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This is winter adventure to discover Romania's highlights including the legendary Bran Castle, colourful Sighisoara and the capital city, Bucharest. Spend a night at the wonderful Ice Hotel, which is a once in a lifetime experience.
Explore Tour Leader
10 - 16
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
Romania's climate is continental, temperatures being strongly influenced by the physical features of the Carpathians. Temperatures will fall from highs of 18°C (by day) to lows of 6°C (at night) in October; by January they will hover around freezing during the day and go down to -10°C at night.They will then rise to reach October temperatures again by April. Temperatures will generally be lower in the mountains than in Bucharest. Snowfall may occur at any time.
2 Pin Round
Sinaia: Pelisor Palace can be visited on day two; entrance is 25 Romanian Leu (RON) per person. To take photos inside there is an additional fee of 35 RON per person or 60 RON per person for using a video camera. Viscri: On day four it's possible to take a cart or sledge ride around the village (vehicle used will depend on how deep the snow is); 55 RON per person. Ice Hotel: On day six you can enjoy the snow and go tubing for 8 RON per person per run.
Winters in Romania can be cold with frequent snow fall or rain and icy conditions. You should therefore check the weather forecast before you travel for the latest information and pack accordingly. It's best to bring plenty of layers and warm clothing - similar to those you'd use for going skiing. We recommend taking a good quality heavy duty water and wind proof jacket, waterproof trousers such as ski trousers or salopettes, a warm fleece jumper, woolly hat, thick socks, scarfnood and gloves (and glove liners for when you're taking photos). We'd also strongly recommend packing thermal underwear and spare socks just in case your feet get wet. You may also find fleece under trousers and a ski face/neck mask useful.
We recommend taking a comfortable pair of warm walking shoes for sightseeing that have sturdy tread and good ankle support in case of icy conditions and are waterproof in case of snow. Also bring trainers for using indoors and you may find a pair of snow boots useful.
One main piece of baggage, a daypack and an overnight bag for your stay at the Ice Hotel are needed. You're main luggage for the night at the Ice Hotel will remain locked in the coach at the cable car base station at Lake Balea. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage - so don't overload yourself.
We recommend bringing a water bottle, camera, personal first aid kit and a torch (in case of emergency and it can also be useful during your stay at the Ice Hotel). The sun can be very strong, so take a sun hat, sunscreen and sun glasses. You may find taking some over shoe ice grips or crampons and walking poles to be useful in case of icy conditions. Gaiters are helpful for walking in the snow if you do not have waterproof trousers or ski trousers. You may want to bring a hairdryer with you as these aren't available at all the hotels used on this trip. Snow shoes and ski sticks are provided by the Ice Hotel. Please bring an overnight bag for your stay at the Ice Hotel.
At the Ice Hotel, you will be provided with a clean polar sleeping bag that has been warmed up just before going to bed. All the beds at the hotel are made of ice and are doubles but you will have individual sleeping bags. The toilets are located just outside the hotel in a cable car building. A hot shower will also be available for you to use. We will have dinner in the chalet beside the Ice Hotel. You will need an overnight bag for your stay here.
Can you drink the water?
It is generally possible to drink the local tap water, therefore to reduce the need for single-use plastic bottles we recommend you bring a refillable water bottle with you. Your leader will advise you on refill points each day.
We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.
Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.
Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.
Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. However, please note that if you voluntarily make any changes to your booking including changing your trip or departure date, any additional costs or charges incurred will not be covered. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions
Romania: Visas are not required by UK, EU nationalities, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.
If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.
Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information.
You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.
The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.
Free transfers are not available for Polar customers.
If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.
For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here
It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.
Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.
You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.
On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.
On all our trips to Romania we use minibuses to get around. Many of the roads in the Romanian countryside are twisty and narrow and the road surfaces can be poor in places, so by using these smaller buses it means that we're able to access areas that the larger coaches can't get into. The minibuses usually have around 20 seats with two next to one another and then a single seat on the opposite side of the aisle and four along the back row. The seats are comfortable and equipped with armrests and seat belts. There's normally a rack for day bags and coats above the seats and the main luggage is stored in the rear boot. Leg room is however less plentiful than on a full size coach. There are a few photographs of the type of minibuses used within the image gallery tab for this trip. In Bucharest when visiting the Palace of Parliament you must take your passport with you to be permitted entry. The exploration of the towns and cities visited on this trip will mostly be done on foot. The included snow shoeing is suitable for beginners. At some of the museums visited on this trip, where we have a guided tour, this may be with other non-Explore customers as the museum doesn't provide private guided tours.
Nothing compulsory, although we recommend vaccination against tetanus, hepatitis A, typhoid and polio. Tick-borne encephalitis is recommended by some medical sources if travelling in certain areas of Eastern Europe, at specific times of the year. The Foreign Office currently recommend considerations of vaccination against rabies if travelling in rural areas of Romania. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.