Winter break at the Carpathian Gate
The area nested between the massive Bucegi Natural Park and the beautiful Piatra Craiului Reserve can keep one busy for weeks with its trails, views and culture. For years an all-season favorite for hikers and nature lovers, it is never quite as magical as during winter time. Snow covered hills for as far as the eye can see, with chimney smoke popping here and there, a sign that there are people that have settled in this difficult terrain.
The area now offers accommodation options ranging from live-in with the locals to 5* Spa Resorts, quaint mountain chalets and luxury glamping. You just need to choose one and start exploring.
Piatra Craiului Natural Reserve
Our first pick is the hike to Curmătura Cabin, one of those rare trails that are both friendly and spectacular. It starts off through Zărnești Gorge and then, a mild hike and 300 photos later, you are welcomed with warm tea and the best bean soup you’ll probably ever have.
On your way down, take the longer road though the villages of Măgura and Peștera. You’ll find out why we Romanians have this saying that Eternity was born in the countryside. Skip the hotel diner and stop off at DOR Restaurant on your way back; it’s widely regarded as the first Romanian restaurant with a shot at achieving Michelin star status.
Carpathian hills & thrills
A new day means a new adventure. Give your legs some time to rest after the hike and start off with a visit to Bran Castle. No matter how you feel about the legend, the visit is an experience and the castle is beautiful in its own right. After your tour, hop in the car and head out to your afternoon hike. The hills and valleys of Șirnea, Moieciu, Fundata, Sohodol offer endless trekking options with none being too difficult even in winter time. The winding trails pass houses, churches, old sheepfolds and winter refuges, all with breathtaking views of the Bucegi Mountains. Take as little or much time as you like wandering, the main road is always near for a quick exit when you get tired.
On your way back, don’t miss a stop at Panner Bakery in Bran, you deserve to treat yourself after all that walking and their sweets are the best in the region.
A morning tour of the LiBearty Bear Sanctuary in Zărnești – an amazing project that has rescued over 100 bears from abusive conditions all around the world. A short tour of the Fortress in Râșnov followed by a fun visit to the Dino Park right next to it. Lunch at Amfiteatrul Transilvania, a nature resort with spectacular views, great cuisine, and car access.