty brown bear. Whether you’re here for the bears, the great outdoors or just an escape somewhere different, you’ll find the natural Transylvanian countryside a veritable paradise of beauty and wildlife.

The Trip Motivation

Whether it’s for a weekend getaway or for some quality time with someone special in the wilderness of the Carpathian Mountains, the Brown Bear Experience is perfect if you’re looking for the following things.

To Walk On The Wild Side, Get Active and For Action & Adventure: With the bear hide experience held in the depths of the thick Carpathian forestland and the bear tracking excursion taking place through the lush meadows and rolling hills of Piatra Cariului National Park, the Brown Bear Experience provides the perfect opportunity to get yourself active in a stunning outdoor environment amongst the flora and fauna that abounds in the region. The weather in Transylvania is lovely in the summer with long, warm days and cool evenings so you’re bound to catch a good dose of sunshine, too. Hiking in the Carpathian Mountains, wandering around the open-air Libearty Bear Sanctuary in Zarnesti and exploring the sun-kissed cobbled streets of Brasov, you’ll be taking advantage of the vitamin D and golden sunshine while you stretch your legs!

To Escape, For The Great Outdoors and Nature & Wildlife: Charming medieval Saxon towns, nature based excursions out in the Carpathian Mountains and miles of rolling Transylvanian countryside, this trip is perfect for anyone hankering for some time out away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, in an area of sheer natural beauty and wildlife that has been nicknamed the ‘Yellowstone of Europe’. With 40% of Europe’s Brown bear population and an incredible third of the continents elusive predators there’s wildlife in abundance just waiting to be enjoyed.

For Gifts & Occasions and For Him: The opportunity to catch a glimpse of bears in their natural, wild habitat is a must-do for a lot of people and with a 90% chance of bear sightings on the trip, you can treat someone special to an awesome, once-in-a-lifetime experience crossing bear watching off their old bucket list and making memories that they’ll cherish for years to come. Time spent walking in the Carpathian Mountains and learning how to track bears, lynx and wolves makes this the ideal experience for sons, brothers, fathers and the man in your life.

The Grapevine

Don’t just take our word for it, have a read of what our clients have to say about their experiences on the trip.

‘I just wanted to let you know that me and my husband had an amazing trip! Everyone involved was fantastic from beginning to end. I will defininantly be booking our next trip with untravelled paths, and recommending you to friends. Thanks again for all of your help with the booking, the info you sent made the trip even more enjoyable.’ - Steph, May 2014

‘Our trip was just amazing and brilliant. Made very special by Dragos, Bogdan and Dan. Love to join you for another trip in the future!’ - Maralyn, September 2013 

‘My daughter, Alex, and I thoroughly enjoyed our holiday. We found Cristina, and also the drivers, and the guide on the bear tracking, both helpful, informative and pleasant at all times. Would recommend Untravelled Paths and hope to travel with your company again.’ - Linda, September 2013

‘Thank you very much for a wonderful trip to Romania. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and think ourselves very lucky to have seen five bears when watching at the hide. What a great experience. The hotels were both great, absolutely what we like: small, friendly, well positioned, with all the necessary facilities. The balance in the tour between guided activities and time to explore on one’s own was great and we were very impressed with both Bucharest and Brasov, which is charming. The trip and time at the hide was wonderful and met all our expectations and more. We would certainly recommend your company to others.’ - Sally, September 2013

‘Earlier in the week my mother and I returned from four great days in Romania on the bear tracking trip.  We really enjoyed it.  We both thought our guide was excellent. Thank you for a very enjoyable trip!’ - Rebecca, August 2013 

‘We wanted to say a massive thank you for making our trip to Romania fantastic.  Everything you did from start to finish really made a difference, which we probably didn’t expect. Although we love finding new places we would like to come back and will definitely use you again. The organisation has been brilliant throughout and on a personal level would like to thank our guide and congratulate him on being such a great guy – genuine, friendly and always thoughtful towards us no matter how much he had already done throughout the day – it didn’t go unnoticed.  It feels like we made a friend in Romania. There are lots of decent companies around, but not many excellent ones – so keep up the good work!’ - Matt and Sam, August 2013 

‘This was the most wonderful holiday I have ever been on. From the beginning to the end it was fantastic. The hotels we were booked into were great – Z Boutique in Bucharest and Casa Wagner in Brasov. At the bear hide we saw 5 bears and several wild boar. Then we went on a fantastic walk in the mountains where we looked for signs of bears – and there were plenty of those. The guide, Dan, was really knowledgeable. We were taken everywhere by private transport and everything worked perfectly. Would really recommend.’ - Patricia, July 2013

‘Transylvania was a highlight we will never forget and that is thanks to Untravelled Paths and all the staff from the start through James and then Cristina. The bear tracking and hide were amazing, the bear sightings from the hide were very special and Dan our guide was brilliant his knowledge was phenomenal, he introduced us to all the plants and animals and also the culture we visited a shepherd and his family and enjoyed tasting cheese. The trips to Castle Peles, Castle Bran and Sighisoara were excellent. Viscri was a highlight all were made more special by Cristina – she is a superb guide, so well organized, adaptable and full of enthusiasm. We were doubtful about the bear sanctuary, but after visiting it is a must to understand about the plight of the captive bears and excellent work being done by the sanctuary. Casa Rozelor is a superb accommodation and compliments an excellent package from Untravelled Paths.’ - Ian, June 2013

‘Just returned from our Romanian Bear Tracking holiday and it was great, thank you for the wonderful itinerary. Everything was great and we enjoyed it immensely. I would like to thank the young man who drove us to and from Brasov, he drove calmly and carefully the whole way through some very difficult roads and traffic. Please pass on our thanks and compliments.’ - Kathryn, June 2013

THE BROWN BEAR EXPERIENCE

The Booking Process

So you’ve found the perfect experience for you… what happens next? Once you’ve chosen the dates you’d like to travel on using our availability calendar all you need to do is head over to the booking page and fill in your details where necessary on the enquiry form. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible, usually within 24 hours, answering any questions you may have and confirming availability for the experience over the dates you’ve enquired about. If that’s all good to go, we’ll hold your places for you and ask you to look into booking your return flights.

Once you’ve booked your flights please send us over the details via email including flight times, numbers and departure airports. We’ll then process your booking and send you an RBS payment link for the deposit or full balance depending on how soon you’re travelling. If your trip departs in less than 6 weeks we require full payment in order to guarantee your places on the experience, however if you are travelling in more than 6 weeks we will only take a 25% deposit at the time of booking. The outstanding balance is then taken 6 weeks before your departure date.

After your payment has been received we’ll send you confirmation of your booking along with a personalised trip itinerary, information pack and any other appropriate materials. All you need to do now is write the dates in your diary, prepare your packing list and look forward to your next adventure!

 

The Flights

As a tour operator we are not able to offer inclusive flights as part of our experiences however we are more than happy to help you find the most appropriate incoming and outgoing flights for you. All the listed airlines fly directly in and out of the arrival and departure airports for this experience. Airport pick-ups and drop-offs on this experience are 100% flexible allowing you the freedom to arrive and depart at any time you choose on the trip dates whether that be at 2 o’clock in the morning or 11 o’clock at night. For those wanting to book additional nights at the beginning or end of the trip please note that your private airport pick-up and drop-off will still be included provided that you book your accommodation for the extra nights directly through us. If not you will need to organise your own transfers to and from the airport. Please contact us if you need advice or assistance.

We highly recommend using Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights. If the widget below plays up for whatever reason just head over to the website here.

London to Bucharest

EasyJet (Gatwick)

British Airways (Heathrow)

Air Tarom (Heathrow)

Wizz Air (Luton)

Blue Air (Luton)

Ryan Air (Stansted)

 

Dublin to Bucharest

Aer Lingus

Blue Air

 

The Trip Assistance

Hands-On Experience: As a Hands-On Experience, you’ll be taken care of from the moment you touch down in the country to the moment you leave. You have your very own private transfer to and from the airport so it doesn’t matter what time you arrive or depart, all you need to do is send us your flight details and we’ll sort out the rest. While you’re on the trip, you won’t have to worry about how, when or where you’re going and our bi-lingual guides will be on hand at all times, welcoming you at your boutique hotel in Bucharest and providing you with all the information you need.  All your excursions and bear watching activities are taken care of so you don’t have to waste your time worrying about logistics. Despite all this, you’ll still have plenty of time to yourselves, exploring the beautiful Saxon town of Brasov and the buzzing heart of Bucharest’s Lipscani district.

THE BROWN BEAR EXPERIENCE

The Personality

This experience is suitable for all ages and tastes from the young to the young at heart. It also matches with the below travel personalities and groups:

The Animal Lover & The Thrill Seeker: The opportunity to spot bears and other animals in their natural habitat is an absolute must for any animal lover and offers the unique thrill of witnessing wild animals, making this experience ideal for anyone that has an affinity for animals. Hosting 270 butterfly species, 110 bird species, 17 bat species and huge number of large carnivores including wolf, lynx and of course the mighty brown bear, the Carpathian Mountains is bursting to the brim with extraordinary wildlife and provides the backdrop for all our bear-based activities such as the bear hide, and the bear tracking and wildlife walk.

The Explorer: If you’re into your nature and exploring this wonderful world of ours then Romania’s Carpathain Mountains is an excellent place to start, continue or end. You’ll have plenty of time to explore the region, wandering around the Saxon town of Brasov and enjoying an excursion walking through the meadows and plains of Piatra Cariului National Park searching for traces of the presence of bears and other animals.

The Group

The Brown Bear Experience is an adventure into the wild Carpathian Mountains for all types of groups including friends, families and couples. More information is detailed below.

The Friends & The Couple: A unique and once in a lifetime experience to share with your closest friends, the Brown Bear Experience is a wonderful excuse to get yourself into the great outdoors and into bear territory with friends, your other half or a handful of couples. Aside from the bear-related activities of the hide and tracking excursions, you’re also based in the medieval town of Brasov which provides a lovely stepping point into the Transylvanian countryside and the infamous Bran Castle.

The Family: Suitable for families of all sizes and ages, this trip is the ideal opportunity to share some quality time together in a beautiful natural environment of Transylvania and the Carpathian Mountains. Children will adore the close interaction with nature and wildlife and the visit to the Libearty Bear Sanctuary provides a different perspective to the plight of bears against cruelty and captivity as well as an educational angle for both young and old.

The Solo Traveller: If you’re travelling on your own then this trip is a godsend – there is nothing to organise and all your transfers are taken care of. You’re also likely to be in an intimate group of people so you’ll have company when you need it. You’ll be able to get up close and personal with bears in the wild and you won’t even have to take any time off work!

The Girls & The Boys: Whether you’re a group of boys keen for a real adventure in the woods tracking wild animals or you’re looking to get together with a few of your male or females friends, this trip works well for small groups that relish the thought of being out and about in the fresh air, that enjoy doing something a little bit wild and want to spend some quality time together in both Transylvania and the Carpathian Mountains.

The Enquiry Form

If you’d like to learn more about this experience, you’d like to check availability and prices or you have questions that need answering simply fill out the form below with all the required details using the calendar to let us know which dates you’re interested in. Once submitted, we will get back to you with confirmation and/or next steps within 24 hours.

**SPECIAL OFFER**

We are currently offering 40% off The Brown Bear Experience when you book over selected weekends in June. The calendar shows the applicable dates in yellow with additional discounts in red so all you need to do is select 6th June this year and we’ll take £428 off your booking for two people. 

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Loading

£539 per person

£399 per person

*£325 per person

Fully Booked

Unavailable

Out of Season

yes
1401580800
1
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HIGHLIGHTS

To find out more about the main highlights for this experience simply click on one of the icons below. For each of the destinations visited during the trip, you'll learn more about the locations featured on the itinerary, be introduced to our preferred accommodation options, discover the sights and activities you can get involved with, and even pick which restaurants bars and cafes you'd like to try out while you're here.

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