Arrival and transfer to Zarnesti (app. 3h drive) to a local guesthouse where you will be accommodated in rustic and comfortable twin rooms with private toilet and hot shower.
Available also accommodation in a hotel in the medieval town of Brasov (different cost!)
Today we are driven to the point where we start a guided hike in the Piatra Craiului National Park. The first part takes us through Zarnesti gorge, an impressive limestone canyon. With 40 – 80 m high walls, it gives us the chance to look for rare birds like Wallcreepers, Alpine swifts, Crag Martins and also to admire impressive Jurassic geological formations.
For those interested only in birds, you can stop here and enjoy the scenery. Those interested also in hiking will continue to Curmatura Cabin. On the way, we can see signs of wildlife, rare or endemic species of flora and insects, as well as shepherd camps. If the weather allows us, we can see the entire limestone ridge (22 km long) which was declared scientific reserve due to the presence of rare and endemic species of flora and insects.
Difficulty: easy (stop down in the gorge)/medium-hard
After breakfast we leave by car to the Narcissus Forest, a 400ha protected oak forest, to observe wildlife, especially butterflies, insects and birds (app. 1 h drive). We’ll also walk in the area to discover the tracks larger animals leave on the ground. We stop at the edge of the forest for lunch (picnic) and relaxation. You will have some time for walking on your own on this amazing forest and enjoy the numerous species of birds, insects and plants. Today is feasible to see Ural Owls, Tawny Owls, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, White-backed Woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Corncrake, Great Grey Shrike, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Collared Flycatcher, Fieldfare and few other rare birds, as well as numerous species of butterflies and insects.
In the afternoon we’ll have dinner in Sinca Noua village at one of the local entrepreneurs then head to a local bear hide for a chance to see bears (a facility where bears are attracted with food for observations – chances to see the bears: 99%). Late in the evening we drive back to our guesthouse in Zarnesti, to prepare for the next day.
After breakfast we are driven to the beginning of Barsa Valley, where we start walking towards Coltii Chiliei, a shrine in a cave not far from Zarnesti town. Our route passes through a mountain meadow, full of flowers in spring and summer. We can see orchids, gentians and other rare or protected species of flowers. Our guide will trace the origin of this shrine back to the 1300s and explain about agricultural traditions and the impact of technology on local life.
Amongst the interesting species that can be observed today: Honey Buzzard, Collared Flycatcher, Black Woodpecker, Red-backed Shrike, Black Redstart
Transfer to Crisan
As the distance is appreciable, we take a full day to get to our next destination: the Danube Delta. On the way we stop to stretch our legs and have lunch (sandwiches prepared from Zarnesti). In the afternoon we arrive in Murighiol, from where we take a private boat to our 2* guesthouse in Crisan, a small fishermen village located right in the centre of the Danube Delta. You’ll be accommodated in basic but comfortable twin rooms with private toilet and hot shower.
Boat trips in the Danube Delta
We’ll be driven by small slow boats through a chain of beautiful lakes and channels where we’ll enjoy a great variety of birds like White Pelicans, Dalmatian Pelicans, Glossy Ibis or Pigmy Cormorants, to mention just some of the rarest species you have the chance to see in great numbers.
Transfer back to the airport and departure. Depending on your flight schedule we depart for a 4h drive back to the airport. We advice you to take an afternoon flight, as during night there is no traffic allowed in Danube Delta!