Backpacking Romania, Fagaras and Bucegi mountains, Transylvanian Alps

Backpacking Romania, Fagaras and Bucegi mountains, Transylvanian AlpsOn the past seven years, I was lucky, happy and fortunate, because on each summer was at least a person who ask about backpacking Fagaras ridge, to traverse the entire ridge of Fagaras mountains, from Piatra Craiului mountain range to Olt valley. Well, I can say that last year, with Juergen and Michael we traverse half of South Carpathian mountains, from Brasov city to Avrig town, but this is another story, you can read about it on tours report from last year.

This summer the happy backpacking hikers came from the other side of the world, from the state of Massachusetts, from USA. Ana, Marc and Michael want to backpack the Fagaras ridge, and we did it! Ana and Michael are ultra marathon runners, they run 50 miles (80 km), quite regular. These make a huge difference, knowing how to work with your body, especially on a hike like Fagaras ridge, when you have to carry all your gear, food and sleeping things, during long and hot summer days.
I think that the most important fact of the tour was that we did this hike on the period of full rhododendron blooming, and this was one of the highlight of our tour! Together with Marc, a huge fan of Pentax, and myself, just a huge fan of taking pictures on mountains, we “played” with Ana each time when we saw great spots of taking pictures. Well, I can call Ana “the next Romanian top model”, and I think she worth this title. She was going up and down, back and forward with a smile n her face, each time when my and Marc ask to be our photo model  Thanks Ana for being so kind with us!
Well, I have to mention that this was the only tour from all my 14 years in mountain guiding career, when I saw two brown bears during one tour. On 2010 I saw during a summer season eight bears, during more or less 3 months, but now, two bears on two consecutive days, was great! And we saw them on the higher parts of Fagaras ridge, area of Tarata peak and Podul Giurgiului lake.
After Fagaras traverse, begin already used with the endurance of long hiking days, we ended in Bucegi Mountains, for really long walks of 27-30 km, with light backpack, on really nice weather!
And as any fairytale story, it has to end somehow. After our tour Ana, Michael and Marc went to Vama Veche resort on Black Sea coast for few days, and on the same day we ended our challenging tour I start another one with a group from USA, I will tell you more about this on my next tour report.

So stay tuned for new stories and photos from hiking and mountains biking tour, the summer season just began… 😉
Enjoy the photos,


If you want to backpack in the Transylvania Alps there is no better guide to go with than Iulian Cozma!  In every way, from beginning to end Iulian is fun, reliable, skilled, trustworthy and kind. Right from the start, during the email process of figuring out dates, itinerary, and equipment I could feel Iulian’s warmth and knowledge coming through the internet.

During the trip he was the perfect guide, showing us bears from a distance, spotting  snakes on the trail, telling us about the history of the trail and his country and region. He was expert at negotiating the steep and sometimes scrambly Fagarash trail, steadily motivating us and supporting us through some tricky steep snow fields.

Iulian Cozma, even helped us arrange other trip details including hotels and taxis and train tickets! He also took fabulous pictures of us in the scenic landscapes we were backpacking! There is no one else you want to travel with. So grateful and blessed to have had such a magical trip with the perfect guide. With Iulian, you can not go wrong.

Ana, Wortington, State of Massachusetts, USA, June 2013

Testimonial from Fagaras and Bucegi hikes June 16-23, 2013:
I have been backpacking in the US for about 20 years. I have hiked in Montana, Wyoming, Northern California, and most of New England, as well as trekking in Peru. I have to say my experience in Romania in the Fagaras and Bucegi ranges was equal to or better than any other trip before.

Beginning with our first inquiries with our guide Iuli, my girlfriend Ana Wolf and I were extremely pleased with Iuli’s clear, honest and helpful responses to all of our questions. His English is excellent, and he made great efforts to make sure our trip was top notch in every way- including helping us get train tickets to Constanta for the second leg of our trip to the Black Sea. Iuli seems to have great connections at the huts, with taxi drivers and at the hostels and he really helped make the trip as affordable as possible.
Our trip was blessed with 7 days of perfect weather. Once we arrived above tree line on the 1st day in Fagaras, we were treated with absolutely breathtaking views of the ridgeline and beyond. The rhododendron- very short scrub with amazing fuchsia flowers- were blooming the entire time with intoxicating smells. The huts varied in size from the little red and white domes to the imposing Podragu hut- all were more than adequate for sleeping after long days on the ridge. We were also treated to at least 2 bear sightings… we were truly blessed.
The Bucegi range was also gorgeous, if somewhat over run with day hikers near the cable cars. We managed to do an 18 mile day there partially along the border of Wallachia and Transylvania, accompanied by the wonderful Ursu, a huge and sweet dog.
I thoroughly recommend Iuli as a guide. I learned a lot from him about the region, and about ultralight backpacking. I have since updated my equipment and look forward to returning to the region.
Michael Suter – BPI Certified Building Analyst, Advanced Air Sealing Crew Chief  – Shutesbury, Massachusetts, USA

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