Wolf Watching Romania | Wildlife

Ideal for wolf watching Romania is quite a dreamland for wildlife lovers. The Eurasian wolf, also known as Canis Lupus, is a protected animal in Romania. There is an estimated number of 5800 wolves living in the Romanian Carpathians, according to the forestry administration. People used to hunt wolves in large numbers during the 20th century and continue to do it. Despite this human habit, the wolf population remained substantial over the years. Actually, Romania is hosting more than 2500 wolves in its forests. International large carnivores research programs have been focusing on preserving the Romanian wolf.

wolf watching Romania wolf hunter
Romanian wolf hunter via retrieverman.net

Wolf Watching Romania | Welcome to a Wildlife Experience

The experience of tracking and observing wildlife in Romania is made possible by teams of professional guides who organize tours. They also took part in conservation projects and are more than willing to share with you the wonders of ecotourism. The brown bear population receives the same mindfulness. Here you can find the best place for bear watching in Romania.

This tour guides you to the fantastic land of Vrancea county in Romania. Up and down the Vrancea Mountains of the Eastern Carpathians you can walk on the tracks of wolfs, bears and wild cats. You can also observe them in their natural habitat from wood shelters.

wolf watching Romania wolves
Romanian wolves in Suceava county

Here is another tour, in the Transylvanian forest this time. This one is for travelers with a fitness condition, for there are four days spent in this adventure. To increase the chance of seeing wild wolves the tour is available during late autumn and winter. Wolves avoid exposure to humans, but for wolf watching Romania has the best spots. There are visits to local historical places included in the experience, such as Bran Castle and Peleș Castle.

If you want a chance to stay at a local guesthouse in Zărnești and taste the local cuisine along with home-made plum brandy, then this tour is for you. Small groups of people mean you can enjoy it with your family or close friends like a six-day adventure.

Wolves and People | Wolf Watching

Romanian wildlife spreads across the Carpathian Mountains, the Subcarpathian hills and of course in the Danube Delta. Wolves are among the animals that populate forests, and a lot of Romanian tales and legends include them as well.

wolf watching Romania wolf resting
Romanian wolf

In 2016 Romania had banned trophy hunting of wolves, bears, lynxes and wild cats. We encourage wolf watching for they are shy animals that rarely attack humans. In fact, they fear them, and they are cautious with new territories.

wolf watching Romania wolf in bear sanctuary
Wolf in Bear Sanctuary

The city of Zarnești in Romania host a lot of tourists and travelers who seek bear watching and wolf watching. The bear sanctuary called Libearty Sanctuary is also home to a population of wolves that live far in the woods, with very few approaches to fences. Both children and adults can catch a glimpse of the friendship between wolves and bears at Libearty Sanctuary. It is definitely among the fun things to do in Romania.

Spectacular Road Trips Romania | Top 5

Of all the spectacular road trips Romania has to offer, these are for those who travel by car and like to enjoy magnificent sceneries and zigzags across mountains, on lake shores, and along rivers. When it comes to road trips, there is a lot on display. It is worth making plans for road trips in Romania and Kiara has found five of them for you to choose and cruise through.

1.Transfăgărășan

The most popular road of all is the one that connects two historic regions, Transylvania and Wallachia. Sibiu and Pitești cities are thus brought together by this road. There are a lot of attractions on Transfăgărășan: Bâlea, a glacial lake and its Ice Hotel, Bâlea Waterfall. Also, Vidraru Lake and Dam, Poenari Castle, Engineers Gate Monument, and Curtea de Argeș Monastery are other memorable diversions. It is the second highest road in Romania and, according to Top Gear Romania Road experience from 2009, the best in the world. 
Moreover, this spectacular road looks like a race track from above. It snakes across the highest mountain chain in the country, the Făgăraș Mountains. Not to mention, it is lovely to drive through its five tunnels during the open season, from July to November.

spectacular road trips Romania Transfagarasan
Transfăgărășan by Radu Bogza
spectacular road trips Romania Vidraru Lake
View of Vidraru Dam

2. Transalpina

Being above the clouds in a car is no ordinary thing to do. In Romania, on the highest road in the country, one can make this dream come true. Transalpina reaches an altitude of 2145m above the sea level. King’s Road or Transalpina was reconstructed by the year 1938. King Carol II and his family inaugurated it with a road trip. With a length of 148 km, the highway renders numerous captivating spots. Near Novaci city, where the road begins, a legend-preserving cave and a 500 years old monastery, both called Polovragi, are waiting for your arrival 15 km away. A unique site on this exciting road trip is the Rânca Adventure Park, another fantastic target for kids and adults.

spectacular road trips Romania Transalpina
Transalpina by Makidun @Shuttershock
spectacular road trips Romania Polovragi
View of the Eastern Tower of Polovragi Monastery
spectacular road trips Romania Ranca
Adventure Park in Rânca

3. Trans-Semenic

Almost four years ago, of all the spectacular road trips Romania had to offer, this one was a mountain road opened for enthusiastic drivers and locals. For those who needed a shortcut from Valiug and Gărâna to another road called Slatina-Timiș, the 36 km highway made a fantastic difference. Trans-Semenic goes through the Caraș-Severin forest. Sometime in July, every year, Gărâna Jazz Festival, a family-friendly festival, makes the road seem even more irresistible. Kiara recommends a stop by the Bigăr Waterfall for its beauty and magic.

spectacular road trips Romania Trans-Semenic
Trans-Semenic via Munții Carpați
spectacular road trips Romania Bigar
Bigăr Waterfall

4. Spectacular road trips Romania | The Danube Gorge

On the side of the Danube Gorge, there is a road that takes you on an unforgettable adventure. This way is also known as DN 75. You are probably wondering why the Danube Gorge is so spectacular. We will tell you that the Danube river narrows its stream to 230 m for about 9 km on its course. This narrowing also makes it faster, and it gives the impression that the water is boiling. Thus the Danube Gorge has two places called the Danube Boilers. Visiting the Veterani Cave and the Ponicova Cave are great ways to spend time on the road.

spectacular road trips Romania Danube
Source: www.cartitaplimbareata.ro
spectacular road trips Romania Decebal
Decebal Statue Danube Romania

5. The Bicaz Canyon

What better way to visit The Bicaz Canyon and the Red Lake located in the middle of a beautiful road than to follow that road? Many tourists visit these beautiful wonders of nature, especially during the warm seasons. Therefore this spectacular road trip may very well start on both sides of the Inner Eastern Carpathians: either from Brașov and Miercurea Ciuc via Gheorghieni, either from Piatra Neamț in Moldova.

spectacular road trips Romania The Bicaz Canyon
The Bicaz Canyon by Zoltan Nyaradi via Flickr
spectacular road trips Romania the red lake
The Red Lake via Flickr

For at least one of these spectacular road trips Romania is a must if you choose to travel through Europe with your car or just rent one. We hope you dare to visit magical places in the Carpathian Mountains.

Dracula Night in Transylvania

Dracula Night | Accommodation 

A Dracula Night experience can be found on Airbnb nowadays. It’s an experience one can never forget for sure. It all happens at Bran Castle (Castelul Bran in the Romanian language), in Transylvania Romania. This is the same castle as the one that inspired Bram Stoker novel.

Dracula Night

Walking in the forests around the castle, sleeping in a coffin, eating the same food as Dracula did, hearing the howling wolves around this magic place. All of this is now possible due to some people that made this possible.

Dacre Stoker, Bram Stoker’s great-grandnephew, will answer your knock on the castle’s imposing wooden doors. He will be your host for the night and resident expert on Transylvanian lore.

Would you want to spend Halloween in the castle which inspired the legend of Dracula in deepest Transylvania?

That is precisely what more than 80,000 people have applied to do via the accommodation website, Airbnb.

Dracula Night Dinner Dracula Night Coffin

Dracula night experience is held on the night of 31st October to early morning the 1st of November, on Halloween Night. An unusual and magic night that now takes you back in time and space precisely in the Transylvania woods.

Therefore it wouldn’t be entirely magic if there were not some secret doors and secret stairs. And here they are!

Dracula Night Secret Tunnel

A secret passage on the first floor leads to the grand dining room where an intimate candlelit dinner will await, prepared as accurately as described in Bram Stoker’s novel. Following the hearty, blood-enriching meal, you will be invited to bed in luxurious velvet-trimmed coffins in the seclusion of the Count’s crypt.

So, dear friend pack your things and come in Transylvania! Dracula night experience now exists!

I am sure that this is just the beginning of new adventures.

Dracula Night House Rules

Not to forget, here are some rules of Dracula’s castle you should know before coming:

  • No garlic or garlic-scented items allowed
  •  You are kindly requested to leave your silver jewelry at home
  • Do not cross the cutlery. In fact, please refrain from placing anything in a cross formation
  • Beware of the bats in the castle tower
  • Please close all curtains before sunrise
  • The count is not a fan of mirror selfies

So, here you can find some hints for a night at the castle.

Check out some other experiences of Dracula night here.

Maramures Giants Legend

Maramures Giants illustrationThe Maramures Giants (Legenda uriașilor in Romanian) is a Romanian folklore legend. Here you will find a beautiful saga about the last family of giants that lived on earth.

The legends say that in the ancient history of our planet, different creatures lived and then they came to their extinction. It is said that one of the species were the giants. In the cultures of many countries, it is assumed that they lived on Earth just before the humans did. They were not as bright as the humans and that there was a great flood that destroyed the majority of them. They have built underground tunnels where they survived for an extended period.

Maramures legends say that one of the last known families of the Giants lived in the North of Transylvania, in the Valley of Iza.

Maramures Giants | The story of the last giants on Earth

Long ago, there was an old man with his daughter.

They wanted to live separated from other species on Earth, so they retired in the deepest forest so nobody could see them again. The Giants enjoyed life there. They were very good connoisseurs of plants and mushrooms. They used them as their food and their medicines as well.

One day, Rosalia, the giant daughter went down the Iza river to look after mushrooms. In that day, she wandered more than she usually did. And guess what? On a meadow, she met some little beings looking as she did but much smaller. She took them in her hands and dashed to her wise father to show him the strange things that she has just discovered.

Maramures Giants in the sunset“Father!  Look what little and sweet toys I’ve found in my rambling today!”

Her father smiled mysteriously and replied “Rosalia, these beings that you have found are not toys at all!” Suddenly he became serious.

“They are the ones that will live on this planet from now on!

You know that we are a few giant families still living. Our species will disappear together with us!” So, he walked away sadly.

Rosalia didn’t like at all what her father just told her!

She took the humans back to the meadow where she found them, and she started to follow them. She was very curious about their habits, occupations, and nourishment. How did their species survive and hers not?

Among these humans, there was a man that looked very brave and nice. He loved to ride horses, to watch birds and all the animals used to gather around him. Rosalia fell in love with him at first sight.

Maramures Giants and humans together

As the days were passing, an idea became more apparent. One day, Rosalia went to her father and told him about the new thought that mastered her.

“Father, you know the little toys that I’ ve found. There is one human that took my mind! I would like to marry him and have kids with him, and in this way, our species will continue to live as well. I need your help!”

Her father smiled. He was very happy with the courage of his daughter.

She continued “You must make me smaller and him bigger so that we can become a couple!”

Her father knew from his giant ancestors the secrets of plants and how to mix them so to become magic.

The next day, he went into the thick forest to look after secret plants that will help the metamorphosis. He came after a few days, and he started to boil and prepare his potions saying different magic words to them. Then he poured the mysterious drink on Rosalia and the tiny man.

The magic happened, and Rosalia became almost as small as a human and the man became a little taller just enough to match Rosalia.

They got married and had children. The other giants disappeared except Rosalia and her children.

Her father taught her the magic of plants, and she taught humans how to use them as well.

Humans lived on Earth from that time on.

Maramures Villages

Maramures villages are unique in the world and recognizable by their big wooden gates to every house and garden and of course by their wooden churches with long pointy towers.

Maramures Giants WinterThe village where the last Maramures giants lived was called Rozalia. After a while, the name changed to Rozavlea.

The story above is just one of the Maramures legends Kiara Yew has been collecting for curious travelers. The old people from this region still preserve stories about the giant people that lived here.

In this region, you can also find a Merry Cemetery. It is for sure an unusual place to visit!

Blajinii or the Kind Hearted Ones

In the Romanian folklore, there is a fantastic legend about Blajinii or “the Kind Hearted Ones.” Other names for them are “Rohmani” and “The White Ones. Depictions of Blajinii in stories, show them as semi-divine creatures. They live at the edge of our world, where all the waters of the Earth are gathering into one stream. The river that results in Apa Sâmbetei (Saturday’s Water) is part of Romanian mythology. There are many tales that use this imagery as well in other east European countries.

Blajinii, Rohmani and the Romanian mythology

Blajinii Easter egg shells on Apa SambeteiThe Blajini have been described as small, happy and vivant creatures, always welcoming us humans. No illness or suffering affects them. People say that they can do miracles and they also take care of our dead relatives and close ones. So that’s why our ancestors used to pray to them. Legends talk about children often visiting them or their ability to see the Blajnii, in contrast with adults. Here is a story about a journey to their lands. The Blajini images and the region of Apa Sâmbetei (Waters of Saturday) in this article are illustrations of children descriptions of them.

Blajinii or the kind hearted ones

The tradition of Throwing Easter Egg Shells in the Rivers for the Blajinii creatures

A tradition in Romania and Moldavia is to throw Easter painted eggshells in rivers and streams. In the hope that these to arrive at Blajini’s villages, The White Ones can ascertain that Easter has arrived. However, the celebration called Paștele Blajinilor translates as The Easter of Blajini or The Easter of Death in English. Moldovan locals once said they are happy to find out when the Easter celebration arrives each year, as they live in isolation. Also, they don’t join the others for the public Christian holiday. For celebrating the souls of dead relatives or friends, Romanians prepare festive meals as offerings to the poor at the cemetery, nearby the tombs, at the end of the mass and benediction. To all who wished to commemorate and pay their respects to the dead Easter comes as an opportunity. They celebrate in memory of the deceased.Blajinii Apa Sambetei

Back to Transylvania Castle

back to Transylvania castleYou are back to Transylvania castle region of Romania.

You are in a thick forest, the deepest you have ever seen before.

Then, you close your eyes. It’s night. It’s very dark; you hear the beasts in the forest. They are not sleeping judging by the sound they make.

However, you dare to walk throuback to Transylvania castle batgh the trees and bushes. Your heart is beating so fast, and so loud, it seems like all the beasts can hear you. You feel like your body is all made of a big heart.

And then you see it…

Dracula’s Magical Castle

back to Transylvania castle bat It’s all there, stone by stone, in front you.

You are looking around and nobody’s there. Just you and the castle and the creatures of the forest.

What would it be if Count Dracula was here?back to Transylvania castle Dracula drawing

However, you open the gate and go inside. It’s a massive castle made of stone. All around you see candles, a big table, a stone fireplace, curtains made of red velvet. All these together make the atmosphere to be sweet and dangerous ♥

Suddenly, a secret door opens… you walk through it and then here you are climbing the stairs… one by one… attentive and open to any new thing that appears before your eyes. With each of your step, the space around you becomes smaller and smaller… the walls become closer to you …

And then you arrived, It’s a tinny secret door that opens in front of you, and there you are in the bedroom of Dracula!

The biggest bed lays in front of you. As you look around, fire is everywhere… candles, fireplace.

back to Transylvania castle candles

You become sleepy as the air is thick and you are tired. You lay on the bed, close your eyes.

Yes, you are in the middle of…

Dracula’s chamber | Back to Transylvania castle

And all of a sudden all start to vanish in a spiral movement…. all… castle, forest, candles, beasts and you with them!back to Transylvania bat

Wake up! It’s morning. Just go and enjoy another magical day!

But you can’t forget it!

Go and see the forest and the castle … and when you reach the place, search for the secret stairs … it’s all there…

back to Transylvania castle garlic

Moreover, if you wish to experience the real thing, we recommend a night at Dracula’s Castle. Details to be found here.

Spiral Temple Adventure

So, dear friend, I invite you to pack your bags. We are about to go on the Spiral Temple Adventure together. Yes, you heard me right. It’s an old magical temple, carved in a cave. You won’t find much information about it on the Internet, but trust me, we are talking about thousands of years of history.

Spiral Temple Adventure cave

It’s a sunny Sunday morning, and we reach the place by car. Near the old cave, the Weirds Monastery awaits. As we exit our vehicle, we hear the priest singing. Consequently, the villagers gather inside and outside the church. They are all singing.

What an enchanting place this is! With birds singing, a lot of trees,🌳 wooden fences, a church and even a sacred cave. Also, there is a blessed refreshing water spring the adventurous traveler can try. Let’s try it! ♒

As we enter the temple, we arrive in the first chamber. Looking up, we can notice the stone is carved into a spiral form. The light goes down into the temple in circles through the spiral. It’s pure light.

I close my eyes and make a wish. Since here there is a custom to make wishes in sacred places or fountains, why not? 🌠

Spiral Temple Adventure | A History

We found out from the monks. This temple has different names like “The Temple of Destiny,” “The Temple of Wishes.” Once a spiritual crossing point at the border with The Austro-Hungarian Empire, The Șinca Veche Rupestral Monastery, in Brașov county, is an astonishing creation.

It is thought to have originated 7000 years ago. Some say it was carved in stone. And that would be an astonishing work. Different other galleries and chambers have disappeared over this extended period. It was discovered in 1742, according to some historical sources. Fortunately, the spiral of light in the temple and the altars used by monks inside are accessible for visitors like us too.

The Spiral Temple is a place where different people from all over the country come to address their wishes and prayers to God. By chance, we get to watch them write down names and wishes on pieces of paper and then stick them on the walls. The atmosphere is very spiritual here at the Destiny Temple or Mănăstirea Ursitelor as Romanians call it.

Then I notice a woman is praying to my left. She put her hands on the cold stone marked with an unknown sign, something like an hourglass. We all want to stay in the circle of light that comes from the spiral behind us. I wait my turn silently…⏳

The second chamber is a darker room. It has a hall, and the light from the spiral comes here too, but more powerful and in smaller circles of light. It’s a chamber of silence. I close my eyes and remain in the bright spot. One can feel how time stops.  My experience was incredibly close to hearing all the uttered prayers the cave encapsulated for hundreds of yearsIt feels magical and pure. 

A Spiritual Adventure at the Destiny Temple

Subsequently, my daughter joins me into the dark room, and she starts to run in circles around the circle of light formed inside the chamber. It’s a kind of tribal dance. We look stunned at her movements. It is such a profound moment. ♣

Into the third chamber, we are not allowed to enter. It is the darkest one. We can look into it, but the light is not helping us. If we make pictures, it is better. It has an altar within it.

The signs of Yin and Yang and the Star of David are present in the Altar. The Yin & Yang symbol is inside the Star of David.

A picture of a man is near these symbols. Don’t we know how old this picture is? Who is the man? But we notice that he is standing with his back to these symbols.

It is a place of acceptance. Admittedly we all have Yin and Yang inside us. We all have light and dark, feminine and masculine, good and bad. We are one. These are just faces of the same thing. 

I take a deep breath. The air is wet and sacred. I love this place ♠. True Spiral Temple Adventure, indeed.

Other symbols | The Spiral Temple Adventure continues

Then, I said to myself that I should keep up with my journey. As I step outside the temple, the mind starts to create questions and seek answers.

Why is this symbol of Yin and Yang here? Why is the Start of David here? And most important. Why is the Yin and Yang symbol inside the Star of David?

These are not common symbols in the local tradition. Who is the man drawn? Why is the stone of the temple so different than the other rocks around this place? Nothing is written around.

Some old stories mention something about a nearby Dacian settlement. No other clues.

I stopped to drink some cold water from the water spring in the vicinity. The water came so refreshing me. Finally, I take this moment with me and continue my journey. See you there!

You can make your wish, have good thoughts and then embark on a trip to Romania to experience a Spiral Temple adventure.

For more Kiara Yew Adventures follow our Top Destinations.