Top 3 spectacular hikes in Romania

Spectacular hikes in Romania

Travel from Bucharest to spectacular hikes

During our daily encounters with travelers from all around the world, we are often inquired about the hiking trails in the Carpathian Mountains.
With an extent of almost 1000 km, the Carpathians are not as tall as the Alps, but spectacular nonetheless.
During this read, we propose three most beloved, easily accessible and breathtaking hiking routes reachable from Bucharest.

 

Caraiman Cross

Distance: 12 km      Elevation: 1125 meters      Time: 10 h

In the famous Bucegi mountain ridge, going up at Caraiman cabin through Jepii Mici, (blue cross marked route) leading to the Heroes Cross, (blue dot marked route) you will find a spectacular world record.
This is the highest summit cross in the world.
At the altitude of 2,291 meters, the monument for the Heroes of WWI was built between 1926 and 1928, under the supervision of King Ferdinand of Romania and Queen Mary of Edinburgh.

The route starts in Busteni, a well known mountain city on the route Bucharest – Brasov, accessible either by car or train.
The starting point is near the cable car, which you can use to return, or to go up, but we are not lazy, right?

The hike will be moderately difficult.
You will need at least good hiking boots and average physical condition.
The elevation will be 1125 meters and the distance 5 km. Short and steep, narrow in many places, the route may be a challenge for beginners.
You will encounter exposed parts which require rock climbing, but worry not, they are secured with chains and stairs where necessary.
Therefore, the time needed to reach Caraiman Cross is around 5 hours.

If you wish to return on the same day, follow the blue dot market route, which will get you back to the Bucegi plateau where you will find the cable car.
Write down the operating hours of the cable car, so you will not be caught on the top with no equipment.
Not far, the Babele and the Sphinx will await you.
These mysterious rock formations gave birth to some incredible legends. (about those in another article)

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Piatra Mica / Curmatura cabin

Distance: 11 km      Elevation: 950 meters      Time: 10 h

A little further from Bran Castle, you will find a remote mountain city called Zarnesti.
From here, you will enter the Piatra Craiului national reservation.
With a spectacular mountain ridge, you will be amazed by the panorama: both the south and the north of Southern Carpathians are visible.
Soon you will discover the most loved, feared and steep mountains in Romania.

In Zarnesti you can get either by car or by train.
We recommend going by car.
Especially because the natural reservation from which you will start the hike is 6 km away from Zarnesti and you will not be able to do the whole route in one day.?

Piatra Craiului ridge is long and dangerou. Usually it can be done entirely in two days, but we propose a short version with the most spectacular sights.
Starting from Fantana lui Botorog (Botorog fountain) you have to follow the yellow line mark on a steep climb through the forest.
After about one hour you will reach the Zănoaga Meadow.

Now you will need to follow the signposts with (Blue Dot) straight to the right which goes up to Piatra Mică Peak (1816 m).
It takes three hours at an average climbing pace to gaze upon the beauty of this breathtaking sight.
After you fill up with energy it’s time to venture through the feared Șaua Crăpăturii ridge

With steep rock walls and with the help of the mounted cables, the way down to Curmatura cabin will be a fun challenge. Take your rest to the cabin, refill with one of the amazing dishes here and follow the yellow line mark back to the start.

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Macin mountains

Distance: 15 km      Elevation: 420 meters      Time: 7 h

For our third suggestion, you will have to go into a totally different region called the plateau of Dobrogea.
Here, the oldest mountain ridge of Romania awaits to be discovered.
Formed by tectonic movements from around 300 million years ago when they had an estimated height above 3000 meters, here you will find some of the oldest rocks of Europe.
Furthermore, you will gaze over infinite fields so far away that you will see how the earth curves at the

The highest peak, Tutuianu, is only 467 meters, but the unique fauna (mountain turtles, predatory birds) and flora will make you fall in love with Macin.

In order to get to Greci village, from where you will start the climbing, it will be necessary to take a ferry over the Danube at Braila.
The equipment can be basic, as the hike is an easy one, suitable for beginners too.
From our experience, it will be better to camp one night on the Tutuianu sumit.
Then you can watch the sunset over the Dobrogea plateau. Thus packing a tent will be a practical idea.

Following the blue triangle mark, you will start from Greci village and climb for 40 minutes on an open hill.
You will have no shades, so make sure to wear sunscreen and cover your head.
Soon, you will reach Tutuianu summit.
Here is where you will want to camp, so you will not carry the equipment with you.
Usually it is safe to leave the tent and other invaluable items here.

Continue on the same marked route and you will reach the Luncavita village.
Go as far as the Valea Fagilor, a beautiful birch forest, cool down and get back where you camped for the sunset.
So there you go, the vacation plan for the next period. Safe, far away from the crowded big cities and healthy.

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Disclaimer: we did not include the highest peak of Romania in this article – Moldoveanu Peak. But we will cover the subject in a future post.