Spotting wild brown bears
Travel into the forests of the Carpathians to a bear hide and patiently wait as the wildlife starts to appear, from wild boar to foxes and of course, the majestic brown bear and all in their natural habitat.
Libearty Bear Sanctuary
The bear sanctuary was set up in 1998 and is now home to over 70 rescued bears. Its beautiful, tranquil setting allows the bears to live out the rest of their lives in comfort and safety.
Nestled between the Carpathian Mountains, Brasov is a gem. From the old town to the hiking trails around, there's plenty to do here.Transylvanian countryside a veritable paradise of beauty and wildlife.
From the ornate, fairy-tale like Peles Castle to the imposing, legendary Bran Castle, more commonly know as Dracula's Castle you'll be sure to get your culture fix from your visit to Transylvania.
YOUR ROMANIA BROWN BEAR EXPERIENCE
Step into the wild and experience the thrill of tracking the mighty Romanian Brown Bear in the depths of Transylvania’s forests. You’ll begin your journey in Romania’s vibrant capital city, Bucharest, from where, the very next day you’ll be whisked away for an amazing journey through the Transylvanian countryside, to the postcard-pretty town of Brasov. Travel to the heart of bear country to get up close and personal with the animals and spend the next day in and around Brasov exploring the old town, or on a nature walk through the Carpathian Mountains. The next morning, visit the Libearty Bear Sanctuary and travel back to Bucharest via Bran Castle, the would-be home of Dracula.
NEED TO KNOW
|GROUP SIZE||12 people|
|FLIGHTS||For more information on flights from the UK please refer to the Trip Details section.|
|VISA||UK, EU & US not required|
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.
Morning transfer to Transylvania via Sinaia with a visit to the magnificent Peles Castle before heading on to the medieval town of Brasov. Evening transfer to the Carpathian Mountains for the Bear Hide experience where you’ll spot wild bears from a forest based hide
Free time in and around Brasov. Optional activities include a visit to historic Rasnov Fortress, a guided walking tour through Brasov exploring the old town and impressive gothic Black Church, and/or a nature walk through the beautiful Carpathian Mountains with a qualified wildlife guide culminating in a feast of a barbeque, Romanian style with plenty of local food and drink.
Spend the morning at Transylvania’s wonderful Libearty Bear Sanctuary meeting their growing family of rescued bears. Travel to Bran and have a snoop around its famous castle, known to most as Dracula’s Castle. Then you’ll journey back through the Transylvanian countryside to Bucharest for your final night
Transfer to Bucharest airport for return flight.
A selection of our accommodation, which is subject to availability, however alternatives are always of a similar price, grade and location.
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
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
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.
"We use different bear hides throughout the season dependent on sightings and some can involve up to a 30-minute walk so be sure to have the correct footwear. Oh and don't forget a jumper, it's cold when the sun goes down!"
Cristina - Untravelled Paths
Clothing for the Bear Hide
For the bear hide excursion be sure to wear dark clothing, appropriate shoes for possible wet weather conditions. Don't forget to bring a jacket, water and your camera of course!
Try Traditional Food
Be sure to sample Traditional local food during your visit to Romania and there are few better places to do so than Caru Cu Bere, Bucharest's oldest beer house.
Nature walk & BBQ
A great opportunity to potentially see wildlife, along with the surrounding countryside of Brasov combined with a tasty BBQ prepared by your hosts which includes lots of local flavour.
Buy the Book
The Libearity Bear Sanctuary has a book you can purchase v via Amazon online for £9.99. It makes for a fabulous souvenir or gift and naturally the proceeds go to the sanctuary.
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.
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.
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.
If you wish we can also organise extra nights at either end of your trip for you.
Book your trip in a few easy steps.
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.
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.
Once you have made your necessary arrangements, we will send you a booking form you will need to fill in with your details and any other relevant information.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Most major credit and debit cards (Visa and Mastercard) are accepted throughout Romania’s main towns and cities. While you should have no problem using your card to pay for drinks or dinner in major towns and cities using your card, some establishments accept cash only so it’s worth checking before you get settled in. It is also a good idea to carry some cash with you for smaller purchases and activities and while you're traveling in remote locations. It is always advisable to inform your bank that you’re travelling abroad in order to avoid the frustration of having your card blocked.
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.
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.
Spring: The wonderful advantage of visiting Transylvania during the spring is the presence of wildflowers and butterflies that fill the Carpathian Mountains. The weather is very pleasant although there is also a slightly higher risk of rainfall during this time.
Summer: June, July and August affords long hot sunny days and blue skies with little chance of rain. 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.
Autumn: September and October bring with it slightly fresher temperatures but days are most sunny, warm and dry with increased chance of showers.
You can always contact the UTP team on +44 207 101 4061 or email@example.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.
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.
The aim of the game whilst observing wild animals is to remain as inconspicuous as possible, so dark-coloured clothing is key here. Think black, navy blue and dark green attire. Remember, you want to see the bears but you don’t want them to see you! You might also want to bring a few layers as the temperature drops in the evening and you’ll be sitting still for quite a while. Please also ensure you bring a waterproof with you just in case!
Obviously not a good idea to head into the woods with a pair of high heels or flip-flops on. Wear shoes that will be comfortable for walking like a sturdy pair of trainers or some walking boots. Again, darker colours are preferable.
Yes, there are a few things. A small backpack can be useful to carry all your essentials while keeping your hands free. A bottle of water is always practical and don’t forget your sun cream for hot days walking in the mountains and insect repellent to keep mosquitos away at dusk in the hide. Binoculars can be useful too!
When it comes to spotting bears in the wild, your best chance is at the bear hide. In ten years, there have only been a couple of very rare occasions that the bears didn’t show up at the hide so that ought to give you a good idea of how likely you are to catch a glimpse of them! You will, of course, see quite a few rescued bears at the Libearty Bear Sanctuary so you won’t go home without seeing at least one bear.
Very. With an experienced local tracker that is professionally trained in tracking and dealing with wild animals, you’re in safe hands for all of the bear tracking excursions. Typically, your tracker will carry an electric rod and/or a can of mace spray in the unlikely event that you should run into any problems. During the mating season it is common for trackers to carry a gun with them so please do not be alarmed.
Yes, of course. Although there are certain rules you’ll need to follow if you’d like to capture the experience on film. The use of flash, automatic focusing functions, continuous modes or settings that detect red eye are not permitted as the bears will be alerted by your presence and may react or vacate the area. If you are unsure about which camera settings you should use, ask your tracker. If you're planning to use your phone to take pictures, please ensure the settings comply with the regulations and that you put it on silent.
There is a moderate amount of walking involved. Depending on which location you will be visiting, it might take you between 15 minutes to 45 minutes to reach the hide. You will be following a forest trail with level terrain. There is some walking involved at the Sanctuary as well, with a small uphill portion, but all broken down with stops to hear the stories and watch the bears.