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The Winter Transylvania Experience

Group Discount Date

From $745 $931.83 pp

WHY IT'S DIFFERENT?

Delve into the wintery Transylvanian landscapes, from charming Saxon towns, a countryside rich in folklore to Husky sledding.

Romania
From Jan to Mar
7 nights

From $745 $931.83 Per Person

Required Capacity: 6 people

Based on two people sharing, not including flights learn more

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

Visit Dracula's Castle

Visit Dracula's Castle

Perched up tall and ominous, with narrow corridors and hidden staircases, the Bran Castle certainly fits as home to the legend of Dracula. It also offering some stunning views of the surrounding area.

Explore Brasov

Explore Brasov

Brasov's old town offers snow-dusted, cobbled streets, sleepy houses and the crisp, wintery mountain air in what is a truly a fairy tale like setting. It also has several very good restaurants recommended in our booklet.

Husky Sledding

Husky Sledding

After a short introduction you'll have the opportunity to sled yourself. Feel the wind rush past you as you're pulled by your team of huskies pull you through the snow. An exhilarating and surreal experience you'll never forget.

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

As you take the cable car up the mountain to Balea Lake, you will find a heavenly corner. Take in the scenery, get your heart racing with winter activities and enjoy a once in a lifetime sleep in the Hotel of Ice.

"Our trip to Transylvania with was very well organized and our guide, Christina, was extremely friendly & welcoming. There was an interesting mix of castles and beautiful medieval towns. On our way back to the airport, we all participated in a snowball fight - a very nice touch at the end of our holiday."

Glenda - Guest

TRIP OVERVIEW

YOUR EXPERIENCE

Absorb some of Romania’s most picturesque medieval towns on a week-long whirlwind adventure and enjoy an epic dog sledding experience in the heart of the Szekely land. After one night in the vibrant capital city of Bucharest, guests are whisked away into the heart of Transylvania, via the magnificent Peles Castle. In Brasov, enjoy a leisurely stroll around charming cobbled streets, stopping to warm up in one of the town’s bohemian cafes dotted along snow-dusted alleyways off the main square. Visit the Libearty Bear Sanctuary, home to over 90 bears rescued from captivity. Then it's time for your husky adventure which takes place in the hilly area of Harghita Mountains. Once you get to know the ins and outs of the Husky sledding, off you go with your new team. The following day you'll be visiting the UNESCO city of Sighisoara, the birthplace of the infamous Vlad the Impaler aka Dracula. Then it’s up the mountain to the magical Ice Hotel past snow-capped peaks and frosty forestland. Get your heart racing with some snow activities or simply kick back with a hot drink and just enjoy the scenery. In the evening, brace yourselves for dinner ‘on ice’ then tucking yourselves into cosy sleeping bags before braving the night in your ice-suite. The next day, it's back to Bucharest, but not without a visit to the eerie Bran Castle, also known as Dracula's Castle.

YOUR EXPERTS

Marius G

Marius G

The Jack of All Trades - Meet Marius G

Marius M

Marius M

The Team Player - Meet Marius M

NEED TO KNOW

DESTINATIONRomania
SEASONDecember 29 2019 - Jan 2 2020
DURATION7 nights
GROUP SIZE16 people
ASSISTANCEHands on
AIRPORT(S)Bucharest
FLIGHTSFor more information on flights from the UK please refer to the Trip Details section.
VISAUK, EU & US not required
VACCINATIONSNo

TRIP ITINERARY

Day 1 Arrive in Bucharest

Arrival in Bucharest followed by a 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.

INCLUDED

  • Airport Pick-up
  • Welcome Drink

OPTIONAL EXTRAS

  • Bucharest Walking Tour
  • Red Pand Dog Shelter Visit
Day 2 Travel to Brasov via Peles Castle

Morning transfer into Transylvania, stopping for a tour around the divine Peles Castle before checking in to your hotel in Brasov. Enjoy the rest of the day exploring the charming medieval Saxon town of Brasov.

INCLUDED

  • Breakfast
  • Visit and Entry to Peles Castle

OPTIONAL EXTRAS

  • Brasov Walking Tour
Day 3 Visit the Libearty Bear Sanctuary & Free Afternoon

Spend the morning at Transylvania’s wonderful Libearty Bear Sanctuary meeting their growing family of rescued bears. 

Travel back to Brasov to spend some quality free time or add one of our day trips to extend your exploration of the Transylvanian countryside and culture.

INCLUDED

  • Breakfast
  • Visit and entry to Libearty Bear Sanctuary

OPTIONAL EXTRAS

  • Brasov Walking Tour
  • Explore Transylvania Day Trip
Day 4 Travel to Miercurea Ciuc for the Husky Experience

After you have had breakfast and checked out of your hotel, head down to the reception area with your luggage to meet your guide for the start of your journey deep in the Szekely land, the border of Transylvania and Moldova. Here is where you will enjoy a full Husky Sledding Experience. In the afternoon, visit the Csiki Sor Beer Factory for a tour and tasting.

INCLUDED

  • Breakfast
  • The Husky Sledding Experience
  • Tour and beer tasting to the Csiki Sor Beer Factory
Day 5 Journey to Sibiu via Sighisoara

Travel and visit the medieval citadel of Sighisoara for lunch and then wander before transferring to the beautiful town of Sibiu and checking in to your hotel. You will have the rest of the day to enjoy the medieval town.

INCLUDED

  • Breakfast
  • Sighisoara Walking Tour

OPTIONAL EXTRAS

  • Sibiu Walking Tour
Day 6 Travel to Balea Lake

Morning visit to the outstanding ASTRA Outdoor Folk Museum, which is the biggest in Europe and gives you a fantastic insight into traditional rural Romania from around the country. 

Travel through the Fagaras Mountains to the cable car which will transport you up to Balea Lake and the Ice Hotel. Enjoy the afternoon on the mountain with a range of snow-based activities such as the unmissable Tunnel Trek before getting ready for your big night in the Ice Hotel, which kicks off with the Ice Hotel Dining Experience and drinks at the Sub Zero Ice Bar.

INCLUDED

  • Breakfast
  • Visit and entry to ASTRA Outdoor Museum
  • Cable Car Passes

OPTIONAL EXTRAS

  • Tunnel Trek
  • Snow-based Activities
  • Ice Dinning Experience
Day 7 Journey back to Bucharest via Bran Castle

Head back through Transylvania stopping for a visit at Bran Castle, known to many as Dracula’s Castle before travelling back to Bucharest for the final night.

INCLUDED

  • Breakfast
  • Visit and entry to Bran Castle

OPTIONAL EXTRAS

  • Bucharest Walking Tour
Day 8 Final day and transfer back to the airport

Transfer back to the airport in time for the flight home.

INCLUDED

  • Breakast
  • Airport Drop-off

OPTIONAL EXTRAS

  • Bucharest Walking Tour

TRIP ACCOMMODATION

A selection of our accommodation, which is subject to availability, however alternatives are always of a similar price, grade and location.

Bucharest

Bucharest
Romania

With all our hotels located in or near the Old Town of Lipscani, you will be right by amongst the hustle and bustle of the heart to the city.
Typical Accommodation: The Rembrandt, Grand Boutique or similar

Brasov

Brasov
Romania

All our hotels are located a stone's throw from Brasov's Old Town Square so you'll easily be able to explore Brasov's quaint, cobbled streets.
Typical Accommodation: Bella Muzica, Casa Wagner or similar

Miercurea Ciuc

Miercurea Ciuc
Romania

No trip to Transylvania would be complete without experiencing the stunning countryside and we use some of the most picturesque. Your accommodation close to Miercurea Ciuc will provide nothing else

Sibiu

Sibiu
Romania

With all our hotels located in Sibiu's majestic old town, you'll be able to visit all the sights, cafes and restaurants on foot.
Typical Accommodation: Casa Luxemburg, The Council or similar

Hotel of Ice

Hotel of Ice
Romania

The Hotel of Ice has two different room grades, the standard Ice Hotel room or you can upgrade to an igloo room (subject to availability) which is bigger and more private. Let our team know if you are interested in upgrading.

TRIP LOCATION

WHERE YOU'RE GOING

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.

DID YOU KNOW
  • Romania comes from the Latin ‘Romanus’ meaning ‘citizen of the Roman Empire’
  • The Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest is the second largest building in the world
  • The Carpathian Mountains are home to 60% of Europe’s Brown Bear population
  • Transylvania translates to ‘the land beyond the forest’

FAST FACTS

CAPITAL
POPULATION
CURRENCY
TIME DIFFERENCE

"For those who would prefer to visit the Hotel of Ice, enjoy the stunning scenery and the winter park but prefer not to sleep in the Ice Hotel, there is warm accommodation available at the nearby chalet"

Marius G - Untravelled Paths

Host Tips

TRIP TIPS

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Extended Husky

For some the Husky beginner lesson isn't long enough so if you're likely to want to spend more time Husky sledging then you should upgrade to the Intermediate husky lesson.

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Clothing

Thermals, a fleece, warm hat, scarf to cover your nose, gloves and thick socks will keep you nice and warm. The wind while driving the huskies really bites so be prepared.

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Drink palinka

Nothing better to keep the cold at bay than a good shot of the Romanian firewater. Be careful, though, it's strong stuff. As they would toast in Romania "Noroc!"

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Footwear

Sensible footwear with good grip is essential as unsurprisingly there is a lot of ice around! For the husky sledding, moon boots are not suitable. Opt for waterproof boots instead.

TRIP DETAILS

WHAT'S INCLUDED
  • ALL TRANSFERS
  • ALL ACCOMMODATION
  • 2 nights in Bucharest
  • 2 nights in Brasov
  • 1 night in Miercurea Ciuc
  • 1 night at The Hotel of Ice
  • 1 night in Sibiu
  • MEALS
  • All Breakfast
  • ACTIVITIES
  • Visit and entry to Peles Castle
  • Visit and entry to Bran Castle
  • Visit and entry to The Libearty Bear Sanctuary
  • Visit to Sighisoara
  • Visit and entry to the ASTRA Outdoor Folk Musem
  • The Husky Sledding Experience
  • Visit and entry to the Csiki Sor Beer Factory
  • THE SERVICES OF A BI-LINGUAL GUIDE
  • UNTRAVELLED PATHS EXPERIENCE EBOOKLET
GETTING THERE

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 airports fly directly in and out of Bucharest with multiple different airlines to choose from. We highly recommend using Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights.

LONDON TO BUCHAREST
  • Easyjet (Gatwick)
  • British Airways (Heathrow)
  • Air Tarom (Heathrow)
  • Wizz Air (Luton)
  • Blue Air (Luton)
  • Ryan Air (Stanstead)
BIRMINGHAM TO BUCHAREST
  • Blue Air
  • Wizz Air
BRISTOL TO BUCHAREST
  • Ryanair
DONCASTER TO BUCHAREST
  • Wizz Air
GLASGOW TO BUCHAREST
  • Blue Air
LIVERPOOL TO BUCHAREST
  • Blue Air
FURTHER INFORMATION

INSURANCE

In order to be fully covered on your trip should anything happen, we suggest getting an insurance before you travel. We recommend True Traveller, designed especially for adventure travel, who will be able to tailor an insurance package based on your needs. You can find out more here.

SOLO TRAVELLERS

Our prices are based on people sharing, for solo travellers who would prefer a private room the price per person will include a solo occupancy fee.

EXTRA NIGHTS

If you wish we can also organise extra nights at either end of your trip for you.

Want to hear about discounts for this experience...

HOW IT WORKS

Book your trip in five easy steps.

1

ENQUIRE ONLINE

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 the enquiry form.

2

BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS

We will get back to you answering any questions you might have and confirming availability. If all is good, we can hold the places for you for 48 hours while you book your flights. Please note that this stage does not represent a guarantee of the booking.

3

BOOKING FORM

Once you have booked your flights, we will send you a booking form you will need to fill in with your details, flights and other relevant information.

4

PAY FOR YOUR TRIP

As you fill in the booking form, you will also be asked to make the payment through a secure link; if you are travelling in less than 8 weeks, the payment will be paid in full, otherwise only a 35% deposit will be taken.

5

FINAL CONFIRMATION

Shortly after you pay, you will receive a confirmation invoice, followed by a personalised itinerary and digital booklet. All you need to do now is write the dates in your diary, prepare your packing list and look forward to your next adventure!

6

NOTES

Please note deposit is non-refundable. The balance will only be refundable if you cancel with more than 8 weeks in advance. More information about the cancellation policy can be found in our Terms & Conditions. We highly suggest getting insurance before you travel to avoid any problems. Our personal recommendation is using True Traveller.

FAQ

What is the currency?

Although Romania is a member of the European Union, it does not use the euro (€) but has its own currency - the RON / Leu. The official currency is most commonly referred to as the plural ‘lei’ although some banks and exchange offices list it as the RON. One leu divides into 100 bani with banknotes coming in various denominations normally 1 leu, 5 lei, 10 lei, 50 lei and 100 lei and less commonly, 200 and 500 lei notes. Coins come in 50 bani and 10 bani pieces, which can be useful for small tips or donations.

Where can I get a hold of the currency?

The easiest option is to head to a cash machine once you’ve checked into your hotel in Bucharest to withdraw funds. There are plenty of ATMs around so it’s quick and convenient to get hold of your holiday cash

If you want to come prepared beforehand, the Bureau de Change in M&S is, strangely, one of the only places that dispenses the local currency. You can also purchase currency online and collect it from your local post office or even have it delivered straight to your door. Ordering currency online with the Post Office is commission-free and available for next day delivery. Obviously the more you buy the better rate you’ll receive.
However you choose to get hold of your spending money, just make sure you either spend or convert your RON before you leave.

Can I pay by debit/credit card?

Most major credit and debit cards (Visa and Mastercard) are accepted throughout Romania’s main towns and cities. You’ll have no problem using your card to pay for drinks or dinner in Bucharest or Brasov using your card however you may like to carry some cash on you for smaller purchases and any activities taking place away. Ensure you have plenty of cash on you for the night at the Ice Hotel for activities and other expenses. It is always advisable to inform your bank that you’re travelling abroad in order to avoid the frustration of having your card blocked.

What sort of budget would I need?

As a general rule, you’ll be able to have a good lunch for around £10 a head and will pay around £15 a head for a nice evening meal. Naturally, the type of establishment you choose to eat in and what you order will dictate the cost of your meals. Be aware that ordering imported wines can cause your bill to sky-rocket so drinking local wines is advisable. We reckon around £70 for lunch, dinner and drinks for two people is plenty per day. Please note that these are rough estimates and you can always choose to spend more or less depending on your budget and preferences. 

How is tipping like?

Tipping is not obligatory in Romania although rounding up taxi fares and adding 10% in restaurants is polite and common practice. If the service has been poor please don’t feel obligated to leave a tip. 

How is the weather like?

The average temperature during the winter hovers around -3 degrees although temperatures in rural areas and up in the mountains can drop well below -15 degrees so it’s best to prepare for the worst. That said, it’s not unusual to find yourself enjoying a coffee outside in a Transylvanian town’s café with the sun beating down with surprising strength onto both your face and the snow-covered streets. So wrap up warm but don’t forget sun cream!

Who should I contact in case of an emergency?

You can always contact the UTP team on +44 207 101 4061 or info@untravelledpaths.com. Before you travel, you will also receive a personalised itinerary with the contact details of the local manager in Romania should there be any problems. Your guide will be on hand throughout the trip as well, so you're in safe hands.

How do I go about booking extra activities?

Our digital booklet, which you will receive before travel, contains all the information you need about optional activities. Simply drop us an email letting us know what you'd like to do during your trip, and we'll take care of the rest. Please note that the payment for the optional activities will be taken locally in cash.

What should I pack?

Balea Lake and the Ice Hotel, where you should encounter the lowest temperatures throughout the trip, are not generally as cold as people might imagine but we do believe that it’s safer to prepare for very cold temperatures, as it is not uncommon for the temperatures outside the Ice Hotel to hit -20 degrees. We would recommend bringing some good waterproof shoes, a warm hat and some gloves to keep yourself warm. Some clients prefer to wear waterproof trousers or a ski suit to protect them from the snow and ice; however aside from technical wear, layering your clothes is just as effective.  It’s worth noting that moon boots aren’t effective on the Husky sled and cannot be worn. Do pack a scarf for the Husky sledding as the wind can be quite chilly during this activity.

What happens to my luggage at the Ice Hotel?

Alongside standard luggage, we recommend clients bring a smaller bag and transfer essential items into it for the overnight stay at the Ice Hotel, as it can be awkward lugging bulky suitcases around on the mountain. The big suitcases will remain locked in the car overnight, so ensure you take any valuables with you up the mountain.

How cold is it in the Ice Hotel?

The temperature inside the Ice Hotel isn’t actually as cold as you might think. It usually wavers between -2 and +2 degrees although the temperature outside can sink well below freezing. The Balea Lake Chalet is super warm and toasty though so you can always make your way over there to defrost between courses or before bed.

What if I am too cold?

Before you tuck in for the night, your guide will give you pointers and tips on how to keep warm. Most of our guests feel quite toasty in the sleeping bag they receive before going to bed. However, there is always the option to book an additional room in the warm chalet in case you fear you won't make it through the night.

What are the toilet facilities at the Ice Hotel?

While there are no toilet facilities inside the Ice Hotel, the guests can use those in the cable car building just behind the Ice Hotel. We do recommend using them before going to sleep to avoid having to get out of your cosy sleeping bag overnight. In the morning, showers will also be available in the chalet.

How long is the Husky sledding?

First you will have a small "get to know" with the dogs and then you’ll learn about the daily lives of these and you’ll have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. Then you will have a theoretical lesson before driving your own husky sled with typically 4-5 dogs (this may vary depending on the conditions and the size/weight of the driver) which lasts about 15 minutes (3 km beginner's track).  

If you do want to spend more time with the huskies, it is possible to book an extended session involving a longer route, subject to availability.

Is Husking sledding ethical?

Of course! The dogs are being well taken care of, and this will be apparent from the enthusiastic way they interact with people. While they are eager to take you on a ride across the plateau, they are not machines and do tire. This is one of the main reasons for the timing of the experience as the sledding takes into consideration their well-being as well.

Is tap water safe?

Tap water is safe to drink practically everywhere, but most people stick to bottled water to be on the safe side.