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Bucovina

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.

On this Expedition, travel on foot and by e-bike through Bucovina, way off the beaten track, along rugged trails and across majestic peaks that take you into the heart of a region that very few get to explore.

When to go

June to Oct

Price from

£1,500

What's included?

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.

Duration

4 - 6 nights

Scheduled journeys

Travel privately

Journey Highlights

  • 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.
Meeting a shepherd on a Slow Cyclist Via Transilvanica journey through Bucovina
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.

The cycling is mainly on mountainous dirt and gravel roads but also quiet tarmac roads and narrow trails. Walking is sometimes steep, but the views make every step worth it. Our guides are skilled at spotting your ability and helping you feel confident, but we recommend that you’re confident on a bike and ready for adventure. 
The Slow Cyclist founder Oli Broom
Oli says . . .
I first visited Bucovina in late 2014. I loved it, but the area’s challenging terrain means it’s more suited to a challenge than a genuinely slow roll. I’m so excited about the potential for the Via Transilvanica to open up this magical corner of Romania.
Trees on the hill in one of Bucovina's beautiful landscapes
itinerary

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.

Day 1 - Arrival, Putna to Sucevița

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.

Day 2 - Sucevița to Vatra Moldoviței

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.

Day 3 - Vatra Moldoviței to Fundu Moldovei

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.

Day 4 - Fundu Moldovei to Poiana Negri

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.

Day 5 - Poiana Negri to Piatra Fantanele

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.

Day 6 - Departure

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

Scheduled Journeys

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

Private Journeys

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. 

Upcoming Scheduled Journeys

Via Transilvanica
June 16, 2024
5 Nights
£1,500.00
Via Transilvanica
September 14, 2024
5 Nights
£1,750.00

Enquire Now