self drive 4 x 4 trip  

The trips as proposed can be done from 1 May till end October. In winter a different program is available.

The Apuseni Mountains are the ideal region for off-road trips
Even in June some mountain passes might be under the snow.
nature park Padis
The Calineasa Meadow

The proposed 4 x 4 trips are made for the large public. This means they are NOT extreme trips or special challenge trips. The idea of both trips is to give the large public the possibility to travel comfortably in remote regions in the mountains where a normal car can't come. Romania's surface consist mainly of mountains and hills (over 60%) This is a very large area and in many regions, access roads are forestry tracks or dirt roads. In perfect dry conditions, some parts can be done with a normal car, but mostly not. Therefore these trips. We certainly don't take any risks and avoid any situation where only skilled off-road drivers can drive through. Further we fully respect the nature and try to avoid any damage during the trips.

 

We provide an English speaking guide who joins the group from the beginning till the end of the trip. 

 

The first trip especially is more than only driving. You travel through Transylvania and visit a few beautiful medieval towns, visit a lot of tourist attractions, and you make some short walks. 

 

The second trip takes place only in the Apuseni mountains and the accent is more on nature and remote places. Also here you visit several tourist attractions.

The guide explains where to drive and takes care of the practical things such as accommodation and meals. By larger groups, the first and last car will be in radio contact.

The cars have to be rented from a private company. This is at the clients own responsibility. The cars are full casco insured but there is also a franchise (warranty) that you have to pay when you rent the car. This franchise is used for small damages. 

Technical problems are the responsibility of the renting company. The cars are of recent make and so far we didn't have any serious problems on the road with them. 

 

 

The accommodation is provided in double rooms with private bathrooms.

 

 

 

 

You can watch a short video clip by clicking the link:

 

 

 

 

 

Trip 1: starting and ending in Bucharest

 

The car company brings the cars to the airport. There you sign the contracts, pay and take the car in reception.

 

Day 1: The first day you drive till the little town Sinaia at the foot of the Bucegi mountain range where you stay for the night in hotel rooms in Hotel Caraiman. Distance 115km.

 

 

Day 2:  You drive to Predeal and cross the mountains to the village Risnov where you visit the medieval fortress. After that you move to Bran where you visit the medieval castle. Then follows the exiting off road trip through the mountains to the south of the Piatra Craiului ridge. You come along the villages Sirnea, Pestera and Magura. You stay overnight in the village Moieciu de Sus below the Bucegi mountains. Distance: 120 km of which 40km off-road.

 

Bran castle

to the south of Piatra Craiului

 

Day 3: You travel to the best preserved medieval town of the country: Sighisoara. The trip brings you in the heart of Saxonland. In the middle ages, the people protected their villages by building a fortification around the church. These fortifications were often very impressive with bastions, watch- and defense towers and high walls. Inside these fortifications they had provision rooms and at some places even apartments for the whole village. You drive off-road on country roads and gravel roads. You visit the churches of Viscri (Deutschweiskirch) and Apold (Trappold) and come along many more. In the late afternoon you arrive in Sighisoara where you can visit the town. You stay in hotel rooms in Sighisoara. Distance: 185 km of which about 110 on dirt and country roads.

 

the Saxon villages

Sighisoara

 

Day 4: Trip to the Aries valley in the heart of the Apuseni Mountains. You leave Sighisoara and drive to the small village Ramet where the off-road trips starts through the Trascau Mountains. There is a lovely monastery in Ramet  where the nuns make beautiful hand-woven carpets. The monastery is located at the entrance of the Ramet canyon. After the visit it goes through the Trascau Mountains over the village Mogos to the Aries Valley. You stay overnight in the village Albac along the Aries River. Distance: 220km of which 60 km off-road.

 

Ramet monastery

Albac

 

Day 5: Trip through the Bihor Mountains. A real off-road day. You leave Albac and visit first the Ice cave of Scarisoara. The cave lies at 1000m altitude. After that you drive to the nature park Padis. You come along the Calineasa Meadow and go over the 1600m high mountain pass between the Carligata and Bohodei peaks. You stay in the resort Stina de Vale in hotel Iadolina for the night. Distance: 120km of which 100km off-road

 

Scarisoara Ice cave

Padis nature park

 

Day 6: Trip to the Gilau Mountains. You leave Stina de Vale and drive to the village Rachitele where you visit the wedding veil waterfall. After that it goes off-road to the village Balcesti to the north of Lake Fintinele. Then via Risca to Rusesti, still off road, and from Marisel to Maguri and further to Valea Ierii, completely off road through the beautiful Gilau Mountains. You'll meet shepherds and see summer villages at the higher alms where people stay from half May till end September with their animals. You stay in Valea Ierii for the night in a beautiful lodge. Distance: 220km of which 90km off-road.

 

"Wedding veil" waterfall in Rachitele

Marisel, wooden summer houses

 

Day 7: Trip to the Turda Canyon and off-road through the northern part of the Apuseni Mountains. It goes further via the village Rimetea to Aiud and further to the medieval town Sibiu where you stay near the town for the night. Sibiu was the largest of the Saxon towns and had an impressive fortification system with up to 7 ring walls. Sibiu is Cultural capital of Europe in 2007! Distance 17km of which 30km off-road.

 

Turda Canyon

village Rimetea

 

Day 8: Trip over the 2000m high Fagaras ridge and further to Bucharest where the trip ends.  You cross the Fagaras Mountain ridge at 2000m near the alpine lake Bilea. Distance: 300km.

 

 

 

Price accommodation and guiding:

 

3 persons: 495 Euro, 4 persons: 445 Euro, 5 persons: 425 Euro, 6 persons: 395 Euro, 7 and more: 375 Euro. 

This price includes accommodation in bed and breakfast formula pro person for 7 nights, English speaking guide.

 

The car (Nissan Terrano, Mitsubishi Pajero) will cost about 100 Euro/ day, to be split over the number of occupants. (The guide needs a place in one of the cars.) 

Fuel cost: about 150 Euro/car for the trip. (about 1500km, of which 430km off-road)

The trip can be customized to your personal wishes.

 

 

 


 

 

We've included a special page about the Apuseni Mountains:    

click here

 


 

 

 

If you come with your own car: 

 

Trip 2: starting and ending in Cluj Napoca

 

 

 

Day 1: Arrival in Cluj Napoca. Accommodation in a small charming pension downtown. (Bed and breakfast + lunch packet)

 

Day 2: Off road trip to the Turda Canyon (nature reserve), visit and further over the village Petresti to Hasdate from where again off road to Gilau where you stay for the night in a small hotel. Full board. Total distance: 70km, off road: 42km.

 

Day 3: Trip along the accumulation lakes Somesu Cald and Tarnita to Rosesti. Off road over the settlements Lapustesti, Dealu Mare, Risca to Belis. Belis lies at the border of lake Fintinele at 1000m altitude. It goes further off road from the Fintinele Meadow to Poiana Horea and Doda Pilii. Accommodation in guestrooms in full board.  

Total distance: 81km, off road: 52km.

 

Day 4: Trip to the nature reserve Padis. Visit of the most important monument: the fortress of Ponor: 3 enormous dolines, connected with underground tunnel-caves. After that via the Calineasa Meadow to the village Ghetar. Visit of the famous Ice Cave. Further to the village Girda de Sus where you stay in guestrooms for two nights in full board.

Total distance: 74km, all off road.

 

Day 5: Roundtrip

Roundtrip to the highest peak of the Apuseni mountains, the Biharia (1848m). You drive along the village Patrahaitesti where there is a famous woodcarver. After that Groapa Ruginoasa, and enormous erosion (200m deep and 600m wide) Back to Girda de Sus 

Total distance: 84km, off road: 44km.

 

Day 6:

Trip through the mountains along summer houses through endless forest and open meadows. You go over the Steaua pass (1400m) and descend along the Somesu Rece Valley to Valea Ierii where you stay for the night. Accommodation in full board.

Total distance: 89km, off road: 62km.

 

Day 7: 

Transfer Cluj Napoca. Distance 22km.

 

the pension in Valea Ierii

 

 

 

Price:

 

345 Euro pro person (price pro person in double room)

in full board for 5 nights, 1 x bed and breakfast + lunch packet

 

Guiding: 340 Euro for the guide for the whole trip (includes accommodation and salary) you provide a seat for the guide.

 

Guiding with car: 700 Euro + fuel