Depart from central Brasov in the morning with a group of no more than eight people. On the hour long-ride to Piatra Craiului National Park, learn a brief history of the area and choose from one of two hiking itineraries, ranging from 6 to 9 miles (10 to 15 km) and 5 to 6 hours in length. On the easy-to-moderate Mountain Villages route, spot wildlife as you explore the park’s forested lower slopes. Stop at the two traditional villages of Magura and Pestera, recharging with hearty country fare like polenta, cheese, and lentil soup at a local guesthouse (lunch not included).
For more of a challenge, choose the moderate-to-hard Mountain Hut route. Cross the Zarnesti Gorge, sample cheese at a local sheep farm, and dine at a mountain hut. Extend for an additional 3-4 hours with an optional hike up part of Piatra’s main ridge to an elevation of 6,500 feet (2,000 meters).
With either option, if time allows and the group agrees, stop at Bran Castle on the way back to Brasov to explore the medieval chambers and Gothic turrets of Romania’s most famous castle (entrance fee own expense).
Piatra Craiului National Park