Active winter holidays in the Apuseni Mountains.
The Apuseni Mountains are the ideal region for winter eco-tourism.
Lovely authentic villages are linked by hundreds of kilometers of forestry
roads. These roads and tracks are used since ancient times by the local
population and they are leading
you over the main ridges of the mountains. They bring you sometimes through
dense forest, other times over open plains from where you have superb panoramas.
During your trip you will meet the local people and enjoy the warm hospitality
so typical for Transylvania. Your luggage will be transported.
You will have a lot of time to get to know your guest families and
you will see how people in the mountains get through the long and sometimes
Every evening you’ll enjoy a typical warm meal, prepared with biologic local
products. In the morning you’ll have a rich breakfast and you will be
provided with a lunch packet with warm tea or soup.
Weather and Snow conditions:
The trip is offered over a period of 6 months, this
means almost all kinds of weather conditions are
possible. Mountain regions in Romania get in normal winters lots of snow. The country
has a continental climate with Atlantic influence. The Apuseni Mountains
are the first barrier after the Hungarian plains and fresh snow falls about
every week in January and Februari. It can start to snow as early as October and sometimes even in
May the higher peaks are still covered with fresh snow.
Trees start to shed their leaves
normally from half October till half November. The
nicest colors appear generally after the first night
frost, means from half October on. The last part of
November and December will be generally cold, (rarely
under zero at noon) but rarely with snow. Snow starts
to appear over the whole county only the last part of
December, and stays January and February also in the
lower hills. Late
winter and early spring might have all kind of weather
conditions. March can be cold and humid, but can be also dry
and warm. Some years we had temperatures of 15-20
degrees C. around noon in March. Other years an
abundant snowfall might appear even in the second half
of April, but this snow doesn't stay long.
course winter hiking is more risky then during the
rest of the year and you should be very well prepared
for all kinds of weather.
the months with snow, snow rackets (snowshoes) are recommended.
although you will rarely have to use them all day
long, as many trails go over country roads used by the
local population. beside snowshoes you should also
hike ice pikes to bind under your normal hiking shoes.
As snow often melts during daytime, it freezes up
during the night and a descend on an icy surface is
can bring your own snow rackets with or rent them by
daily monitor weather conditions and stay in touch on
a daily base during your stay. We recommend for all
hikers to have a mobile phone active during the trips.
All the daily tracks are marked by GPS and a GPS
device is a very helpful tool as some tracks might be
covered with snow and hard to be recognized under a
layer of 20 cm of snow.
case a snow storm is active or announced, we might
consider it to be
safer to bring you by car to the next destination and
you get this service at no extra cost. Really adverse
weather conditions rarely last for more then 2 days
and all country roads are generally open for traffic
during the winter. A blizzard might stop traffic for
one, maximum 2 days, never longer. Blizzard-conditions
are rare in the mountains and more typical for the
huge plains in the east and south of Romania.
hiking trails are reachable within a few kilometers
from a country road, except one day. (see further
below in the day by day program)
trips are not long, but especially during the colder
months the trips are more demanding then in the
summer. The trips are made for the general public and
are certainly not extreme.
one before last day you will be picked up and brought
back to Cluj Napoca. This is important for those
travelers who have to catch a plane right after the
trip. The town which host annually about hundred
thousand of students has a lot to offer and you can spend
your last days visiting a cultural event, the several museums in town,
or may be enjoy an opera (see opera program at http://www.operacluj.ro/program.html#), there
is the symphonic orchestra (each Friday) or a film in
one of the 2 new movie theatres. (all
films in Romania are in the original language and
subtitled in Romanian)
stay in comfortable guestrooms with private bathrooms
except at one accommodation (Rachitele) where you have
How to get in Romania:
Check our page Travel-info
The trip starts in the village Risca, a typical mountain village in the Western
Carpathians at 950m altitude. We provide the transfer (1 hour driving) between
the airport (or train station) and Risca.
You stay overnight with the family Matis at a typical farm.
Day 2: You walk from
Risca to Belis. It is a gentle walk along small
dwellings, through small valleys and patches of forest.
You certainly see horse and carts or sledges depending
the time of the year. The village Belis lies at the
border of 25km long Fintinele lake that often freezes up
in January or February.
Day 3: Hike from
Belis to Rachitele. May the most challenging hike during
the coldest months. The first and easy part goes to the
village Balcesti and then comes the more challenging
part of about 8km through a huge forest along the
northern border of lake Fintinele till the mountain
village Dealu Botii. From there it descends to the
village Rachitele where you stay overnight. The village Rachitele is
located at the confluence of the Rachitele and Stanciu River at about 1100m
Day 4: Trip to the
waterfall in Rachitele and further to the village Scrind.
A very rewarding first part along the Stanciu Valley
where the seeping water creates all kind of ice
formations between - and hanging from the rocks. The
waterfall rarely freezes up completely, but there are
all kind of ice formations on both sides of the water
stream. From there it goes up along the Lepezi rocks and
the 1221m high Sulitei mountain to Scrind.
with beautiful ice formations where each year an
ice climbing contest takes place.
Day 5: Hike on the flanks
of the 1200m Ruginoasa Mountain to the villages Margau and
Bociu till Sancraiu, an ethnic Hungarian village from
the Kalotaszeg region. You certainly enjoy the superb
panorama's from the Ruginoasa hill. The Kalotaszeg
region is an ethnic Hungarian region where the customs
from the Hungarian population are often better preserved
then in Hungary.
Day 6: Trip through the
Kalotaszeg region with as cultural highlight the superb
fortified church in Valeni. The second part of the day,
you climb again back to the village Risca, from where
the trip started.
church in Valeni
from the valuable cassette ceiling
Day 7: Transfer to the town Cluj
Napoca, where you sleep the last
night. Downtown Cluj-Napoca looks like a typical
Hungarian provincial town with many baroque and classicism buildings. In Cluj
you can make a short city trip (we provide
description and map) or visit the art, history
or ethnographic museum. In the evening you can see a
movie, enjoy the symphonic orchestra (only on Fridays)
or an opera (there is an opera about 10 times each
You sleep in a comfortable pension downtown.
Day 8: Return home.
445 Euro pro person in a double room. Price
isncludes accommodation in full board for 6
nights and once bed and breakfast in Cluj Napoca.
Further included are luggage transport and
retour transfer between Cluj Napoca and hiking
area. You get form us road description, maps and
single room: 45 Euro p/p
are special rates for larger groups
traveler: During the months with snow we don't
recommend to travel alone. The supplement for
single travelers is 95 Euro
can watch a short video clip by clicking the link:
included a special page about the Apuseni Mountains: click