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Walking in Romania

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Aug 26th, 2010, 08:07 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Aug 2010
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Walking in Romania

Next week we are starting a 2 week holiday in Transylvania in which we are hoping to do a lot of walking in the mountains. We are old but fit. The plan (such as it is) is to hire a car in Bucharest, and stay in perhaps 4 or 5 centres (perhaps Sinaia, Bustini, Zarnesti, Brasov, Fagaras, Sighisoara) , and from each of these do some longish (4-6) hour walks in the mountains.

Does anybody have any experience of walking in Romania? If so we are desperate for some advice, particularly:

How to find out about walks/maps in each of these areas?

Whether we can get a Romanian SIM for out UK mobile phone in order to book accommodation ahead.

We are also planning a couple of days rest at Salt Bear Lake. Any views on this?

Does anybody have any recommendations for accommodation in these areas - we tend to go for 3* hotels or pensions, or possibly a good hostel or cabana.

Many thanks.
eustache is offline  
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Aug 26th, 2010, 10:14 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
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There are more than 25 years when we walked in Carpathian mountains, so I am sorry , I don't know the actual situation. We are born in Romania and we did not use then maps, we knew the regions and that all the walking / hiking paths were well marked , in different colors and forms, showing the average time till different destinations.
I hope that this is still in good condition today , but I am not sure.
I saw at Romanian TV that there are a lot of bears that are looking for food, they come near the houses in Brasov and in other towns in Prahova Valley. So, be careful!

One thing: Sinaia, Busteni, Predeal, Brasov are close one to other (the biggest distance is Sinaia - Brasov = 60 km) so I recommend to stay in one place and from there, go by car till next town and walk there.

In the last years there are a lot of new hotels, pensions and all look well and there are not so expensive.

Sighisoara is a very nice medieval town. Ten years ago we stayed at a beautiful pension 6 km outside of it, named Pensiunea Dracula - Danes http://www.dracul.ro/
It has also a very good restaurant.

Have a nice vacation!
valtor is offline  
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Aug 27th, 2010, 05:43 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: May 2010
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Your plan is reasonable, although Fagaras and especially Sighisoara aren't close enough to the mountains (but Sighisoara itself is definitely a must see).

You can buy maps for most mountain regions once you get to Bucharest, they're available at larger bookstores.

Local SIM cards can be bought very easily, they're sold practically everywhere (at corner shops, supermarkets, newspaper stands, gas stations etc.) and no proof of identity is required to get one.

Sovata resort (where Bear Lake is located) is relatively nice, you could spend a few days there; try to visit the salt mines in nearby Praid.

As a general advice on accommodations, use mainly pensions (as mentioned above by Valtor there are plenty of them in the towns you plan to stay in) - they offer the same or better conditions as hotels at much lower prices.

On another note, as you'll be traveling by car and like mountains you really should try to do the Transfagarasan route ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transfagarasan ).
flat4 is offline  
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Aug 28th, 2010, 02:39 AM
  #4
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Thanks very much for your replies. They are very helpful.

Is there a better place than Fagaras for starting walks in the Fagaras mountains?
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Aug 28th, 2010, 04:36 AM
  #5
 
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The best option would be to start from the various chalets along the above-mentioned Transfagarasan road (it actually passes through the highest part of the Fagaras mountains).

If you can't go on the Transfagarasan then a good choice would be the small resort Sambata (about 25 km south-west of Fagaras), it's right next to the mountains.
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