4th - 8th Mar 2020
Trek Transylvania for St Peter & St James Hospice!
For a unique adventure in untouched natural wilderness, look no further.
This short but spectacular snowshoe-trek takes you to the snowy forests and mountains of wild Transylvania, where you will discover a pristine winter wonderland.
Snowshoes allow you to negotiate the deep snow of the sheltered lower slopes as you follow paths through silent forest and, in sharp contrast, head high above the tree-line into the frozen mountain wilderness surrounding Lake Balea (2034m). Sleeping here in the Hotel of Ice – a remarkable construction beside the frozen lake – is a real highlight, and a truly unforgettable experience.
This is a remote region of the Carpathians and you are unlikely to meet more than a handful of other trekkers.
Day 1: Sibiu
Late arrival in historic Sibiu, in central Romania. Transfer to hotel and relax! Night hotel.
(Dinner not included) Drive approx. 30 mins
Day 2: Sibiu to Lake Balea
After breakfast, you leave Sibiu and drive through farmland and villages with colourfully-painted houses. Before long you can see the Tranfagarasan ridge of the Carpathians looming; on a clear day these snow-covered peaks look spectacular. You join the Transfagarasan Road – Romania’s highest pass and dubbed ‘best road in the world’ by Top Gear – as it climbs through pine forest on increasingly dramatic hairpin-bends. In winter the upper reaches are closed; you take it as far as the cable-car station. These lower slopes are perfect for our snow-shoe introduction! Thick powdery snow covers the valley tracks, and you weave between snow-laden boughs as you explore this winter wonderland. The tranquility is broken only by the crunching of unspoiled snow; you are unlikely to meet other people. Back at the cable-car station, a 15-minute ride takes you above the treeline and through the open, exposed snow fields of this glacier-sculpted valley to Lake Balea. The lake itself is covered in thick ice and snow, and indistinguishable from the rest of this beautiful valley basin. There will be time to check out the chapel and hotel, constructed every year from ice from the lake and, depending on time, explore the lake’s surroundings. You will have dinner in the hotel of ice (and perhaps a warming glass of tuica, the local plum brandy) before bedding down for the night in our rooms carved out of thick ice – an incredible experience. Night hotel.
Drive approx. 1.5 hours; Trek / snowshoe approx. 3-4 hours
(NB: Weather conditions will dictate snow-shoeing routes and locations, and may affect the night spent in the hotel of ice.)
Day 3: Lake Balea to Rasinari
You emerge from your unique accommodation and prepare for another day of exploring this winter wilderness. There are plenty of options and, after assessing the weather and conditions, our experienced guides will lead you through this harsh but beautiful landscape. You then take the cable car back down the mountain; looking down onto the thick carpet of snow covered trees is truly magical. Look out for agile chamois on the dramatic rocky ridges above; their tracks can often be seen in the wide saddle above the treeline. You meet your vehicles and drive south to Rasinari village, at the foot of the Cindrel Mountains. Time permitting, you can explore the narrow winding streets and distinctive colourfully-painted buildings. Night guesthouse.
Trek / snowshoe approx 3-4 hours; Drive approx. 2 hours
Day 4: Snow-shoeing Cindrel Mountains
A short drive takes us to a small mountain resort, where you glide silently on ski-lifts above the thickly-forested conifer slopes. These perfect Christmas-card landscapes are perfect for snow-shoeing, with plenty of trails covering the gentle hills. Although the open slopes are popular with skiers and snowboarders, the forest is still and peaceful and it feels as though we have the world to ourselves. Your route will depend on the conditions, but will aim to take in one of the many peaks for unsurpassed views, before descending to the lower slopes, sheltering in one of the many shepherd’s huts for lunch. Back in picturesque Rasinari, you celebrate the end of our winter adventure. Night guesthouse/hotel.
Snowshoe approx 5-6 hours
Day 5: Sibiu
You drive the short distance back to Sibiu. An attractive riverside city with much of its medieval fortifications still intact, and a beautiful historic centre, Sibiu is justifiably proud of its culture and arts. It’s a wonderful place to explore. After lunch you transfer to the airport for your flight home.
There are two options when it comes to paying for your trip and you should choose the one that works best for you. If you’d like to discuss them in more detail or would appreciate some advice from our team, we’re more than happy to help.
Registration fee: £199
Minimum Sponsorship: £1,900
Registration fee: £199
Cost of trip: £950
Sponsorship: As the full cost of the trip is covered with this option, you set your own sponsorship target. We suggest aiming for £1,000 or more!
Once signed up for the trek, we’ll be there for you every step of the way. We’ll be at the end of the phone whenever you need us, can provide fundraising tips and tricks to ensure you reach your minimum target and will gift you a St Peter & St James Hospice t-shirt to wear with pride whilst training and on the trek.
For more information about the trek and for answers to FAQs, you can download the Transylvania trek brochure here.
To reserve a place in this event, click the button above.
Or, for more information or to register, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01444 470726.
*(Please note, this is a complex itinerary and subject to change)
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