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Bucegi Natural Park – a well-known Romanian writer wrote: “Whoever is lucky enough to see the Bucegi in a clear night, full of frost and stellar light, might understand what the Genesis was like”.
Rising high, massive and bold above the horizon, with fierce peaks and steep valleys, alpine limestone grasslands, caves, springs and waterfalls, the Bucegi Mountains look like a citadel with high walls offering a breathtaking view, especially seen from the Prahova Valley.
Piatra Craiului National Park – The name of the mountain came from one of the citadels built by the Hungarian Kingdom, as a custom, control and protection point, at the southern border of Transylvania, at the bottom of the mountains, at the end of XIV century. The name of the citadel in German language was Königstein.
The locals called the mountain The Stone (Piatra).
The highest peak (2238 m) is called Piscul Ciobanului or Piscul Baciului – Shepherd’s Peak in English and Hirtenspitze in German.
A century ago the Carpathians mountains represented the border between the Austrian-Hungarian Empire and Valachia, the southern part of Romania. The border divided Piatra Craiului Massif exactly on the highest peak, Piscul Baciului, where was the border pillar no. 201 and a pyramid made from wood (triangulation beacon).
The Piatra Craiului Massif became a natural reserve on March 28, 1938 (Journal of the Council of Ministers No. 645), with an initial surface of only 440 ha. The Council of Ministers made this decision “due to the unique nature of the massif where there are rare species, such as Dianthus calzones, Hesperis Nivea, Minuartia Transylvania, Leontopodium alpinum, and also for the beauty of the landscape.”
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Day 1: Transfer to Otopeni Airport – Brasov (Romania’s most important touristic city). Accommodation at a 3* hotel located nearby the old city center (eg. Apollonia Hotel). Depending of the flight time we can have an evening Brasov walking tour. Traditional Romanian dinner. Fringed by the peaks of the Southern Carpathian Mountains and resplendent with Gothic, baroque and renaissance architecture, as well as a wealth of historical attractions, Brasov is one of the most visited places in Romania. Founded by the Teutonic Knights in 1211 on an ancient Dacian site and settled by the Saxons as one of the seven-walled citadels, Brasov exudes a distinct medieval ambience and has been used as the backdrop in many recent period films.
Day 2: Breakfast. Transfer to Bran village (about 40 minutes). We visit Bran Castle a.k.a Dracula’s Castle (Monday is open at 12:00). Than we start from Bran our first day of walking in Piatra Craiului National Park toward Magura village – an authentic and cozy mountain village. The path is the route which links Bucegi Mountains to the Piatra Craiului National Park. The route is easy to medium, through forest and meadows, with great views to both mountains and to the Bran area with his mountain villages (4-5 hours, medium effort, uphill/downhill walk: 400 m/400 m). Accommodation 2 nights at a village guesthouse in Magura Village. Lunch pack and home made dinner
Day 3: Breakfast. All-day hike in the astonishing Piatra Craiului National Park (6 – 7 hours, medium, 16 km), crossing the amazing Zarnesti Gorges. Lunch pack or lunch at Curmatura mountain hut. Dinner at the guesthouse.
Day 4: Breakfast. Trek crossing the most authentic beautiful mountain villages from the bottom of the National Park Piatra Craiului – Magura – Pestera – Sirnea (the first touristic village of Romania) – Fundata, meeting the locals. Walking for the day: 4-6 hours, 15 km, +1083m/-890m. Accommodation at a 3* guesthouse for 3 nights (eg. Creasta de Vis).
About Sirnea village: in order to develop the village and attract as many tourists as possible, Professor Nicolae Fruntes initiated two feasts: “The measure of milk and the meeting of the village sons” held every June and “Winter at Sirnea”, aimed at presenting the customs of the villagers, both during summer and winter. Launched in 1969, the feast “Winter at Sirnea” entails a skiing race with torches in hands, sleigh rides and parties organized at the Cultural Centre.
Day 5: Breakfast. A gentle walk in the villages of Fundata and Fundatica (4 – 6 hours, easy to medium, uphill/downhill walk: 300 m/300 m). Lunch pack and homemade dinner.
Surrounded by the Bucegi Mountains and the Piatra Craiului Mountains, Fundata’s altitude of 1360 m makes it the highest commune in Romania. In August 1916, when troops from the Romanian Old Kingdom entered Austria-Hungary, the first village they took was Fundata, also capturing their first prisoners there and suffering their first battle death.
Day 6: Breakfast. Transfer from the guesthouse to the starting point of the trekking tour in Bucegi Natural Park (about 30 minutes of driving). Hike on the northern part of the mountain which is wilder and no so crowded. Stop at the “Evil waterfall mill” on our route. Transfer back to the guesthouse for accommodation – about 30 minutes of driving. (5-6 hours, medium effort, uphill/downhill walk: 800 m/ 800 m, appr. 14 km). Dinner.
Day 7: Breakfast. Head to the Seven Ladders Canyon (Canionul Sapte Scari) – an interesting karstic phenomenon – in the Piatra Mare range, part of the Southern Carpathian Mountains (appr. 1-hour transfer). Once there was a cave here, whose roof collapsed to show the steep and close walls of the canyon. This stunning gorge is famed for its steep ladders that take you up the rock walls past a series of rushing waterfalls. On arrival, set off along meadow and forest paths, reaching the canyon after a 45-minute hike. The canyon has been carved in Jurassic limestone and is composed of seven waterfalls: the tallest 15 meters high. The trail within the canyon is arranged with metal stairs and platforms (during the weekend could be crowded). Continue up to the Piatra Mare Mountain hut for about 2 hours. This route is a medium one with a narrow path, sometimes steep. Optional: hike to the top of the mountain (1843 m), from the Chalet, a round trip of about 2 hours. Duration: 7-8 hours, medium to hard effort, uphill/downhill walk: 800 m/800 m, appr. 16 km. Lunch pack. Short transfer to Brasov for accommodation. Farewell dinner.
Day 8: Breakfast. Transfer to the airport in Bucharest (about 3 hours).
Note: the route could be changed due to weather conditions.
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