Feel the nature, next to your guide, on adventure, enjoy the ride!

Day-by-day description of the 'Heart Of Transylvania' Route

Day 1:
Arrival in Cluj-Napoca
This is the time when we meet and get into a first touch with the Romanian city life. Placed in the heart of Transylvania, Cluj-Napoca awaits its visitors, with the silent full-of-history walls and hospitable people. We get here the chance of observing the famous Transylvanian calm, reflexive mind, seriousness and pride of the citizens. We visit the city old centre and then we take the dinner on a nice restaurant from the hill called 'Cetatuia', where we will enjoy the night urban scenery. We sleep overnight at a stylish 3* hotel.

Day 2: (35km) 
Cluj-Napoca (car transfer) - Gilau - Somesul Cald Lake - Tarnita Lake - Marisel 
The second day we start the serious business, getting on our restless bikes. It may be a short distance but it's not taking us easy at all, since we have to climb continuously, for about 800m altitude. But we are brave, aren't we? And, besides that, the reached view is encouraging us to go further. First, we pass through a series of great lakes; these are Gilau Lake, Somesul Cald Lake and Tarnita Lake. The asphalt road is here in good condition. We reach Marisel, a picturesque typical village from 'Tara Motilor'. It was also declared an ecological village, especially by its food products and surrounding virgin forests. Nearby there is an impressive hydro-electric power plant, 80m deep into the rock; with its 220MW installed capacity, the power plant is the second biggest on the inner rivers of Romania. We get our well-deserved rest at a great pension (3*) ran by a very welcoming family. 

Somesul Cald River seen from the dam

At Somesul Cald dam
Day 3: (55km) 
Marisel - Fantanele Lake - Ursoaia Pass (1320m) - Horea - Albac
After leaving behind the village Marisel, we meet the monument of Avram Iancu, which is showing us the great respect the locals paid to the famous 1848 revolutionist. On July 10th there is here a great traditional celebration of Avram, the hero from Ardeal (last year there were here over 10 000 people). We leave behind the Fantanele Lake, loose now the asphalt and proceed the climbing to Pasul Ursoaia (Ursoaia Pass - 1320m) on good macadam.  
Climbing to Ursoaia Pass
Sun-bath after a night spent in the tent, surrounded by pure nature
All this part of the forest road is surrounded by lots of bushes of bilberries and raspberries. The fruits are incredibly delicious and perfumed. 
Delicious forest fruits
Fresh apples on the side of the road are inviting us to try them
The more we climb, the wider the scenery landscape is spreading before our enchanted eyes. Stopping here for taking photos is a must!
The splendid 'Tara Motilor' 
In Horea, we can assist to the locally very famous 'Carpenter's Festival', held this year on August 20-21'st. All the skilful wood artisans from Apuseni area want to participate to this important event and show their skills about chopping or carving the wood. We will be pleased to admire them, while sipping from a tasty glass of wine. Also in this village we are welcome to visit a typical peasant house ('Casa Moteasca'), and surely we will be impressed by its authenticity. In Albac we basically get through the other side of the mountains and reach the Aries River. We choose to stay overnight at a nice pension (4*), where we can try a worthy sauna relaxing session. 

Day 4: (60km) 
Albac - Campeni - Baia de Aries - Salciua - Sub Piatra
From Albac we pedal again on asphalt, following the valley of the river and admiring the wonders of nature.

Aries River gorge
Majestic view, from Salciua!
The Aries gorge lie next to Albac Village. Here, the rock gets variously shaped by the action of water, wind or gelifraction. The river is constantly carving the massive limestone and one can admire the steep inlaid with crags and eaves on each side populated with niches, arches or detritus.
The water carving the limestone in Aries gorge
We continue our journey along the valley. And when we are hungry, we stop on the bank of the river for a fast roasted wurst and, if it's too hot, we just let ourselves to swim in the jolly Aries. Nobody will bother us, because we will bother nobody. It's just the way it is here, in the welcoming 'Tara Motilor'.
Can you resist to a wurst on the stick with toast? :) 

It's always nice to cool down and get a well deserved water massage
Reaching the wonderful village Sub Piatra, we get the chance of visiting the 5km long cave Huda lui Papara, the biggest from this part of Apuseni. We sleep overnight at a 3* pension, placed in a wonderful scenery, only 100m away from the cave. 

Day 5: (55km) 
Sub Piatra - Bradesti - Ramet - Coltesti
Cycling now in a different mountain area in Apuseni, south from the valley of Aries doesn't change the beauty of this blessed land. Idyllic villages (Dumesti, Valea Poienii, Bradesti, Ramet), untouched by the time passing, keep on showing themselves in a splendid manner. In Ramet we admire one of the oldest monasteries in Transylvania, built in the 14th century. We also get off the bikes for a bit and check the Ramet Gorge, marvellously carving the rock. This place is unique in the world! 

Being tired does not prevent us from tossing off a pitcher, at a village bar
A nice downhill through deep forest is waiting for us, after which, at the end of the day,we reach a very comfortable lordly house, where we get some fine repose. The mansion is turned into a 4* establishment which keeps many of the traditional Transylvanian motives. In the rooms we find painted furniture, hand-made embroideries, which make us think of the richness of this region. The tasty and rich-flavored food and drinks we are served here are also specific to this part of Transylvania. After relaxing a bit and enjoying the delicious dishes, we can visit some nice tourist attractions that exist in the area of Coltesti Village, such as the fortress of Coltesti, home of a noble family.

Day 6: (40km) 
Coltesti - Turda - Petrestii de Jos
We continue our adventure in Apuseni, starting the day with an easy, flat sector. We go to Turda, one of the most important Roman towns and a significant salt mine in Transylvania. We admire the town's 16m high saline from underground and the Roman ruins. We reach the 3* pension where we will sleep overnight and, after some rest, we still have half a day to visit Turda Gorge, with its impressive 200m high walls. Surrounded by such natural beauty we wonder if the surprises are still going to amaze us during the next two days...
It may seem there is something wrong with the scaling... 
Well, there isn't! It's just a huge pile of hay

Day 7: (35km) 
Petrestii de Jos - Buru - Baisoara - Valea Ierii
Since we start the day fully refreshed by the pure, clean mountain air, we head towards Baisoara through hills covered with all sorts of fruit trees and then, we visit the old fortress of Liteni. We end the day, after a bit of a climbing, in the quiet and picturesque Valea Ierii at a 3* pension.
Her majesty, the Nature! (next to Liteni fortress)
Day 8: (25km) 
Valea Ierii - Gilau - (car transfer) - Cluj-Napoca
The start of the day gives us a rough climbing of approximately 400m altitude, but then it follows the grand prize: a spectacular downhill passing next to the waters of Somesul Rece ('Cold Somes'). When the river meets his brother, Somesul Cald ('Warm Somes'), we practically continue back to where we started the tour and easily find Gilau. From here, we get back to Cluj-Napoca by car and relax the rest of the day with some short sightseeing through this great historical city. Accommodation is set at the same hotel we slept during the first night. 
The two Somes valleys
Day 9:
Departure from Cluj-Napoca
We are preparing for departure after a healthy breakfast and say goodbye to eachother, until the next time!

Thank you for taking this journey with us!
The end!

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