BRASOV is surrounded like a halo by the Carpathians, being in the middle of the country at the crossroads of the Eastern Carpathians and the Southern Carpathians. Thus, it is a special place for its beautiful views of the surrounding mountains, the fresh air, the cool summers and many other things waiting to be discovered.
Bucegi Mountains (Omu Peak – 2505m)
The Bucegi mountains are located in central Romania, south of the city of Brasov. They are part of the Southern Carpathians group of the Carpathian Mountains.
The Bucegi mountains own their fame to the spectacular landscapes and the accessibility of their routes. Well known for hiking, winter sports and climbing, these mountains are high compact blocks, edged by steep slopes which dominate the Prahova Valley (Busteni, Sinaia, Predeal) a popular land for its mountain resorts. At a higher elevation is the Bucegi Plateau, where wind and rain have turned the rocks into spectacular figures such as the Sphinx, a rock with the shape of a human-like face, with a lingering and enigmatic smile and Babele( the old ladies).
The Bucegi Mountains are also known for their colorful diversity in plants. They are the most visited mountains in Romania. You can hike to the highest top, the Omu peak at 2505m and a roundtrip through the beautiful nature reserves. Most foreign visitors are amazed at the enormous variety of wild plants and flowers all over Romania. You will find all kind of orchids, gentians, campanulas and 12% of the plants are endemic to the Carpathian Mountains.
Postavaru Mountain (Postavaru Peak – 1799m)
It is not very high, thus not as spectacular as other mountains in the Carpathians, but it has some good ski slopes and beautiful scenery. Postavaru Mountain is ideal for winter sports with 150 hectares of specific equipment and facilities, ski tracks of various degrees of difficulty, an artificial snow track provided with night lighting and a skating rink. The name of the resort at the foot of Postavaru is Poiana Brasov and it is considered the best skiing resort in Romania.
Piatra Mare Massif (Piatra Mare Peak – 1844m)
Despite providing fewer tourist facilities (chalets, hotels, cable car) than its neighbor, the Postavaru Mountain, Piatra Mare (106 sq km) lasts in the memory of generations of tourists for its wonderful landscapes.
Among its attractions are the huge, spectacular, yet difficult to climb steep Eastern slopes, the wild Sapte Scari (Seven Steps) Canyon, visited by scores of tourists from spring through autumn, the Tamina Waterfall. The Sapte Scari Brook falls into Sipoaia basin at a 60 m level difference over a small distance of 160 m. In this area, the valley sides are almost vertical, very close to each other, and polished by the falling water.
The cascade complex developed on the lower course of the Piatra Mica Brook, near its junction with the Timisul Sec de Jos Stream, is known by the name of Tamina Waterfall. It consists of a succession of five steps formed by breaks in the slope. The gorges sector walls are 50-60 m high with 50-60 degrees slopes.
The small ice cave (Pestera de Gheata / Ice Cave) located under the Gatul Chivei Summit, at the base of an 80 m high step, is developed on a vertical fracture cut in limestone. A specific trait is the cold air current gushing out its mouth, and the presence of an up to 3m thick ice layer lasting until late summer.
Piatra Craiului Mountain (La Om Peak- 2237m)
Piatra Craiului-The Royal Rock-is probably Romania’s most loved mountain especially by hikers and nature lovers. It is a beautiful limestone ridge from where you have superb views over the surrounding country. The shining glow of this huge white limestone ridge can be seen from afar and it is probably the source of its unusual name.
The mountain ridge has the biggest bio-diversity of the country. It is a National Park. The wildlife is very divers and there is still black chamois on the high cliffs and brown bear, wild boar, deer and stag, foxes wolf and even lynx in the forests. The Piatra Craiului Mountains are further known for the abundance and diversity of flowers and plants.
Visit: Piatra Craiului National Park
Ciucas Mountains (Ciucas Peak-1954m)
Ciucas Mountains, easily accessible mountains, lie on a secondary road to Brasov, providing a fascinating ridge dotted with landforms of exceptional beauty, fashioned in limestone and conglomerates. These mountains present an extraordinary rich and varied relief, rarely encountered in the Romanian Carpathians. The upper part reveals a unique association of towers, needles, columns, mushrooms, bare rocks and sphinx-like forms.
The mountains offer a few nature reserves (geological, geomorphologic, fauna and flora). Remarkable is the Rosu Mountain (The Red Mountain) called so because in springtime it is covered with the beautiful rhododendron flowers.
Cheia resort (800-900 m) is located in the homonymous depression that borders the Ciucas Massif to the South. It houses a meteorological station, a Natural Museum of the Upper Teleajen Valley, Cheia Monastery and further away on the road to Ploiesti, Suzana Monastery which both are outstanding religious monuments in the Telejenel Valley).
Fagaras Mountains (Moldoveanu Peak-2545m)
Also known as the “Transylvanian Alps”, as a 19th century traveler called them, the Fagaras are truly the highest, largest, widest, rockiest and most impressive mountain range in Romania, whether we are talking about extreme skiers, rock climbers, regular mountaineers or people interested in a nice and quiet place in the middle of the nature.
Stretching for more than 70 km from E to W, South of the main Brasov-Sibiu road, they will reveal to a daring hiker more than 20 summits at above 2000 meters, among which six offering the unique feeling of walking on the clouds, by being elevated at over 2500 m above the sea level. The mountains are peppered with more than 40 glacial lakes, the highest of which is Lake Mioarele at 2282m, Balea Lake is the widest (4,65 hectares) and Podragu Lake is the deepest (15,5 m. depth). Temperatures vary widely in between their recorded extremes (-38°C to +25°C).
The second highest road in Europa (highest point: 2040 m. elevation), also known as the Transfagarasan, crosses these mountains from Curtea de Arges (S) to Cartisoara (N), being open between late June and October. It gives access all year round to the base stop of the cable car, which goes to Balea Lake, the sole site with skiing facilities in these mountains. Balea Lake, as well as most of the villages Northwards of the main ridge, provide best options for hiking incursions in these mountains, from easy a couple of hours hikes, to the 5-7 days long main ridge hike. Apart from the skiing or mountaineering opportunities, the Fagaras also have some outstanding cultural sites one could consider, such as Sambata Monastery, Poienari Castle (Vlad the Impaler’s real castle), Fagaras Fortress a. o.