Frequently Asked Questions

On the pilgrimage route we have mapped all the available accommodations, pensions and free pilgrim guesthouses. All these interest points can be found under the “Accommodations” section of the webpage, or by clicking on the “Pager” button under the “Routes” section.  When booking, please contact the local contact person who has been nominated to help pilgrims, because you can also use other private accommodations which are not available on our website.

While physical and psychological preparation is the most important thing, be sure to set up the hiking equipment, as this can ease your way in many situations. 
It is recommended to being the pilgrimage by making a list of the equipment you need and if you have the opportunity, you should ask for advice from an experienced hiker or pilgrim, who already done the Mary’s Way or other similar pilgrimages.  Please be very careful when setting up the list and take only the things which are really necessary.  Taking into consideration the weather and terrain conditions, we should try to pack our equipment in such way, that the weight of the backpack does not exceed 10% of our body weight. The backpack should preferably be comfortable, and has to contain only the most necessary equipment, otherwise it will hinder our progress or it may influence the whole tour in a negative way.  Every gram counts! If the weight is too high, please try to reduce the number of spare garments and portion out the food. The bottom of the backpack should contain lightweight items (for example the sleeping bag) while the heavier ones should be placed on closer to the top (closer to the body). Pilgrims often sleep in tents, churches or school gyms, so we recommend you to bring a sleeping bag, sleeping pad and a headlamp.  If we go in a team, it is recommended to consult with each other in advance, so that we do not take unnecessary things with us. If we want to sleep in a tent, we have to make sure that the tent is resistant.  The headlamp can be useful not only in the evening but also in the early morning. Do not be shame to use a hiking pole if needed, it will help you to maintain the balance of the body and it will reduce the load on your feet. 

The sleeping bag should preferably be the lightest.  Be careful when sleeping in bags, if you feel cold, please do not try to fall asleep but instead go for a run, make pushups or squats. 
Further equipment:

  • clothing (see the recommended clothing)
  • soap
  • toothpaste and toothbrush
  • comb
  • tour towel
  • toilet paper
  • handkerchief
  • sunscreen cream
  • patch for water blisters
  • first aid kit (bandage, unguents, rescue blanket, band aid, scissors, painkillers,  individual medications)
  • sterile needle and thread
  • tick and insect repellent (eg. lavender water)

Optional accessories to increase the quality and safety of hiking:

  • GPS, map, route description
  • ear plugs (can be really useful at bedtime when sleeping)
  • germicide / bactericidal UV-C lamp (suitable for shoes, disinfecting gloves)
  • telescope
  • hiking pole
  • duct tape

When selecting clothing, the principle of onions should be followed. The first base layer should be the control layer, which absorbs moisture from the skin and the second layer should be the isolation layer which isolates the body's heat. The purpose of the third layer is to protect us from wind and rain. The bottom layer should be rather skin-tight and narrow, while the outer layers should be more comfortable. In practice, this means that two thinner sweaters should be packed than only a thick one; so we can combine our clothing in many ways. If something is wet, we should dry it in the daylight on the backpack so that we can use it several times. The recommended overall weight of the garment should not be more than 4-5 kg. The usage of fast drying clothes is very useful, as they can be dried on the backpack and because of this we can use them multiple times. 

It is recommended to pack the following items:

  • Hiking boots- the most important accessory, has to be comfortable (try it in advance) and should be as light as possible (leather, high shank, rubber tread shoes) 
  • Hiking sandals- a useful accessory for light terrain and camping, or a good replacement of the boots when our feet is wounded
  • Shin-guard- its role is to protect our legs and boots from moisture in bad weather conditions (rain, melting snow) also to prevent the shoe, boot from getting full with slime. Since we do not hike in winter, in order to reduce the weight, we can also use a high shank sock instead of the shin-guard (by cutting the head of the sock).  
  • Thick socks for hiking- it is easier to dry and protects us from water blisters (should not be synthetic) 
  • Hiking trousers- it should be long and thin, because it is easier to dry, and the belt should not be made out of leather because that will dry longer
  • Long sleeve shirt-  the most practical, as can be used as a short-sleeved shirt also, and it protects the neck from sunburn and wind
  • Long sleeve sweaters
  • Windproof hoodies and jackets - we use it mostly in cold weather conditions and in the camp
  • Head protection- can be a cap, hat, shawl
  • Gloves-  can be useful while traveling through snow-fields or in cold weather conditions
  • Raincoat or poncho- it is good have the possibility to cover the backpack with it so it does not get wet 
  • Sunglasses

Main aspects: the flavor should be diversified and rich in calories (carbohydrates: 50% - bread, chocolate, fruit, rice, potatoes, protein: 30% - eggs, dairy products, meat, cereals fat: 20%- beacon, oil, milk, cereals as well as minerals

Usually the food has the biggest weight in our backpack, so do not carry it unnecessarily. On the pilgrimage route, you can find shops, cafés and restaurants in every settlement. Most of the accommodations offer a full board possibility. Eat fresh, varied meals, taste local specialities in order to make the journey even more memorable.

Grape sugar will boost your energy, but be careful with it, do not overdo it, because you will feel thirsty due to the reduced level of blood sugar in your body.  It is good to mix the water with syrup or other vitamins, so our sugar level can be kept on normal, and even the water, the tea will be tastier. 

Our package should include: 

  • Glass
  • Pocket knife
  • Safety match, lighter 
  • Gourd

The last 100 kilometers of the Mary's Way can be done on both of the routes of Udvarhelyszék and Gyergyószék, as they are already estabilished routes. The daily distances should be adjusted according to our strength at an arbitrary pace. The routes are marked with signs, thus we do not recommend abandoning the path, especially alone.

Doing a larger distance requires a decent experience. Our recommendation is to join in groups, so you can enjoy the tour in company.  Be aware of the dangers and your own abilities.  You may have to make a detour or progress slowly, so it is advisable to spare time and motivation.  Follow the general tourist and ethical rules: fire is permitted only at the designated locations, be careful with the cigarette, do not litter, keep a proper distance in order to avoid accidents, keep an eye on each other. When a lightning storm is approaching it is advisable to look for a dry place, also try to avoid standalone trees, peaks and ridges. 

It is possible that in some places wild animals can be encountered during the pilgrimage. Examples are wolf, bear and very occasionally wild boar. However the biggest danger might be the shepherd dogs. Check daily for the tick which is still a nuisance in these parts. In case of serious injury, danger please call for assistance (International Emergency Dial: 112; Mountain Rescue: 0725 826 668 - 0).

Please respect the local people (the natives) who are usually very helpful; and also take care of the environment. Always be open to different customs and other people’s points of view.
We can go quietly in the nature. However, when in the forest whistling and singing is a good way to avoid the attention of the wild animals. Please pay attention to the surroundings and the environment, keep an eye on each other, especially in groups.

Be careful when sleeping in bags, if you feel cold, please do not try to fall asleep but instead go to a run, make pushups or squats. 

About the routes, programs, weather conditions, accommodation, attractions, etc. contact the website or the local contact persons and tour guides.

When booking, please contact the local contact person who has been nominated to help pilgrims, because you can also use other private accommodations which are not available on our website. 

Turn on your phone only when it is really necessary as its battery can die really fast.  It can be used as a GPS.  It is recommended to write down the most important numbers, contacts on a piece of paper. We should bring a mobile charger with us because we may have the possibility to charge it at certain accommodations. It is good to have at least one solar charger in our group, also power banks, spare batteries can be useful. 
It is recommended to place our important personal documents in a hidden place of the backpack, preferably packed into a small carrying case. 

We wish all hikers a good trip and a safe arrival

Before we begin the pilgrimage, not only our personal equipment should be prepared but also the bicycle has to be “ready to go”.  Check that the breaks are functioning and the rear and front lights are also in a good condition. Bicycles must be equipped with bike helmet and reflective vest. 

Additionally, it is good if the bike is equipped with a bell, chain or U-shaped padlock, mudguard, pump, service kit, and the usage of the bicycle gloves is recommended.

The usage of riding helmet for participants under 16 year is mandatory and recommended for everyone above that. Spine protector is also advisable for children and adults alike in order to avoid an uncomfortable journey. Like on any other pilgrimage, layered clothing and raincoats are standard equipment, also a saddlebag is recommended. 
Additionally, before starting the journey check the horseshoes, the gear and the saddle. During the pilgrimage, keep a safe distance and always pay attention to the riding instructor’s guidance. 
In terms of clothing, we recommend (especially for Friday) a white shirt, a black trouser, a black vest and a black Szekler hat made out of baize.  

Recommended equipment: 

  • riding helmet (under the age of 16)
  • spine protector
  • Flat bottom boots
  • Saddle bag
  • Layered clothing
  • Raincoat

We have mapped the guesthouses and pilgrim accommodations, shops and attractions on the route. The website contributes to a calm and meaningful pilgrimage, including accommodations, attractions, shops, cafes, pharmacies, health centers, police stations, and other important locations.

Local contacts are available in each settlement to support the pilgrims. They can be contacted anytime for information about accommodations, programs and about the pilgrimage either on horseback, bicycle or foot. In order to have a dedicated communication flow, you can find out which local contact speaks on your language or can give you more details in particular topics. The route, which is accessible under the “Maps” menu, is not only trackable, but it also contains an audio guide, thus pilgrims can listen to the stories and topics of the visited attractions. Pilgrims won't be alone in Transylvania's romantic landscapes. They can progress from Parajd to Csiksomlyó, as both marked routes of Gyergyószék and Udvarhelyszék will be available for them.

For the last 100 kilometers of Mary's Way, pilgrims may request a pilgrim passport, which is not mandatory but recommended for everyone because with the usage of the passport we can justify that we are more than tourists. The pilgrims can collect seals in their pilgrim passport at the designated places, so later on they can prove that they have finished the last 100 km of Mary’s Way to Csiksomlyó on foot, horseback or by bicycle. This will be acknowledged by issuing an individual certificate for each pilgrim. 

Pilgrim passports are available on the website for free, or can be purchased at the registration sites in Parajd, along with a badge which you can hang on your backpack. These registration points are available under the “Routes” section, marked with “PASS” icons. The points where you can take over the pilgrim passport are available on this map.

Please click here to get a free pilgrim passport. Once you have entered the data, you can specify on this site where do you want to take over the passport.

By collecting the seals of the pilgrim passport, pilgrims can prove their vocation and the fact that they have made the last 100 kilometers of Mary’s road either on foot, horseback and  bicycle. Those, who collect all of the seals from the designated locations, will be awarded with a certificate in Csiksomlyó, which is not only an eternal memory, but also it proves that they were able to face and overcome their challenges.  

Seal sites are marked with a stamp icon under the “Routes” section. Any other information regarding seals can be obtainable at every pilgrim information points or can also be found on this map.

Those who finish the last 100 kilometers of Mary’s way either of foot, bicycle or on horseback, and can prove this with the passport received at the starting point (Parajd) or received later on, will get a Certificate issued on theirnames. In orderto get thisCertificate, pilgrims must obtain stamps in their passport at the designated places.

Participants who do not finish the minimal 100 kilometers of Mary’s way either on foot, bicycle or horseback,  will receive a traditional award (diploma) as a proof that they indeed went on a pilgrimageto Csiksomlyó.

Participants who do not finish the minimal 100 kilometers of Mary’s way either on foot, bicycle or horseback,  will receive a traditional award (diploma) as a proof that they indeed went on a pilgrimage to Csiksomlyó.

The terrain of Udvarhelyszék and Gyergyószék are diverse and of medium difficulty. The daily distances of the routes are designed so that even a person in a general condition can do them. Among the pilgrims there are many retired and family persons, so we recommend both routes for everyone who is interested, even if they have a sedentary job during the weekdays.