Countryside life and bear watching
Challenge your inner explorer with a day trip to the Transylvanian countryside to an off-the-beaten-path location where you can meet talented craftsmen, visit locals in their homes, learn about the local lifestyle, then join a bear watching tour in the wild at dusk. Life in the dispersed mountainous village of Varsag is fascinating and harsh in the same time. People still live like 50 years ago, earning a living from subsistence agriculture and forestry. Many houses are scattered in the heart of nature kilometers away from any facility like a school, a shop or a church. Neighboring houses can be separated from each other by a forest or by a field or meadow. The landscape is breathtaking with numerous mineral spings, crystal clear streams rich in trouts, pastures covered by wild flowers, glimmering waterfalls and dense forests rich in game. Step back in time and experience the greatness and simplicity of the locals living in Varsag, then see wild brown bears in their natural habitat from the security of one of the many wildlife hides operating in the area.
Highlights of the tour:
Explore the dispersed mountainous village of Varsag (79 km from Sighisoara)
Get acquainted with the old craft of shingle-roof making and other traditional crafts
Ride on a horse-drawn cart to absorb the local atmosphere
Visit the picturesque 7 m high Csurgoko waterfall
3-hour close encounter with native wildlife in their natural environment
Spot brown bears and possibly other species like deer, wild boar, fox, badger or game birds
Enjoy the Carpathian forests silence and the excitement of waiting for bears to come
Informative, friendly and professional guide
Small group ensures personal service
Flexibility to customize your itinerary to your own preferences
Meet your guide in Odorheiu Secuiesc (47 km from Sighisoara) and ride almost an hour to one of the most dispersed villages of the Eastern Carpathians, to Varsag, where 60% of the area is woody and the inhabitants live kilometers away from each other. Along the way you will ride through colorful Szekler villages by the Tarnava Mare River, pass by the picturesque Zetea dam lake, then wind through a narrow road leading among dense forests until you arrive to Varsag. Here a horse drawn cart will await you to start your discovery tour. Visit a local pub and spend some time interacting with the locals. This isolated community with its friendly and welcoming locals will fascinate you. Enjoy some snacks and local brandy while they tell you about their daily lives and amuse you with some funny stories. According to local legends, the village covers an area comparable in size to the territory of the Romanian capital with only 1500 inhabitants living there. Ride the cart and visit traditional craftsmen like the blacksmith, the shingle-roof maker and a wood carver, watch them at work and listen to their stories. Taste delicious local produce, visit a 100 year old still-functioning watermill, capture the 7 m high Csurgoko waterfall and climb up on a 3 m high look-out tower which offers panoramic views of the dispersed houses and farms and of the surrounding Carpathian Mountains in the distance.
One-hour before dusk an experienced local ranger, will take you with his 4wd car deep into the forests of the Eastern Carpathians which have one of the largest population concentration of brown bears in Romania. Occupy your place in the hide, stay quiet, listen to the forest wildlife sounds and enjoy the excitement of waiting for bears to come. Usually we are successful in seeing bears, but as there are wild animals involved, nothing is guaranteed. If you are lucky, you may observe bears feeding themselves, playing together, courting and mating, and even other species like wild boars, roe deer and red deer, fox, badger and some game birds. After approximately 3 hours watching, head back to the car accompanied by your guide and ride back to Odorheiu Secuiesc. The entire trip takes 9 to 10 hours. Be prepared and wear hiking boots, weatherproof clothing and bring binoculars, camera, extra battery and memory card to record this unique experience.