One of the most popular cycling holidays to take today is in Transylvania, Romania. Transylvania, when translated, means the land “beyond the forest.” Most people recognise the name from Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” However, the landscape is not quite that scary. The surroundings are more magical instead. You will understand the feeling when you cycle along the Carpathian Mountains, take in the splendid views, and see the lowland valleys with their Medieval-type villages.
A Land that Takes You Back in Time
The villages, seemingly untouched by time, are surrounded by forests which serve as a home to boars, deer, wolves, and bears. On some days, whilst cycling, you will meet an ox-drawn cart or come across cows or horses crossing your path. Other days will find you next to the area’s rivers where buffalo often take a drink.
If you ride through a village, you may happen upon a street wedding. During the celebration, you will experience Gypsy tunes and people enjoying plenty of Tuika, or plum brandy. You can also pay visits to many of the various German/Saxon church castles, each which display Baroque and Renaissance pulpits and altars.
Arriving in Transylvania
Indeed, if you are seeking a journey on one of the best cycling holidays destinations offered to travellers, then you won’t be disappointed when you visit Transylvania. Most cyclers take self-guided tours which start in the town of Brasov.
Upon arrival, you can stroll around the town’s square. The square, which is surrounded by Baroque, Renaissance, and Gothic buildings, is home to the gothic “Black church,” which features the famous Buchholz organ as well as a rare collection of oriental rugs. The carpets were carried back from trading missions in the Ottoman Empire.
On a self-guided bike tour, you will usually cycle to Dracula castle the second day. When you reach your destination, you will partake in magnificent views of the Bucegi Mountains. The mountains served as a backdrop for Roman Polanski’s film, “Dance of the Vampires.” They also were a retreat for Queen Mary of Romania, who was the granddaughter of Queen Victoria.
Cyclists often bike to Rasnov Castle, where they can observe views of the Piatra Craiului and Postavarul mountains. This excursion is generally about 45 km, or 27 miles, long round-trip.
The Piatra Craiului National Park
During day three, cyclers bike through the Piatra Craiului National Park. This bike ride is somewhat of an adventure as the park is home to the highest concentration of wolves and bears in Europe. During this trip, you are offered the thrill of seeing spectacular views of the Transylvanian Alps. On the cycling excursion, bikers observe a host of rare butterflies and flowers as well. You can also stop by the restored Renaissance castle, owned by Hungarian Voivodes, who once ruled Transylvania.
Of course, the above cycling journey is just a small example of what is included in a seven-night trip. Guests who participate in self-guided cycling tours enjoy accommodations at three and four-star guest houses and hotels. Other amenities include such extras as flight travel and train fares.