Backpacking in Romania: TOP 5 Multi-Day Trails

The majestic peaks of Romania's Bucegi Mountains bathed in golden sunlight on a clear blue day

In this post, we'll take a look at:

Backpacking in Romania offers immense variety for outdoor enthusiasts, from the rugged Carpathian Mountains to the windswept Black Sea coast, including popular destinations like the Retezat National Park.

And that’s what this post is all about – backpacking in Romania. We’ll provide tips to help you prepare for backpacking in this diverse country as well as showcase the best multi-day trails in Romania.

From rolling green hills to dramatic limestone gorges, Romania’s landscapes provide spectacular backpacking opportunities. Whether you’re an experienced thru-hiker or new to backpacking in Romania, the tips and trails highlighted in this guide will inspire your next adventure.

Let’s get started.

Key Tips for Backpacking in Romania

  • What to expect: Be prepared for demanding mountain treks and easier coastal hikes. Research trails ahead and have offline maps, as parts of Romania have limited cell service. Carry cash for lodging and food in rural areas. Though Romania is relatively safe, take normal precautions with valuables. Allow extra time to account for irregular public transport when route planning.
  • Essential gear: Pack layers and waterproof gear, as weather can shift suddenly in the Carpathians. Carry offline maps and a compass. A water filter or purification tablets are essential, along with a first aid kit.
  • Wildlife: Romania’s wilderness areas are home to bears, wolves, and other large mammals that can potentially pose a risk to backpackers. However, attacks are rare if proper precautions are taken. The biggest hazards are likely to come from accidental encounters with bears or wolves while hiking in remote areas. Ticks are another hazard, as they can transmit diseases like Lyme disease.
  • Wild camping is legally allowed in Romania except on private property or protected areas. The best practices are to camp discreetly away from residents, infrastructure, and alpine regions; strictly follow leave no trace principles; use established fire rings and fully extinguish fires; hang food and trash to keep bears away; and make noise to avoid surprising bears.
  • Best times to go are late spring through early autumn, from May through September. July and August are ideal for the Carpathians, with long days, blooming wildflowers, and fewer insects. May, June and September offer moderate temperatures without summer crowds. Prepare for variable mountain weather year-round.

Top 5 Backpacking Trails in Romania

Explore Romania’s best scenic trails for epic adventures:

1. Borsa, Pietrosul și Șaua Galatului

The rugged, forested peaks of Parcul National Muntii Rodnei emerge through drifting clouds, creating a mystical landscape in northern Romania

Length: 23.1 mi / 37.2 km
Type: Point to point
Difficulty: Hard
Elevation Gain: 7765 ft / 2367 m
Location: Borșa
Estimated Hiking Calorie Burn: 8750 calories
More Details: See on AllTrails

This challenging 23-mile hiking trail through the Maramureș Mountains connects two points. Experienced hikers should allow about 14 hours to complete the trail. Along the way, hikers will be treated to mountain vistas, crystalline lakes, and diverse alpine terrain. However, loose rocks and changing weather patterns add difficulty. Backpackers should bring filtering devices and plenty of water. With endurance, the scenic mountains can be conquered on this point-to-point route.

2. Mănăstirea Turnu, Mănăstirea Stânișoara, Cabana Cozia și Vf. Cozia

The ancient Olt River Valley shrouded in mist beneath towering evergreen forests in Romania's enchanting Cozia National Park

Length: 16.3 mi / 26.2 km
Type: Loop
Difficulty: Hard
Elevation Gain: 7703 ft / 2348 m
Location: Călimănești
Estimated Hiking Calorie Burn: 6600 calories
More Details: See on AllTrails

This 16.3-mile loop trail near Călimănești presents a challenging route that will take experienced hikers approximately 13 hours to complete. You will steeply climb through cloud forests, encountering cultural buildings along the way. The trail navigates rocky cliffs and forests, providing extraordinary views. Wildlife and other hikers can also be expected on this popular route. Proper gear and physical preparedness are necessary if you want to tackle this scenic yet difficult loop.

3. Vârful Țarcu

The jagged, rocky peaks of Muntii Tarcu enveloped by ominous clouds and fog, creating a mood of solitude and mystery in the bleak Romanian landscape

Length: 11.9 mi / 19.2 km
Type: Out and back
Difficulty: Hard
Elevation Gain: 3914 ft / 1193 m
Location: Turnu Ruieni
Estimated Hiking Calorie Burn: 5450 calories
More Details: See on AllTrails

This nearly 12-mile out-and-back trail challenges you through forests and hilly terrain offering amazing views. The first 30% winds mildly through woods before a steep climb over hills. Though strenuous, the well-marked trail treats you to breathtaking vistas at the summit, making the effort worthwhile. Other hikers can also be encountered along this popular route. Proper conditioning is recommended if you want to complete this scenic but demanding trek.

4. Jókai Mór Gyalogos Emlék- és Teljesítménytúrák

The tabletop Piatra Secuiului mountain emerges through a sea of clouds on a gloomy, overcast day, casting a scenic yet melancholy mood over the village of Rimetea, Romania

Length: 32.9 mi / 52.9 km
Type: Point to point
Difficulty: Hard
Elevation Gain: 6912 ft / 2107 m
Location: Cluj-Napoca
Estimated Hiking Calorie Burn: 7050 calories
More Details: See on AllTrails

This 32.9-mile point-to-point trail presents a challenging trek that will take you over 17 hours to complete while traversing breathtaking mountain scenery. You will encounter rocky cliff summits, beautiful mountain creeks, and quaint villages along the popular route. Loose rock terrain through isolated stretches allows for serene solitude during quiet times. The journey also passes lovely forests and valleys as you make your way through this stunning landscape. Proper preparation is necessary if you take on this scenic multi-day route.

5. Marathon 3200

Endless hiking possibilities unfold across the majestic Carpathian valley in Bucegi, Romania, with golden sunlight illuminating a landscape of rolling hills and lush green forests

Length: 25.3 mi / 40.7 km
Type: Loop
Difficulty: Hard
Elevation Gain: 10 367 ft / 3160 m
Location: Moroeni
Estimated Hiking Calorie Burn: 9530 calories
More Details: See on AllTrails

This challenging 25-mile loop near Moroeni offers beautiful mountain scenery. The popular trail takes approximately 18 hours to complete and includes a steep descent. Hiking poles are recommended given the difficult terrain. Though busy at times, solitude can be found during quiet periods. Marvel at Swiss-like landscapes and scenic views throughout the route. Breathtaking vistas await those willing to tackle this strenuous hike through the Carpathian Mountains with proper preparations.

Annual Weather Averages

Romania has a temperate-continental climate with four distinct seasons:

Spring (March-May)

  • Average temperatures range from 40-60°F (5-15°C).
  • Increased sunshine and drier weather as the season progresses.
  • Some lingering snow at higher elevations early in season.
  • Late May has mild temperatures in the 60s-70s°F (15-25°C).
  • Spring rainfall can still impact trail conditions.
  • Wildflowers start blooming by late spring.

Summer (June-August)

  • Warmest time of year with highs in the 80s-90s°F (30s°C).
  • Most rainfall occurs in summer, especially July-August.
  • Afternoon thunderstorms are common during summer.
  • Higher humidity and temperatures at lower elevations.
  • Best to do high elevation treks to escape heat and humidity.
  • Bug season – come prepared with repellent.

Fall (September-November)

  • Cooling temperatures in the 60s-50s°F (15-10°C).
  • September and October are drier with pleasant daytime temperatures.
  • Prime time to see fall foliage changing colors in forests.
  • Snow starts falling in the mountains by late October.
  • Daylight hours get noticeably shorter by November.

Winter (December-February)

  • Cold temperatures in the 20s-30s°F (-5 to 0°C). Colder in mountains.
  • Mountain areas can have significant snow, ice and blizzard conditions.
  • Lowland areas have a mix of cold rain, ice, light snow.
  • Short daylight hours – early sunsets by 4-5pm.

Before choosing your gear, look at the historical weather patterns in Romania (Baia Mare) over the course of a year:

High °F343849606974787769594636
Low °F232532414955585750413326
Rain/Snow (D*)666810111087776
Note: This table is approximate; weather can change with altitude.
D* – Days of rain or snow.

Alternative Backpacking Destinations

Not sure if Romania is right for you?

Don’t forget to check out our backpacking guide for Slovakia.


Can I have a campfire while backpacking in Romania?

When backpacking in Romania, you can have a campfire if you follow responsible practices. Use existing fire rings when possible. Avoid lighting fires during dry conditions when the forest is vulnerable. Keep fires small and only use dead branches found on the ground, not live trees. Completely put out the fire with water before leaving so no embers remain. Follow all regulations about where campfires are permitted or prohibited. Take extra care with fire safety in Romanian forests. The key is to minimize footprint and risk when using campfires for cooking or warmth.

What are some safety tips for backpacking in Romania?

When backpacking in Romania, research trails, tell others your plans, and bring proper gear like maps, first aid, and rain jackets. Hike with a partner when possible and stay on marked paths. Watch for harsh mountain weather. Carry plenty of water and food since resources are scarce in remote areas. Cook on stoves rather than open fires to reduce risk. Be aware of wildlife like bears and keep distance. Respect national park rules and Leave No Trace principles.

Do U.S. citizens need a visa to visit Romania?

U.S. citizens can visit Romania without a visa for up to 90 days. You only need a valid passport to enter Romania for a short trip. Be sure your passport is good for 6 more months. No visa is required if staying less than 90 days. But register with the local police if staying over 3 days. Check entry rules before going because they change sometimes. Always have your passport and proof of insurance when visiting. Get a long-stay visa from a Romania embassy if staying over 90 days.

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Leading the pack is our editor-in-chief, Alex Jardine – an ultralight evangelist who's hiked over 10,000 trail miles across the globe. He's basically a walking outdoor encyclopedia. This dude loves testing out the latest and greatest products, so you can trust his recommendations are always well-informed and reliable.

We treat all our suggestions like advice from close trail buddies. No fluff, just real insights from folks who live and breathe the outdoor life.

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