Excursii la munte


Roman Roads in Apuseni Mountains

roman_roads_romania  Imagine that you are translated in year 131 in a roman settlement called Alburnus Maior (Rosia Montana). After the Dacian Wars in 105-106, the romans started to extract the gold form the famous golden mines form Apuseni Mountains, in Dacia. Here were found the famous wax tablets that contained mines concession contracts. Visiting the roman mines we’ll be translated 2000 years back, in the eflourishing period of roman colonization. 

Here we should see a lot of roman traces: the remains of the roman road, a lot of tombstones, remains of the roman settlement.

Transylvania is located in the south-eastern part of the Carpathian Basin. Its area is roughly 100,000 km2. The Carpathian Mountains, reaching above 2,000 meters in places, form its boundary to the east and the south, separating it from the Romanian regions of Moldavia and Wallachia. On our tour  we visit the Apuseni Mountains, the highest peak in the area is called Bihor, 1848 m high.

Situated between the hills in a beautiful landscape, Rosia Monana was developed like a mining area, which was the subject of migration for a lot of people from whole Europe. This fact influenced the development of the village, which becamed one cosmopolit, with five churches and a lot of constructions influenced by european architecture of the 18th -19th Century. The remain of the old mines are seen each step: huge hills excavated, old mines entrances collapsed and artificial lakes for washing the minerals.

Today, because the gold exploitations are closed, the village is in bad shape, a lot of the old buildings were abandoned. A canadian mining company called Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC) prepeared in year 2000 the procedure to extract the gold with a controversial procedure which involves the use of cyanide to separate gold. The decanting waste will be done by a huge dam lake, which could threaten the entire area in case of destruction after a disaster. In this moment the exploitation didn’t start because the oposition of the locals that didn’t want to leave their properties and because the mining company didn't obtain the environmental agreement form the Romanian Government.

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 We’ll have a lot of trips in the area, that will allow you to take a picture of what will happen if the mine starts. In this trips you should collect mushrooms and herb, or identified a lot of species, guided by our specialized guide. The two old mines, prepared for tourists, wil show us how the romans carved the galleries and how they extracted the gold. We'll meet the locals and we'll see their traditional way of life.

In the last days of our tour, we will move in Bucium village, a place with beautiful scenery and full of history. We will hike the mountain looking for roman roads and mines, crossing the forests and meeting the locals working in the field. Here we'll see the highest roman outside gold exploitation in Romania, at over 1300 high and also their way of separating the gold from minerals. The charm of this remote place will impress you!

The last objective of our tour is Brad area, famous for it’s roman golden mines and for the famous narrow line train, one of the last in Romania. Travelling by narrow train we will restore life like 100 years ago. The Golden Muzeum from Brad will show us a lot of minerals and the way that the golden mineral became your precios jewelry.

 On our returning way to Cluj we’ll cross the famous Aries Valley, developed on 60 km long.

A city tour of Cluj-Napoca Town will conclude our trip.

According to ecotourism principles we try to use the rals and the story of the gold from extraction to our jewelry. On our returning way to Cluj we’ll cross the famous Arlocal's servicies, like hosting at locals and buying the local products. We are trying to limit the motorized transport as we can. In the same way, we try to respect their traditional way of life and to respect their believes.

The accomodation will be in local guesthouses, where we should see their way of life and share their recipes. In the last three days we’ll sleep in a remote village, in an old inn, with traditional rooms and local food.

The tourist will need only personal eqipment such as: backpack, boots and appropiate clothing, raincoat, personal hygiene items. Aditional refresments will be provided on the trails.

Training requirement: moderate training- 4-6 hours/day walk on the mountain paths. There are accepted families with children over 11 years old. 

Price includes: transfer by car from airport to the mountains and back, 3 meals a day, starting with lunch on the first day and ending with lunch on the last day, guiding and all the expenses related with guiding, accommodation in guesthouses in rooms with 2 or 3 beds and shared bathrooms or in mountain hut with limited facilities. 
The tour includes fee entrances at the golden mines, at narrow line train and at Golden Museum from Brad.

Engish or german language guide.

Price do not include: insurance and other personal costs.


Length of the tour: 8 days.


-489 GBP/person or

599 Euro/person.

We accept groups of 6-8 tourists. 


How to get in Romania.

Valid periods: 1st May- 15th October 2014. 

 On request, we can offer you tailor-made trips, according to your preferences. 

Download the Full Description Itinerary



Roman Roads

Transylvania was the nucleus of the dacians kingdom (82 BC–106 AD), then the romans occupied the area of central and southwest Transylvania, and across the Carpathians into Oltenia, in 106 AD. After the conquest, romans exploited the gold and salt mines, in what is now Transylvania extensively, building excellent access roads, to be able to transport the gold and the salt exploited in various mines and building forts to protect them, like Colonia Auraria Maior (Abrud) and Alburnus Maior (Rosia Montana). The region developed a strong infrastructure and economy, based on agriculture, cattle farming and mining. Colonist were brought in to settle the land, developing cities like Sarmisegetuza, Apulum (Alba Iulia) and Napoca (now Cluj) into municipiums and colonias.
The Roman kingdom was short lived being abandoned in 271 and mines were abandoned till the times of Habsburgic Empire.

About Transylvania

The first state was called Dacia, conquered and annexed by the Roman Empire. Hungarian tribes occupied Transylvania, during the 9th century. Staring form year 1000 right up to year 1920, Transylvania was part of the Kingdom of Hungary and of the Habsburgic Empire.
The southern borders of Transylvania were settled in the 12th century by colonists from the Holy Roman Empire. These German settlers, known as Transylvanian Saxons created splendid fortified churches. In 1526 the Kingdom of Hungary was defeated by an invading Turkish army. The heart of the country was conquered by the Turks, while its western parts passed, together with the Hungarian crown, to the Habsburgs in Vienna. Transylvania became an independent principality, paying tribute to the Turks, but ruled by Hungarian princes. This principality, now mainly protestant, became for a time the center of Hungarian culture. At the end of the 17th century the Turks were expelled from Hungary by a coalition of Christian armies, and Hungary regained its unity. The Habsburgs kept a certain degree of autonomy for Transylvania but ruled it directly from Vienna.

Tranditional Food

Some traditional dishes : Bean soup with smoked meat, beef Peasant soup, chicken noodle soup, polenta with cheese, cabbage rolls. In Romanian cuisine, pork meat  plays a major role. Transylvania is famous for its plum brandy and for its natural juices and jams.
The breakfast consists of homemade bread with butter, cheese, salami, boiled eggs, ham, jam. As drinks you have coffee, milk or tea. Besides these, you can serve cereals. Lunch is consisting of soup, followed by a menu of meat (pork, chicken, beef) and garnish vegetables (potatoes , rice , mushrooms). It is served with tomato salad or cabbage. Italian dishes were recently introduced, mostly pasta and pizza. If you want drinks, you can choose sparkling water, soda, beer, wine and plum brandy, natural brandy. For desert you can serve cakes, pies, ice cream.
Dinner consists of a single dish , usually meat, cooked with vegetables and salad . Those who would not eat meat will serve natural salad with cabbage , onions , lettuce , olives, cheese , known as bulgarian salad or other dishes prepared without meat. Being most of the time on the road, lunch will be very frugal, but we will compensate with a huge dinner.

Restaurant Prices

Regarding the prices in the restaurant for lunch, here are some informative prices: soup- 3 euro, steak- 6 euro, Bulgarian salads- 3 euro, cakes, ice cream- 2 euro, juice- 1 euro, mineral water- 1 euro, beer (500 ml)- 2 euro, a cup of wine- 2 euro.