Transylvania Traverse - Trekking in Romania

The ultimate walking holiday through Romania`s Transylvanian Alps



From $1,060 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • Climb Moldoveanu, the highest peak in Romania - 2544m
  • Visit the superb Bran Castle, home of mystical Count Dracula
  • Walk the dramatic Fagaras Ridge traverse
  • Explore medieval Brasov and the sights of Bucharest

An amazing walking holiday adventure in Transylvania trekking across the Carpathian Mountains of Romania to the summit of Moldoveanu.  The Carpathian Mountains run in a great arc across Romania, rising to over 2500 metres in Transylvania and include some of the wildest mountain walking in Europe.  Our trekking holiday through Transylvania explores the plateau of the Bucegi Mountains and the ridges of the Fagaras Mountains of Romania, with ascents of Omu and Moldoveanu.  As our introduction to the walking delights of Romania and the Carpathian Mountains, which soar dramatically above the forest and the plains below, we use a cable-car for the first part of the ascent to Omu (2505m), the high point of the impressive Bucegi Massif.  Here we explore the Bucegi plateau by walking from the cable car to spend the night in the highest mountain hut in the whole of Romania, and indeed the Carpathian Mountains.  The hut is dramatically situated on the summit of Omu and we can enjoy extensive views across Transylvania. Descending to Bran, a long day of walking from the Bucegi leads to the castle nowadays more often referred to as "Castle Dracula".  Leaving Dracula and Bran behind we transfer to the impressive Fagaras Mountains, also known as the Transylvanian Alps.  Here we begin an exciting 4-day trekking traverse of the Fagaras range/Transylvanian Alps which will take us on high ridge walking trails to Moldoveanu (2545m), the highest peak in all of Romania. Staying in comfortable, friendly Romanian pensions and scenically located mountain huts, this is wild European mountain walking at its very best.  Culturally intact, Romania is a revelation, offering a fascinating glimpse of how much of Europe would have been a century ago.  Bram Stoker never actually visited Transylvania when he wrote ‘Dracula' - but you can!  A week of 'fangtastic' trekking amongst mountains, forests and medieval Romanian villages, where wolves and bears still roam wild will enchant and delight even the most seasoned walking enthusiast.

Is this holiday for you?

The Carpathian Mountains sweep across central and eastern Europe from Slovakia, through Poland and Ukraine to Romania and contain some of few remaining large stretches of wilderness left in Europe. Mountain walking and winter sports have long been a popular local past time in Romania, but it is only in recent years that a handful of foreign visitors have began to discover the delights of the country's spectacular mountains.  The trails are predominantly good and waymarked, but there are some sections where the paths may be indistinct and rough.  There is very little exposure on either the ridges or summits and it is always possible to encounter patches of late lying snow in the gullies.  Any difficult sections are usually cabled for protection, although there will also be some short sections of straightforward scrambling.  After the first 2 - 3 hour introductory walking day, there will be several quite challenging days, involving around 8 to 10 hours walking each day at an average altitude of 2000 metres, with some significant climbs and some long steep descents.  You should ensure you are physically prepared for this.  This is a trip suitable for keen hillwalkers with a good level of fitness, looking for an excellent week's mountain walking in a remote and largely undiscovered part of Europe.  There will be access to your trek bags at the overnight accommodation on 1,3,6 and 7.  Group members will need to carry a rucksack (8 - 10kgs) on the days when we are staying at huts, which are inaccessible by road.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at Bucharest Otopeni Airport. Guided city tour of Bucharest. Transfer to Sinaia.
  • Guided tour of Peles Castle. Cable car to the Bucegi Plateau and walk to Cabana Omul Hut.
  • Spectacular descent to Bran village and guided tour of Castle Dracula. Transfer to Brasov.
  • Drive the awesome Transfagarasan road. Walk the Balea Lac Circuit to the Podragu Mountain Hut.
  • Ascent of Moldoveanu (2544m) the highest point in Romania and walk to the Sambata mountain rescue hut.
  • Explore Brancoveanu Monastery. Horse and cart to a barbecue and Romanian sing song in Piatra Craiului
  • A day of walking in the rural and traditional Piatra Craiului National Park. Transfer to Zarnesti.
  • Departure day. Transfer to Bucharest Otopeni (Henri Coanda) Airport.
Sun 03 Jul - Sun 10 Jul Code ROM /01/16/ Adult$1,060 Status Available Book now
Sun 31 Jul - Sun 07 Aug Code ROM /02/16/ Adult$1,060 Status Guaranteed Book now
Sun 21 Aug - Sun 28 Aug Code ROM /03/16/ Adult$1,060 Status Available Book now
Sun 11 Sep - Sun 18 Sep Code ROM /04/16/ Adult$1,060 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
We sell this holiday on a Land Only basis and recommend that you book your flights to Bucharest Otopeni Airport. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements and transfers' section of the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

If flying from the UK, Ryanair, EasyJet, Blue Air & Wizzair offer direct flights to Bucharest from London airports. Blue Air also operates a service from Liverpool & Wizzair offer a flight from Glasgow. Other airports & carriers may be available. Click on the 'Flight information' link below for further information on booking low cost airlines. Alternatively if you would prefer to book a 'flight inclusive package' using scheduled airlines from the UK please contact our flights department for a quote. Whilst flight prices are likely to be more expensive you will benefit from full financial protection.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • airport
  • peaks
  • point
  • trip direction
  • transfer
  • trek

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at Bucharest Otopeni Airport. Guided city tour of Bucharest. Transfer to Sinaia.

    Rendezvous at the airport where KE Land Only package services begin. We make the short drive into Bucharest, the Romanian capital, and take a panoramic tour before visiting the Muzuel Satului (Romanian Village
    Museum). This open-air, skansen style museum is by the far the best in the whole country, with examples of buildings and churches from the different regions of Romania - from a Moldovian farmhouse to a wooden
    church from the Maramures region. The museum is a great way to get a feel for the diversity of Romania. This is also a good place to buy traditional souvenirs of Romanian arts and crafts. We continue with the
    transfer to Sinaia. The town of Sinaia, also known as the ‘Pearl of the Carpathians’. Situated beneath the Bucegi Mountains in the beautiful Prahova Valley, Sinaia has fast become Romania’s premier ski town, although a short walk off the main street will quickly lead you to discover fascinating houses built in traditional Transylvanian style. KE Land Only
    package services begin with dinner at our overnight accommodation.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals d

  • Guided tour of Peles Castle. Cable car to the Bucegi Plateau and walk to Cabana Omul Hut.

    From our hotel it’s a short stroll up to the magnificent old royal palace of Peles Castle. Originally a summer residence for King Carol 1, the fairy tale turrets of the castle set against the spectacular backdrop of the
    Bucegi range make this a ‘must see’ for anyone visiting Romania. We’ll take a guided tour through the remarkable halls and rooms of the castle, furnished in various styles, but all exquisite in their craftsmanship and
    featuring exotic materials from around the world. We then have a short drive to the small resort town of Busteni. Here the imposing rock buttresses of the Bucegi are at their most impressive and seemingly
    impenetrable. We’ll take the cable car from Busteni up high up onto the Bucegi Plateau. From here, we have an undulating 2 – 3 hour walk across the plateau on a straightforward and well marked trail, which will give us a good opportunity to stretch our legs in preparation for the
    trekking that lies ahead. Our trail leads us to the summit of Omu (the man) past sphinx-like rock formations. We’ll also take a short detour to the Caraiman Cross, from where we have superb views down to Busteni and the Prahova valley. Our overnight accommodation is in the Cabana Omul mountain hut which is situated on the summit of Omu itself (2505m). This hut is both the highest mountain hut in Romania and the whole of the Carpathian Mountains themselves. Although basic, the hut is situated in a superlative and atmospheric location with views across to the Fagaras, Piatra Crailui and down to the valleys below. Shy chamois are regularly seen in the vicinity of the hut, especially in the early

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs trekking

  • Spectacular descent to Bran village and guided tour of Castle Dracula. Transfer to Brasov.

    We must make an early start today, as we have a long, but exciting and interesting day ahead. Leaving Omu behind we have a tough descent of almost 2000m, which at times is steep and challenging down to the tree
    line and into dense Transylvanian forest. The going eases as we reach a logging road in the forest, which leads us to Bran and “Castle Dracula”. This spectacular castle is perched on top of a 60m rocky outcrop and
    looms menacingly over the village of Bran below. From the castle’s construction dating back to 1382, it remained as an important strategic location for hundreds of years. Nowadays, it has become more commonly
    referred to (although somewhat tongue in cheek) as Dracula’s castle. In reality there is of course no connection, other than it looks like the Hollywood ideal of the haunt of the fictional Count Dracula and in recent
    years has become one of Romanians most popular tourist attractions. All the same it is a “fangtastic” sight, and for those that wish, there’s the option of taking a short tour inside the castle to see if the Count himself is
    home. Leaving Dracula behind, we then drive to our accommodation in the town of Brasov.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Time 7 hrs trekking

  • Drive the awesome Transfagarasan road. Walk the Balea Lac Circuit to the Podragu Mountain Hut.

    The Fagaras are both the highest and most dramatic mountains of the Romanian Carpathians and form the ancient border between Transylvania to the north and Wallachia to the south. The Fagaras comprise of a ridge some 75 kilometres (47 miles) long and rise sharply
    from the plains. Consequently, trekking in the Fagaras is much more demanding than in the Bucegi. Leaving our B&B, we have a drive of around 3 hours up the impressive Transfagarasan road, constructed between 1970 and 1974, during the rule of Nicolae Ceausescu as a response to the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union. At the top of the pass we begin our walking traverse of the Fagaras Alps. Our first objective of the day is the almost mirror-like Balea Lac (lake). We continue on the exciting and classic trail, up and down ridge walking at it’s very best. Reaching a col between Varful Mircii (2467m) and Arpasul Mare (2468m), the trail then begins to zig zag its way down, eventually reaching the simple, but comfortable Podragu Mountain Hut
    (2136m) where we spend the night.

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Time 7 - 8 hrs trekking

  • Ascent of Moldoveanu (2544m) the highest point in Romania and walk to the Sambata mountain rescue hut.

    This morning we continue our traverse towards the east, heading upwards from the Podragu hut towards a saddle at Saua Podraglui (2307m). From here we continue along the main ridge towards Varful Tarata, where we have extensive views of the Tarata ridge. About an
    hour from here we come to Saua Orzanelei and begin a steep climb to the summit of Moldoveanu (2544m). Topping out, we can celebrate the fact that we’re now standing at the highest point in Romania! From the
    summit of Moldoveanu we descend slightly to Vistea Mare, followed by a sharp descent to a spur near the 'Bears Den' and then continue more gradually down into the Sambata Valley. Our overnight accommodation is at the hospitable Sambata mountain rescue hut (1400m).

    • Accommodation Mountain Hut / Refuge

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Time 9 - 10 hrs trekking

  • Explore Brancoveanu Monastery. Horse and cart to a barbecue and Romanian sing song in Piatra Craiului

    Leaving the Sambata mountain hut, we head out of the mountains and down towards the stunning Brancoveanu Monastery in Sambata. The monastery originally dates back to 1696, but was destroyed by the Hapsburgs. However, it has been painstakingly restored and remains a working monastery to this day. Here we’ll meet our transport which will take us to our pension in the small, attractive town of Zarnesti. Our friendly hosts Gigi and Elena Popa will provide us with a warm, Romanian welcome. A traditional horse and cart ride takes us towards the Piatra Craiului (King’s Rock) National Park. Our destination is a very pleasant meadow situated beneath the classic knife edge ridge of Piatra Craiului. Reaching our wonderful meadow setting, Gigi will prepare a Barbecue for us and keep us entertained with song. An idyllic location to spend an evening in Romania and to toast the memories of our passage through the Carpathians. No doubt we’ll sample the shepherds favourite tipples of ‘Tuica’ or ‘Polinka’ too.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Time 3 hrs trekking

  • A day of walking in the rural and traditional Piatra Craiului National Park. Transfer to Zarnesti.

    There are many hiking options in the Piatra Craiului National Park and the guide will help choose an appropriate walk from anywhere between 3 and 9 hours. In this rural location we can travel 60 years back in time to witness a beguiling and peaceful lifestyle ‘sans’ machinery, where the rake, scythe and horse and cart still rule strong. We return to Zarnesti for our last night in Romania with time to reflect on a wonderful weeks hiking.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Departure day. Transfer to Bucharest Otopeni (Henri Coanda) Airport.

    After an early breakfast we will make the 3 hour drive to Bucharest. KE Land Only package services end with the single timed group transfer to Bucharest Otopeni (Henri Coanda) Airport.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • An experienced English-speaking Romanian Mountain Guide
  • Single timed Bucharest Airport group transfers on day 1 and day 8 of the trip itinerary
  • All other road transport within the trip itinerary
  • Accommodation as described in the dossier
  • Meals as per the meal plan

  • Travel insurance
  • Airport transfers (other than the single timed group transfers)
  • Tips for local staff
  • Bran Castle entrance fees
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.

During this trip the group will spend 4 nights in comfortable local hotels and pensions in Sinaia, Brasov and Zarnesti (2 nights) and 3 nights in mountain huts. All accommodation is arranged on a twin sharing basis in hotels and pensions. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. For the 4 hotel nights, single rooms are available for a supplementary cost. Additional hotel nights in Sinaia are also available. For extra night hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website. Hotels are subject to availability and prices may vary.

Accommodation in mountain huts in Romania is usually simple dormitory style. Some of the mountain huts are quite rustic with only basic washing and toilet facilities due to their remote positions. However, what they may lack in terms of facilities is more than compensated for by their atmosphere and their mountain locations. The huts are very hospitable and a great way of meeting Romanian and other eastern European mountain walkers. By using these mountain huts we are able to remain high in the mountains and undertake the traverse of the Fagaras Ridge and ascend Moldoveanu. The mountain huts provide bedding and generally we recommend that a sheet sleeping bag is all that is needed. However, those who feel the cold should consider taking a lightweight sleeping bag for the night at the Podragu Hut (Day 4) where it can be quite cold.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

All meals included from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 8 of the holiday.

All meals for this trip are included in the trip price.  Breakfasts in hotels will usually consist of fresh baked bread, butter, jam and/or honey, tomatoes, cheese, yogurt, preserved meat, fruit juice, eggs and tea or coffee.  This is most often set out as a buffet.  On trekking days we will enjoy a packed lunch. Main courses range from simple grilled meats and potatoes in mountain huts to more elaborately prepared meat Romanian casseroles in hotels.  Romanian favourites include Mamaliga, which is similar to Polenta and Ciorbas (soups) are also very popular, of which the one Romanians will drive miles for is Ciorba de Burta (tripe soup with garlic!).  Even in remote mountain huts, you’ll find inexpensive wines and beer of excellent quality.  Be prepared to try Polinka, a twice fermented and exceptionally powerful plum brandy! 

Within the Land Only cost of this trip, we will provide a single group transfer from Bucharest Otopeni (Henri Coanda) Airport to the group hotel in Sinaia on day 1 of the trip itinerary, via a sightseeing tour of Bucharest. This transfer usually departs from the Airport in the late morning, after the arrival of the Ryanair flight from London Stansted. On day 8 we provide a single-timed transfer from Zarnesti to Bucharest Otopeni (Henri Coanda) Airport which departs in the early morning. Full information on transfers, hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

Baneasa Airport arrivals and departures
Please note that the majority of scheduled International flights arrive/depart Bucharest Otopeni (Henri Coanda) Airport, however some flights still arrive/depart from Bucharest Baneasa Airport. If your flight arrives at Bucharest Baneasa Airport you will need to take a taxi to Bucharest Otopeni (Henri Coanda) Airport if you are intending to take advantage of the single timed group airport transfers. A taxi from Baneasa to Otopeni usually takes around 20 minutes.

Joining in Sinaia
If you are unable to take advantage of the single timed group transfer on arrival. It is straightforward to reach the group hotel in Sinaia by train from Bucharest Gara de Nord Railway station. You should allow at least 45 minutes to reach Gara de Nord by taxi from Otopeni or Baneasa Airports. A taxi should cost around £15 for this journey. There is a regular (almost hourly) train service from Bucharest Gara de Nord that takes around 90 minutes from Bucharest to reach Sinaia. The cost is approximately £10 for a one way journey. You can check train times on the Romanian State Railway at Although this site has the facility to translate into English, you will need to enter 'Bucuresti Nord' as your place of departure, with 'Sinaia' as your place of arrival. Usually the train times are the same for every day of the week including Sundays. There is no need to book your train ticket in advance, but you should obtain your ticket at Bucharest Gara de Nord ticket office before boarding the train to Sinaia.

Airport bus and taxis from Bucharest Otopeni (Henri Coanda) Airport
If you are extending your time pre or post trek in Bucharest, there is a direct Express bus No.783 from Otopeni Airport to the centre of Bucharest costing approximately 10 Romanian Leu (£1.50). Alternatively an on-demand taxi service is available by using the touch screen devices in the public areas of the Arrivals Terminal. Once you are outside the terminal the touch screen ticket is shown to the taxis waiting. The cost to the centre is approximately 50-60 Romanian Leu (£9-12).

The group will be led by a professionally qualified English speaking Romanian Mountain Guide. There will also be a support vehicle and driver for vehicle transfers and transporting our main baggage to our hotels.

The national currency of Romania is the Romanian leu.  We estimate that £120 should be sufficient to cover your incidental expenditure including tips for local staff, drinks and souvenirs.  If you expect to buy considerable quantities of soft drinks, wine or beer, or if you intend to buy expensive souvenirs, you should make an allowance for this.  Credit cards can be useful in this respect. Cash can be drawn from ATMs using credit or debit cards at Bucharest Airport (arrivals hall) and in Sinaia, Brasov and Zarnesti.  We would recommend you advise your credit/debit card services department in advance that you are travelling to Romania.

Tipping is the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ to you trekking leader and local team.  Tipping is entirely voluntary and should be dependent on good service.  We advise you to tip as a group.

During this trip your KE trek bag will remain with the support vehicle and you will have access to this at the overnight accommodation on days 1, 3, 6 and 7.  You will be carrying (minimal) essential overnight items at other times.  In practice, you should not need to carry more than about 8 kgs.  There is no baggage limit other than that imposed by the international carrier (normally 20kg) but we do ask you to restrict your baggage to one trek bag and one small daypack.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

This holiday involves going to moderately high altitude.  During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 2500 metres.  Most people will have no difficulty with this level of altitude but before coming on the holiday, we recommend you read the advice on trekking at high altitude.  You can also talk to one of our trekking experts if you have any concerns about altitude.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots
  • Gaiters
  • Trainers / sneakers
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Trekking trousers / pants
  • Windproof/waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof overtrousers / rainpants
  • Long johns (thermal underwear)
  • Shorts
  • Thermal baselayer shirts (2 short sleeve, 1 long sleeve)
  • T-shirts and/or casual shirts
  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper
  • Thermal gloves
  • Sunhat or cap
  • Eyewear-Sunglasses
  • Warm Hat
  • Earplugs (especially if you are not the one snoring)
  • Daypack c.40 litres
  • Headtorch / Flashlight and spare batteries
  • Sun protection (including for lips)
  • Water bottles 1 Litre
  • Sleeping bag liner (for the huts)
  • Note: Those who feel the cold should consider taking a lightweight sleeping bag for the night at the Podragu Hut, particularly for the September departures
  • Washbag, toiletries and wetwipes
  • Small Towel
  • Antibacterial hand wash
  • Basic First Aid Kit including: Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium) painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, Insect repellent (DEET), and re-hydration salts (Dioralite). Glucose tablets and multi-vitamin tablets are a good idea.

The following items are optional:

  • Trekking poles
  • Insect repellant (DEET)
  • Camera, media, spare batteries
  • Penknife (remember to put all sharp objects in hold baggage)
  • Travel clothes
  • Small padlock (to lock the trek bag)
  • Spare laces

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

Visa Europe

UK and USA passport holders do not require a visa.

You should contact your GP or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations. UK residents should obtain a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment, but is not a substitute for medical travel insurance which is still vital when travelling overseas.

The unit of currency in Romania is the Romanian New Leu.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a trekking holiday getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience.  We would suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime leading up to your trip. Running, cycling and swimming are good for developing better stamina.  Before departure, we suggest that you try to fit in a number of long walks in hilly country.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

The main season for mountain trekking in Romania is from July to September and the weather is generally very good.  We can expect daytime, valley temperatures of between 20ºC and 25ºC, dropping to 12ºC at night, sometimes less dependent on the altitude we stay.  As with any mountain area, there is always the risk of some poor weather, with rain and wind and the occasional storm.  Should we encounter, rare stormy weather we may adjust our trekking routes accordingly.  However, this area usually enjoys a very pleasant and stable climate.

  • The Rough Guide to Romania
  • Lonely Planet Romania and Moldova
  • The Mountains of Romania Cicerone Guide - James Roberts
  • Dracula - Bram Stoker
  • Transylvania and Beyond - Dervla Murphy

Bucegi Mountains 1:50,000

Bucegi Mountains at 1:50,000 on a contoured map highlighting hiking routes, with a street plan of Sinaia showing tourist accommodation. In addition: Maps of the Bucegi and Fagaras ranges are available locally in Sinaia

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