7-day trip programme
Day 1 Zarnesti-Zarnesti Gorges-Curmatura Valley-Zanoaga-Zarnesti(Duration: 7-8hrs)
We start from the guesthouse taking the road to the Gorges. We’re now on a narrow forest road, with imposing rock walls on both sides, where you may be lucky enough to spot a Wallcreeper, a beautiful bird. After about an hour, we leave this road and follow one of the shepherds’ trails crossing some ancient woods. Emerging from the forest, the two ridges of the spectacular Piatra Craiului Mountains are right in front of us. We have our lunch break at the chalet here. On our way back, we cross some wonderful alpine meadows, and we can stop to visit one of the traditional shepherd camps here. The path continues through the forest and then back to Zarnesti via the forest road we took in the morning.

Day 2 Zarnesti-Barsa Fierului-Pleasa-Zarnesti(Duration: 6-7hrs)
The day starts with a horse and cart trip to the Barsa Valley outside Zarnesti. About 7 kms out of Zarnesti we leave the horse and cart behind and follow a forest road for about one hour. We cross the creek by a footbridge before going uphill for about one hour until reaching the ridge.The view from here is stunning - to the left, the Piatra Craiului Mountains, right in front of us endless rows of hills, then there is the largest village in Romania. Behind us lies a huge, very densely forested area,home to a large population of wolves bears, lynx, wild boar and many other species. The footpath continues along the ridge towards Zarnesti, with the view constantly changing.
In the evening, there’s a special Romanian treat waiting for you – a barbecue at a small cabin outside the town, with cold beer, traditional mountain songs, and fun.

Day 3 Zarnesti-Valea Plesii-Ciuma-Zarnesti(Duration: 7-8hrs)
Today we have a combination of hiking and tracking through the forest. As we follow one of the shepherds’ trails, we can find a lot of different signs, evidence of the abundance of different wildlife species here. The trail crosses some impressive forests alternating with open alpine meadows. We have our lunchbreak on top of the highest of these meadows, then we leave the trail and follow a creek that leads us back to the valley. All along this walk we can stop in different places, and if we are as quiet as possible, we may be lucky enough to spot one of the wild animals around.

Day 4 Zarnesti-Coltul Chiliilor-Diana-Plaiul Foii-Zarnesti(Duration: 7-8hrs)
We follow a trail along the foothills of the Piatra Craiului Mountains leading to a sacred place for the people here, a small cave in the middle of a very old forest that was used for centuries as a chapel. The walk, quite gentle until now, becomes slightly more difficult as we come closer to the mountains. Out of the forest and we are suddenly on a plateau with the mountains in front of us and the valley looking far away from us. After having lunch-break up here we start downhill along the Bear Valley to one of the chalets in the valley. There is a surprise waiting for us here: campfire, grill, cold beer and Romanian mountain songs.

Day 5 Zarnesti-Bran-Brasov-Zarnesti
After so much effort over the past few days we need something easier, but still exciting.So,what about going to find out all about the Dracula stuff?The famous castle is only about 5 miles away from Zarnesti,and all the place there is just fabulous.We take a tour inside the castle,then we can wander for a while around Dracula's bazaar. From here we get to the most interesting town in Transylvania: Brasov. This town is famous for its old historical monuments (the Black Church for instance) as well as for the bears that come straight into town at night. You can also spend 2-3hrs on your own, trying to feel the pulse of the street-life.

Day 6 Zarnesti-Magura-Pestera-Gura Raului-Zarnesti(Duration:5-6hrs)
Today we’re off to some traditional Romanian villages, on the other side of the hills south of Zarnesti. Following a forest road we are soon in the village of Magura.The houses here are made of really beautifully worked pieces of wood,and the villagers have preserved their old way of life, far away from the pressure of modern life. Near Magura is Pestera, another small interesting village.The meadows here are full of flowers growing wild such as different species of orchids. In Pestera we will visit a cave called the Bats Cave where we will have the chance to see, yes, bats. On the way back we will take one of the shortcuts through the forest bringing us back to Zarnesti in a very short space of time.
We spend the second part of the day at one of the traditional shepherd camps around Zarnesti.This is an experience in time travel, since all the work (cheese-making, guarding the flocks of sheep etc.) is still done as centuries ago.

Day 7 Zarnesti-Pleasa-Vulcan-Zarnesti / Zarnesti-Dambovicioara Cave-Pecineagu Lake-Zarnesti(Duration:5-6 hrs)
We cross part of the town and start uphill towards Pleasa ridge. The forest here is really impressive and we may have the chance to see a deer or a wild boar running past us. After a while we reach a point where we have a view over the whole area known as Barsa Land. The mountains that we can see all around us were the core area for an international project on wolves, bears and lynx. We continue to the Saxon village of Vulcan where we will learn about the Saxons that live here.
Our mini-buses will take us today to a place that you will always remember, the Pecineagu Lake.This Lake was kept secret during the Communist era, so that is why there are no maps where the lake is marked. Here, because we are far from civilization we have the opportunity to see numerous different species of birds, plants and wild animals. The forest surrounding the lake is impressive. On our way back we will walk to Dambovicioara Cave.

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