Spring is just around the corner, and everyone's looking for reasons and ways to stay more in the sun.
It is the perfect time to plan ahead a short spring break somewhere in Romania.
Here are five places to spend a spring weekend this year, better make plans in advance.
Rapa Rosie – the Red Canyon
Romania has its own version of the Gran Canyon, it seems. It is called Rapa Rosie – the red ravine, in a rough translation – and it is located in the Transilvanian county of Alba, in central Romania. The clear spring sky will complement the scenery, and the red of the canyon will look amazing against the green of the fresh grass. Make sure you go there end of April – beginning of May to get the best of spring's colors.
Rapa Rosie is a spectacular form of natural soil erosion of a plateau. It is a national geological monument with unusual red bed features and a national reserve, showcasing unusual shapes of columns, towers and pyramids.
To get there, you have to first reach Sebes, via Sibiu, then head towards the village of Daia Română, and turn left shortly after exiting Sebes (you have to pass by a military unit). The terrain is hilly, but it can be reached by car.
Every year around the end of April – start of May, hundreds of people passionate about model plane flying meet at Rapa Rosie. The closest accommodation is in Sebes (3 kilometers away), or in Sibiu.
Poiana Narciselor – Daffodils' Meadow
Want to see thousands of wild daffodils? There's a beautiful place in Romania where they can be admired directly on a field. It's called Poiana Narciselor – translation the daffodils' meadow – and it is located in the Rodnei mountains, 60 kilometers from Brasov, in Central Romania.
The official name of the reservation is Dumbrava Vadului, and it is located in the village of Vad, via the village of Sercaia.
The best time to visit is in May, when the daffodils are in full blossom. They only last for two or three weeks, so better to time your visit around or after May 15. There is also a daffodils' fair towards the end of May.
The closest accommodation is in Fagaras, about 14 kilometers away, or in Brasov, 55 kilometers away.
Peony reservation @ Comana
The forests of Comana are very close to Bucharest, and host something which can be seen only once a year, for a limited period of time, while the peonies are in bloom. So the best time to go there is in May. Since there are only 38 kilometers between Comana and Bucharest, the closest accommodation is in the Romanian capital itself.
Don't expect top amenities, but get ready to be in nature, and wander through the Comana national park in search of peonies (it is forbidden to pick them, in case you want souvenirs) (photo from Giurgiu News)
Hiking, biking and red flowers @ Macinului Mountains
The small altitude mountains in Dobrogea (300-400 meters altitude) are perfect for a spring hiking or biking tour, especially when at the end of the hike/bike track you get to see an amazing meadows with red peonies. Pack your bags, and maybe your bike, and set aside a weekend in May to discover the Macin Mountains natural park.
The official name of the trail that leads to the red peonies is Cozluk, and the hike/bike session is perfect for a day. The trail starts out in the village of Greci, and is mostly made of forest, or village dirt roads. Park your car when you don't trust it to keep up with the road, and continue by foot or by bike.
The trail is marked with a red dot and the peaks on the trail offer a panorama over the valleys and nearby heights. (photo from Cartita Plimbareata blog)
Vadu and Corbu... or Mamaia?
More about the two virgin beaches Vadu and Corbu in our Travel Planner article– they're perfect for a one-day getaway if you leave Bucharest very early in the morning, and plan to get back home after the sun is down.
You can also find accommodation for one night in the nearby Navodari or in the resort of Mamaia.
Alternatively, you can go directly to Mamaia, if you want to see how the famous resort looks like off-season (there are hotels opened off-season as well). Be warned that only the sea is beautiful, everything else is pretty much deserted. If you don't like crowded places however, it is the perfect relaxation weekend.
This might not be everyone's cup of tea, however. The beach might not be as clean as you expect it, the sound of the sea could be way louder than you expect it, and it will probably be still too cold to swim or sunbathe. If these sound like too much too handle, better to wait for the summer season.
(photos from Wikipedia, Giurgiu News, Cartita Plimbareata, Corina Chirileasa)