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Deal Mare cycling and wine tasting

Amazing tour of two days in Urlati/Dealu Mare region, 1h from Bucharest. Very authentic feeling... read more

Reviewed July 14, 2020
Bucharest, Romania
via mobile
Wine tasting tour Dealu Mare area.

Great experience, even in interesting times. ;) Good wine, great sightseeing, local food. Outdoor... read more

Reviewed July 14, 2020
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Reviewed September 17, 2012

Just back from this amazing trip (1st September 2012 – 8 days)

The company and Guide;
I was so pleased that this was not a large company who would shift you around in packs from one destination to another, without having time to absorb the beauty that surrounds you.
Mircea (Mee-cha) is the guide and owner of the company, who devised the routes and itineraries. He has the ability to connect with people in a natural and uplifting way with such ease you forget he is the guide. This is also evident in the way he interacts with our hosts at accommodation stops or points of interest, who are always genuinely pleased to see him and clearly not just for the income.
He takes a very liberal and relaxed approach to the itinerary, which took some of us a day or two to get accustomed to. But once we observed how competent he was we didn’t have to think about any arrangements for the rest of the week. Though I believe he has put in an awful lot of hard work beforehand to create these amazing routes. It became total relaxation, with everything being prepared for us. Proper luxury for an old (older :) independent backpacker like me. We also had another guide Iulian, who came along to learn the route - again very helpful and looked after us all.

The Tour;
I opted for the Saxon Village/church tour. I had no previous interest in Saxons of the Transylvanian region nor churches. But I am interested in the history of communities and architecture and it was fascinating.
We cycled from village to village through some breathtaking scenery meeting some lovely people along the way. Villagers would come and say hello and be happy to have photographs taken as long as it was done respectfully with their permission.
Stopping off at fresh water wells to fill up and lazing in the shade before moving on in these old but well preserved villages and woodlands was sublime.
The bikes were of a high standard ( i had one of iulians new ones - very lucky, though it came complete with full saddle bags, not so lucky)

The Accommodation;
All of the accommodation was perfect, staying in old saxon houses, pensions and a horse farm. Each one was very clean and the beds were deceptively comfortable. Much appreciated after a long bike ride.
The hosts were great fun who provided very locally produced food to an unbelievable standard. You really could taste the difference.
The only let down was the brown dirty water at the horse farm, which the owner gave us a concerning disclaimer about. Maybe something the owner needs to address if he is to have paying guests staying. The water everywhere else was crystal clear.

The Group;
I’m missing them already and have only been home four days – so that should speak volumes.
It seems from previous reviews that Meecha attracts similar kinds of people. People who enjoy fresh air, exercise and beautiful surroundings. But they are also respectful towards the local people and their homes, learning from their way of life. I also learnt so much from my fellow bikers. We were from Romania, Germany/Belgium, Peru, USA and England and enjoyed talking nonsense to more insightful discussions to outright, uncontrollable belly laughs. Age range for this particular group was early 20’s to 40’s.

I stayed on for another week after the tour visiting other parts of Transylvania and its cities/towns. The people continued to be so friendly and welcoming, which made it hard to leave.

So overall I cannot recommend this tour highly enough, but it all depends on what you are looking for.
I'm struggling to find negatives to offer a more balanced review. The only minor point would maybe to have option of a packed lunch from the host that particular day and pay the difference. Just a thought as it's a long day burning calories with no substantial meal during the day.

So as it stands I’m looking to book with Mercea again next year on one of his other tours, it was that good.

Thanks to Mercea and the group for making this such a special trip. Please feel free to contact me if I can help with any information.

Date of experience: September 2012
8  Thank Paul C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2012

As adult natives of Romania, we didn't quite expect to be surprised by our own country, let alone by an area that is one hour drive away from our home (Bucharest) ... Mircea fully achieved this! We experienced extreme beauty and charm, learnt some history, ate fabulously, tasted local wines and enjoyed warm hospitality everywhere. Mircea is a thoughtful guide - he adapted the tour to our level of cycling "expertise" - he is also punctual, well organised, knowledgeable and ... quite fun! We shall definitely cycle with him again!
Whether you only have one day available, or you can go for the full 2 days, the Urlati tour is a MUST DO!!

Date of experience: August 2012
3  Thank Iulia P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2012

Four hours north of Bucharest, Transylvania is another world, and this, without doubt is the way to explore it. The biking itself is a combination of trail and road routes, the scenery breath taking, and the history we encountered on every turn, quite extraordinary. Although a historian by training, I had absolutely no idea of the deep Saxon influence in this region, almost every village we visited having a fortified Saxon Lutheran chapel, which, and thanks to Mircea, we were able to visit and explore. They, the Saxons arrived it seems in the 13th century, thriving and retained both their language and culture for over 800 years, until the combined efforts of Stalin and Ceaușescu drove most of them to return to Germany in 1989. It wasn't all history by any means, everywhere along the route we stayed with local people, their hospitality overwhelming, the food delicious. I especially remember a cabbage pie that Anca and Charlie, our hosts at Saschiz served up one evening sitting outside in the evening sun, washed down with home made elderberry wine ( hard to beat ) Another highlight was an evening spent at Mihnea Virgolici horse ranch near Prod, a charismatic character with a magician for a cook. Can't speak highly enough of Mircea Crisbășanu, professional, knowledgeable and extremely entertaining. One thing that became abundantly clear to me was that Transylvania will not stay like this for very long, so now's the time to visit !

Date of experience: June 2012
4  Thank idll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2012

The cycling trip into the Buzau wilderness was a great way to experience Romania for the first time. Mircea is a great guide with a passion for History, nature and his country. Always flexible to our needs and keen to ensure that we had the best experience. It felt like a real privilege to meet some wonderful people on the way - our guide for the walk from Colti needs special mention, Gavrila Diana, her knowledge of the area's history, mythology and nature made the visit so special. Great to experience a traditonal Romanian house at Urlati and to meet Manual and Ligia who care for local children.
We invested in some good quality cycling clothes and found that the Technical fabrics worked well and meant they lasted more than one day. Padded shorts are a must. Trainers worked well as the only pair of shoes. Insect repellent is essential in some places. Good mobile coverage and Wi-Fi in most hotels/pensions.
Highly recommended

Date of experience: June 2012
4  Thank Geoff M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2012

I had the best biking through the wine hills of Prahova and the nearby forest. Mircea is an excellent guide, very well organized, and a very good picture maker. Cycling Romania promotes the most beautiful parts of Romania. I hope Mircea will succeed to impress all the cycling enthusiasts that will come for a tour in Romania.
My greetings to the beautiful family from Valea Crangului.
Thanks again for the wonderful weekend.
See you at the next cycling tour.

Alina Gurau

Date of experience: May 2012
2  Thank alinag814
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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