The Mountains of Romania
Trekking and walking in the Carpathian Mountains
By Janneke Klop
Guidebook to walks and multi-day treks in the Carpathian mountains of Romania. Includes routes in the Maramures and Bucovina regions, Piatra Craiului ridge, and the Retezat and Fagaras mountains.
SeasonsThe best time to visit the mountains of Romania is from May to September. Most of the snow will have disappeared by June.
CentresKey bases include Braşov, Sibiu, Cluj-Napoca, Vatra Dornei and Râmnicu Vâlcea
DifficultyMany of the routes require you to be entirely self-sufficient. You will need to be able to carry 15-20kg. Expect hikes of 15-25km per day with a total ascent/descent of up to 1500m. There are lighter day walks too in which case a daypack will suffice. Popular routes have a good network of mountain huts.
Must SeeThe Făgăraș Mountains, home to Romania's highest peaks; the saw-like Piatra Craiului limestone ridge; camping near Romania's biggest glacial lake in the Retezat; stunning karst scenery in the pastoral Apuseni; medieval Saxon cities, imposing castles and Roman and Dacian ruins
This guide describes 27 short treks of 2-6 days and 10 day walks in the mountains of Romania. Although there is a slight focus on Transylvania, most of the main massifs are included, with chapters covering the Mountains of Maramures, the Eastern Carpathians, the mountains around Brasov, the Fagara?, the region between the Olt and the Jiu, the Retezat, the mountains of Banat and the Apuseni. Also included is an ascent of Moldoveanu, Romania's highest peak at 2544m.
There is a wealth of advice to help you plan your trip and organise the logistics of your walk or trek. Some routes avail of the network of mountain huts; others offer opportunities to camp in attractive wild locations. Overviews and a route summary table make it easy to choose an appropriate excursion. Each route includes clear description and mapping, as well as notes on accommodation and access (some can be accessed by public transport, although others require either pre-arranged pick-up or hitchhiking). There are fascinating insights into Romania's colourful culture and history and appendices containing hut listings, useful contacts and a helpful glossary.
The graded routes are as varied as Romania's diverse landscapes. They take in rolling hills, craggy karst peaks, glacial lakes and Europe's last virgin forests, with other highlights including Transylvanian castles, wooden churches, the Piatra Craiului ridge and the spectacular Sapte Scari (Seven Ladders) and Turda Gorges. Historic towns such as the medieval towns of Brasov and Sibiu and the spa resort of Vatra Dornei offer easy access to the mountains; other routes visit remote villages that have changed little over the centuries, where self-sufficiency is still very much the way of life. All in all, the guide is a perfect companion to discovering the unspoilt beauty of Romania's enchanting mountain regions.
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Janneke Klop has been exploring Romania since 2005, having previously been an English teacher. She writes about her Romanian adventures at www.roamaniac.com and also offers guided tours. She lives in Ghent, Belgium and is an active member of the Klimen Bergsportfederatie (Climbing and Mountaineering Belgium) and Grote Routepaden (Grandes Randonnées).View author profile
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