I Hiked: The Grove of Ancient Oaks (Sighișoara, Romania)

This short hike in the Transylvania Highlands starts in Sigashora and leads to a preserve of ancient oak trees (Rezervatia de Stejari Seculari). The hike begins at the outskirts of the village, winds its way up through a peaceful hillside forest, and tops out on the Breite Plateau.

Difficulty: Easy
Type of Hike: Well-maintained trail/road/fields
Time: 90 minutes
Distance: 3.2 kilometers one-way
Number of Wrong Turns: 3

The Trailhead
Keep an eye open or you’ll walk right by it. It’s a grassy lane near a bus stop, helpfully marked by two large tourist information signs. You can either walk from town (about 20 minutes) or take a bus.

A map of the Highlands
Another shot of the trailhead

On The Hike
It’s November in Romania so the day started off cloudy with a light drizzle, but by the time I hit the plateau, the sun started to shine, eventually transforming into a gorgeous late fall afternoon. At 74 hectares, the Breite Nature Reserve is the largest grassland plateau in Europe. There are 500+ oak trees here with ages ranging from 200 to 800 years old.

The mellow trail
The oldest tree in the reserve (I think)

Even dead oaks are an important part of this ecosystem

You can drive up to the preserve and I walked back to town this way which was about 5 kilometers, most of along the highway so I don’t recommend going this route. Still, it’s a nice place to take a walk (minus the wild dogs).

Where To Stay
The Breite Oak Tree Reserve is located in tourist friendly Sighisoara. The Old Town here is worth checking out (1/2 day max) with all its towers, cobblestone streets, and churches. It’s off-season so I managed to grab a room at the four-star Korona Hotel for only $33 USD per night. Here’s a few shots of the area.

Final Thoughts
After steep hikes in the mountains to the south, it’s nice to aimlessly ramble on a Sunday afternoon without worrying too much about bears, snow, or getting lost. If you find giant oaks calming or if you’re searching for a rock that has no earthly business in a Romanian field, then make some time to knock this hike out.

Helpful Links
Transylvania Highlands Tourism Website
Breite Oak Tree Reserve Wikipedia
Tourist Map of the Reserve