Welcome to the homepage of BikeRomania
Discover Romania by bike
Information for Cyclists visiting Romania
Romania is still a largely undiscovered region for cycling tourists. Those who discover its amazing natural beauty and hospitality return time after time.
Romania is about as big as the former West Germany, but has only 23 Million residents. It has numerous areas of outstanding natural beauty and a landscape rich in variation from the lowland plains to the Carpathian mountains From the Hungarian Plain to the heavily developed tourist resorts on the Black Sea Coast the land is dominated by the Carpathian Mountains, which curve round the hills of Transylvania. South of the Carpathians is the relatively flat Walachei and the capital Bucharest (Bucuresti).
Urdele, the highest pass; (2.146 m high) is located in the South Carpathians, east of Petrosani.
Romania offers not just pure nature, but also attractions such as churches, castles, monasteries and historic towns.
There is high unemployment. Prices are very low, as the average monthly wage is £40-80. However the population doesn't all live in poverty by any means.
In general there are no particular security problems. As in other countries, care is advised in towns and cities.
Attractive Regions and Route Suggestions
The country offers many and varied regions
- The Banat Mountainswith the Semenic-Range und Garana/Wolfsberg.
- The Carpathian Mountains with its up to 2.500 m high mountains, different geological formations and Nature reserves.
- Die South West Carpathians between Caransebes und Petrosani.
- Transylvania with its churches and castles and towns with features from the middle ages. Tour tips: around Sibiu, Sigisoara, Rupea, Brasov (with the Busteni-Range and the "Dracula-Castle; near Bran).
- The Aries-Tal South West of Cluy-Napoca.
- The Carpathian foothills The North Walachei of Ramnicu Valcea bis Baile Herculane.
- The Bukowina with its painted monasteries. Tour tip: Suceava Dragomirna Sucevita Putna Moldovita Voronet.
- The Dobrogea past the sea, lagoons and the Danube Delta "Everglades", Monastery. Tour tip: Constanta Histria Enisala Dunavat Tulcea.
- The Maramuresch. Tour tips: Iza-Tal, Vaser-Tal, Sapinta, Botiza, Leud, Rozavlea
- The Bicaz-Klamm in the East Carpathians between Gheorgheni and Bicaz north of Brasov) und the area around Neamt.
Climate und Travel Seasons
The climate is well suited to cycle tourism, especially the mild temperatures in May and June and September.
Roads & Travel
There are few signed cycle routes in Romania, but this is changing thanks to BikeRomania and Eurovelo. Despite this there are great opportunities for exploring the countryside.
Cycle touring with luggage is still possible, if prepared for some unmade roads, or the use of busier but smoother roads. On the Europa Highways, there is less traffic and speeds are lower than than on trunk roads in Germany, but there a large number of lorries.
Journeys at night should be avoided due to many un-lit horsedrawn vehicles without reflectors on the road. In villages many animals are to be found wandering on the road, particularly geese, cattle and dogs.Bicycle Equipment and Spares
Due to the rough road surfaces and climbs a sturdy touring bike, at least 37 mm tyre width) or a mountain bike is advisable. Bring important spares.
Cycle shops stocking a wide range of spares are only to be found in larger cities. (Bucharest, Timisoara, Brasov, Cluj, Sibiu, Constanta, etc.).
A passport with at least three months validity and a visa are required. The tourist visa is valid for one month and can be obtained at Romanian consulates and at the border, (see links). Visa extensions can be obtained in Romania.
Train: International Intercity express trains generally carry no bicycles.
Coach: International coaches from Germany carry bicycles. Download a list with details of cycle carriage, here.
Train: The rail network is relatively large, but don't always expect west european standards of comfort. Compulsory supplements are payable for faster, more comfortable trains, which are purchased with a seat reservation at stations.
Tip: Timetable information for trains in Romania can be found on the Internet www.bahn.de
Cycle carriage on trains is possible as long as a train has a baggage car. Bicycles must be handed in at the freight office with an address label. However, cycles can also be taken on trains without a baggage car at the guard's discretion. Bicycle tickets are dependent on kilometers travelled.
A bicycle can also be sent as unaccompanied luggage on Romanian Railways..
Bicycles are rarely available for hire.
Bus: Cycles are only allowed on buses at the discretion of the driver and availability of space.
Taxis can be cheap (haggle) except to and from airports.
Food & Drink
Food is generally no problem to find in towns or in the country. There is a particularly good supply of fresh fruit & vegetables in rural areas, although the range is limited. Roadside kiosks are a useful source of snacks for cyclists.
In traditional tourist areas, especially the Black Sea coast, there is a wide range of accommodation. In other areas there is less available
Hotels:Many travellers find the price:quality ratio of hotels to be unrealistic. Always inspect the room and sanitary facilities before agreeing a price. breakfast is rarely included in the price. Good hotels are expensive in comparison, although still cheap for west Europeans. Recently there has been a growth in private hotels.
Private Accommodation: The availability of Private Accommodation has increased greatly. It is best to ask locally about this or see links
Camping: There are a large number of campsites, but some are lacking in terms of the sanitation provided. Often cabins are also available for rent cheaply.(casute)Tip: A map of campsites is available from the Romanian Tourist Board, (see Links). Wild Camping is officially forbidden, although practised widely.
Youth Hostels are sparse, for details contact:
Youth Hostel Association Romania
Str. Clabucet Street Nr. 2 Bloc P4, AP 69, JUD.CLUJ
Tel: (40) 64 186 616
Fax: (40) 64 186 616
Tips: Farmers near to visitor attractions, often offer cheap rooms, or barns for tourists. (bring a small gift). Some Monasteries or churches provide guest houses where visitors can stay in return for a donation.
Language: Romanian is Roman and is related to Latin. It is worth learning some words before going, as this is appreciated and is helpful in rural areas.
Currency: $1 = 18,000 Lei approx. Check on the internet for the latest exchange rate. www.inyourpocket.com/Romania/index.shtml. Currency exchange; cash can be changed at larger hotels, airports and towns.
Tip: Don't change directly at the border or on the black market. Travellers' cheques, Eurocheques and Credit cards cannot be used very widely outside large towns. Cash machines are found in larger towns. Dollars in small denominations are very practical..
Shop Opening Times: Mo-Fr 9-18.00, Sat till 13.00. Many shops are open later.
Telephoning: International Dialling Code To Romania: 0040, Romania to UK: 0044. Orange public phones take cards, which are purchased at post offices or hotels. Coin boxes are blue. In rural areas opportunities to telephone are very limited.
Power: Romania has 220 Volt AC with the 2-pin plug.
Emergency: 955 (Police), 961 (Accident Rescue)
Time:Romania is in the East European Time Zone (= GMT plus 2 h).
Cycling in Romania
The best cycling guide book is online:
- Travelling and Cycling in Romania
by the author of Romania In your Pocket
- "Napoca" cyclotourism club, 133 Septimiu Albini-Str. Nr. 18, RO-3400 Cluj-Napoca 9, Tel. & Fax +64/14 29 53,
email@example.com Detailed touring information and ideas.
- Mountainbike-Club Resita, P-ta 1 Dec 1918, nr. 2, Hotel Semenic, cam 102, RO-1700 Resita, Tel. & Fax: +55/22 49 80, 22 49 79
- Challenge Romania - Cycling, Paragliding and Walking Holidays,
& Guest House accommodation in Banat Mountains,
in south-west between Danube and Timisoara
Guide: Aurel Dunaroaia
Str. Valea Tereziei
- Romanian Embassy, Embassy of Romania in the United Kingdom
4 Palace Green, Kensington Gardens, London, W8/4QD
Fax: 0044-171-937.80.69; 0044-171-937.49.05
Consular section: 0044-171-937.96.67
firstname.lastname@example.org Embassies in other countries
Guide Books (On-line)
- In Your Pocket Guide (written by a cyclist) www.inyourpocket.com/Romania/index.shtml.
- Lonely PlanetGuide to Romania
- Rough Guide to Romania travel.roughguides.com/content/11529/index.htm.
Official Sites (On-line)
- Romanian National Tourist Office
22 New Cavendish Street
Tel:020 7224 3692
Fax: 020 7935 6435
Official website of the Romanian Tourist Board: www.romaniatravel.com
- DIMAP Bt, Báthory u. 104, H-1196 Budapest, Tel./Fax +36-1/177-79 08, eMail: email@example.com. Good (Road-)Map for Transsylvania.
- Romania, 1:800.000, Euro-Länderkarte, RV-Verlag.Best road map.
- Rumänien, 1:750.000, Shell EuroKarte, Marco Polo 1997.
- Romania, 1:700.000, Autokarte, Freytag & Berndt 1997
- Romania Bulgaria, 1:1 Million, Kümmerly & Frey 1998
- Romania/Bulgarian, 1:1 Million, Hallwag-Verlag 1994/95
- Ardeal, Siebenbürgen, Transsylvania, 1: 500.000, DIMAP Bt. (s. Adr.). The best regional map.
The Romanian Tourist Board supplies a 1:750.000 map with tourist sites free of charge. Local tourist offices may also stock hiking maps, though not necessarily recent editions. (e.g. for parts of the Retezat-, Bucegi- und Fogaracs - Range).
If you find any errors on this site please let us know.
Your information will help us keep up-to-date.
Copyright: BikeRomania, Bielefeld.
Original Text: Thomas Froitzheim, Bielefeld
Translated and edited by: Richard Smith, 6/00
Contact: Tel. 04 21 / 346 29 0 - eMail: firstname.lastname@example.org