The hiking trip takes place in the Apuseni Mountains, in the Western
Carpathians. It is a sweet pastoral landscape
with lovely authentic villages along the valleys and on the mountain slopes. Your trip takes place at altitudes between the 600 and 1300 m. The landscape is
very varied with open meadows between dense forests. The Apuseni Mountains
is a plateau, which means you don’t have to climb and descend all the time.
Lots of the hiking trails follow the tracks used by the local population since
The region has a rich cultural heritage because there are
2 different people living here; the Romanians and ethnic Hungarians. Your
trip takes place along the former border with Hungary. Especially the Hungarian
minority kept very strong to their traditions.
We provide you with maps and a very well described road book. Besides the
description of the road, we’ll give you extensive information about the region
You walk for a couple of days in the nature park Apuseni.
There are many endemic plants and the wildlife is very authentic. If you make the effort to get up early, you
might catch deer or other wild life along
All the churches can be visited and in most cases you can climb
the tower and enjoy the beautiful panoramas.
The accommodation is provided in comfortable guestrooms. The Romanian people are worldwide
known for their generous hospitality. We selected typical local farms and new
guesthouses (as on the pictures below) where you have the best conditions. All the houses have a fully equipped
bathrooms, and the houses in Risca, Rachitele and Sancraiu have rooms with private
bathrooms. You’ll enjoy daily traditional dinners, prepared with
mostly homegrown products. In the morning you have an extensive continental
breakfast, at noon a lunch packet. Your luggage will be daily transported
from one place to another.
Highlights of the program:
The nature park Apuseni ( you walk 4 days in the park)
- The beautiful walled Hungarian church from Valeni.
- The Somesu Cald Canyon and watermill in Rusesti
- Lake Fintinele, a beautiful 25km long accumulation lake.
- Rachitele waterfall
- And of course the splendid nature of the Apuseni Mountains,
forest, colorful meadows, lovely villages where it looks as time went by
watch a short video clip by clicking the link:
included a special page about the Apuseni Mountains: click
Day 1: Arrival in Risca. Risca is a mountain village at 1000m altitude. The
farms are spread over the hills. People live from
agriculture and forest exploitation. Introduction of the
stay at the farm with the family Matis. It is a
typical substantial farm with a few pigs, a few cows,
chickens and the village Risca is known for its famous
potatoes. Jeny, the hostess and her daughters Gina and
Ramona take care of the tourists and her husband Trian
is a very active vice-mayor.
Day 2: Trip to
You’ll walk over the ridge along the villages Dealu Mare and Lapustesti.
At your right you’ll see the 600m lower Somesu Cald canyon. The canyon is
not easy accessible and there is still brown bear around. They rarely come
in the villages. You might see shepherds along your road. They gather
the sheep in the spring and move from pasture to pasture, only to return
home in the autumn. From the village Lapustesti, you’ll make the 7km long
descent to the village Rusesti at the Somesu cald River. In Rusesti is a working
watermill and a "piua" You stay at the
guesthouse of Valerica Rosu. The owner will show you
how that works (if there is enough water in the river). Distance
16km, 5-6 hours hiking, level
difference 120m climbing, 500m descending.
Trip to Marisel
You leave Rusesti and climb the Coadei Hill (1126m) to the village Marisel.
Marisel is one of the highest settlements in the Apuseni Mountains at 1200m. The
village is spread out over the huge plateau and you
have superb views over the 4-600m lower valley.
You stay with the family Nistor. Maria, the hostess
takes care of you. Distance
10km, 4-5 hours hiking, level difference 650m climbing, 100m
Trip to Poiana Horea.
You walk through the village Marisel. and enter the
nature park Apuseni. You pass
some summer villages where people stay only during the
summer months to herd cattle or harvest wood. Poiana
Horea is a settlement in the middle of the forest where
the people live from wood harvesting. Wood harvesting in Romania is done selective.
Lot’s of work is handwork and most of the logs are taken out of the
woods by horses. You stay at the comfortable guesthouse of Charley and Monica.
(Charley is a teacher and speak fluently English) Distance 22km, 7-8 hours hiking, level difference 250m
climbing, 300m descending.
Day of rest.
You can just take it easy or collect fruits in the forest.
You can make a beautiful
the mountain ridge with the Petreasa Mountain
(1564m) south of Poiana Horea (trip
about 12km, 460m climbing and as much descending.)
Poiana Horea you can visit 2 very important tourist
objectives: Padis nature reserve and the ice cave in
Scarisoara. By foot, you can't walk back and forth in
one day, but Charley can take you there with his
off-rood car. Price 50 Euro for the day, the car can
take up to 4 tourists. (see
extra info for Padis and Ice cave down this page)
Trip to Doda Pilii. The trip goes through the forest and over beautiful meadows to
the settlement Smida. From Smida it is short walk to Doda Pilii, a harvesters
settlement where you stay for the nigth at the
guesthouse of Carmen and Dan and their son Horea. |All
of them speak very well English. You’ll notice the typical simple wooden houses of the Romanian
mountain people. The settlement lies at the confluence of the Firei and Somesu
Cald Rivers. You’re here close to some of the most spectacular caves of the
Apuseni Mountains. Distance 14km, 6 hours hiking, Level difference 350m
climbing, 500m descending
Dan, the owner of the guesthouse in Doda Pilli also offers
a trip by off-road car to the Somesu Cald
Canyon. Price 10 Euro for the trip. The car can take up
to 4 tourists. You walk back to the guesthouse over
the Onceasa Meadow. Extra night 30 Euro/ pro person in full
Day 7: Trip to Scrind. You leave Doda Pilii and climb the ridge to the
settlement Dealu Botii. You'll enjoy superb views over
Lake Fintinele. It's a nice trip through scattered
patches of forest. From Dealu Botii it goes over the
plateau to the Ruginoasa hill from where you descend to
the new guesthouse Dariana in Scrind. The owners Silvia
and Gitse will take care of you. Both speak a little
Distance 23,5km, 7h hiking, level difference 250m
climbing 590m descending.
8: Roundtrip to the Rachitele waterfall. The
Rachitele waterfall has a level difference of about
35m. The hiking trip brings you in the superb nature
of the Stanciu valley at the northern border of the
nature park Apuseni. You stay again at the Dariana
20km, 730m climbing and 730m descending. About 8 hours hiking.
Day 9: Trip to Sancraiu. You climb first the 1200 m high
Ruginoasa mountain. The steep climb is afterwards
rewarded by the beautiful panorama's when you descend to
the village Margau. From Margau it goes over Bociu and
further over immense pastures to Sancraiu in the heart of
the "Kalotaszeg" region, so called by the ethnic
Hungarians. You stay with Ergy and Attilla. Both are
proud ethnic Hungarians, as is about 70% of the village.
They are always willing to show their nice folk
costumes. There is a folk dance camp the first week of
August in the village. Distance 20km, Level difference 405m climbing, 600m descending,
7 hours hiking.
Day 10: You walk to the village Valeni. Valeni is another Hungarian village you’ll visit
before you climb to the Romanian villages higher in the mountains. The original
church dates back to the 12th.C. It is beautifully located on the slope
of the hill, overlooking the village. There is a bastion in the surrounding
wall. Optional the wooden Orthodox church (1674) in Bica can be visited, You find inside
beautiful old frescoes (1770). From the village Valeni you
walk over the huge plateau to the settlement Fonogea.
From there it descends through the forest along the
river to the village Risca. You stay again with the
family Matis. Distance 20km, 7 hours
hiking, Level difference 550m climbing, 180m descending
Day 11: the program ends after breakfast.
in Doda Pilii