Cycling Romania: Off the beaten track
What does the Banat Republic have to offer aside its picturesque canyons, caves, captivating villages and ravines? Find out on your own during a cycling trip to the mountains of Banat! In forgotten villages, far away from crowds of tourists, we will find out what Romania has in common with the Czech Republic. We will travel 100 years back in time and witness with our own eyes that nothing has really changed. While sitting in traditional Czech (though now territorially Romanian) pubs, we will let time slip through our fingers, while beer pours into one glass after another.
What awaits us are evenings by the bonfire under the open sky, a wonderful wilderness that will become our bicycle route, local food and a cultural mix that is hard to find anywhere else in Europe. At the end of the cycling trip we will go to the former resort of Baile Herculane to take a relaxing dip in hot springs.
Day 1 - travel
On this day we will travel with evening flight to Romania. Accommodation.
Day 2 - Timişoara
After breakfast, we will visit the capital of the Romanian region of Banat - Timişoara. Timişoara, called Little Vienna, is as multinational as the entire Banat. That’s a place where Romanians, Hungarians, Serbs and Germans and others live side by side. Between numerous parks and squares (occupying 50% of the center's area), we will see the Hunyadych Palace, the Old Town Hall, the Serbian, Orthodox and Baroque Roman Catholic cathedrals and the eighteenth-century old streets where lazy everyday life of the inhabitants takes place. In the afternoon we will go to the Banat mountains, where our proper cycling trip will begin!
Days 3-7 - by bicycle through Banat
We will start with a small warm-up, Czech beer and beautiful views: picturesque villages, where time flows in a different, lazy rhythm. We will cycle through forested mountains, hidden valleys and winding Danube. Over the next days, we will go through the off-roads, trying to get to know the life and local customs of the inhabitants in the next charming villages, and finally relax in the famous spa of the Austro-Hungarian Empire - Băile Herculane.
Our tour will lead us to:
• Saint Helena (Sfânta Elena, Svata Helena) is a tiny village, one of the six Czech villages of the Romanian Banat, which was founded in 1824 by immigrants from the Czech Republic. Saint Helena lies at an altitude of about 400m above sea level on the Danube near sources with crystal clear water. The surroundings of Saint Helena are very attractive in terms of nature. In the near distance there is Kulhavá Skála - a natural rock window that is a remnant of the former cave, Vranovec cave and legendary Turkish Cave (Gaura Turcească), karst pits, meadows and beech-hornbeam forests.
• Ravensca (Rovensko), is one of the most beautiful Czech villages in Banat, full of narrow streets and beautiful old houses. You can spend hours there admiring the beautiful views of the Banat foothills, because the village is located on a plateau at an altitude of about 750m above sea level.
• Gârnic (Gernik), where lime is still burned in old lime kilns, with a beautiful valley of mills called “At Peter’s” where Romania's horizontal mill wheels and a magnificent view of the Danube gorge are found. There, we will also drink the best Czech beer in the entire Banat.
• Bigăr (Bigr) and Eibenthal (Eibental), which are the only Czech village located in the valley.
• We will also go to Lacul Drakul (Lake Dracula with an unprecedented color) and to the famous Iron Gate - the picturesque turn of the Danube.
Day 8 - return
Today we will say goodbye to the Romanian Banat and we will return home.
• Fly there and back with all airport charges
• Transfer of the bicycle as sports equipment by plane
• Care of an English-speaking guide
• Baggage transport between villages
• Accommodation in rural homes and farms with local residents
• Generous, homely hospitality and two meals a day (breakfast and dinner plus lunch on the way)
• Extra breakfast in the small town of Baile Herculane
• Information packages and maps
• Insurance of NNW and KL + luggage insurance up to 200 Euro
• Insurance guarantee for the travel agency
• A mandatory fee for the State Tourist Guarantee Fund (TFG) for each person
The place of departure is WARSAW. In case you wish to travel from another destination or book flights on your own, please contact us for price quotation for this trip.
In Baile Herculane, we spend the night in a guest house or hotel. In the Czech villages in Banat, accommodation in the guesthouses.
We provide breakfasts and dinners as well as lunch in packages, along the cycling route.
In September, it's still warm in Banat. It should be taken into account that the temperature will reach 25 degrees Celsius.
Medium difficulty level, passing through mountain roads, unpaved surface or dirt road, often outside the marked paths, numerous ramps. The average daily distance is around 40-70 km - there is a possibility to choose different lengths of trails. Estimated length of the whole bicycle route is about 250-400 km according to your choice.
We travel in small groups. The minimum number of people on the trip is 6, maximum 12.
• The itinerary may change depending on the date of departure, weather and other factors.
• The organizer of the trip is Active Travel Agency Barents.pl.