Searching for Limestone Wonders

Area: Piatra Craiului Mountain, Apuseni Mountains Range
Difficulty level: Medium
Dates of departure: on demand. Guaranteed departure on September, 4th, 2010
Nb. of team members: 2 – 12
Trip duration (days): 13
Required gear: sleeping bag, sleeping mattress, tent, camping stove and gas, backpack, trekking boots, waterproof and warm layers of clothes, front-light, binoculars – you’ll have a complete list by email within 2 weeks of departure.
Accommodation: Tents and basic shelters. Chalets, guest houses and hotels may sometimes be an option (at your own expense).

Daily schedule


Hiking and caving, discovering the wonders of limestone and exploring breathtaking landscapes. Few people know that Romania features over 10000 caves and natural cavities, more than any other country in Europe.

1ST DAY – Bucharest – Piatra Craiului Mountain

1ST DAY – Bucharest – Piatra Craiului Mountain

  • Level rating: easy
  • Highlights: – From Bucharest International Airport or Bucharest, by car, to Bran – visit of Bran Castle, then Râsnov Fortress and, in the evening, arriving at the foot of Piatra Craiului. The sunset on the limestone rock face is really impressive from this location. After setting up tent you will serve your first picnic-dinner (included) on the mountain.
  • Accommodation: Tents near Plaiul Foii chalet, or Plaiul Foii chalet (should you want to book a room at Plaiul Foii, we should know as early as possible before in order to make the booking).

2ND DAY – Plaiu Foii – Spirla shelter – chasing bears

2ND DAY – Plaiu Foii – Spirla shelter – chasing bears

  • Level rating: easy to medium, 3-4 hours.
  • Highlights: Wildlife observation from a good sighting spot (if we’ll get lucky, we may see some bears), and Zaplaz natural rock formation (if time permits).
  • Accommodation: Spirla shelter (minimal conditions) or tents near Spirla shelter.

8:00 Breakfast (included)
09:00 Leaving our previous night’s camp site for Spirla Shelter
11:30 Pitching up the tents for the new camp site
12:00 Picnic lunch (included)

13:00 After lunch, we meet up with the park rangers to take us to a spotting place for the brown bears. (EUR 25,- photo tax for personal use or EUR50,- photo tax for commercial use are not included )
20:00 We’re back at camp and preparing our picnic dinner.

3rd DAY –Spirla shelter – Ceardacu Stanciului – Funduri saddle

3rd DAY –Spirla shelter – Ceardacu Stanciului – Funduri saddlePiatra Craiului Limestone

  • Level rating: medium to difficult,  5-6 hours.
  • Highlights: Piatra Craiului’s west walls, The Great Scree, Ceardacului Cave.
  • Accommodation: Funduri shelter (minimal conditions) or tents near Funduri shelter

8:00 Breakfast (included)
09:00 Leaving our previous night’s camp site and heading towards the Great Scree
13:00 Picnic lunch (included) under the beautiful arcade near Stanciu’s Cave
16:00 Reaching Funduri’ Saddle the southmost extremety of the main ridge of Piatra Craiului
19:00 Dinner (included)

Day 4: Hiking on Piatra Craiului Mountains

4th DAY – Funduri saddle – ‘La table’ – Grind 1 shelter – Grind 2 shelter (on the main ridge) – optional return to sleep near Grind 1.

  • Level rating: medium to difficult,  7-8 hours.
  • Highlights: Piatra Craiului east walls, some sheepfolds, the main ridge.
  • Accommodation: Grind 1 or 2 shelter (minimal conditions) or tents in the vicinity.

8:00 Breakfast (included)
09:00 Leaving our previous night’s camp site and heading towards “La table” area
13:00 Picnic lunch (included) in “La table” area
15:00 Reaching Grind I shelter and moving onwards to Grind II shelter located up on the ridge
17:00 Arrival at Grind II, located on the narrow ridge close to Piatra Craiului’s highest point “La om” peak.
19:00 Dinner (included)

Day 5: Hiking on Piatra Craiului Mts, Transfer by car to Sinaia

5TH DAY – Grind 1 (or 2, it depends on where we’ll choose to sleep) – Prăpăstiile Zărneștilor Gorge – Zărnești town – Sinaia mountain resort.

  • Level rating: easy to medium,  4-5 hours easy hiking, then 2 hours by car.
  • Highlights: Prăpăstiile Zărneștilor – spectacular gorge, arrival in Sinaia mountain resort in the evening.
  • Accommodation:  guest house in Sinaia.

8:00 Breakfast (included)
09:00 Leaving our previous night’s camp site and heading towards the town of Zărnesti (4h) where we meet our driver who will take us to Sinaia
14:00 Lunch in Predeal (not included)
17:00 Reaching Sinaia and checking in to our accommodation
19:00 Dinner (not included)
Take the time in Sinaia to relax after the first trekking session

6th DAY  – Sinaia – Peleș and Pelișor Royal Castles and transfer to Sighisoara

6th DAY  – Sinaia – Peleș and Pelișor Royal Castles and transfer to Sighisoara

A day of relaxation visiting museums in Sinaia in the morning and exploring Sighisoara’s medieval center in the evening
Highlights: Peles and Pelisor Castles, Sighisoara medieval city, the place where Vlad Tepes, who inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula fictional character was born.
Accommodation: a guest house Sighisoara.
09:00 Breakfast (included)
10:00 We are going to visit the famous Peles and Pelisor castles, as well as the Sinaia monastery (entry fees not included).
14:00 Lunch in Sinaia (not included)
18:00 Arrival at Sighisoara and check in.
19:00 Dinner (not included)

7th DAY – Sighișoara – Sibiu medieval city – Alba Iulia – Pietroasa

7th DAY – Sighișoara – Sibiu medieval city – Alba Iulia – Pietroasa

Sighisoara

Transfer by car from Sighisoara to Pietroasa
Highlights: Visiting Sighisoara medieval city, with the clock tower, torture chamber and other interesting sites
Visiting the city of Sibiu, medieval city in the middle of Transylvania and European Cultural Capital in 2007.
Accommodation: Tents near Pietroasa Village
09:00 Breakfast (included)
You will have the morning to visit Sighisoara’s historical sites and afterwards we move on to Sibiu where we will have lunch (not included)
14:00 Lunch (not included)
20:00 Arrival at Pietroasa
20:00 Picnic dinner (included) after
pitching up the tents.

8th DAY – Hiking in Apuseni mountains

8th DAY – Hiking in Apuseni mountains

Apuseni Mountains

  • Level rating: easy- 4-5 hours easy hiking.
  • Highlights: Poiana Glăvoi area
  • Accomodation: tents

09:00 Breakfast (included)
10:00 We pack the tents and start our easy hike up the mountain
14:00 Picnic lunch (included)
16:00 Arrival at Glăvoi area, where we will set up our camp.
17:00 Relaxation to recover form the long roadtrip
19:00 Picnic dinner. (included)

9th DAY – Hiking  and caving in Apuseni Mountains

9th DAY – Hiking  and caving in Apuseni Mountains – Ponor Fortresses, The Living Fire caves

Focul Viu Glacier

  • Level rating: rating: 6-7 hours of moderately difficult hike, 250 m height difference
  • Highlights: Focul Viu Cave Glacier, Cetățile Ponorului limestone formations.
  • Accommodation: tents

09:00 Breakfast (included)
10:00 We leave camp and head down to Ponor Fortress cave system,
stopping to admire the view from the balconies on the way
14:00 Picnic lunch (included) and moving on to Focul viu cave (Living
Fire), it’s name coming from the fact that on sunny days light comes in
through a hole in the ceiling of the cave and lights up the remains of
the glacial ice inside.
17:00 Arrival at Glăvoi area where we spend the rest of the day relaxing.
19:00 Picnic dinner. (included)

10th DAY -- Hiking and caving in Apuseni Mountains – The Lost World cave

10th DAY –– Hiking and caving in Apuseni Mountains – The Lost World caves

Galbena Gorge

Level rating: Moderately difficult hike, 7-8 hours
Highlights: The Galbena gorges, the finest gorge in the Western
Carpathians, made by the river Galbena which springs from an
interesting underground water system.
The Evantai waterfall (Fan Waterfall) with it’s superb crystal clear water
and system of pools.
Accommodation: tents in Glăvoi area

09:00 Breakfast (included)
10:00 We leave the Glăvoi area and set out in the woods to find one of  the most superbe gorge system in the country Cheile Galbenei
14:00 Picnic lunch (included)
18:00 Arrival at Glăvoi area where we spend the rest of the day relaxing.
19:00 Picnic dinner. (included)

11th DAY – Hiking  and caving in Apuseni Mountains – The Lost World caves

11th DAY – Hiking  and caving in Apuseni Mountains – The Lost World caves

  • Level rating: Easy to moderate hike, 5-6 hours
  • Highlights: ‘Lumea Pierduta’ cave network the largest system of caves, holes, tunnels and other interesting features carved in limestone in the area
  • Accommodation: tents in the vicinity of Padis chalet.
    The Lost World

09:00 Breakfast (included)
10:00 We leave the Glăvoi after packing our tents and start our adventure to the Lost World. You’re not going to find Arthur Conan
Doyle’s plesiosaurs flying around, but you’re surely going to be astounded.
14:00 Picnic lunch (included)
18:00 Arrival at Glăvoi area where we spend the rest of the day relaxing.
19:00 Picnic dinner. (included)

12th DAY – Hiking  and caving in Apuseni Mountains – Padiș – Scărișoara Cave Galcier

12th DAY – Hiking  and caving in Apuseni Mountains – Padiș – Scărișoara Cave Galcier

  • Level rating: Moderate hike, 7-8 hours

Highlights: Padiş, Cheile Gârdişoarei, Casa de Piatră, Izbucul Tăuz, Peştera Scărişoara

  • Accommodation: tents in the vicinity Scărișoara Cave Galcier.

13th DAY – Transfer by car to Bucharest

13th DAY – Transfer to Bucharest, by car.
Wake an and departure early in the morning, a long road trip is ahead of us!

On every day spent on the mountains, we’ll have the breakfast at 8.00. The hike will begin at 9.00.

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