Two-Wheels & Transylvania Truffles


INTRODUCTION

This is one for foodies. The Saxon Villages of Transylvania are always extraordinary but come October, something special lurks in the ancient oak forests: black truffles. As Autumn’s rich colours emerge, join us on a fully-supported bicycle journey through this idyllic corner of Europe and, on two days, accompany Transylvania’s foremost truffle hunter and his trained dogs in search of one of nature’s most valuable edible commodities. Over four days in the saddle you will cover approximately 80 miles on forest trails, horse and cart tracks and quiet backroads through a land of staggering natural and cultural beauty; indulge in simple, fresh and delicious Transylvanian food at the most abundant time of year, eating traditional meals prepared for you in local homes; visit UNESCO-protected villages and fortified churches; sleep in wonderful traditional cottages and guest houses; witness a rural way of life that has changed little for centuries; But above all relax, take the opportunity to slow down and pedal at your own pace through a land of staggering natural and cultural beauty. 


GENERAL INFORMATION

The trip brochure provides detailed information about the journey, including a breakdown of daily activities. However, in order to help you decide if this adventure is for you, take a look at the general information below

IS THE SLOW CYCLIST IN TRANSYLVANIA RIGHT FOR ME?

We think our journeys in Transylvania are fantastic but of course they are not for everyone. Our trips are about more than just cycling. You will delve into the region’s fascinating history and have the chance to spend time with its people. Transylvania is a hilly place and the distances we cover, although not huge, are still not inconsiderable. So although you don’t need to be Chris Froome to complete this journey, you should have good general fitness and be comfortable riding a bicycle on dirt roads and paths. When you see something interesting, we encourage you to stop and take it in rather than racing by. In every group we welcome to Transylvania there are novice and experienced cyclists, and those at every level in between. Our guides are skilled at spotting your skill and confidence level and reacting accordingly. If this means splitting the group so that experienced cyclists take on a tougher route, that’s fine. If it means that one morning you’re just not up to a long cycle, let us know. This is your holiday and we’re here to make it a memorable one. 


GUIDES & SUPPORT

We know that guides can make or break a trip like this, which is why we are so pleased to work with Cornel Stanciu and Sergiu Paca. Either Cornel, Sergiu or both guide our guests each day. Cornel is a passionate conservationist and entrepreneur who was brought up and lives in Bunesti, one of the villages you will pass through on your journey. He has guided HRH The Prince of Wales on private nature walks and is most at home in the forests and meadows around his village. Sergiu works for his family’s business in Sighisoara but his two real passions are cycling and history. He lives within Sighisoara’s medieval walls and his ability to grasp and explain Transylvania's complicated history is a skill only matched by the care he takes in looking after our guests. Both Cornel and Sergiu speak perfect English but you will also be hosted by a member of The Slow Cyclist team from the UK. Your bags will be taken ahead each day and a driver will often be nearby to offer a lift if you really need one. 


BIKES

We use 2014 Merida Matts mountain bikes for the cycling sections of this journey because, although it is not a mountain biking trip per se, the variety of terrain means they’re the best tool for the job. They are comfortable and extremely well-maintained. 


WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?

Airport transfers on arrival and departure for recommended flights, support vehicle, Slow Cyclist host, English-speaking expert local guides, accommodation, activities and entrance fees, snacks, water throughout, soft & alcoholic drinks at meal times, bicycle & helmet hire. N.B. pricing structures vary so please check the relevant itinerary for accurate information.


WHAT IS EXCLUDED?

Flights (estimated cost £80 - £150 if booked well in advance), visas (if required), personal travel insurance, local airport taxes (if applicable), tips for local staff & personal costs. N.B. pricing structures vary so please check the relevant itinerary for accurate information.


FOOD & DRINK

Transylvanian food is simple, fresh, delicious and the very definition of organic. Sometimes you’ll eat out in the open, at other times in private homes, small restaurants and guest houses. Allergies and other preferences are all taken care of at the time of booking. 


SUPPORTING THE COMMUNITY

A small amount from each trip we operate in the Saxon villages goes towards the vital work of the Anglo Romanian Trust for Traditional Architecture (ARTTA), which was founded by celebrated author William Blacker and William Heathcoat-Amory and Asociatia Monumentum, run by local architect Eugen Vaida. Romanian built heritage is being destroyed at an alarming rate, meaning the most visual part of Romania’s history is being rubbed out. 


CLIMATE & WEATHER

Transylvania has a temperate climate. Spring usually bursts in April, when typical daytime temperatures are around 15-20°C. Things warm up towards summer: 15-25°C is typical in May and June but it can get much hotter. In July and August temperatures of 30-35°C are not uncommon. Autumn begins in September. By the second half of October temperatures average between 10 and 15°C. Except in the height of summer evenings are cool. Rainfall is not uncommon at any time of year. 


EXTENSIONS

Many of our guests spend more time in Romania either before or after their adventure with us in the Saxon region. It is a wonderfully diverse country and we can work with some really great local partners to help you get the most out of your visit. Whether you would like to hike in the Carpathians, explore the wooden curches of Maramures and the painted monasteries of Bucovina, spend a long weekend at Prince Charles' private residence in the Transylvanian wilderness or get under the skin of vibrant Bucharest,  we can help.