Cycling in Transylvania: Five Itineraries from the Saxon Land
Cycling in Transylvania is one of the best ways to uncover this great part of Romania. Whether you’ll cycle for a couple of days or only for a few hours, you’ll have a lot of fun and one of the most original travel experiences of your life. You have plenty of options to choose from the big route of over 200 km of marked trails in Podisul Tarnavelor and Hartibaciu, a vast area of traditional Saxon villages, fortified churches, mouth-watering dishes and a slow-paces lifestyle hard to find somewhere else.
Our five recommendations vary from shorter and easier trails to longer and more intense itineraries from the counties of Brasov, Mures and Sibiu. Just remember to have enough water with you and, if possible, avoid cycling on extreme heat.
Sighisoara – Malancrav
This is for sure one of the most scenic trails if you’re planning to go cycling in Transylvania. Departing from Sighisoara, you’ll go on a steep hill up to the plateau Breite where you’ll see centuries old oaks before descending on a magical forest trail to the first village of the day: Stejareni.
The route continues partly on paved and gravel roads, but you’ll spend most of your time biking through forests and meadows covered with almost infinite wild flowers. In Cris you can stop for refreshment at the small village shop across the medieval Bethlen Castle. Your next stop is Malancrav, a true landmark of the Saxon heritage of Transylvania where you can visit the local fortified church and the many and talented local artisans.
You can rent a bike in Sighisoara.
Time: 6-7 hours/Distance: 31 km/Trail signs: red line and blue line
Malancrav – Copsa Mare – Biertan
From Malancrav you can continue your journey to Biertan via Nou Sasesc and Copsa Mare, this time getting a view of Saxon Transylvania from Sibiu County. The key attractions of this route that departs from the Apafi Mansion in Malancrav are Copsa Mare, a splendid village with a typical fortified church, and Biertan with is major UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We warmly recommend you spend the night in one of the traditional Saxon guest houses of the Basetti family from Copsa Mare whose efforts to conserve the cultural patrimony of the village have managed to secure a sustainable option for this small and authentic space.
You can rent a bike in Biertan.
Time: 3 hours/Distance: 15 km/Trail signs: blue line
Sighisoara – Aurel Vlaicu – Viscri
A long and scenic trail, this route avoids all villages and is the best option if you’re looking for a full day in nature, crossing picturesque fields and forests all the way from Sighisoara to Viscri. The only downside is you have to carry enough food and water with you, but it’s a small price to pay considering the great time you’ll have. Both Sighisoara and Viscri are world famous for their UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Save half a day for each of them.
You can rent a bike in Sighisoara or Viscri.
Time: 6-7 hours/Distance: 47 km/Trail signs: red line
Viscri – Mesendorf– Crit
From Viscri you can continue your cycling vacation in Transylvania with one of the first marked itineraries of the region. You’ll get to see the fortified churches of Crit and Mesendorf and the typical rural landscapes of Saxon Transylvania. You can return in Viscri for the night or stay in Crit, both places have great guest houses.
You can rent a bike in Viscri or Crit.
Time: 3-4 hours/Distance: 23 km/Trail signs: red line and red cross
Viscri – Rupea
If you’re back in Viscri, and you’d like to do a shorter trail, choose the itinerary going to Rupea, a major center of the Saxon community centuries ago. You’ll get a panoramic view of the medieval fortress from Rupea, one of the largest in Transylvania, and you’ll still have plenty of time to visit it. You can continue cycling to Homorod where you can visit one more medieval fortified church or you can head to the railway station where you can take the train for Brasov or Sighisoara.
You can rent a bike in Viscri.
Time: 2-3 hours/Distance: 13 km/Trail signs: red line
Book your accommodation in advance. The small villages from the Saxon part of Transylvania are becoming a trendy destination and the few guest houses book fast.
Check the complete map of the trails here.