We are now on a long route of about 270 kilometers, which includes the part of Via Transilvanica in Alba and Hunedoara counties, going up to the highest altitude of its entire route, at 1242 meters.
Here we discover a perfect combination of gentle hills with oak and other deciduous forests, vineyards in the famous Târnave area, and also vast yellow fields with rapeseed in spring, or sunflower, during the summer. The white limestone landforms from Sureanu Mountains surprises the travelers with their spectacular formations, as caves, steep and rocky walls, or gorges.
The trail follows three protected areas: Retezat Mountains (National Park, included in UNESCO), Grădiștea Muncelului-Cioclovina (Natural Park) and Tara Hațegului (Geopark). We also find here traces and the identity of the ancient Romania and its ancestors, as well as testimony of the territorial unification.
The people are welcoming and the food is rich and tasty. There are a few dishes that reminding us about the real Transylvania: the lard with onion, the goat, or sheep-beef sausages (virsli) and the double distilled brandy (52 degr). In this land you can also find sober boar steaks, typical Saxon stew or the classic Hungarian-influenced Transylvanian paprikas, necessarily seasoned with acid and simple wines from Tarnave vineyard.
- Blaj city. The first Romanian textbooks were printed here, the Romanian language was taught in schools for the first time, and the first theater performances in the country were organized here in 1761. The Freedom Square - during the Revolution of 1848, the square was located outside the town of Blaj and was chosen as the meeting place for 40,000 Romanian peasants from all regions of Transylvania. During the Great Assembly in Blaj (May 15-17, 1848), the representatives of the crowd drew up a petition demanding democratic rights for Romanians (abolition of serfdom, right to speech and press, education in Romanian etc.), sent later to Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria.
- Alba Iulia city. Represent a foray into the past, with testimonies of the last 2,000 years of our living. We mention first the ruins of the Roman fort Apullum, then the Roman-Catholic Cathedral it its 1200 years of existence, then the historical moments of unification declarations from 1599 and 1918, also the Orthodox Cathedral were Maria and Ferdinand were crowned in 1922 as Kings of Great Romania. Nevertheless, another important attraction is the entire citadel that houses the above-mentioned sites, the largest fortress in Romania and the biggest Vauban type construction from Europe. Then, a valuable cultural eestablishment, the Batthyaneum Library, housed in the building of the former Trinitarian monastery, which dates from the early 18th century. An active seeker could find here a collection that comprises 80% of the total of medieval western manuscripts in Romania (over 1500 pieces), including the Codex Aureus, the oldest western manuscript in the country (approx. 810), over 45,000 old and rare books printed in Europe in the 16th -18th centuries, 70% of all incunabula in Romania.
- The Red Ravine (Rapa Rosie) – an interesting geological formation, created by the erosion of water and wind during the last 60 million years. The river Secaș dug deeply through the layers of gravel, sandstone and quartz and created the impressive relief that still changes its appearance today. Protected area since 1968
- Sebes. The city itself was built by German settlers — later referred as Transylvanian Saxons (the former name - Muhlbach), but actually originating from the region of Rhine and Moselle — on the territory of the Hungarian Kingdom in the second half of the 12th century and became an important city in medieval Transylvania. Its city walls were reinforced after the Tatar (Mongol) invasions from 1241–1242, but the city was occupied in 1438 by the Ottoman Empire. A royal deed from 1387 enshrines the right of Sebeș to build fortress walls, so later the city becomes, despite its small size, the first in Transylvania to be completely surrounded by masonry fortifications.
- The Dacian fortress of Sarmizegetusa Regia (included in UNESCO World Cultural Heritage). It represents the most important military, political and religious centre, capital of Dacia, before the Roman conquest in 106 AD. The fortress was made up of three parts: the civil settlements (to the east and west of the fortress proper - now extinct), the fortress and the sacred area. Inside, traces of iron-working workshops or traces of a system for capturing, filtering and storing water have been discovered. The sacred area is the most complex and well-preserved temple area of any Dacian fortress, including seven sanctuaries.
- The small medieval fortress of Mălăiesti (14th cent) is located in Hațeg lowland, at the foot of the Retezat mountains. It had a role of defense and surveillance, and the donjon, the highest of the towers, was used as a place of firing and shelter. The fortress has a ring enclosure, 3 polygonal towers (observation tower, flanking tower and one at the gate) and a belfry.
Day 1. Micasasa – Blaj. Aprox. trekking time: 10hr, distance: 30km.
Day 2. Blaj – Straja. Aprox. trekking time: 9hr, distance: 27km.
Day 3. Straja– Alba Iulia. Aprox. trekking time: 7,5hr, distance: 24km.
Day 4. Alba Iulia – Sebes. Aprox. trekking time: 6 hr, distance: 20km.
Day 5. Sebes – Vinerea. Aprox. trekking time: 10 hr, distance: 30km.
Day 6. Vinerea – Ciungu Mare. Aprox. trekking time: 6 hr, distance: 22km.
Day 7. Ciungu Mare – Gradistea de Munte. Aprox. trekking time: 12 hr, distance: 35km.
Day 8. Gradistea de Munte – Ponor. Aprox. trekking time: 12 hr, distance: 35km.
Day 9. Ponor – Nucsoara. Aprox. trekking time: 7 hr, distance: 24km.
Day 10. Nucsoara – Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa. Aprox. trekking time: 6 hr, distance: 22km.
Accommodation in rural 3* Guesthouses and B&B’s with HB (local traditional food).