From “Caesar’s dream” to Dracula’s castle, over the Carpathians

Area: Retezat Mountains

Level rate: Moderate

Nb. of team members: 2 – 15

Trip duration (days): 7

Best period: June – October

Required gear: Backpack, boots, waterproof and warm changing cloths, water can, sweets.

Accommodation: Mountain huts, tents.

Transport: We will use minibuses throughout the trip.

Daily Schedule

1st DAY, SATURDAY-Hiking on Retezat Mountains

Welcoming you at the international Airport Bucharest Otopeni. Introduction and leaving the airport, heading for Retezat Mts.

  • Difficulty: easy hike
  • Hiking time: 2 hours
  • Transfer time: 10 h

Schedule of the day:

10:00: leaving Bucharest heading NV on A1 highway across the Romanian Plain (Campia Romana). We keep NV thru Pitesti (the city of tulips). The road take us in the pre-mountain hills of the Arges county (Subcarpati / Muscelele Argesului). Crossing “Dealul Negru” (The Black Hill) we are almost in Râmnicu Valcea (ancient roman fortress) on the banks of Olt river. West of Olt we are entering in the Valcea’s pre-Carpathians (Subcarpatii Valcii). At Costesti – 30km W of Ramnicu Valcea we see a geological sit. (In the weak consolidated sand from Cenozoic era you can see well consolidated sphere called “Trovanţi” – trovants). On the right side (N), in the Buila-Vanturalita Massif (Capatanii Mts), made from Jurassic limestone (Mesozoic). Bistriţa gorges are cut.

12:00: Horezu 1 hour break

This area is well known as a famous ethnographical centre and an old centre of ancient pottery, well known by the delicacy of the decorative motif, having the cock as the landmark. (plates, dishes, cups.). In the near by there is Hurez monastery (1691), one of the most valuable treasure, from architectural and historical point of view, of the south of the country (the largest medieval architectural ensemble in the Wallachia ).

13:00: leaving Horezu . Keeping west the road follows the sub-mountain depression Polovragi-Hurez, being “guarded” in the north by the Capatanii Mts, part of the Parang Group of the Middle Carpathians (Carpatii Meridionali). Crossing the Oltet we are entering in the Gorj’s pre-Carpathians (Subcarpatii Gorjului). This is also a distinct ethnographic part of the large region of North Oltenia . Oltenia is an old region of Wallachia ( the south part of modern Romania ), it took its name from Olt river, laying west of it as far as the Danube and the South Carpathians where it is contiguous with another historic region of Romania: Banat. The landscape is marked by medium hills on the left side (south), about 800m, and more and more high mountains on the right (north), up to 2500m.

16:00: Tg. Jiu Entering Campu Mare-Targu Jiu depression we’ll take a lunch break at Targu Jiu.

17:30: leaving Tg. Jiu we are heading north on Jiu valley thru Bumbesti depression, getting nearer the mountains. On the left side (west) we’ll have Valcan Mts (“valc” meaning in the old Slavonic wolf) and on the right side (east) Parang Mts. The Jiu’s valley makes 30 km ( 19mi ) long defile between Livezeni (north) and Bumbesti-Jiu (south). It was made by plunging in the hard rocks. The defile is the most spectacular in Romanian Carpathians by its meanders that are “captive” between those two high mountains made of hard rocks in that sector ( Parang and Valcan). The river is followed by the road, at some high there is the railway with its 39 tunnels built in the 20th century to connect the main mining region (Petrosani basin) with the rest of the country. On our way we pass by Lainici monastery, built in Lainici Pass. As soon as we arrive in Petrosani depression we head west, following Jiul de Vest ( The West Jiu). Passing by mining towns: Vulcan, Lupeni, Uricani we reach our final stop for today.

19:00: Cheile Butii chalet. From here a quite easy hike through some scattered houses and a cool forest ends the day. We are at our camp site, near Buta chalet !

21:00: reaching Buta chalet

Highlights of the day:

Pitesti , also known as the city of tulips is seated in the high part of the Romanian Plain at 300m ( 984ft )on the terraces of Arges river at 116km ( 72mi ) northwest of Bucharest .

Ramnicu Valcea, situated in a beautiful area near by Olt river, well known in Romania as a clean quiet city. The town’s development was secured by the flourish commerce exchange between Transylvania and Walachia on the Olt’s transversal valley.

Targu Jiu, a former market town, on the banks of Jiu river, at the contact between the rich hilly region and the plain. The sculptural ensemble erected by Constantin Brancusi (20 th century) is one of the most important in Europe.

Costesti (Vl ) is at 30km ( 19mi ) west of Ramnicu Valcea. There is a geological sit. In the weak consolidated sand from Cenozoic era you can see well consolidated sphere called “Trovanti”

Horezu Monastery (1691) was built by Constantin Brancoveanu, a well known ruler, famous by his wealth. He was also known by the turks as the “King of Gold”. A cleaver businessman he managed to keep the country on a good position over the Ottoman Empire .

Jiu defil . The Jiu’s valley makes a 30 km ( 19mi ) long defile between Livezeni (north) and Bumbesti-Jiu (south). It was made by plunging in the hard rocks. The defile is the most spectacular in Romanian Carpathians by its meanders that are “captive” between those two high mountains made of hard rocks in that sector ( Parang and Valcan). The river is followed by the road, at some high there is the railway with its 39 tunnels built in the 20th century to connect the main mining region (Petrosani basin) with the rest of the country.

Capatanii Mts, Buila-Vanturalita Masiff , are spectacular limestone Mts, +2000m ( +6500ft ) , cut by beautiful gorges ( Bistrita, Oltet, ). Along with Parang Mts, Lotu Mts, Latoritei Mts, Cindrel Mts, Sureanu Mts, those mountains makes the Parang group of The South Romanian Carpathians ( Carpatii Meridionali ), that lies between Olt and Jiu rivers as the eastern and western borders, and Transylvania and Walachia in the north and south. A lot of the most valuable historical and cultural sites are situated on the south end of those magnificent mountains.

Parang Mts, the highest in the group of mountains between Olt and Jiu rivers. The south part is made out of limestone, very spectacular. The central-north part is made of hard rocks of Alpine origin. The glacial lakes, high peaks and large wild areas makes it a good destination for those who like hiking in the wild spectacular areas in the Carpathians.

Valcan Mts, limestone Mts, 1870 m / 6133ft at its highest, has a lot of caves and gorges. This are one of the wildest areas in Romania, there are few chalets, and the paths follows those made by the wildlife, very reach in those remote hard accessible mountains.

Retezat Mts a spectacular alpine massive, hard to decide the period of the year to visit. In winter is as difficult as the French Alps, in the summer as beautiful as the Italian Alps. It’s glacial lakes, alpine valleys and high peaks make it one of the most beautiful mountain from the Carpathians.

Accommodation: Buta Chalet, 1580m / 5182ft

2nd DAY, SUNDAY-Hiking on Retezat Mountains

Hiking on Retezat Mountains

  • Difficulty: medium-difficult hike
  • Hiking time: 9 hours
  • Height difference: + 919 m, -309 m ( +3014 ft /-1023 ft )

Schedule of the day :

8:00: wake up / breakfast/ day’s brieffing

9:00 : leaving the camp site we start climbing. After a short distance the path became steep. No more than 30 min later we are at the Plaiu Mic saddle (Saua Plaiu Mic ) on the Dragasanu Mountain at 1872m ( 6140ft ). Here we have the first contact with the gradness of Retezat Mts. From right to left all our day of hiking can be seen: the high peaks cirulingfrom right to left, and the large glacial circus of Bucura our destination for the day.

9:40 : leaving Plaiu Mic saddle where we also sow the small lakes, we start a nice smooth climb of our first peak Custura peak 2457m ( 8058ft )

10:45: from the top a nice view over the east side of the massive, Patrosani Depressioon, and Parang Mts. At our feet Taul Custurile ( Custurile Lake ) is the first to appear.

11:00 : heading NW towards Papusa peak (Varful Papusa) we follow Custura Papusii. After descending in Fereastra Papusii saddle ( 2200m / 7216ft ) we start climbing steep. The road is following the rocky ridge, the road we take is not used often, those who want to go on the N side of the mountain , starting from Buta use to take the shorter road by descenting in the valley at Gura Bucurei, then staring climbing the upper glacial valley to Bucura lake. From Ferastra Custurii saddle the path is getting triky. The last qarter is also the most difficult. 14:00 Papusa peak 2508m on of highest in massif. From here we take the first look over the north side of the mountain. 4 glacial valleys are descending from about 2200m7216ft . In the upper part of them there are a lot of glacial lakes. On our way to Peleaga peak we can see Taurile din Valea Rea ( the Lakes in the Bad Valley ).

14:30: after a short descent to saua Pelegii ( Pelegii saddle ) 2200m/7216ft we start climbing Peleaga Peack, the highest in Retezat and the last peak over 2500m of the South Carpathians ( Carpatii Meridionali ), a serie opend by Omu Pk in the east.

16:00: reaching Peleaga Pk (2509m/ 8230 ft ). The high might not seem to impressive, but the way up, the scenery ( especialy in the winter ) make from Pelaga a veritable alpine peak. From the top all the beauty of the Retezat is uncovering: the highest on the left ( NW ) is Retezat peak., on west Bucura pk is like an imposible task in our way to Retezat pk.

16:30: continuing to our final destination for the day Bucura Lake we descent to Curmatura Bucurei 2200m / 7216ft .

17:30 : ( Bucura Saddle ) passing by the spectacular Coltii Pelegii ( Peleaga’s sharp teeth ). ( All the way you’ll need to take a lot of pictures..)

18:00: arriving at Bucuta Lake the camp site for the next two nigts.

16:00 hour peak: lunch we’ll try to take a snack on Peleaga .

Highlights: The glacial complex Bucura is the largest in Romanian Carpathians. It is made of some glacial circus well connected and the largest glacial valley in Romania (18km/11mi). The complex has a large number of glacial lakes. Some of them are famous: Bucura is the largest glaciar lake in Romania , Zanoaga is the deepest. Other beautiful lakes are: Taul Peleaga, Taul Peleguta, Taul Portii, Taul Agatat, lacurile Florica, Viorica, Ana, Lia. The legend says that the last four lakes took their names from a shepherd daughters.

Accommodation : tents, Bucura lake.

3rd DAY, MONDAY Hiking on Retezat Mountains

Hiking on Retezat Mountains

  • Difficulty: It’s a medium-difficult hiking day.
  • Hiking time: ~ 7 hours
  • Height difference: +282m-492m+110m-100m+443m-443m; (+ 925ft-1623ft+361ft-1453ft-1435 feet;)

Schedule of the day :

8:30: wake up / breakfast/day’s briefing

9:00: leaving Bucura Lake to Poarta Bucurei, passing Taul Gatat, Taul Pirtii, two spectacular glacial lakes. From Poarta Bucurei all the way to Retezat pk we’ll go on the ridge that separate the Sistifical reservation Gemenele of the rest of the National Park [ gemenele Scintifical Reservation is one of the few restricted area from the natural point of view in Romania (other restricted areas are in Danube Delta, some caves in different parts of the country ( Bodrogea Plateau/ Podisul Dobrogei, Apuseni Mts/ Muntii Apuseni )

10:00: leaving Poarta Bucurei we reach Bucura peak 2433m/ 7980ft.

11:30 : we start descending to Retezat saddle at 2200m / 7216ft.

13:00 : leaving Retezat saddle ( Saua Retezatului ) we keep following the ridge, and after another saddle we start climbing the Retezat peak

14:00: arriving at Retezat peak ( 2482m/8141ft ). Nice view over Godeanu Mts, Hateg depression, Stanisoara glacial valley, Bucura peak, Peleaga peak.

14:30: descend to Taurile Stanisoarei 1990m/ 6527ft

15:30: Taurile Stanisoarei 16:00 leaving to Pierele valley, snack at Stanisoara lake

16:45: ariving at the Stanisoara saddle 2100m/ 6720ft

17:30: arriving at Pietrele Lake 2000m/ 6560ft

18:00: start climbing to Curmatura Bucurei ( Bucura Saddle )2200m/ 7216ft

18:45: arriving at Curmatura Bucurei. From here we might climb Bucura peak 2433m/ 7980ft in order to admire the sunset

19:45: Bucura peak 2433m/7980ft. Here we can see the sunset, take pictures or shoot some nice landscape on camera.

21:30: Bucura lake

Highlights : Bucura peak is one of the most difficult peak to climb on winter from the north. From the top there is a magnificent view over tow of the four glacial valleys: Stanisoara valley and Pietrele valley. The other two are on the east. Valea Rea ( The Bad Valley ), we saw it the day before, and Galesu valley could be seen east of it. All of those glacial valleys host beautiful blue water lakes, the small ones being named “tauri”.

Retezat peak is the one that gives its name to the all mountain, and along with the other impressive mountain that lays west of it: Godeanu, gave the name to the western part of the South Carpathians ( Carpatii Meridionali ) The Retezat Godeanu group [ grupa Retezat Godeanu ].

The says that, by the time when giants were ruling the word, a young giant made a sword to fight against an enemy. Wanting to check the sword’s strength he tried it on a mountain top. The sward was good and he managed to cut mountain’s pick. That mountain is called since then Retezat ( the Cut off ) ( a reteza = to cut off ).

Accommodation: tents. at Bucura lake, 2200 m / 7216ft.

4 TH DAY, TUESDAY - Hiking on Retezat Mts

  • Difficulty: It’s an moderate hiking day.
  • Hiking time: ~ 4.5 hours
  • Height difference: -720m / (-2362 ft)
  • Highlights: Pietrele glacial valley is the second [ counting from left to right ] of the four valleys on the north side of the mountain. Near by Pietrele hut, Stanisoara and Piertele valleys merge, making a long width valley.

Schedule of the day :

8:30 wake up/ breakfast/ breafing of the day ;

9:30 leaving Bucura Lake, going up to Curmatura Bucurei. From here we descend to Lacul Pietrele;

10:30. From here we keep descending on Pietrele valley. At Bordu Tomii we can see a huge buttom moraine. The Pietrele valley is spectacular. It is guarded by high peaks: Stanisoara 2187 m / 7176 ft. 7173ft , Pietrele 2270m/ 7445ft and offers a nice view over Hateg depression.

11:30 Arriving at Gentiana hut ( 1670m/ 5478ft ). After a short break we continue our way to Pietrele hut, the place where we’ll camp. Now the path is entering into the wood. In less than 30 min we arrive at Pietrele.

13:00 As soon as we are done with setting the tents we can start preparing for the night.

In order to make a nice camp fire we will start collecting wood fire.

20:30 Just before sunset we’ll start the fire, the fresh meat will be cooked in an outlawly style.

21:00 . hour : outlow style dinner

Accommodation : tents, in Pietrele Valley, 1480m / 4854ft

5TH DAY, WEDNESDAY - Trekking on Retezat Mountains

  • It’s an easy hiking + driving day
  • Hiking time: ~ 2 hours
  • Driving time : 10 hours
  • Distance : 5km, 220km /3.1mi, 199mi
  • Height difference: – 1130m ( -3616 ft )
  • Sightseeing objectives: Sarmisegetusa Regia, the old Dacia capital.

Schedule of the day :

7:30 wake up/breakfast/ day’s briefing

9:00 leaving the camp site Pietrele keeping the valley for about one hour on a forestry road. Passing an old mine on the right side we reach the Lolaia waterfall. On the left side on the road there is a lateral moraine that proves the large extension of the glaciers in Retezat Mts during ice age

10:30 reaching Cârnic chalet. The car is waiting to take us into the second part of the trip. That is at least as interesting as the first one, following the encounter with the ancient history of the Romanians. We head north leaving the mountains over a high bridge. In Malaiesti village we can see the remains of an old castle (XV), and also an old fortified church (XV-XVII). The road takes us into Hateg depression. We are heading west thru Santamaria Orlea, passing by the Kendeffy castle XVIII and a XIII century church.

11:00 arriving at Sarmisegetuza . Here are the remains of Sarmisegetuza Ulpia Traiana Augusta Regia, the roman city with the colony statute (Colonia Dacie) built between 108-110, having as the first governor in Decimus Terentius Scaurianus the name of Traian Emperor. The city was built on the same spot as the camp of the Vth Macedonica Legion as soon as the conquer of Dacia was completed. It will become the Roman Empire Province Dacia (Dacia Felix). The city was colonized with veterans ( deducio veteranorum ) that took part at maybe the most important conquer of the Roman Empire (Caesars “dream” was taken to the end by Traian). Here there were the headqarters of the province: governors, administrative, financial, military, economical, religious. During Hadrian Emperor (117-138 ) the city gets the name of Colonia Ulpia Traiana Auguata Dacia Sarmizegetusa, getting during 222-235 the epithet ” Metropolis”. Here there is also a archeological museum.

13:00 arriving at Densus where thare is one of the most important building for the early Christianity in this part of Europe . The church built in the 13 th century on the spot of an older one the 4 th century. Leaving Densus we pass Hateg town heading north towards Humedoara.

14:30 arriving at Hunedoara we’ll visit the Corvinesti’s Casle ( Castelul Corvinestilor ) the 14 th Century, a feudal monument of architecture built by Sigismund de Luxemburg, Hungary’s King.

16:30 leaving Hunedoara we had north to Deva settled on the banks of Mures river in a narrow corridor guarded in the north by the Apuseni Mts and in the south-west the Piana Ruscai Mts.

17:00 arriving at Deva . On a neck (neck = hill of volcanic origin ) there is the ruins of Deva’s Citadel (Cetatea Devei ), built in the 13 th century.

18:00 leaving Deva we head east on culoarul Orastiei ( Orastie Corridor) along side the Mures river, having on our left Muntii Metaliferi (the Melatic Mts) and on the right side ( south ) Muntii Sebesului ( Sebes Mts). Passing by Simeria we arrive in Orastie. From where we turn south towards Gradistea de Munte village where in 1950 there was found the main (political, economical, military, religious) centre of the Dacic state: Sarmizegetusa Regia.

19:00 arriving at Sarmisegetusa Regia

20:00 leaving Sarmisegetusa Regia

21:00 arriving at Geoagiu Bai

Highlights of the day:

Sarmisegetuza . Here are the remains of Sarmisegetuza Ulpia Traiana Augusta Regia, the roman city with the colony statute (Colonia Dacie) built between 108-110, having as the first governor ( guvernator ) in Decimus Terentius Scaurianus the name of Traian Emperor. The city was built on the same spot where there was the camp of the Vth Macedonica Legion as soon as the conquer of Dacia was completed. It will become the Roman Empire Province Dacia (Dacia Felix). The city was colonized with veterans ( deducio veteranorum ) that took part at maybe the most important conquer of the Roman Empire (Caesars “dream” was taken at the end by Traian). Here there was the headquarter of the province: governors, administrative, financial, military, economical, religious. During Hadrian Emperor (117-138 ) the city gets the name of Colonia Ulpia Traiana Auguata Dacia Sarmizegetusa, getting during 222-235 the epithet ” Metropolis”. The city knew a great urban development being the capital city of The Roman province Dacia . The ruins have 1500m/4929ft in length and 1000m3280ft width and the historian appreciated at 20.000 number of the inhabitants. The first city formed a 600m/1968ft long and 540m/1771ft width area surrounded by a 5m/16.4ft wall with circular towers at its corners. At the end of the two streets there were the gates. In the middle of the city, around the plaza there was The Augustins’s Palace ( Palatul Augustinilor ).

Now here is a archeological museum.

Densus . There is one of the most important building for the early Christianity in this part of Europe . The church was built in the 13 th century on the spot of an older one from the 4 th century, that had its first origin as a roman sanctuary. The altar is a roman grave stone of an military. The church has a square plan 6m x 6m, the paintings are from 1443, an unique icon presenting Christ in a traditional Romanian shirt is one of the things that makes from Densus church a treasure for our nation.

Hunedoara . The Corvinesti’s Casle ( Castelui Corvinestilor ) 14 th Century feudal monument of architecture built by Sigismund de Luxemburg, Hungary ‘s King. The castle was erected on a roman fort. It was given to Voicu, the father of Iancu de Hunedoara who transforms it from a fortress into court residence. His son Matei Corvin ( Mathias Rex ) the king of Hungary , prince of Transylvania , is adding a lodge to it. The entrance in the castle is made on a bridge. The castle has a defending tower called “Nu te teme” ( Don’t be afraid ). The castle is well preserved and a guided tour is available. The museum has interesting exhibits.

Deva . On a neck (neck = hill of volcanic origin ) there is the ruins of Deva’s Citadel (Cetatea Devei ), built in the 13 th century. The word “deva” is of Dacian origin, “dava” meaning settlement. On Dealul Cetatii (The Citadel’s Hill) there is a natural reservation of 30 km²/ 18.6sqmi , preserving 1450 species of plants and the Horn Viper. The hill is also used as viewing point.

Sarmizegetusa Regia was the main political, economical, military, religious centre of the Dacian state between the 1 st century B.C and the 1 st century. It was one of the biggest and powerful refuge citadel of the Dacians. The plan of the citadel is a square, having a stone wall with two gates. It had houses, work-shops, and a sanctuary linked by a paved path ( via sacra ). The big sanctuary was round, it was the famous Dacian calendar with 360 days. The city was conquered and destroyed by the Romans during the war between 105-106. For a short period of time a detachment of the IV th Legion Flavia Felix was kept in the former capital. Some interesting proves of the high technologies used by the Dacians proved that they were making steel.

Geoagiu Bai The thermal waters (33ºC/86ºF) were known and used by the Romans. The old name was Germisara – a Thracian-Dacian name, the Roman name being Thermae Dodone. From the 2 nd -3 rd century dates the circular basin carved in rock. The Romans set up a military fort in the road from Sarmisegetuza Ulpia Traiana to Apulum ( Alba Iulia – Alba county’s capital today ) that passes this region at that time.

  • Accommodation Geoagiu Bai, 350m / 1148ft , Diana ** hotel.

6th DAY, THURSDAY - Transfer by bus to Făgăraș Mountains

Transfer by car from Geoagiu Spa to Carpathian mountains

  • Distance: 175 km / 109 mi

Schedule of the day :

9:00 wake up / breakfast

10:00 leaving Geoagiu Bai heading east, the first village is Aurel Vlaicu, the place where one of the pioneers of aviation was born.

Sebes is the next town in our way east. Not far away from Sebes there is Rapa Rosie ( The Red Ravine ). Getting out the Apold depression the road takes us into Sibiu depression. The road form Geoagiu to Sibiu gives us a nice view over the Carpathians ( Sebes Mts, Cibin Mts ).

12:00 arriving at Sibiu . One of the biggest open air museum in eastern Europe – Astra Museum of popular technique. Beside this masterpiece of village museums Sibiu has lot of beautiful places to show us: Brukental palace, churches, old streets, towers of the old citadel. The lunch is to be taken at the Astra museum (in one of the old inn brought here form Tulghes / Batrani county).

17:00 leaving Sibiu we head south towards the Carpathians. At Talmaciu. Turning left, following Olt river we enter into Fagaras depression. Avrig

18:30 Cartisoara . Here we’ll turn right ( south ), heading to the tallest mountain in Romania Fagaras. On our way to the top Cartisoara is one interesting village to see. Cartisoara is the last settlement before entering the dark forest on the north side of the Fagaras mountains.

19:30 Balea Fall is situated at the forest limit.It is a waterfall developed on a glacial threshold, the last of the Balea glacial valley. From here the road winds the tall walls of the mountain.

21:00 arriving at Bâlea lake chalet 2027m/6649ft

Highlights: Aurel Vlaicu is the actual name of the village where was born one of the pioneers of aviation. Aurel Vlaicu was the first that built in 1909 the first plain able to take off by it’s own engine power. The first object havier than air took off at the Paris air show.
Sebes. The area is full of evidences of the ancient living, starting as far as the late Cenozoic 9 – 10 B.C. ( Cotofeni culture ). In 1341 the settlement is known as Civitas Sebus, formally known in 1245 as Malembach ( Sacerdos de Malembach ). In 1341 Sebes is the first town in Transylvania to build a defend wall against the Turks. In 1581 the famous Coresi print an essential book that will lead to the development of the literal language. The ruins of the citadel are preserved, also the defending towers.
Râpa Rosie ( The Red Ravine ) is situated at 3km/1.8mi NE of Sebes, being one of the most interesting place from the point of view of those interested in nature spectacular shapes. This is a geological and geomorphologic reservation, at 350m/1151ft – 507m/1663ft altitude, covering 10 ha/24.7ac, being over 125m/410ft high and over 800m/2624ft width. The sedimentary rocks alternate creating read pyramidal shapes.
Sibiu At December the 20 th 1191 in a document emitted by The Pope at Rome names the city Cibinium. In 1223 the city is known as Villa Hermani, and in 1366 as Hermannstaldt. The cities in south and east Transylvania were founded by the Teuton Knits to defend the borders of the Hapsburgic Empire. Sibiu was one of those. The commerce flourished during the centuries, the commercial links of it went as far as Wien, Prague , Leipzig , Gdansk .. From the highlights of the city: The Bruckenthal Palace – that host an interesting art collection ( Titian, Rubens.), walls, towers of the old city – The Clock Tower ( Turnul Sfatului ), Pasajul Scarilor ( The Stairs Street ), Podul Mincinosilor ( The layers Bridge ), old churches… Near by the city there is The Museum of Traditional Civilization ASTRA, ( village museum ). OPTIONAL: Talmaciu here we can see the ruins of an old tower: The Red Tower ( Turnul Rosu ) part of a citadel built to defend Sibiu in the 13-14 th century. The spot was chosen to guard the pass on the Olt valley.
Avrig. the town was formed by the Germans in the 13-th century, and it was knows as Affrica in 1364. Here are the ruins of a citadel (1200), a church from 1265 ( romanic style ) guarded by a defender wall (the 14th century).
Cartisoara In this village lived Badea Cartan, a Romanian shepherd that decided in the 19 th century to go to Rome to see the Dacians graved on The Traian’s Column, in order to make clear for that time that the Romanians are the direct followers of the Romans that conquered Dacia.
BaleaLake chalet is situated on the glacial lake Balea at an altitude of 2027m/6649ft . The surroundings are spectacular, peaks over 2500m, the glacial lake with its trout, the grey color of the rocks, the chamois, everything makes you dreaming.

Accommodation: pitching the tents near Balea Lake – “Frantz and Reghina” chalet, 2027m / 6649ft

7TH DAY, FRIDAY - Transfer by bus to Făgăraș Mountains

Travelling by bus. Fagaras Mts, preCarpathian hills, Romanian Plane

  • Travelling distance : 210 km / 130 miles

Schedule of the day: 9:00 wake up/breakfast. day’s breaffing

10:00 leaving Balea glacial valley we head south passing the longest road tunnel in Romania ( 1.8 km/1.1mi ) we enter the south side of the Fagaras, in Capra glacial valley heading to Vidraru reservoir. On our left side we’ll see Capra waterfall, descending from the high glacial lake Capra . On our way we are going to pass Capra chalet 1520m/ 4985ft , Valea cu Pesti chalet 860m/ 2820ft, and from the left side of the reservoir we can also see Cumpana complex 832m/ 2728ft ( hotel, camping, sports field ).

11:30 Vidraru dam . We descent on a steep road to one of the most interesting historical spots in the south of Romania.

12:00 Poienari citadel ruins.

14:00 leaving Poienari we are heading to our next stop, Curtea de Arges in a nice landscape of pre-Carpathians ( subcarpatii Argesului ), in Arefu pre-Carpathian depression, guarded by small hills.

15:00 Curtea de Arges is our next stop. Here will have our lunch and we’ll visit the most famous monastery in the country Curtea de Arges monastery ( Manastirea Curtea de Arges ). We keep our way south throw the small hills all the way to Pitesti . Near of Pitesti we pass by Bascov lake. Piresti is seated in the high plains on the terraces of Arges river at 300m/ 984ft .

19:00 reaching Pitesti

21:00 arrival in Bucharest

Highlights of the day:

Vidraru dam : built in 1966 on Arges river, the water of the reservoir is used for a power plant and also to keep large amount of water during the dry seasons. The dam has 166.6m/546ft high, 305m/1000ft length the deep is 155m/508.5ft and the length of the reservoir is 14 km/8.7mi. The place where the dam was built is a narrow sector between Fruntii Mts ( west ) and Ghitu Mts ( east ), part of south Carpathians ( Carpatii Meridionali).

Poienari citadel (ruins) : built on the peak of an hard accessible rock, it is the real castle of Dracula – Vlad the Impeller (Vlad Tepes) the son of Vlad Dracul, trasilvan prince, member of the German order of The Dragon. The citadel was built in the 14-th century.

Curtea de Arges : in the towns area were found ancient necropolis ( Hallstadd period, Ferigile culture: 1154 – 450 B.C. ). Here was the court of Basarab the First ( Basarab I ) ( 1310-1352 ) . At 1352 the was build a church, on the same spot during 1512-1517 Neagoe Basarab makes a new one, the works being conducted according to the legend by the Manole the craftsman ( Mesterul Manole ), Manolii from Nikosia. The legend tells that in order to complete the church in time Manole had to sacrifice his wife Ana by walling her into the south wall. The exact spot is marked on the exterior south wall.

Accommodation : *** hotel, Bucharest.

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