Instagram is full of beautiful, amazing, fantastic earth pictures. So most of the times we learn about the world through our phones. Through a screen. And from others. OK, screw that and get outdoors and climb a damn mountain. Now. Ok, next weekend. Do it. Maybe Bucegi mountains?
Do you have a few days off and want to discover more of Romania? Here is my full itinerary for a 4-day road trip in Romania!
That’s what I’ve done last weekend. I was in Bucegi mountains, not far away from Bucharest, Romania. And the scenery did not disappoint us. Yes, Romania has been blessed with incredible mountains and beautiful beaches. And I have pictures (and a video) to prove it.
Having the mountains so close to home, many people choose to go for a hike during the weekends, and there are plenty to choose from. Most are quite easy, so don’t panic. There will be something for each and everyone, and the landscapes are breathtaking no matter where you choose to hike.
I was hiking from Busteni up to Saua Baiului, Cabana Diham (Diham Hut), around Diham peak to Cabana Poiana Izvoarelor (Poiana Izvoarelor Hut) and back to Busteni. We made a mix of different walking tracks, and some were not so crowded. Probably those ones were not the easiest, but we managed.
I was wondering “Why do we love to hike?”
A day in nature, hiking, taking lots of pictures, videos, enjoying the mountains and having the excitement of discovering what the city fails to offer. Cows, horses, sheep in their own environment. High mountains peaks and a clear sky as far as the eye could see. Bucegi mountains are a good and approachable place to start exploring Romania.
I cannot answer for you, and some people even hate it, but I believe the curiosity and need for discovering are still somewhere within us. Is leaving the comfort zone, even if it’s just for a little while. I would say, it’s leaving comfort, as we know it from our city life.
People are meant to live in nature, by nature.
And about the bears… in Bucegi mountains
Personally I’ve never seen bears in the wild, but many people have, and apparently, the area is not lacking in fauna. I always joke about this, but we actually saw fresh bear tracks.
I hope you enjoy my amateur video, with me rambling and saying “Awesome” a lot.
Hiking in Romania? Where to start?
We have many different hiking paths, which you can try out, with different difficulty levels. You can also find some longer hikes, which require camping overnight, or you can do day hikes and then in the evening find a place to sleep in the nearby villages.
The transport between villages isn’t great, and in some cases might not exist. But the most frequented places are Busteni, Predeal and Sinaia and you can take a train between these. There are a lot of trails in these mountains and you can easily spend a few days discovering them.
You can also try Bla Bla car (just in case you have no train or bus).
Not all the best sights are connected. You can do it without a car, but if you want to see more, I would recommend renting a car to get from one village/city to the next one.
It’s really up to you what you want to do and what are you more into.
As for the things to see, there are a lot.
Parcul Natural Bucegi
(Busteni natural park) is one of the most crowded place in the summer, but for good reason.
Here you have many natural wonders: the Sfinx, Varful Omu 2505 m (Omu peak, Cabana Omu (Omu chalet), the cross on the Caraiman peak 2291 m (Crucea de pe muntele Caraiman) and Bolboci lake (lacul Bolboci), Urlatoarea waterfall (Cascada Urlatoarea).
As for touristic attractions, I recommend Peles Castle, Bran Castle, Caraiman monastery.
Many tourists come by train or car and sleep in Busteni or Predeal. There are many trails starting close from the main road, and it’s beautiful. Each valley and gorge have a name, but you can find the trails on mountain trail maps. There are even some apps with these. They are well marked and you can follow them easily.
Here is a list with trails from Bucegi.
Starting from Zarnesti you can follow several trails, getting to Cabana Curmatura and then you can spend the night there and start early in the morning you climb to the crest.
This is one spectacular trail: La Turn (Piatra Craiului Tower) to Piscul Baciului or La Om peak (attention, it has nothing to do with Omu Peak from Buşteni). But you can find other 1-day trails, if you are driving there. I did this last year.
Dambovicioara Cave (pestera Dambovicioara) and its gorges are one other spectacular place but now a bit too touristic. Here is one example: http://www.traseeromania.ro/la-lanturi-si-creasta-nordica-a-muntilor-piatra-craiului/
Check out the info here too: http://www.cabana-curmatura.ro/trasee-in-piatra-craiului/
Fagaras (Munții Făgăraș)
Here are the highest peaks in Romania. You will need at least 1 day for each. Moldoveanu peak 2.544 m (vârful Moldoveanu) and Negoiu peak 2.535 m (vârful Negoiu).
Both trails start from Balea lake (Balea lac) which is the highest point on the Transfagarasan road (one of the most beautiful roads in Romania and in the world) You can sleep there at Balea or sleep in a village before Transfagarasan and drive there in the morning. It gets crowded during the day, but beautiful nevertheless.
Here is a list of trails from Fagaras.
So there are many things you can do, but these are just a few starting points. I attached some maps for each point to show you some trails, and also the links have more complete trails, explained.
Remember you can always use Google Translate for any help you might need.
Please let me know if you have any questions, I would be happy to help. (and most Romanians will be glad to help, we are very friendly)