Biking the roads of history from Bucharest
Activity: Mountain Biking
Languages spoken: English
Duration: 15 hrs 30 mins
Difficulty: DifficultMeeting point:
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- Enjoy the magnificent views of North drops of Ciucas Mountain
- Gravel road, dirt roads, narrow paths, grass paths, difficult climbs, easy climbs, wonderful descents
- Medieval customs tower in the mountains
- Beautiful cemetery that we will pass near Tabla Butii
All about the trip
The Northern borders of the old kingdom of Romania and of the still older Wallachia lay on ridges of the mountains. Some passes allowed for a constant flow of goods from Wallachia to Transylvania and the other way round. The busiest of these border passes used to be the one called Tabla Butii over the mountains Tataru and Siriu. But, with the coming of modern times, this high road was abandoned for the faster valley roads. It is rarely visited in midsummer, but that´s good news for us because the old road will be all ours. So let’s bike into history and sweat along this historical path following the footsteps of so many travelers, who passed it long before us.
We start early from Bucharest to avoid the morning traffic jam, to leave the city behind and be outdoors as much as possible. The driving takes us close to the city of Ploiesti and we will get to see the oil refineries which were bombed by the Allies during World War II as they were fueling the Nazi war machinery. Passing through the small city of Valenii de Munte, we reach Maneciu, our destination.
Getting us and the bike ready, we start with an easy descent through the houses of the village and then we cross a big dam which crosses the river Teleajan. After we cross the dam, we start our mountain biking adventure in its fullest. In almost no time, after some warm-up biking, we will be on the ridge line following the historical border crossing road. We can already see the beautiful villages below us as well as more distant Ciucas mountain. This landmark is a very good destination for spending a beautiful outdoor day. Slowly but surely we enter deeper into Tataru mountain. We might get lucky and see lots of sheep and dogs on the way. Good for pictures! Before the hardest climb of the day, we stop for a little rest near a spring.
We continue the hard way, but as you already know, no well-deserved downhill ride is worth much unless it comes after a climb. The grassy path starts here and the grip of our bike tires is simply excellent. The historical landmarks come into view. First, the ruins of the old customs tower then unexpectedly the Tabla Butii Cemetery. It is beautiful and melancholic at the same time. The aura of the place is stronger still with the north steep side of Ciucas Mountain in view. The historical border road continues in the Northern direction in a slow descent towards Transylvania (by the way, this name means the land of forests). We turn back at this point in a technical steep descent which takes us quickly on a gravel mountain road. After some road turns we find ourselves suddenly in the middle of a busy tourist area we could not have imagined for this hidden place.
The tour is not yet over. We still have one more climb to do. A heavily wooded hill waits in front of us, but we will manage it without getting down off the bike. We reach the asphalt road and cars.
On our way home we will stop for a fully deserved dinner. We estimate to arrive in Bucharest by 22:00, depending on the traffic.
What is included in the price
- Transport from and to Bucharest by car, including the bikes
- Bike maintenance kit (extra tube in case of a defect, repair kit, etc.)
What is not included in the price
- Bike (can be rented for additional 15 Euro/day cost, including the bike helmet)
This is not a tour for beginners. It requires technical skills and a lot of effort. Some sections of the route may not be for everyone to bike. But the push-bike techniques are always there to get us out of the trouble.
Do you have a question or need more information about the activity?
You can reach our European office between 9am and 5pm CET on weekdays and between 11am and 5pm on weekends and holidays.
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