Connecting Romania's farmsteads, historic sites, villages and wildflower meadows, the Via Transilvanica trail aims to open up rural Romania and to give its communities a fresh lease of life.
When to go
June to Oct
From the moment you touch down in Romania, everything is included so that while you are with us you can forget about your wallet, relax and enjoy your time in the wilds of Bucovina.
4 - 6 nights
- Visit Bucovina’s UNESCO-listed 15th and 16th century painted monasteries.
- Journey in comfort, enjoying The Slow Cyclist’s customary attention to detail, while challenging your legs on walks and cycle rides through the mountains.
- Cycle through remote villages and farmsteads, experiencing the area’s traditional way of life.
- Eat hearty local meals – excellent cycling fuel – invariably accompanied by local liquers.
- Experience landscapes that few see, on a trail that is still relatively unknown outside of Romania.
on the move
The Via Transilvanica is Romania's answer to the Camino de Santiago. It opened in 2022, traversing 1,400 kms across Transylvania, linking remote rural communities. Our journey explores its northernmost section in Bucovina, known for its steeply rolling landscapes and UNESCO churches.
Oli says . . .
Via Transilvanica, Bucovina
Our 5-night itinerary, taking in the varied landscapes, painted churches and rural villages of Bucovina, is described below. We are happy to offer shorter or longer options for private groups.
Transfer 1 hour 20 minutes, Cycling 17 kms
The flight we recommend lands in Suceava at noon. We’ll pick you up at the airport and drive to Putna, where we’ll visit the burial place of Stefan the Great which is also the starting point of the trail. Then, in the late afternoon, we will hop on the bikes for a short ride over into the neighbouring valley to Sucevița, where we will spend the night.
Walking 20 kms
Today’s steep terrain means it is more suited to walking than cycling. First we will visit Sucevița’s painted monastery, built by three brothers in 1583. Then we will head through the forest into the mountains, where we’ll enjoy fabulous views over the terrain we’ll cover in the following days. After a picnic lunch in a mountain meadow, we’ll make our way along the ridge before descending into Vatra Moldovitei, where there’ll be the opportunity to visit the Museum of Painted Eggs, which exhibits over 11,000 intricately painted pieces of art that are traditional of the Bucovina region. Dinner is at our guest house.
Cycling 18 kms, Walking 10 kms
During our third and final painted monastery visit in Vatra Moldovitei, we’ll see the predominantly gold and blue exterior murals, one of which depicts the Siege of Constantinople. Then it’s onto the bikes across alpine flower meadows where cattle graze. At some we will leave the bikes behind and walk up into a spruce forest, climbing over a mountain that sees us at our highest altitude of the entire journey. We will have a picnic by a small lake before jumping on the bikes again and cycling all the way to Fundu Moldovei, where we’ll have a hearty dinner washed down with local homemade spirits. Our guest house is La Moara.
Cycling 52 kms
After breakfast we will set out from our guest house up and over the rim of the valley, passing fairytale meadows, old wooden barn and classic Romanian haystacks. Aside from a quick coffee stop in a small town, we will stay off-road all the way to a remote mountain cabin where we will stop for lunch. We’ll continue on quiet tracks through an ancient forest, home to brown bears, deer and even lynx. We will pass through Vatra Dornei and end the day with a steady climb up a ski hill with rewarding views of neighbouring valleys. We’ll spend the night in Poiana Negri, which is situated in a tranquil valley and known for its mineral spring water.
Cycling 41 kms
This morning will begin with a gentle roll out of Poiana Negri before we ride an excellent singletrack trail through the forest. We will stop in Lunca Ilvei to have lunch at a small restaurant owned by some friends. This afternoon we will once again head off-road, this time leaving Bucovina’s borders and entering the fringes of the Rodnei Mountains. We’ll cycle through a beautiful mix of meadows and forests to Piatra Fantanele whilst surrounded by stunning views. This evening we’ll be treated to a feast and live music to celebrate completing our journey along Bucovina’s section of the Via Transilvanica.
We’ll say our goodbyes and drive you to the airport in Cluj Napoca, which is just under 3 hours away.
HOW TO BOOK
There are two ways to travel with us along the Via Transilvanica in Bucovina. You can either travel on a set-date Scheduled Journey or put together your own private party.
MAKE NEW FRIENDS
A wonderful opportunity to explore a fascinating part of the world, to meet like-minded travellers and make new friends in a group of Slow Cyclists assembled by us.
TRAVEL WITH FRIENDS
If you love the look of Bucovina and would like to experience it in a small group of family or friends, get in touch and we will explain how we can make it happen.