- We fly to Bucharest and drive northwards to Zarnesti, a journey of around three hours, which takes us gradually into the forested Carpathian Mountains. On arrival at our accommodation, we have time to relax and enjoy a welcome dinner.
- Accommodation: Zarnesti, 3-nights on full board basis
- After breakfast we visit the spectacular Zarnesti Gorges, situated within the Piatra Craiului Mountains. Cutting through the lower slopes, the Gorges are home to a wide variety of birdlife. In the dramatic limestone valley we hope to see wallcreeper, treecreeper, crag martin, alpine swift, both black and white-backed woodpeckers, and honey buzzard.
- This morning we visit Bran Castle, which was once the home of Vlad the Impaler and the castle on which Bram Stoker’s Dracula stories are based.
- We continue to the ancient Christian site of Coltul Chiliilor, where we walk along the edge of the forest and in meadows in . search of Ural owl, nutcracker, three-toed and black woodpeckers, plus an array of passerines.
- In the afternoon, we drive to the Stramba Valley, which has a number of hides that are used for watching bears. We spend the rest of the afternoon / evening looking for these endearing mammals, before returning to our accommodation in Zarnesti.
- Today we travel to further into the centre of Romania and visit Dumbravita Lakes, also known as the Ramsar Dumbravita Fishpond Complex. This reservoir is surrounded by a mixture of crops, meadows, dense vegetation, reedbeds, marshes and wetlands that support diverse flora. Dumbravita Lakes are an important breeding site for over 30 species of waterbird, and a staging area for more than 100 bird species,
- After a stop for lunch, we visit the medieval town of Sibiu, which was designated the European Capital of Culture back in 2007, before continuing to Rimetea.
- Accommodation: Rimetea, 2-nights on full board basis
- After breakfast, we go hiking in Rimetea to the Piatra Secuiului – a huge limestone rock divided into two parts by a ravine - to look for wildlife, and enjoy the stunning panoramic views.
- After lunch, we visit the scenic Turda Gorge, which is situated among limestone crags. This complex area protects a range of flora and fauna, and has many interesting geological and archaeological features. At Turda Gorge, edelweiss appears at the lowest altitude in Romanial, and we will hopefully see an array of colourful alpine flowers. Birding highlights here might include golden eagle, alpine swift, Syrian and grey-headed woodpecker, dipper, rock thrush, barred warbler and rock bunting.
- Today we transfer to Gheorgheni, approximately four hours' drive, stopping en route at the Bikaz Gorge, the narrowest and most monumental gorge of the Eastern Carpathian Mountain range, and without doubt one of the most easily accessible sites in all of Europe to see wallcreeper – sightings are relatively assured here. The gorge also holds grey wagtail and dipper, and the magnificent mountain chamois is one of the rarest mammal species here.
- Accommodation: Gheorgheni, 2-nights on full board basis
- This morning, we drive to Lake Saint Anne, considered to be one of the most attractive sites in Szeklerland. The lake is situated in the only intact volcanic crater in East-Central Europe adn forms part of Mohos Nature Reserve, which is known for the high biodiversity of its flora. We explore the lake and nearby peat bog in search of wildlife, before heading back to our accommodation for our final evening meal.
- If time permits, we will have a short birding walk before heading to Bucharest to catch a flight back to London.
All prices are per person and include:
- Services of the naturalist leader
- All meals
- Guided activities
- Leader subject to minimum numbers (otherwise will be accompanied by local guide)
We stay in good hotels with all rooms ensuite.
All main meals are included. Lunches are either a picnic in the forest or at a local restaurant.
A superb range of birds is possible on our tour, and include honey buzzard, dipper, serin, crossbill, nutcracker, and many more.
- Alpine swift
- Crag martin
- Golden eagle
Our tour to Transylvania takes us to a wild, mountainous land home to one of Europe’s best populations of large mammals. We will look for lynx and wolf tracks, and have the option of bear watching.
- Brown bear
- Eurasian lynx
On our tour we visit the ancient landscapes of Transylvania, through scenic villages full of traditional houses, set against the spectacular Carpathian Mountains.
Price includes return scheduled flights London – Bucharest – London.
Ground transportation is by minibus, with driver.