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Discover Romania's Carpathian Mountains with a Cicerone guide

Cover of The Mountains of Romania
13 Jun 2013
21.6 x 13.8 x 1.6cm
No. Maps
No. Photos
1st Published
13 Apr 2005
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The Mountains of Romania

A guide to walking in the Carpathian Mountains

by James Roberts
Book published by Cicerone Press

Guidebook to walking and trekking in Romania's Carpathian Mountains, including Transylvania, the Brasov mountains, the Retezat mountains and Eastern Carpathians. One of the wildest parts of Eastern Europe, the guidebook covers all the main ranges with routes from 3 miles to 7 day hikes. Practical information on Romania included.

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Size: 21.6 x 13.8 x 1.6cm
Weight: 470g

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Walking and trekking guidebook to Romania's Carpathian Mountains. one of the wildest parts of Eastern Europe. This is a complete guide to exploring the Carpathian mountains and Transylvania, including both remote and more popular areas, such as Poiana Brasov, with detailed descriptions of main bases and ranges, and over 30 massifs, including the Eastern Carpathians, the Maramures, the Apuseni and Mountains of Banat and the Monasteries of Bucovina.

The routes range from short, half-day excursions to 7 day hikes. The guidebook has over 40 maps and colour photographs and packed with vital information on language, local sights and attractions, travel issues, skiing, mountain biking and walking.

Isolated for a long time, Romania's Carpathians offer some of the finest walking in Europe. There are well waymarked paths, adequate maps and a good network of mountain huts. More than just beautiful landscapes, Europe's wildest mountains offer a chance to discover a European scene that has now disappeared further west. There is a remarkable wealth of wildlife, the region being one of the last European strongholds of the wolf and bear. The author, James Roberts was a leading authority on walking in Romania, and guided walking groups there for several years. Sadly, although quite young, he died while this book was in the final stages of preparation.

  • Complete guide to exploring the Carpathian mountains.
  • Includes both remote and more popular areas, such as Poiana Brasov.
  • Detailed descriptions of main bases and ranges.
  • Over 40 colour maps and colour photographs.
  • Information on language, local sights and attractions, travel issues, skiing, mountain biking and walking.
  • Seasons
    From Spring until autumn, with May and June probably the best times. Snow persists into June in the high mountains.
  • Centres
    The main centres in the Carpatrhians are Brasov and Sibiu, which give access to the Becegi, Fagaras and Retezat regions.
  • Difficulty
    Mountain walks, usually well waymarked through the high Carpathians. Plenty of refuges.
  • Must See
    The Fagaras ridge is most of 50 miles long and compares to Scotland’s best. Much of the rest of just as good. Wolves, bears and a different but changing culture.

September 2014

Thank you to Neil Blundy for the following information:

Bucegi Massif

Cabana Caraiman (pages 49, 205) is no longer operating as a full service cabana. Use the nearby Cabana Babele instead.

Fagaras Mountains

Cabana Urlea (pages 92, 211) is totally derelict. It is not even suitable for emergency shelter.

Cabana Suru (pages 101, 211) has been rebuilt and is now a full service cabana again.

These changes bring major implications for hikers attempting the full skyline traverse of the Fagaras Ridge as described in the guide pages 91–103. Particularly if camping gear is not being carried.

It is now almost impossible to do the route as described by the author as the day from Plaiul Foii to Urlea (derelict), already extremely long, would need to be lengthened further to reach Sambetei.

An acceptable alternative is to approach from the north via Breaza. This is route 1c, page 104 in the guide. Very comfortable accommodation and meals can be found at House Coltii Brezei, 4km south of Breaza. House Coltii Brezei is clearly marked on the Bel Alpin 1:75,000 Fagaras Mountains map but no mention of it is made in the book, presumably because it post-dates its publication.

The good news is that with the resurrection of Cabana Suru the traverse can be completed on the western end without problems.

September 2012

Thank you to Martim Schmid for the following information:

p162: The narrow-gauge railway in Aries Valley does not operate any more.

p218: Cheile Turzii cabana is currently closed.
At the moment, there are 8 beds available in casute outside run by the
bistro owners next to the cabana. You are allowed to put up a tent for a
small fee. Plumbing is still poor.

general information:

- local, national and international bus connections are available at
- hiking maps for several regions in Romania have been issued by a
Hungarian publisher: www.dimap.hu


Chapter One: The Mountains of Romania
How to use this book     
Backpacking in Romania     
Organised walking holidays in Romania     
Getting to Romania     
Entry into Romania     
Getting to the mountains     
Money in Romania     
When to go     
Where to go     
Outdoor equipment in Romania     
Walking maps     
Waymarking of mountain paths     
International long-distance footpaths     
What to take with you     
Mountain Biking     
Narrow-gauge forest railways     
Food and drink     
Flora and fauna     
A word of warning     

Chapter Two: The Bucegi Massif    
Itinerary through the Bucegi massif     

Chapter Three: East of the Prahova   
The Piatra Mare massif    
The Gârbova and Baiului   
The Ciucas massif     

Chapter Four: The Mountains around Brasov    
Across the Postavaru massif     

Chapter Five: The Piatra Craiului and Iezer-Papusa Massifs    
The Piatra Craiului    
The Iezer-Papusa massif    

Chapter Six: The Fagaras Chain    
Itinerary along the Fagaras ridge    
The Cozia massif     

Chapter Seven: From the Olt to the Jiu    
The Cindrel massif    
The Latoritei ridge    
The Parâng massif    
The Sureanu massif    
The Capatân massif    
The Lotru massif    

Chapter Eight: The Retezat Mountains    
The Vâlcan massif    
The Retezat    
The Tarcu massif    

Chapter Nine: The Mountains of Banat    

Chapter Ten: The Mountains of Maramure[    
The Gutâi mountains    
The Rodna mountains    

Chapter Eleven: The Apuseni Mountains    
The Gilau massif    
The Trascau    
The Bihor-Vladeasa region    

Chapter Twelve: The Eastern Carpathians    
The Suhard massif    
The Bârgau massif    
The Rarau-Giumalau massif    
The Caliman massif    
The Ceahlau massif    
The Hasmas massif and Lacu Rosu    
The Harghita massif    
The Muntii Ciucului    
The Bodoc massif    
The Vrancea massif and Penteleu     

Chapter Thirteen: The Monasteries of Bucovina    

Appendix A: Accommodation     
Appendix B: Useful words/phrases in the Romanian language     
Appendix C: Select Bibliography     
Appendix D: Ski resorts – technical information     
Appendix E: Mountain rescue     
Appendix F: Useful names and addresses     
Appendix G: Romania’s 8000ft (2438m) summits     
Appendix H: Flowers and wildlife of the Romanian mountains    

List of Maps
Map key     
Romania: areas covered in this guide     
Map 1: The Bucegi     
Map 2: Postavaru and Piatra Mare     
Map 3: The Fitifoi, Diham and Gârbova     
Map 4: The Ciucas    
Map 5: The Piatra Craiului     
Map 6: Iezer-Papusa     
Map 7: The Fagaras    
Map 8: The Fagaras – Bâlea Lac area in detail    
Map 9: The Fagaras – the Negoiu area in detail     
Map 10: The Cozia     
Map 11: The Cindrel     
Map 12: The Parâng     
Map 13: The Vâlcan     
Map 14: The Retezat     
Map 15: The Central Retezat in detail     
Map 16: The Semenic Massif
Map 17: The Rodna Massif
Map 18: The Trascau     
Map 19: The Bihor and Vladeasa Mountains
Map 20: The Rarau-Giumalau Mountains     
Map 21: The Caliman Mountains     
Map 22: The Ceahlau Mountains     
Map 23: The Hasmas Massif     
Map 24: Lacu Rosu area in detail     
Map 25: The Harghita Mountains     
Map 26: The Bodoc Massif     
Map 27: The Vrancea Mountains and Penteleu     

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