A unique opportunity to learn about the conservation projects in the spectacular Carpathian Mountains
One of the last remaining true wilderness areas in Europe can be found in the majestic Piatra Craiului Mountains of central Romania.
For centuries the locals have existed in harmony with a rich variety of rare wildlife, including Europe's highest concentration of bears, wolves and lynx. The number of brown bear here represents nearly half of the total European population, and wolves about 30%. Due to the old communist regime, the dense forests of the Carpathian Mountains have remained largely untouched by the outside world and many rare species of birds and wildlife inhabit this amazing region.
Our days are spent on walks through spectacular canyons, virgin forests and Saxon villages. We stay in a guesthouse owned by a local family, providing a good standard of accommodation and delicious food. We visit the Beaver Reintroduction Programme and Europe's biggest rescue station for brown bears.
There is also a chance to visit Bran Castle ('Dracula's Castle') and the mediaeval town of Brasov.
What makes this trip responsible?
This adventure is centred in one of Europe's largest ancient forests and carried out in close co-operation with the Romanian Wildlife Institute and local people from the communities of Zarnesti and Magura. The days are spent walking through the forests, pastures and towns of this region where we learn about its fauna, wildlife and history.
The Carpathian Large Carnivore Project (CLCP) established the ecotourism programme "Wolves and Bears in Transylvania" as the first step towards making the conservation of bears, wolves and lynx economically profitable for local people. Although the official project has now closed, the locally run Conservation Project, along with the Romanian Wildlife Institute, the National Park Piatra Craiului and the National Eco-Tourism Association (AER) are continuing the work and are raising funds with the aim to pass the benefits of a developing tourist industry to the local population, giving them an incentive to preserve the wilderness and promote sustainable economic activity. Your hosts are founder members of the Romanian Eco-tourism Association (AER). During the week we also visit a Beaver Re-introduction programme.
Transylvanian Alps, Romania