The Huskies of Transylvania
Transylvania is Romania’s most renowned region, with beautiful landscape, colourful medieval old towns, remote traditional rural villages and of course, the legend of Dracula brought to life by Bram Stoker. But in addition to all these cultural highlights, it now very much qualifies as a winter wonderland to rival the very best of winter locations but at a fraction of the cost. It’s home to Poiana Brasov, Romania’s premier ski resort, it has its very own Hotel of Ice situated in the remote and picturesque mountains at over 2000m and now it even has huskies! Here we take a look at what’s involved in an unforgettable visit to ride a team of huskies in the hills of the Carpathians in Transylvania.
Firstly you’ll arrive in the face paced capital city of Bucharest, famed for its architecture and more recent fascinating history under its last communist leader, Nicolae Ceaușescu, whose reign came to an abrupt end in December 1989 after 24 years with his execution on Christmas Day. Now it’s a lively city with plenty to see during the day and a restaurant and bar scene that comes alive almost every night. Having enjoyed the vibrant capital you’ll then be transferred through the mountains to Transylvania, stopping off on the way at the jaw-droppingly beautiful Peles Castle with its fairytale-like exterior and impression intricately designed interior making it more than a worthwhile visit. Then you’ll continue on to Brasov, known as the gateway to Transylvania, is filled with colourful buildings, cobbled streets, and cosy restaurants making it the ideal place to spend the night.
The following morning you’ll travel through the Transylvanian winter countryside for your husky experience. Firstly you’ll be given a safety briefing and taught the basics you’ll require for your introductory lesson driving a team of huskies. Then you’ll meet your adorable furry friends who will be, as standard incredibly excited to see you and whisk you through the surrounding hills and forests! Then the once-in-a-lifetime experience you’ve been waiting for. The wind rushes past and you feel alive as the adrenalin pumps through your veins as you learn to turn, brake to slow down, and on occasion, help push with your foot to gain speed – you are driving a team of huskies through the Transylvanian countryside. It’s beautiful, it’s surreal but most of all it’s unforgettable!
The introductory husky experience is about 30 minutes, half of which you’ll be driving and half of you’ll be a passenger unless you’ve paid for your own team of huskies. For those who’d like to, there is an intermediate option that is about an hour which you can upgrade to. However, for most the 30-minute experience is plenty, it’s important to remember that they are animals so they get tired and slow down and it’s cold, especially when on the move! The is also a full-day option but you’d need to go on a private tour for this and it’s not cheap.
After your husky excursion, you’ll be taken to Sighisoara, which is arguably the best preserved of Transylvania’s medieval old towns. There you’ll have lunch, a quick tour and wander before heading to another charming colourful old town of Sibiu, which won European Capital of Culture in 2007. Sibiu is blessed with lots of restaurants serving delicious food along with many cute cafes and bars.
Finally, for your last day in Transylvania, you’ll travel to the infamous Bran Castle or as it’s more commonly known Dracula’s Castle where you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the legend and enjoy a stroll around what is a beautiful castle in its own right. Enjoy the local food market surrounding the castle and sample some of its traditional delicacies before lunch. Then travel back to Bucharest in time for dinner and your last night before flying home the following day.
If you would like to visit Transylvania and experience an unforgettable time with the Huskies then join us on our Transylvanian Husky Experience. Alternatively, if you’d like something more bespoke to perhaps include the Hotel of Ice or maybe some skiing then please contact us and we’d be delighted to organise an itinerary for you.
Written by James Chisnall