Bike Tour of Transylvania Heritage - Harghita and Covasna Counties
ROUTING: GET TOGETHER IN SFANTU GHEORGHE (Transfers from Bucharest are available)
- After a detailed introduction of the tour from our guide we will pay a cultural and historic visit to the city centre of Sfantu Gheorghe. Situated on both banks of the Olt river, at an altitude of 525 m, the county town of Sf. Gheorghe has developed from an old medieval village. The city is a remarkable economical centre as well as a cultural centre. The Szekler National Museum which we will visit includes an archaeological, a natural science as well an ethnography museum. Other sights: the Reformed Church, the Unitarian Church, the county hall, Kos Karoli school and so on.
- We will be having dinner in a nice restaurant in the city centre.
ROUTING: SFANTU GHEORGHE - VALCELE - ARACI - HAGHIG - MAIERUS - BELIN - AITA MARE - MICLOSOARA ~ 42 km
- After breakfast (around 9.00 am) we will begin our bike tour through Covasna area. We will pass Valcele and Araci villages admiring the reformed church of Araci (Gothic, frescoes remains and Renaissance relics). From Araci, the road follows the Olt river, one of the largest rivers in Romania. The asphalt road to Miclosoara is pleasant with easy ascents and descents. We will be cycling for around four hours and we will have some stops to admire the sights and have lunch. We will spend the night in an old traditional pension owned by the Count Kalnoky.
- Here we will be having a festive dinner where you will have the chance to share experiences and make friends in a very pleasant atmosphere of the wine cellar.
- Other sights: the fortified church from Haghig (1674), the Unitarian church from Aita Mare, the old Transylvanian castle from Miclosoara.
ROUTING: MICLOSOARA - CAPENI - RACOSU DE SUS - VARGHIS - ORBAN BALAZS CAVE - MERESTI ~ 50km
- The area of the North-Persani between the river Olt and Hagymasi (Hasmasu) pass is called "Rika-mountain", briefly "Rika" by the population of the environs, named after the wife, RÃƒÂ©ka, of the legendary Attila king, whose grave is somewhere here according to the tradition. The beauties of the landscape of the micro-region are offering to the tourist the largest variety of nature's beauties, the fields covered by wild flowers, the rocky Carpathians, the Rika mountain and the close Harghita, the large variety of the beautiful plants, part of them growing here from bygone days. From Miclosoara to Varghis - we continue the road along the Olt river, as in the previous day, for another 18 km. At Racosu de Sus we are leaving the main road and start an easy climbing on a forester route. The Olt-gorge from Racos is not a common sight. On both sides of the gorge there are rocky peaks, under them the wild and noisy river flows fast, eddying with waves. All around there are deep forests. The region is a real lithography museum: there you find red volcano-conglomerate, green tufa, black basalt and limestone too.
After ~10 km we will be in Varghis - a Romanian folkloric village. One of the most important tourism sights in the village is the reconditioned DÃƒÂ¡niel castle, a building with renaissance (16-17th century), than baroque and neoclassical style. The area of 800 hectares of the Varghis Stream Valley and the Meresti Caves is declared a landscape-protection area. From Varghis we are climbing on a forester route along Varghis river. After 18 km we arrive and visit Orban Balazs cave. Here remains of Neolithic time have been discovered. Besides, the skeletons of the man from glacial age and of the cave-bear have been founf here. We are leaving Covasna county and enter in Harghita. After 6 more km we are in a nice village - Meresti, which seems to be preserved as 70 years ago.
We expect to a 7-hours bike ride, including 1 hour cave visit, lunch and other stops.
We will be having dinner in Meresti.
- Important sights: Orban Balazs cave;Varghis - a Romanian folkloric village; Daniel castle; Olt gorge.
ROUTING: MERESTI - MARTINIS - FELICENI - ODORHEIU SECUIESC - TIBOD ~ 30km
- After breakfast we will travel for about 6 km from Meresti to Martinis on a wild forest road through the spectacular hills of Persani. We have 12 more km up to Feliceni through a dusty road (but without cars). From Feliceni we are reaching a main road and from there only 3 km until we reach the nice city of Odorheiu Secuiesc. After visiting the city and lunch, we are leaving for Tibod, close to Odorheiu Secuiesc and we will be spending the night there at a Hungarian pension. The host will serve you local Ã¢Å“tuicaÃ¢� Ã¢â€œone of the strongest in the country and will have a traditional Hungarian dinner.
- Important Sights: Martinis - the fortified church; Odorheiu Secuiesc - the center of Hungarian culture and tradition in Romania.
ROUTING: TIBOD - SANCRAI - ZETEA - SUBCETATE - SUBCETATE LAKE - LIBAN - CICAS PITCH - SUSENI ~ 51 km
- Today we will be travelling for about 7 km from Tibod to Zetea. From Zetea to Cicas pitch there is a progressive climbing of ~28 km on a secondary road, with only few cars. Even this part of our trip will be quite demanding, the spectacular view will for sure give you the strength to easily enjoy a nice biking day. The road follows the Tarnava Mare river till Subcetate. From Cicas pitch we are descending till Suseni, where we will be spending the night in a nice pension house.
For those which still can cycle, we could cycle for ~10 km up to the village where we can find the source of Mures river. We will be having lunch at Sicasau or Liban - two nice locations along the route with good hospitality and food.
- Important sights: Subcetate Lake; Cicas pitch (1000 m); near Suseni: the source of Mures river (Izvorul Muresului).
ROUTING: SUSENI - CIUMANI - JOSENI - BUCIN - PRAID ~ 46 km
- We will leave in the morning Suseni (~900 m altitude) and cycle to Ciumani and Joseni on a secondary road. From Joseni we are on a main national road, and will begin to climb for ~15 km to 1200 m altitude, up to Bucin health resort. We will be having lunch there. From Bucin we will cycle for around 20 km to Praid - another resort with salt therapy. Here we have the alternative of a secondary road. The road crosses the forest of Gurghiului mountain, along Creanga Mare brook. In Praid, you are invited to visit the salt mine. We expect to spend today 8-10 hours on the way, including breaks or lunch. We will be having dinner in Praid.
- Important sights: Bucin health resort; Near Borzont (~2 km) - Dandar Castle; Praid salt mountain.
ROUTING: Praid-Ocna de Jos-Atid-Criseni ~ 24 km
- Today we will be having a relaxing bike ride on the Tarnavelor plateau. Praid, Ocna de Jos, Atid and Criseni are villages with major Hungarian population. In Criseni we will be visiting the straw-hat museum Ã¢â€œ a unique place with popular handicrafts. You can experience the local people handicraft. From Criseni we will cycle another 4 km further to Bezid, where an artificial lake was created over a village; the old church is still visible from the water.
We expect a maximum 5 hours trip on the road, including breaks from Praid to Criseni. We will be having dinner at the summer camp of the Straw hat museum.
- Important sights: Criseni straw hat museum
ROUTING: PRAID - OCNA DE JOS - ATID - CRISENI ~ 45 km
- After a 24 km ride on a forest road, we will be reaching Corund - one of the most important handicraft centres in Romania. Our guests have the possibility to choose the perfect handicraft souvenir. After this shopping stop we are continuing our route in the Gurghiului mountains to Varsag. The next 15 km we are climbing on the forest road, following the descend to Varsag - 6 km along Tarnava Mare river. We will be having dinner in Varsag, at a traditional pension house.
- Important sights: Fintus - old fortress ruin; Corund - handicraft center; Varsag -Tarnava Mare river source.
ROUTING: VVARSAG - SUBCETATE - HARGHITA MADARAS CHALET ~ 30 km
- This day takes us to the beautiful chalet Harghita Madaras and the highest peak from Harghita mountains. We will start our bike ride with a descent up to Subcetate Lake along Varsag brook. From Subcetate village we will be climbing for about 18 km on secondary and forest roads. We will be having lunch at Izvoare. From Madaras peak we have a spectacular view on Tarnava and Olt river valley. We are expecting a 5-6 hours to go, including breaks and lunch. Dinner in Harghita Madaras chalet.
- Important sights: Subcetate; Harghita Madaras peak (1800m); Madaras chalet.
ROUTING: HARGHITA MADARAS - VLAHITA - VLAHITA PITCH - MIERCUREA CIUC - SANCRAIENI - SANTIMBRU - SAN SIMION - TUSNAD ~ 62 km
- From Harghita Madaras chalet we are descending to Vlahita on a forest road for 16 km. From Vlahita we follow a national road to Miercurea Ciuc for 26 km, out of which 8 km of climbing to Vlahita pitch (985 m). After a break in Miercurea Ciuc for lunch and city visit, we are continuing our route to Tusnad health resort for another 30 km in a descending road, along Olt river. We will be having dinner in Tusnad.
- Today we will be cycling for about 10 to 14 hours, including breaks and lunch. Be prepared for the longest day of the program.
- Important sights: Vlahita pitch (985m); Miercurea Ciuc city; Sancraieni mineral water source; Tusnad health resort.
ROUTING: TUSNAD - BAILE TUSNAD - BIXAD - MICFALAU - ZALAN - VALEA CRISULUI - SFANTU GHEORGHE ~ 38 km
- Fort the last day of our tour we will be cycling along the Olt valley and come back to our starting point. This is an easy day, passing between Baraolt and Bodoc mountains.
In Arcus we can visit the ruin of an old palace. Sfantu Gheorghe will be the final destination where we will say good-bye to each other.
Expected cycling time: 4 hours (Transfers to Bucharest are available)
- You have the possibility for an extra night in Sfantu Gheorghe but please let us know in your reservation form.
End of tour services
Optional Extra Day:
ROUTING: TUSNAD - COZMENI - CASINU NOU - CATROSA - SANZIENI - TARGU SECUIESC - TURIA - BAILE BALVANYOS ~ 61 km
- For those riders wishing to have an extra cycling day, we are proposing a 61 km bike ride in Bodoc mountains. Targu Secuiesc is a representative city for the Hungarian population in Romania. From Balvanyos you have the possibility to visit St. Ana Lake Ã¢â€œthe only volcanic lake in Romania. We will be having dinner in Balvanyos.
Expected time on road: 8-12 hours.
- Important sights: Nerghes pitch (878 m); Sanzieni - fortified fortress; Targu Secuiesc; Turia - fortified church and the old fortress; Balvanyos spa
- The 11th day will start in Balvanyos and finish in Sfantu Gheorghe.