When William Blacker first crossed into the snowy landscapes of northern Romania, he entered a world that many people would hardly have recognised. In just a few short miles he had been transported back centuries to a medieval Europe of flickering candlelight and Romany gypsies, where the remote Transylvanian landscapes still haunted childhood dreams. In his book ‘Along the Enchanted Way’, Blacker describes a world that was disappearing, with gypsy lovers and howling wolves, where the cycles of the seasons slowed to the pace of a lumbering horse and cart.
This fascinating journey follows in his footsteps. Beginning in the foothills of the Gutai Mountains we journey to Blacker’s spiritual home, the village of Breb, near where our adventure begins. During the next few days we will walk among the rolling hills of the Maramures and the beautiful Iza valley and trek through the spectacular highlands of the Rodna Mountains National Park. These are landscapes filled with unique wooden churches and painted monasteries, dark forests filled with bears and wolves and remote Saxon villages that still retain a wonderful sense of feudal Europe.
For Blacker this was a world that offered an escape from the chaos of his modern existence. For us it is one that offers a chance to experience one of Europe’s last remote corners of medieval tradition.
Tours that fall into this category are likely to involve at least a few challenging days and are often in destinations where tourism is still in its infancy.
You can typically expect a mixture of accommodation with some nights being spent in comfortable and characterful places, and some in more basic places, homestays or camping, especially where choices are limited.
These tours will typically involve a couple of days of easy/moderate trekking (3-5 hrs/day) or perhaps a more active approach to a cultural itinerary. For riding trips see the Riding Information section
With this rating, you can typically expect a tour with a strong focus on culture. Depending on the trip this could involve exploring ancient sites, medieval architecture, ethnographic museums and/or having tribal encounters.
Talk to us about Romania
Romanian is a beautiful language, try and learn a few phrases. Hungarian and even German are spoken in some areas as well.