prepared Rolandas Liutika
31 July, Tuesday
Route: Kvasovo – Dobrosija – Vylok – Bobove – Djakove – UA/RO – Halmeu – (3 km after Halmeu turn left to) Turt (direction Negresti Oas) – Calinesti Oas – Negresti Oas – Certeze – Huta Certeze
All route asphalt and only 2-4 km after Turt will be stone road.
Sleeping place: by river near village Huta-Certeze.
Turt is the city where Tuica, Romania’s strong liquor, is being brewed. The famous distillery Fabrika Capsun (Palinka) has been producing capsun, a strawberry drink (till 80% alcohol), since 1376.
Being situated in the North-East of the country, the Calinesti-Oas commune has a continental climate. The most spread species of trees are: the oak, the common oak, the beech, and the fauna are made of: the wolf, the bear, the fox, the wild-boar, the deer, etc. The Calinesti locality is documentary certified in 1490. From the same period, some testimonies were kept about the Lechinta village, which is supposed to be even older. The Pasunea Mare and Coca appeared in the documents much later. The research made between 1964-1969 revealed traces from the Stone Age. Among others a hearth sole, and recently, in Coca village, a polished stone axe was discovered dating from the new Stone Age, the Neolithic. According to some archaeologists, some traces discovered in the Calinesti-Oas commune would have been left 10000 – 35000 years before Christ.
Tara Oasului Museum in the open air: Museum was founded in 1966. It is situated in the proximity of the centre of the town, at 200 m distance from the national road that comes from Satu Mare and Maramures. The area occupied is 1, 5 hectares on the Tur river shore. The museum it is made of two departments: a permanent exhibition that consists in a valuable ethnographic and folk art collection and a museum in the open air.
The traditional architecture is well represented by the church made of wood from Lechinta village, dating from the first part of the 17th century, also by the houses from Racsa, Moiseni and Negresti (18th-19th centuries) that made up three complete households, by the two houses from Gherta Mica and by the potter\’s house from Vama. Inside these buildings are exposed valuable collections of wools, costumes, icons, ceramics, and furniture.
There is another part of the museum, an alive one and more attractive, too. It consists in technical equipments, driven by the water force. Here you can watch the inhabitants doing the washing at the whirlpool, grinding the grains at the mill. Also, the museum from Negresti is the only place where is produced the famous Vama ceramics. Because of the relief and the plentiful vegetation, because of the valuable ethnographic and art collections, the museum is a suggestive place and characterizes so well the region called Tara Oasului.
Vama is a village known for the ceramic products that are made here. The pottery is an old custom, since the Dacian period. Vama is situated in the south part of the Oas region, lengthways of the Satu Mare – Sighet road, at the entrance in Negresti. It has always been an important ceramic centre. Here, this occupation dates since early times when the enamel had been decorated, under the Byzantine influence, with new procedures, colours and motives.
Inside the Vama museum are exposed more than 500 pieces, some of them older than 300 years. The colours used for painting the earthen pots are 100% natural, respecting the same ingredients as 2000 years ago. The pottery in this region is considered of been ancient. Still, it is very difficult to confirm this because of the lack of the necessary information. The documents that have been found in the middle of the 19th century show the existence of this ancient occupation, even before 1850.
At the beginning of the 20th century, there were over 30 potters in Vama, 12 in 1950 and today there is only one, Gheza Isvanfi, of Hungarian nationality, engaged by the Negresti museum. The value of the Vama ceramics is equal to Hurezu or Obiga one, thanks to the pottery techniques, shapes and ornaments used by the craftsmen.
01 August, Wednesday
Route: pass Huta – Sapanta – Sighetu Marmatiei – Vadu Izei – Feresti, direction Baia Mare (not Ocna Sugatag) – Giulesti – Harcinest, go directly – Desesti, turn back – Harcinesti, turn right – Ocna Sugatag
All route asphalt.
Sleeping place: camping “Bai Vechy” in Ocna Sugatag, Str. Unirii nr. 66. In centre Ocna Sugatag to turn left behind a church (through small gas station) up to a crossroads, then to turn left (to follow a red sign – a cross), then on right downwards, before gate to turn a little bit to the left and a little bit in top.
It is a village situated at 25 km from Negresti, lengthways the Tisa River, surrounded by the Carpathians. The village belongs to the county of Maramures and counts 5000 inhabitants. The creator of this unusual graveyard “The Merry Graveyard” was Stan Patras, an imposing sculptor. For the beginning he used to sculpture 10 crosses per year. His work method had been kept until today. He used as an ideal raw material the oak wood, painted in blue, colour that represents hope and freedom. In 1938 he started writing epitaphs on the crosses. Till his death in 1977 Ion Patras manufactured about 300 wooden grave crosses gaudily painted and with words about the course of life of the deceased. Usually, these were short poems that reproduced the life of the death person. Dumitru Pop is the one who continues to do this in the present, instead of Patras. The creative spirit of Stan Ioan Patras had made this merry graveyard from Sapanta to represent, even today, the Romanian culture and civilization. The well-known “Travel+Lesure” magazine, places this graveyard on the 9th place in the top ten of the biggest funeral destinations from the whole world.
The communism and resistance’s victims Memorial plan had been initiated in 1992, by Ana Blandiana, the president of the Civilian Alliance and it has been materialized in the next decade, with the support from Romulus Rusan and an impressive team made by historians, architects, builders and designers. The Memorial of the Victims of Communism and of the Resistance it is set up by a museum, situated in the ex-political prison from Sighet and an international study centre of the communism phenomenon, in Bucharest. Its purpose is to initiate the process of “cleaning” the fake history created during The Gold Epoch of communism.
The memorial from Sighet is situated in the North part of the country. However, the European position is central, being a part from a tourist route. This way, a lot of tourists from Romania and other countries visit it. In 1998, The Council of Europe designated the Sighet Memorial as one of the main memorial sites of the continent, alongside the Auschwitz Museum and the Peace Memorial in Normandy.
Sighetu Marmatiei is situated on the NW side of Maramures depression in the near by of confluence of Iza river with Tisa, at Ukrainian border. The city’s first mention is recorded at 1329. The city hosted one of the main prisons in the communist era, prison well known as the final destination for the political and between wars period leaders. Now the prison is the most important sightseeing spot of the city, Memorialul Durerii (Pain Memorial) being the name of today\’s museum, set in 1997. The Museum of Folk Architecture is an open air museum that gathers in all kind off buildings from the typical Maramuresan village. Every year in December for 3 days The Annual Festival of winter Traditions and Customs took place on the main street. A parade of traditional singing, dance and costumes is a thing that can\’t be missed for nothing.
It is situated at the confluence of Mara and Iza rivers; its first mention in document is on 1383. In 1968 there was discovered a treasure made of 12 bracelets dating from the late part of Bronze period. Vadu Izei is the commune with the most beautiful carved gates.
It is a small village with traditional households, monumental wooden gates, living customs and the continued use of folk costumes.
One of the houses from here was transported in Bucharest, at the Village Museum.
Again, many old wooden houses and other traditional constructions have been preserved. An impressive construction in the village is the Iurca House, built in 1792, which used to belong to a nobleman from the nearby village of Călineşti. Each year in spring in Hărniceşti, Sat Şugatag and Hoteni is held the traditional festival of Tânjaua de pe Mara.
The Church of the Holy Paraskeva, 1770, is one of the 8 Wooden Churches of Maramures on the UNESCO list. All of the old wooden churches are very small inside (women to stand outside if the service gets too crowded with men), but their high shingled steeples seem to point toward the heavens. The craftsmanship of these centuries-old buildings is evident in the canti-levered joints and wood-peg nails holding it together. The skill of the local wood carvers is displayed on large wooden gates with intricate designs that have symbolic meanings. Another tourist attraction in the village is the new Tourist Museum Complex Deseşti. As its name suggests, the place is a museum that offers accommodation to tourists. The name of Deseşti is connected to the name of the modernist poet Nichita Stănescu who came here several times.
It ibis a town-like village of 1,600 inhabitants, famous as a spa and health resort in Romania. The watering and climatic spa is situated at an altitude of 490 m at the foot of the volcanic chain Tibles-Gutai.
02 August, Thursday
Route: Ocna Sugatag (by church go straight, direction Calinesti) – Calinesti (direction Barsana) – Barsana (direction Borsa, Bistrita) – Rozavlea (direction Sacel) – Leud – Bogdan Voda – Sacel (direction Borsa) – Moisei
Sleeping place: pension-camping in Moisei “Pensiunea Calina”, nr. 380.
The Church of the Presentation of the Virgin at the Temple is dated 1720 (UNESCO list).
It is a typical village for Maramures, the wooden church dates from 1716.
It keeps the most valuable wooden church in Romania, the pearl of Maramures, Made in 1364 in the oldest wooden church (The Church of the Nativity of the Virgin, UNESCO), the only one that wasn’t burned by the invaders in 18th century. Inside paintings are made on wood, an impressive collection of glass icons, and an ancient one piece leader carved in one log. In the church’s loft there was discovered Codicele de la Ieud the oldest Romanian hand writing (1391), unique in Romania keep at Academy’s Library in Bucharest. Ieud is also the place from were in the 14th century left Dragos the first Moldavian ruler. Churh from Ieud is considered the oldest from Maramures. The first Romanian school was here. In this commune was discovered the oldest Romanian writing Zbornicul de la Ieud.
It was known until 1968 as Cuhea, and was the residence of the first ruler of Moldavia, Bogdan the First (1359-1365). Saint Nicolas church was built of fir tree wood in 1718-1722 on the same spot of an old one burned by the Tatarians in 1717. The church is one of the most valuable monuments of its kind in Romania. It preserves original paintings, a wooden carved chandelier from 1722, an 1801 bell and some valuables books from 1750-1771. Every year in middle May takes place an ancient shepherd’s holiday, a local variant of âmbata Oilor (Sheep’s Saturday), named here Ruptul Oilor. Bogdan Voda, tourist’s village, former Cuhnea – Bogdan voivode residence – with ruins of an court (fortress) and interesting folk festival “Mulsul sterpelor” (like “Sâmbrei oilor” from Oas region) at the middle of may.
It is the first village to visit in our tour to this incredible region full of masterpieces of rural architecture and traditions in wood carving. The tall wooden church from 1772 was taken to The Village Museum in Bucharest. The village keeps a unique museum in Romania: The Romanian Women Museum.
The village is well known for its red unpolished pottery, decorated with thin black stripes. At 1040 m (3412 ft.) there is The Blue Spring of Iza River.
It is an old village, the monastery here, dating since the 14th century, kept interior paintings made on cloth. In the 17th and 18th century here there was in important centre of church painting. A monument made by the Romanian sculptor Vida Gheza remembers of the tragedies form World War II, when the Hungarian army set on fire the village and killed the Romanians in 1944.
It is the longest city in Romania, laying on 25 km from West to East. The first documentary mention dates from 1365; in 1717 the inhabitants fought against the Tatarians on their way back from Transylvania to Moldavia. Borsa was a centre for weekly and annual fairs. The main products that where sold in here where wood, wool, pottery, sheep… Borsa Touristy Complex is at 12 km from downtown Borsa. The Complex is situated at 700-850 m elevation at the foot of Rodna Mts. and Maramures Mts., in the near by of Prislop Pass 1414 m that links Maramures to Bucovina (the Northern part of Moldavia). Mineral springs, ski facilities and many hiking opportunities made of Baile Borsa one of the most complex tourist resort in Romania. As a ski resort it has ski lifts, lift chairs, the largest natural Olympic springboard in Romania (113m), and the longest ski slope in the country 6 km. Bors a is the starting point of the next part of the trip, hiking Rodna Mountains. Cailor Waterfall – the biggest from Oriental Carpathian.
03 August, Friday
Rest day. Climbing in mountain top Pietrosul 2303 m.
Sleeping place: camping in Moisei.
04 August, Saturday
Route: Moisei – Sacel (direction Bistrita) – pass Setref – Romuli – Salva – Nasaud – Dumitra – Bistrita (turn left) – Unirea
All route asphalt.
Sleeping place: near Unirea. Go through all Unirea and after Unirea will be motel-restaurant-camping “Unirea 6 km”.
There is a local museum where you can see the Romanian traditional folk costumes; the old people in the region can still be seen wearing them on special occasions such as religious holidays. There is hold a Thursday traditional fair (weekly). A double distillery (the 19th century type) that produces the traditional alcoholic drink called “Tuica”. The former headquarters of the Austrian border regiment from the 17th century, during Maria Teresa’s reign. The town museum has an old military unit.
There is an Evangelic Church (1488).
Bistrita is one of the oldest Transylvanian Sachsen towns. It was first mentioned as Villa Bistiche, on the 16th of July 1264; other sources claim that it existed ever since the Tartar invasion in 1241. By 1349, the town had become a city with its name changed into civitas Bysterce. Saxon colonists brought to the region by Hungarian king Geza the 2nd contributed to the development of the city as a prosperous craft and trade centre. Named by its German inhabitants Bistritz, it was one of Transylvania’s (Siebenbürgen’s) most reputed Saxon citadels. A secondary school in the Romanian language was founded in 1786. The gates of the medieval city were destroyed in 1862-1863 by the order of the Imperial Court of Vienna. The Reformed church built in the 16th century has historical arcades around the church. Original 14th century church was begun in the 14th century, with the tower added in 1559. The sun appeared briefly and illuminated the renaissance facade and the contemporary scaffolding. The gothic, arcaded buildings along Bistrita’s Piatra Centrale date from the 14th and 15th centuries, and later received renaissance alterations such as handsome window surrounds. My descent into the depths of arcadomania had begun. Monuments: the fortress (the 15th-16th centuries) preserves only the Coopers Tower and some fragments of wall; the former church of the Minorit Monastery in an early Gothic style (1270-1280), suffered important changes in the 14th century; the Evangelist Church, a Gothic monument under restoration with a high tower; the Silversmith House, from the beginning of the 17th century with Renaissance frames.
05 August, Sunday
Route: Unirea – Bistrita – Herina – Galatii Bistritei – Reghin (turn right to Targu Mures and then left to Sovata) – Beica de Jos – Eremitu
All route asphalt.
Sleeping place: camping “Mustang” near Eremitu. In Eremitu turn left, direction Sovata. After Eremitu on left side there will be the table “camping Mustang 3.5 km”. Turn left. Go 3.5 km. Then before table “camping Mustang 150 m” turn right.
The Evangelist Church – one of the most representative Romanic monuments (1250-1260) still preserved in Transylvania: a basilica with three halls separated by massive masonry pillars. On the western extremity of the wall, two towers are visible with a square section, while inside a tribune is arranged. Located above the level of the village, the church dominates the landscape, and is easily seen.
The first documentary certificate of the locality dates from 1318. There is an evangelical church from the 16th century. From architectural view we can observe in Teaca commune several old constructions from the beginning of the 19th century.
The Evangelist church, dating from the end of the 13th century and the beginning of the 14th century, reveals the transit from Romanic to Gothic. A basilica, initially with well defined ceilings has three halls.
06 August, Monday
Route: Sovata (direction Gheorgheni) – Praid (direction Odorgheiu Secuiesc) – Corund – Lupeni – Bisericani (turn right!!) – Simonesti – Cristuru Secuiesc – Vanatori – Sighisoara
All route asphalt. After Bisericani 10 km bad asphalt.
Sleeping place: camping “Aquaris” in Sighisoara. In Sighisoara you should go directly till camping table. Then turn right through the bridge through the river and at once turn left (not directly!!), street Saguna. On right side will be camping (near Railstation).
It is located on a salt mountain at the feet of Gurghiu volcanic massif, in the centre of Transylvania. A neckless of lakes – among them being the famous helioterm lake Ursu – provides miraculous couring agents due to the condensed chloro-sodic and the sapropelic mud. Alongside of the mineral springs used in the external cure, they recommend the spa in the treatment of the gynaecological disease and the fight against the sterility. Rheumatoid and posttraumatic diseases, peripheral nervous system afflictions, the endocrine, cardiovascular maladies, and the asthenic neurosis are treated here with good results. The climate is specific to the hilly areas with chilly summers, mild winters and gorgeous autumns which give a romantic colour the surrounding forests. Sovata (15 km away from Targu Mures), it is situated at the foot of the Curghiu Mountains, at an altitude of 475-530 m; it is mentioned as healing place since 1597. The sub-alpine climate is comforting for the nervous system, winters are mild and summers are chilly. The comfortable hotels of the spa offer modern treatment facilities (for warm mineral salt water baths, hot mud treatments, kinetotherapy, electro- and hydrotherapy). The highly efficient cure factors are connected to the presence of the heliothermal lakes in this region. The most important is Ursu Lake which presents the heliothermy phenomenon, namely a thermal stratification of water accompanied by an increase in depth of the salt concentration up to a certain level (3-3, 5 m). At the surface, the water temperature is lower, being connected to that of the air, to gradually increase until a depth of 3 m, manifesting then constant and more reduced values. Thus, at the optimal depth for human body (1, 5-2 m), in summer, the water temperature varies between 30-40°C. The Negru Lake (Black Lake) is rich in sapropelic mud, and the Alunis Lake has clay-silicon mud. The Verde (Green) and Rosu (Red) Lake located at the foot of the “Salt Lake” form an interesting natural picture. The spa has a lake (fishing possibilities), fitted with a marina, boats, as well as a ski slope with baby lift. All of these make Sovata a major place for rest and recreation.
The seasonal resort of local importance with the moderate climate is situated in a depression between hills, with cool summers (July average temperature 17°C) and cold winters (January average – 4°C). The annual average temperature is of 7°C and the precipitation totals about 800 mm annually (more abundant in the April – September period). The surrounding hills, covered by forests, shield the resort against strong winds. The natural cure factors are the sedative-indifferent climate and the springs of chlorided, sodic (high concentration), meso- and hyperthermal waters (27.5°C and 49°C) recommended in the treatment of degenerative rheumatic diseases (cervical, dorsal and lumbar spondylosis, arthrosis, polyarthrosis), abarticular sheumatic diseases (tendonitis, tendomyositis, tendoperiostofis), post-traumatic conditions (after twists, luxations and fractures), peripheral neurological disorders (light paresis, sequels after polyneuropathies), respiratory (chronic spastic bronchitis and tracheobronchitis, allergic asthma) and cardiovascular diseases (incipient varices).
The name of Corund is inseparable of popular ceramics, being one of the popular pottery centres from Transylvania. The artisan articles exposed in the front of the houses attract many tourists. They can choose from among beautiful ceramics, objects made of straw or cornhusk, wool, timber and wood. Sights: Unitarian Church, Museum, Roman-catholic church, Mill, Potters’ market, folk crafts. In August is “Ceramics Exhibition Festival at Árcsó”.
There is a medieval fortress (16th century); Ruins of the Roman Camp.
Unitarian Church (11th century), repairs in the 15th century.
07 August, Tuesday
The old town is on the UNESCO list. It is for mostly a medieval rural gothic style Citadel but also has renaissance and baroque architecture additionally constructed the XVIth and XVIIIth Centuries. From the original defensive system started in the XIVth century, today you still admire 9 towers, 2 bulwarks and a part from the defence wall. The towers of the citadel placed in the vulnerable spots in the wall having both shooting galleries and artillery bulwarks. From all these, The Tower Clock 64 m height is the most impressive because it is one of Transylvania’s biggest monuments and also the symbol of Sighisoara. The Clock tower is equipped with two 2.4 m diameter clock faces and a rotary mechanism revolves every 24 hours showing the specific figure for the day the „Down Town” window. In the middle Ages religious architecture was as important as military. From the 9 churches functioning from the XIVth to XVIIIth century there are 3 still practicing today. The Monastery church, the church from the hill and the Lepers church their walls religious, funeral paintings and sculptures of unusual beauty can be admired. As far as the civil architecture is concerned curious that most of the 164 lived-in houses in the Citadel are at least 300 years old and are considered historical monuments. Here can be seen the semi cylindrical sand stone arches specific to the XIVth-XVth centuries, surrounds of the windows which are mock Venetian gothic style, whilst inside the ceilings and rooms are completely painted. Of all these buildings, the most important are „Vlad Dracul’s House”, „The Venetian House” and „The House with stag”. A remarkable original construction, the biggest of its kind in Transylvania is „Covered Staircase” which gives easier access to the High School and „The Church from the Hill”, especially on winter days. In spite of the XIXth century buildings, which partially changed the medieval architecture, Sighisoara’s Citadel remains the most beautiful array of medieval architecture in central and South-east Europe.
08 August, Wednesday
Route: Sighisoara – Apold – Agnita (turn left direction Arpasu de Jos) – Chirpar – Noul Roman – dam (direction Arpasu de Jos) – Carta
63 km asphalt roads and 12 km not asphalt.
Sleeping place: Dutch camping “De Oude Wilg” in Carta. After Noul Roman go till dam, turn right and after dam at once turn right. Go by river till Carta. Camping is in centre of Carta, strada Prundului 311.
It is the home of many ethnic groups of Central and Eastern Europe. Here the Romanians have met with the Magyars, the Saxons, Swabs, Secui and Ruthenians. One of the most beautiful legends concerns the Saxon Transylvania, otherwise known as Siebenburgen (Seven Citadel Towns). According to legend, the lost children of Hamelyn looking for a way out of the cave-prison of Almasch (Germany of today), surfaced and found themselves in Transylvania. This is the romantic explanation for a strange phenomenon, which is the presence in these parts of a German speaking, blond, blue-eyed population observing German customs even though they are more than 1000 km far from Germany. The Transylvanian Germans, called “Sasi”, came to Romania in the 12th Century as colonists from the northern part of Germany (Saxony). They settled in the central part of Transylvania. Here they built strong cities and developed powerful guilds. One can say that the Germans were the ones who heavily determined the subsequent economical and cultural evolution of the region. Siebenbürgen is Transylvania’s name in German and means “the seven cities” which include Brasov, Sibiu, Sebes, Bistrita, Medias, Cluj-Napoca and Sighisoara.
There is the “Hartibaciul Valley” Museum, with sections of history and ethnography. I recommend a small restaurant “Mobila” to have a dinner. In centre is wooden table “Terasa”, then turn to right and after 15-20 m is this place.
Arpasu de Jos
Dacian Establishment – fortified with land ditch, dates from 1st century B.C.-2nd century A.D.
A Cistercian Monastery, it is the oldest Gothic construction of Romania. It was raised by Cistercian monks (monastic order original from France) in 1202, it was robbed and set on fire during Tartar invasion (1241-1242); afterwards it was reconstructed. It was cancelled by King Mihai Corvin in 1474. Currently it is a church belonging to Evangelic parish of Carta.
09 August, Thursday
Route: Carta – road 7C – Cartisoara – Lacul Balea – Lake Vidraru – castle Poienari
93 km or 82 km
Sleeping place: where the stairs lead to the castle ruin of the count Dracula, Poienari, is a camp at the over side of the road at the river bank.
“Badea Cartan” Memorial Ethnographic Museum, it exhibits the objects of the autodidactic peasant, as well as the objects of ceramics and glass manufacturing, a collection of glass icons; Cartisoara monastery, known for its glass icons.
Starting from Highway 1 in the north, the drive starts innocuously enough, passing by a rundown village or two and suddenly at Km12 the road starts to sharply incline and begins a series of jagged turns through the lush forest. For a change, here you must beware of deer, not cows and horse-drawn carts. As you keep climbing, the trees start to shrink and thin out, their lifting veil replaced by unfolding views of sheer rock face. By Km20 your ears are popping. At Km22 you arrive at the Cascada (waterfalls). Pull over to collect your thoughts and breathe. The 360-degree panoramic views here are stunning; walls of mountains surround the area, and the distant waterfalls’ slash of white appears like a lightning bolt in a grey sky. There are souvenir stands here, a restaurant and the Cabana Balea Cascada, as well as 3 cable cars (one way €2.50; 8am-5pm) which whisk you up to Lake Balea. Alternatively, follow the scenic blue-cross trail (2.5 hours). The remaining 13 km up to Lake Balea are a maze of razor-sharp zigzags hanging over precipices framing breathtaking views. Every kilometre up the mountain brings with it amazement at the sheer feat building the road was, and a shiver or two for the workers who undoubtedly suffered during its construction. After an 887m-long tunnel cutting between the Negoiu and Moldoveanu peaks through rock under the Paltinu ridge, the road descends the south side along the Arges Valley. As is usually the case with southern slopes of mountains, it is less impressive than its northern side, but there are lovely spots along the way. After re-entering forest, just when you think the fun is over, the road suddenly hugs the shores of the picturesque Lake Vidraru and crosses a 165m-high arched dam (1968). Beyond the lake, just off the road, is the Poienari Castle, the real Dracula’s castle (where Vlad Tepes ruled). No public transport follows this route, which is closed in winter and whenever the weather gets too rough, in which case the waterfalls are the highest you can reach by car. Some bikers and hikers walk up the rood, but it/s maniacal venture, not to mention hazardous for the cars that must already drive at a snail’s pace. The road was built in the 70’s by dictator Ceaucescu after he heard of the invasion of Prague by Soviet tanks. He thought that it would be a practical defence strategy to create a road linking the North of the country with the depot where he kept his tanks and army (the town of Pitesti) in case the roads were taken by a hostile army. The result is the impressive road that crosses the Fagaras Mountains and was built in 4 years (working only in summer, as the mountain gets snow in winter!) at a great social and economic cost. On top of its historical interest the tourist appeal of the road is fantastic. In your way you will find the most beautiful landscapes, lakes, forest and cliffs!! It is most worthy to do this route, although I would recommend you to be confident and skilled when it comes to driving! The road can be very narrow at times and you have to be quite adventurous sometimes when it comes to overtake Romanian Dacias… The route is closed from 11 p.m. till 7 a.m. are prepared; the weather is not always nice on this road, open only a few months a year due to snowfall also are gentle to your passengers because there are a lot of curves to follow. Make sure your car is filled and set up, and admire the mountains by rolling up in your car. It’s only 90 km long, but it snakes up 1500 m, reaching up to 2042 m altitude. Also, it features an 845m long tunnel under the Nagoya and Moldovan peak.
Also known as Poenari Citadel (Cetatea Poenari in Romanian), is a ruined castle in Romania, in Argeş County on a canyon formed on the Argeş River valley, close to the Făgăraş Mountains. It stands on a cliff, on the right side of the Transfăgărăşan road which climbs high into the mountains. It was erected around the beginning of the 13th century by the first Romanian rulers in the South region of Romania, known as Wallachia. Around the 14th century, Poenari was the main citadel of the Basarab rulers. In the next few decades, the name and the residents changed a few times but eventually the castle was abandoned and left in ruins. However, in the 15th century, realizing the potential for a castle perched high on a steep precipice of rock, Vlad Ţepes repaired and consolidated the structure, making it one of his main fortresses. Vlad Ţepes is known better to the Western world as Vlad the Impaler, or Dracula, and thus the castle is a tourist hot spot. Although the castle was used for many years after Vlad’s death in 1476, it eventually was abandoned again in the first half of the 16th century and was in ruins during the 17th century. Due to its size and location, the castle was very hard to seize, even by natural forces. However, in 1888, a landslide brought down a portion of the castle which crashed into the river far below. Nonetheless, the castle was slightly repaired and the walls and its towers still stand today. To reach the castle, visitors need to climb 1,426 steps.
10 August, Friday
Route: Capataneni – Corbeni – Curtea de Arges – Baiculesti – Pitesti (turn left, direction Brasov and after bridge turn right to Bucuresti Nr 7) – Stefanesti – Topoloveni – Gaesti (turn right, way 61 to Ghergesti).
Asphalt roads down from mountains.
Alternative route: in Leordeni turn right, go through river and then turn to the left – Ratesti – Ghergesti. Last 10 km not asphalt.
Sleeping place: near river Arges by village Ghergesti.
Monastery – its dedication day is \’The Assumption of the Virgin’. It houses monks. Curtea de Arges town, Arges district, was founded by Neagoe Basarab (1512-1517). It is considered to be a masterpiece, an outstanding historical monument. This monastery was an episcopal place between 1739 and 1748, becoming, and after1990, an episcopal and monastic place.
On August 9–15 there is hold the International Festival of folklore in the localities of Pitesti, Curtea de Arges, Campulung-Muscel, Topoloveni, Mioveni, “Carpati”.
Also known as the city of tulips is seated in the high part of the Romanian Plain at 300 m on the terraces of Arges River at 116 km northwest of Bucharest. This is a city in south central Romania, capital of Arges County. The city is an important rail junction. Attractions here include an art museum, a history museum, and a church built in the 1600s. Excavations in Pitesti, conducted in the 1970s during the construction of new housing, revealed tools and ornaments of the Neolithic period (between 7000 and 2000 BC) as well as ancient Dacian and Roman coins. Pitesti was first documented in 1388 as a trading centre.
11 August, Saturday
Route: Gaesti – Titu – Lunguletu – Tartasesti – Chitila (turn left) – Mogosoaia – Bucuresti/Baneasa
Sleeping place: camping “Casa Alba” near airport Baneasa/Bucuresti, Aleea Privighetorilor 1-3.
Brancoveanu Court built from 1688. It incorporates the church, the palace, the defence wall with the gate tower, chuhnia (the kitchen) and the former Elchinge Villa (for a while a creation house, where writer Marin Preda passed away in 1980). The palace, Princely Residence since 1702, has a façade with a loggia to the lake, and to the interior courtyard a façade with a watchtower and an exterior staircase. Today’s look with false brick façades and windows with trefoil arches is the result of the restoration workers. The Voivode was kidnapped by Turks from this palace in 1714, and executed in Istanbul with his sons. The last owner of the palace, writer Marta Bibescu, restored the palace with the help of the architects Domenico Rupolo and G.M. Cantacuzino. The place has a three-floor elevation, which includes a monumental vaulted basement with a central pillar. In Constantin Brancoveanu’s times, the rooms had mural paintings. The loggia and the watchtower with their inimitable stone decoration give Brancoveanu-style personality to the building. The Palace was to a large extent rebuilt in the 1920s.
12 August, Sunday
Rest day. Bucuresti.
The Royal Palace – the former official royal residence – was built in the neoclassic style in 1927-37. Home to King Carol II and son King Mihai I until 1947, when the monarchy was abolished. The Royal Palace is today home to Romania’s National Museum of Art. Highlights include works by Romanian and foreign artists such as Constantin Brancusi, Theodor Aman, Nicolae Grigorescu, Ioan Andreescu, Stefan Luchian, Rembrandt, Rubens, El Greco, Messina, Titian, Tintoretto, Velasquez, and others. Open: Wednesday through Sunday, from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
Cotroceni Palace – the residence of Romania’s President – was built in the German neo-Renaissance style in 1893-1895. Designed by the French architect Paul Gottereau and renovated by the Romanian architect Grigore Cerchez. Cotroceni Palace features a rich collection of medieval art.
The Palace of Parliament – the world’s second largest building after the U.S. Pentagon. Commissioned by Romania’s last communist leader, Nicolae Ceausescu this magnificent, yet controversial, building of 6,000 rooms reflects the skill of Romania’s best architects and craftsmen. Nicolae Ceausescu personally oversaw the work of more than 400 architects and 20,000 workers who used exclusively Romanian made materials, accessories and decorations as marble, cherry and walnut panelling, crystal chandeliers, hand-woven tapestries, carpets and draperies. Construction began in 1984 and ended in 1989. However, finishing work continued after 1989. Open: daily, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
Sutu Palace – former residendence of Romania’s Foreign Affairs Minister (Secretary of State), Costache Sutu, was built in the Neo-Gothic style with Art Nouveau additions. The Russian writer Tolstoi lived in the palace during the Crimean War. The palace now houses a museum with archaeological finds, engravings, photos, furniture, costumes coins and art. Open: Tuesday through Sunday, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Cantacuzino Palace – former residence of Grigore Cantacuzino, who, at the beginning of the 1900s, was considered the richest man in Romania, was built in 1900 in the French Baroque style with Rococo elements. The palace is now home to the Museum of the Romanian Music and headquarters Romania’s Association of Musicians. Open: Tuesday through Sunday, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Arcul de Triumf – replica of Paris’ Arc de Triumf, honouring Romania’s World War I dead.
Atheneul Roman – concert hall of the George Enescu Philharmonic.
Cercul Militar – military officers’ club, with art gallery and outdoor cafe.
Curtea Veche – ruins of Prince Vlad the Impaler’s palace (1456–1462), next to the 1546 Princely Church, the oldest church in Bucharest.
Hanul lui Manuc – an 1808 caravansary for travelling merchants built by Armenian trader Manuc-Bey; now a courtyard cafe, restaurant and hotel.
Kretulescu Church – tiny Brincovean style Orthodox Church built in 1725.
Lens-Vernescu House – the Casa Vernescu restaurant and Palace Casino (1820).
Palace of Justice – built 1890-1895 on the bank of the Dambovita River.
Patriarchal Cathedral and Palace – built in 1655-1968, remains of Bucharest’s patron saint St. Dumitru are kept here. Next door is the Chamber of Deputies, a house of Parliament.
Piata Revolutiei – setting of the 1989 uprising; the University Library; the former Royal Palace, now National Art Museum; Athenee Palace hotel, Atheneul Roman and Kretulescu church.
Piata Unirii – a flat, open park with magnificent fountains at south end.
Piata Universitatii – intersection of University of Bucharest, the National Theatre and the Intercontinental Hotel.
RomExpo – Bucharest’s domed exhibition hall, next to the World Trade Centre and Sofitel Hotel.
Stavropoleos Church – Built in 1724-1930 in the Brancovenesc style.
Village Museum (Muzeul Satului) – outdoor exhibition of rural buildings brought from all regions of the country in a village setting.
Museums: Bucharest History & Arts Museum – History Section, Ceramics and Glass Museum, Cotroceni Palace and Museum, Dimitrie Leonida Technical Museum, Geological Museum, George Enescu Museum/Cantacuzino Palace, History Museum of the Jewish Community in Romania, Museum of Natural History “Grigore Antipa”, Muzeul Taranului Roman (Museum of the Romanian Peasant), National Art Museum, National History Museum of Romania, National Military Museum, Village Museum (Muzeul Satului).
Parks: Gradina Cismigiu (Cismigiu Garden) – manicured gardens, rowboat lake and beer garden; Parcul Herestrau – gardens, sculptures, fountains, lakeside cafes, and Village Museum; Parcul Carol I – tree-lined paths, a lake, plus the “eternal flame”; Botanical Gardens – 42 acres with 10,000 plants; Baneasa Forest – home of the city zoo and picnic grounds.
13 August, Monday
Route: Bucuresti/Banesasa – Bucuresti/Pantelimon (not turn to way Nr 3, go directly about 1 km and then turn left) – Cernica – Fundeni – Vasilati – Budesti – Curcani
Sleeping place: “Piscuite Sport IV” by river Arges, 6 km before Oltenita. Place for fishing.
Wonderful orthodox monastery governor Cernica Stirbey founded this monastery in 1608 near Bucharest in the middle of a lake and great forests. After Cernica we go through gipsy villages.
It is located in the South-East of Romania, on the left side of lower water stream of the Danube, near the border with Bulgaria. Baragan Plain represents the dominant relief, with low altitudes (20-100m), with high temperatures in summer and cold winters. The hydrographical system in the area is represented by the Danube and Arges, Arges confluences with the Danube near Oltenita town. These rivers offer great landscapes: meadows and opened terraces. In the western part of the county, forest clutters are composed of oak, maple; beech and the riverside coppice have poplars and willows. The great number of islets with a wonderful landscape, the ramification of the main waterways, provides a natural framework giving both opportunity for relaxation and practicing hunting and sportive fishing. The great diversion of fauna, specific to the vegetation area, includes: rabbits, wild boars, dears, foxes – good for hunting, in opened season; ground squirrels, ferrets, rats and mice, quails, skylarks, lizards, numerous insects, otters, bisons and numerous water birds. The fishing, another relaxing activity is supported by the great variety of fish: crucian, pike, catfish, bass, flounder, tench, etc.
14 August, Tuesday
Route: Oltenita – direction east by river Dunarea – Spantov – way Nr 3, turn to right – Calarasi (in centre turn to right, to ChiCiu, Silistra)
Sleeping place: Complex Touristy “Albatros” near ChiCiu, 4 km to southwest from Calarasi on the DN3 which the ferry feather the Danube crosses.
Documentary certified since 1515, the town is famous due to Gumelnita archaeological site (the most complex settlement that named this flourishing civilization – Gimelnita the Archaeology Museum building in Oltenita (built in 1926 in French neo-classical style). It has also been known as the Gumelnita-Oltenita Museum and it preserves historic vestiges coming from the archaeological sites in the area: Magura-Gumelnita, “Ostrovelul from Cascioarele”, Gorganu, Malul Rosu from Sultana. Port of Oltenita is an inheritance of socialism.
The Administrative Palace of Calarasi (built between 1895 and 1898, in neo-classical style). Neoclassic buildings since the 19th century such as the Prefecture Palace, which hosted relay racers squadrons in the 18th century. The Lower Danube Museum has departments of prehistoric and Dacian-Roman archaeology, nature sciences and Romanian fine arts. Before Calarasi we will meet one additional inheritance of socialism – long ago not working factory. Muzeul Dunarii de Jos, Calarasi Str. Progresului nr. 4.
15 August, Wednesday
Route: by small ferry boat let us move across the river Danube near Bulgarian town Silistra (person – 1 RON, bicycle – 5 RON, car – 20 RON, microbus – 70 RON) – Ostrov – monastery Dervent –Lipnita – Baneasa – Ion Corvin – Adamclisi
The monastery is situated to 14 km in the west of the village of Ion Corvin, in direction of Ostrov, locality close to the Danube. It was founded in IX century on the site where, by miracle, 4 stone crosses appeared where 4 apprentices of the Saint Andre preaching Christianity in I century, were martyrisés. Current constructions of the monastery and the church are dated from the 1930. Very close, the Source which Guérit spouting out in the arid ground of Dobrogea, a wonder which one allots to Saint Andre who achieved it with his stick, to give water to faithful which accompanied it. Since Ostrov, a few kilometres hardly and you can cross out of vat the Danube to pass on other bank, in the locality of Calarasi, from where you can continue towards Bucharest. To 9 km downstream from Ostrov, on an island of the Danube called Pâcuiul him Soare, are the ruins of an interesting Byzantine citadel built with X century. The natural beauty of the island is worth with it only a visit of the site.
Byzantine Fortress, on the Pãcuiul lui Soare Island, it was a strong naval base known as Vicina, 971-976. The vineyards of the south of Dobrogea are the vineyards southernmost of Romania: Oltina (access on the road which leaves towards north the commune of Bâneasa), vineyard located close of the Danube on the terraces skirting the lake of same; Aliman (access since the commune of Ion Corvin), a less wide vineyard near Oltine, always located at the edge of the Danube and also of a small lake. Make a visit for a tasting. Ask the Feteasca d‘Oltina, a Rumanian type of vine, dry white wine, or in the red wines, Merlot and the Cabernet of Aliman. There is a vineyard even more in the south, that of Ostrov. If you like the grape it is necessary to return to you there in autumn to taste with the excellent grapes of consumption of the area. One also produced there a very honest wine of table.
There are: Canaraua Fetii (south of the Oltina Lake) a faunistic preserve; Altinum Fortress, civilian settlement and station of Roman river military fleet, built in the 1st-4th centuries A.D.
There is a cave and the monastery of Saint Andre, to 20 km western of Adamclisi, after the village of Ion Corvin. In the rock, a cave arranged in Rumanian Orthodox Church, where, during 5 years, in Ire century after J-C the Saint Apostle Andre lived, whose name is related to the beginnings of the Christianization of the Romanians Very Christian and true Rumanian should visit them. It is Rumanian Bethlehem here. It is here that was born Christianity among Romanians. It is here that was kept our identity, the faith, the heart, the culture and the language of our ancestors daco-Romans, through the centuries which saw passing the waves of the migratory people (site of the Archbishop‘s palace of Tomis) the old hermitage became monastery by decision of the Saint Synod of the Rumanian Orthodox Church of July 14, 1994. To 50 m of the cave the 9 Sources considered are to have the best water of all Dobrogea. It is said that the André saint baptized there in the name of the Lord. From the village of Ion Corvin a road goes up towards north, in direction of the Danube and towards the locality of Alimanu, on the valley of Urluia. There is a small river which is thrown in the river near. Near this locality, visit a fossiliferous reserve.
The barren Adamclisi lies in the wine region of Murfatlar 60 km to west of Constanta. Adamclisi has only 2400 inhabitants and thanks its existence at the majestic Topaeum Tajani, a monument that set up became in 106 B.C. after the definitive victory of Trajanus on the Decebal. The Pillar of Trajanus in Rome reminds also at this fact. The building, to north of the barren, is however a copy, on what form lynx remain after become the original fragments kept in the towns museum, where you yet much more proofs of the Roman presence can find. In the stone are 49 panels with Roman fight scenes chopped. Around the monument, you find yet more Roman they the in far-reaching state of decline.
16 August, Thursday
Route: Deleni – Cobadin (turn left) – Basarabi (go directly to) Constanta – (turn left to) Mamaia
Sleeping place: camping in Mamaia (north of Constanta).
Fantanele – Murfatlar
There is a floristic preserve (1 km south of the Murfatlar vineyard), near Basarabi.
Region of wine: 16 km inland of Constanta lies Murfatlar, centre of the of the same name winegrowing region. After the cultivation of new races as pinot snatch, come found cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay, of the lime realm and smoothed thanks to the long, sunny summery from these single of the best Romanian these. At the bottom you see the vast grapes fields of the Murfatlar and a wijndegustatie in typical costume from the Dobrodgea.
3 km north of Constanta, the biggest resort in Romania (at an altitude of 6-8 m, also called “the Black Sea’s Pearl”) stretches on a strip of land bathed by the sea waves in the east, and by the sweet waters of the Siutghiol Lake in the west. The first facility dates from 1906-1919, nowadays ranges among the most beautiful sea resorts in Europe. Due to its excellent location, the resort receives permanently night and day breezes, blowing either from the sea or the lake. In full season, the sun shines for 10-12 every day. The beach of the resort, which could compete with the famous beaches from Cannes or Saint Tropez on the Cote d’Azur, has very fine sand, on a length of 8 km and a width of 100-200 m. This outstanding beach is scattered with elegant hotels, sport grounds, open air pools, discos, parks, summer theatre. One can practise water sports or learn yachting or swimming, also the fishing is permitted on the Mamaia Lake. Thousands of tourists from all over the world come every summer to this beautiful resort, full of sun and gentle perfume of flowers, caressed by a charming atmosphere.
Mamaia is well-known for having the finest sand and the smoothest beach along the entire Romanian Sea coast. The beach season is at its best between mid–May and late September, when average daytime temperatures are 25 to 30 degrees Celsius. The water is warm until late in the autumn. Leisure activities have developed considerably in past years. Mamaia is now the best destination for water sports in Romania, sports which can be practiced both on the sea but also on the Siutghiol Lake. The latest additions are the Aqua Magic fun park and the “Telegondola”, a cable car which takes you from one end of the resort to the other, offering a great view over Mamaia, the Black Sea and Sutghiol Lake. Sports like snorkelling, scuba-diving and paragliding are available.
You can make short trips taking a little boat to “Ovid Island”, in the middle of Sutghiol lake, the place where, apparently, is the grave the Roman poet Ovidius Publius Naso (43 BC-17), who spent his last eight years in exile in the region.
Every year the Summer Theatre of Mamaia is the venue of the Romanian Pop Music Festival, perhaps the national contest of the most popular music largest and of the country.
17 August, Friday
• Tomis Fortress (first half of the 6th century B.C.), the Greek colonists from Milet founded the harbour-town of Tomis. Many vestiges of the ancient town can be seen today: “Butchers’ Tower” rebuilt during the times of Iustinianus, the roman perimeter wall from the 3rd century A.D., large ancient pottery, exhibited in a beautiful archaeological park; Tomis Fortress Wall is situated along Ferdinand Boulevard. First studies have been done by V. Parvan, in 1915-1916, then in 1958-1959. He thought the eastern cliff and western cliff were connected, and described a wide bow to exterior 3 metres thick, that was built in brick; it has been destroyed for many times and rebuilt in the beginning of IVth century, since there was built the so-called Butchers Tower (the butchers in town offered money for this wall part building). Two gates have been cleared up – they can be seen today in Ferdinand Boulevard – and square towers guard them.
• Roman Building with Mosaic, unique monument this side of Europe, realised in the 3rd-4th centuries A.D. The mosaic, on the terrace of a Roman trade building has an impressive size of 2,000 square m. The harmony of the colours, rendered more delicate by passing of the time, the beauty of the geometric and floral motifs delight the visitors.
• Genovese Lighthouse – located on Casino Cliff and built in 1858-1860 by the same English company that upgraded the Port; it is called in this way for the memory of the merchants who were coming from Genoa and used to have commercial scaffolding, protected by a pear that was leading to the gulf. The lighthouse worked until 1913 and it was restored in 1948; it is 8 metres high, the light can be seen 9, 5 miles faraway.
• Mosque, it was built in 1910, in Moor style in the place of the old mosque from 1822. It is an exact copy of the Konia mosque from Anatolia (Turkey). It has beautiful inner wall paintings. The minaretul (50 m in height) offers a wonderful landscape of the town and harbour.
• Orthodox Cathedral, it was built in 1883-1895, in the style of the old Wallachian architecture, with inner wall paintings made by D. Mircea.
• Metamorfosis Greek Church (1865–1867).
• Museum of National History and Archaeology, one of the richest museums in the country, with collections of prehistorically, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Medieval archaeology. Among the statues exhibited here, the most famous are that of Fortuna Goddess and Pontos God (protectors of the town), the Glycon snake.
• Museum Complex of Natural Sciences, with the Aquarium, Delphinarium, Planetarium and Astronomic Observatory. The aquarium exhibits more than 100 species of fish of the Black Sea and of other seas of the world.
• Art Museum, with valuable works (painting, sculpture and graphics) belonging to famous artists: Nicolae Grigorescu, Theodor Aman, Ion Andreescu, Theodor Pallady, Corneliu Baba, Dimitrie Paciurea, Ion Jalea, Vida Gheza.
• Museum of the Sea, with a rich collection of sea fauna from the world oceans.
• Museum of Folk Art-C, Dobrudja ethnographical collection, folk art, pottery, texture, rug.
• Navy Museum it is a museum of history of the Romanian Navy and commercial fleet.
• Ovidiu’s Statue, the Latin poet Publius Ovidiu Naso was born in 43 B.C. and exiled in Tomis in 8 A.D., where he died after 9 years. It was here that he wrote his “Sad poems” and the “Pontics”, although he acknowledged the help and admiration given to him by the natives. The statue was made by the sculptor Ettore Ferrari (1887).
• Eminescu’s Statue, it was made by the sculptor Oscar Han in 1930 and placed on the sea shore, as the poet wished in his famous poem “I Have an Only Wish”, Paul Anghel said about it: “his face, looking serene over the blue infinity meeting the sky, seems to be the vary face of longing”.
The Casino, the landmark of Constanta, built in 1909, is the only representative of the Art Nouveau style in Romania. Symbolically, it is hearse-shaped.
There are a lot of activities to do in Constanta, but first of all you must see the city with all that he has. You must see the National Museum of Archaeology and visit also the “Roman edifice with mosaic” who is best preserved and in good shape, also must see the walls of the old city, the Casino or to take a walk on the ‘falesa’, try to see the Aquarium where are fish from all around the world but mostly from Black Sea, also you must see the ‘Planetarium’ and the ‘Delfinariu’ where are dolphins and shows with them is nice for the kids but not only. In the Archaeology Museum you’ll see old object an ancient tomb and a mummy. In front of the museum you’ll see the statue of old roman poet Ovidu who was exilated here but his emperor and who wrote here the most beautiful poems of his life and who die here.
Originally erected as a pavilion for Queen Elisabeth, it is now a restaurant with a large terrace overlooking the beach. Close by the Constanta Aquarium; display a collection of 4500 species of aquatic life from Delta, Black Sea and Dobrogean lakes. The construction for the pavilion for Queen Elisabeth started in 1909.The style is French Baroque with rococo elements.
The Mosque – called in 1910 King Carol I Mosque was built by Romanian State for the necessities of Moslem supporters; the design belongs to the great inventor engineer Gogu Constantinescu and the building was made by architect Victor Stefanescu. The building joins the Byzantine style (the tower and the imposing cupola) and Romanian architectural elements (the building itself), a unique mosque in Dobrogea. It is the first construction made in steel-concrete and brick in Romania; in time, the steel-concrete rusted and the reinforcement of the tower and cupola was necessary, a difficult work made in 1957-1959 by Professor Aurel Beles’s designs. The tower is 47 m high and the sizes of preaching room are 14 m per 14 m. The balcony is reserved for Moslem women, and is 14 m long and 3 m wide. The altar is made in Moorish style, characteristic to worshipping Moslem buildings. Upon the main gate there are two Arabian inscriptions. In the yard, on the left and on the right sides of the entrance there are wash-stands, used for (“abdest”) as required by their religion. Inside, on the floor there is a carpet brought from Ada-Kaleh Island in 1965 as Sultan Abdul Hamid’s donation; the carpet was made in Hereche Handicraft Centre, Turkey. In the entrance hall there is a doorway that leads to the tower, where there is a winding staircase; the boy in charge t\r\n announce prayer time (“climbs”) 140 steps; on the tower top there is a half-moon – the Moslem symbol.
There is held a festival of the folklore of Balkans in August.
18 August, Saturday
Route: Centre of Constanta – go near Black Sea (not go in way nr. 39/E87) – Eforie – Costinesti – Mangalia (turn right direction Negru Voda) – (after 5 km turn left till) Limanu – (direction Black Sea) 2 Mai – Vama Veche
Sleeping place: camping in Vama Veche.
It is the biggest salted lake in Romania.
The summer resort (at an altitude of 2-4 m), it is also called “Youth Resort”. The long beach with fine sand is oriented eastwards, having sun all day long (few beaches in Europe benefits this privilege). This beautiful resort is arranged for thalassotherapy and heliotherapy (sun shines 10-12 hours a day). The youthful atmosphere is completed by the cultural-artistic events organized here, by the modern facilities and by the vivid broadcasts of “Radio Holidays”.
The permanent spa (at an altitude of 6-20 m) situated on the stripe of land between the Techirghiol Lake and the Black Sea. The spa started its activity in 1894, when the Bucharest Eforia of Civil Hospitals built here a sanatorium. The second spa of the Romanian coast (in terms of size), Eforie Nord is famous in the entire Europa due to the treatments based on natural factors existing here. The two permanent treatment bases have facilities for hot baths (with concentrated salt water from the Techirghiol Lake or from the sea); devices for treatments with warm mud, devices for gynaecological treatment, rooms for Gerovital, Boicil si Pell-Amar treatments. The charm of the great natural park inside which the spa is situated, the beautiful beach (3 km in length and reaching 100 m in width), the sport arenas, the pools, the facilities for nautical activities, all give the spa an original atmosphere.
The resort suits both healthy holiday makers and ailing people who can take cures for degenerative (cervical, dorsal and lumbar spondylosis), inflammatory (rheumatoid spondylitis and polyarthritis) and abarticular rheumatic diseases (tendonitis, tendomyositis, scapulohumeral periarthritis), peripheral neurological disorders (post-traumatic paralysis and paresis of the limbs, sequelae after poliomyelitis), dermatological, respiratory, gynaecological disorders (ovarian insufficiency, chronic cervicitis, secondary sterility, etc.), Deficient growth in children, rachitis, decalcification, secondary anaemia, etc. The resort has two treatment compounds (one connected to the chain of hotels Meduza, Delfinul and Steaua de Mare, and another to the 120-bed Grand Clinic of the Institute of Balneophysiotherapy and Medical Recovery – a study base for the specialized department of the Bucharest Institute of Medicine of Pharmacy), as well as numerous facilities for warm baths in tubs and pools with concentrated salt water.
The spa with a wonderful seaside, the beach 2 km in length. Former Carmen Sylva spa, it once had the first watering and climatic place in Dobrudja (1892), and in 1930 it became the most important tourist resort of the Romanian shore. The annual average temperature is of 11, 2°C; the average temperature in July is higher than 22°C. The gentle sea and land breezes are felt here. We also find here children sanatorium for rheumatology (permanent operation) and another one for debility and rickety (only during the summer). The sea wall (25-35 m in height offering a wonderful landscape), the discos, the theatre in open air are attractions of this spa and resort.
A permanent spa situated on the bank of the lake with the same name (at an altitude of 15-20 m), in a valley surrounded by small hills. Winters are mild and summers hot, dominant being the clear ski (sun shines for more than 2.400 hours every year. The main natural therapeutic factors are the salt water and the sapropelic mud of the Techirghiol Lake. The spa has five centres of treatment with many facilities (for warm baths in tubs or pools with concentrated salt water from the lake, for warm baths with mud and for hot mud treatments, for aerosols, for hydrotherapy. Access: by train (Constanta and Eforie Nord railway stations, than by bus up to the spa, by road DN 39 from Constanta or Mangalia, with deviation in Eforie Nord).
The permanent spa, situated at the same latitude with the Mediterranean resorts of Monaco, San Remo and Nice. It is as old as Tomis, the ancient colony was called Callatis (after the Calles river in Asia Menor), founded by the Greeks in the 6th century B.C., it developed in Roman times (II-IV A.D.) and later revived by the Genoveses (XIII-XIV) who called it Pangalia. Mangalia, the southernmost resort on the Black Sea’s shore is the only place in Romania where in winter the temperature remains above 0°C. It has a mild climate, similar to the Mediterranean one, with early springs and late autumns. Mangalia is the unique sea spa with mineral springs (sulphur, mezothermal and radioactive, used since Roman Antiquity). The treatment facilities include medical recovery, devices for warm baths with sulphuretted water and sea water, mud therapy, kineotherapy, hydrotherapy, sauna, medical gyms, geriatrics rooms (Gerovital, Boicil, and Pell-Amar treatments). Here one can go riding, or visit the Museum of Archaeology, the Esmahan Sultan Mosque (Moor style, 1590). The vestiges of the Roman-Byzantine Church, Vth-VIth centuries, Mercurius Collection (pipes and curiosities).
Callatis Fortress is the colony founded by the Dorians arrived from Pontic Heracleea in the VI B.C.; it developed in the IV-III B.C. Vestiges of exceptional scientific and tourist interest were discovered here (a thesaurus, graves, Roman aqueducts). Here it was preserved the oldest document in Latin in the South-eastern Europe (an inscription dated 72 B.C.).
Esmahan Sultan Mosque (1590), in Moor style. The stud farm of Mangalia, located at the entry of the station of Come, coming since Mangalia. Founded in 1928 with horses coming from the stud farm which still existed in 1918, one raises 9 families of the Arab race there: Hadban, Kokelan, Dahoman, Siglavy-Bagdady, Mersuch, Cazal, Nedjary, El Sbaa, and Sadyja. The dry climate of the area of Dobrogea, the sand vegetation and extents reproduce well the environment of their origins. Lessons of horsemanship, walks with horse along the coast.
Neptun Olimp is the resort situated at an altitude of 5-20 m on the sand strip between sea and the Comorova forest, a real oasis of quietness and freshness, a garden of the Romanian shore litoralului românesc. This modern tourist complex is defined by quality and elegance in what concerns the villas and hotels as well as its restaurants. Numerous sports can be practised here (horse riding, tennis, boat cruises). There also many cabarets and clubs, parks. Neptun has modern treatment facilities (electrotherapy, hydrotherapy, mud treatments, gyms, sauna, Gerovital and Aslavital treatments, famous Romanian therapeutic products preventing premature aging and regenerating the body).
Saturn is a summer resort (at an altitude of 3-10 m) 25 sunny days a month. The sea water has, during the summer, an average temperature of 20°-25°C. The possibilities of accommodation, the restaurants, the bars, open air theatre, the sport grounds, the fishing and riding facilities assure very present holydays.
Venus is a summer resort situated on a cape formed by a descending slope in a beautiful amphitheatre. The resort, called after the goddess of beauty, has hotels with girl names, built in an original architectural style. As all the others resorts of the Romanian seaside, Venus enjoys the sea breeze, sunshine and fine sand being an attraction point for all the tourists.
Jupiter-Cap Aurora is a summer spas situated, basically, between the Comorova forest and the sea shore. The beach of the Jupiter resort stretches on 1 km near a picturesque gulf. Cap Aurora, the youngest resort of the Romanian shore attracts many tourists with the beauty of its landscape and hotels, named after precious stones. The boats on the Tismana Lake, the sport arenas, the theatre and the cinema in open air, the pools, the discos, contribute to an unforgettable holiday.
The Caves of Gura Dobrogei – complex preserve (speleological, paleontological, geological, faunistic) situated near the villages of Limanu and Targusor, made up of three caves (Limanu, Liliecilor and La Adam, famous due to its Quaternary fauna) hosting colonies of bats.
Seacoast Dunes – Agigea, natural preserves of sea dunes represented by a plateau of 8-10 m formed by the continuous deposition of sand. Floristic preserve hosting about 120 species of plants peculiar to the Romanian Black Sea coast.
The lake and the cave of Limanu
With 2 km southern of Mangalia, the Lake Limanu is, with one formed lengthened perpendicular to the coast and of which one of the goals arrived very close to the beach. It is a lake of fresh water formed by a very small river finding its sources in the vicinity. The cave of Limanu, is located at the limit of the commune of the same name. It is the longest cave of Dobrogea with more than 4 km. Its galleries are rectangular, with right walls and ceilings, like those of a room. The plan of the galleries gives has the aspect of a labyrinth.
The natural reserve on the road leading of Mangalia to Albesti, before entering this locality (where you can visit a large archaeological building site), you will see obliquing a tarred road which carries out to the reserve. Immense wide surprising by its greenery, its landscapes flowered and the density of fauna, in surround rather arid and torrid of Dobrogea. The access is done with the permission of the foresters. More than 550 species of rare plants of the steppe, a typical fauna for the area: the tortoise of Dobrogea, the viper with horn of Dobrogea, the southernmost frog, the capped spider, the lizard of rock with stained belly, the lizard of steppe, “bad the largest snake”, and faster snake of the fauna of the country.
The village is an old locality inhabited by a small Tartar community, at the low stone houses surrounded of stone enclosure always. On a flowered field of the surroundings of the stone plates of 1-2 height, emerging like menhirs, recall that here an old Tartar cemetery is. A few kilometres from Hagieni the commune of Albesti is. On the basis of the centre of the commune on a local inclined road soft towards the village of Coroana, only after a kilometre a curious landscape is offered to the glance: on a covered grass plate are strewn with immense limestone stones, going up to one meter in diameter, of truncated form, bored of a central channel which crosses them. Limestone deposits are formed around thermal springs at the sea-bed Sarmatique.
It is a favourite holiday spot with artists, writers, painters, sculptors, musicians and other personalities of the Romanian intelligentsia. It is situated south of Mangalia and of the 260 ha lake bearing the same name. Human presence is dated here from the IV BC (a monumental Getic tomb has been discovered on the premises), but the village as appears today has been founded, in 1887, by an important Romanian historical figure: Mihail Kogãlniceanu. Lodgings are supplied by villagers. The absence of modern conveniences is compensated by relaxation and a picturesque vacation. Some of the houses on the seashore have garden gates opening on the wide beach that spreads on 300 m and is covered by fine sand.
Several kilometres to the south of Mangalia, in the summer, one can meet a Bohemian community, i.e. Romanian artists, actors, singers, dancers who come for a holiday in a secluded place, the peaceful village of Vama Veche, a traditional destination for those enjoying quiet beaches, sea swimming and nudism. The name literally means “Old customs point” as it is near the Bulgarian border. During the communist era, concern for border patrol sight lines spared Vama Veche the development that occurred in other Romanian Black Sea resorts. It became a hangout for intellectuals; for reasons that are not exactly clear, the generally repressive regime of Nicolae Ceausescu chose to tolerate this counter cultural oasis, as long as people had their identity papers with them. Accommodations consisted of tents or rooms rented from peasants or fishermen. After the Romanian Revolution, the village of Vama Veche began to develop into just another mainstream sea-side resort and a campaign “Save Vama Veche” was initiated by the Academia Catavencu newspaper against this trend. They also organized each year starting 2003 a music festival, Stufstock, to protest against bad quality music (i.e. Romanian pop music) and to lobby for the area’s environmental conservation and a halt to development and mass tourism, but all these actually had the reverse effect: the village stopped being a small, clean and quiet place, as the festival and concerts attracted more than 40,000 people in the 2005 edition.