Romania travel: Lakefront escapes to try this summer
A range of resorts and accommodation options have been developed more or less recently by the side of shimmering, cool lakes, offering exquisite views of the surrounding natural sites and a quiet spot to recharge. We outline some of the available lakefront and riverfront options below.
The recently-opened Alma Health & Spa Retreat sits on the shores of the saltwater lake Lacul Sărat, near Brăila, in eastern Romania. The area used to be a popular spa destination in the late 19th century, and the resort project aims to breathe new life into an area that lost its shine after 1989.
The resort offers more than 60 individual spaces for treatment and recovery, indoor freshwater and saltwater pools drawn from Lacul Sărat, and spa and wellness facilities. Tourists can find here a water park with three pools and slides, a private beach with 1000 sun loungers, a children's playground, and six restaurants, offering a wide-ranging gastronomic journey ranging from Mediterranean flavors to local specialties. Several sports fields are available, and trips are organized to Insula Mică a Brăilei (Small Island of Brăila), part of a wetland that has been declared a nature park.
What started as a fish farm has developed into the resort that helped shape the wetland known as the Siret Delta, where Vrancea and Galați counties meet, in the eastern part of the country. Spreading on some 82 hectares, Zaga Zaga Resort offers accommodation in bungalows, houseboats, and glamping-style yurts.
The owners wanted to create a place where visitors could have memorable experiences discovering the surroundings. As such, the options awaiting tourists range from boat rides on the channels meandering between forests and meadows to various sports activities inside the Aventura Parc. A saltwater pool is available at the resort, where visitors can also try horse-cart rides or fishing sessions in the catch-and-release system. The resort also has an area for festivals and events in addition to the numerous spots for simply relaxing and catching the sunrise or sunset. The complex also includes the trout and sturgeon fish farm, which supplies fish to their restaurants.
Also in the eastern part of the country, Arca is another resort developed around a fish farm in the commune of Blăgești, 30 km away from Bacău. Spreading on 130 hectares, the resort includes the restaurant Cherhanaua Lotca and an event venue, and features a pontoon over the resort's main pond, and a park, to be used as a leisure and events area. In the spring, the resort announced plans to open a Tiny Houses complex and apartments, in addition to setting up three reserves with various species of deer and a picnic area.
The resort's development plan includes several other restaurants, which would source their stock from the site's own production, and greenhouses, micro-farms with cattle, pheasants, poultry, a raspberry plantation, orchards, and an area for beekeeping.
Set in the region of Banat, Gasthaus Grindeshti is located in Grindeshti, a golf of lake Gozna in the resort of Crivaia, Valiug. It is a corner of peace of quiet, to enjoy the surrounding forests, the sky and mountains, and the lake. Food-wise, visitors can enjoy the mix of influences that can be found in the traditions of Banat, ranging from Serbian zakuska and Wiener schnitzel to Hungarian goulash and Romanian sarmale. Several outdoor activities are available, and the venue also has an indoor pool and sauna, as well as a playground for children.
Not far from Bucharest, the hotel Atra Doftana has ten rooms overlooking lake Paltinu and the surrounding forests. The complex also includes Vila Uno and MIRA – Resort pe lac, located opposite Atra, also on the lake shore. The restaurant on site offers a fine dining experience, and there are plenty of activities to try in Doftana Valley: hiking in the area, fishing, or a visit to a sheepfold.
Grădinile Romane spreads on 7,000 sqm on the shore of lake Izvorul Muntelui (Bicaz), in the village of Chiriteni, Hangu commune, in Neamț county, offering a good base for the numerous activities available to outdoor fans. The restaurant sources produce from the orchards and gardens in the area, and visitors can enjoy boat rides, archery, or try fishing. The adventure trail Via Ferrata Astragalus, the climbing park Durău, and the picturesque Ceahlău Massif are some of the area's attractions.
In Călimani Mountains, Lake Colibița is another option with several accommodation options on its shores. The lake, set in Bistrița-Năsăud county, resulted after the Colibița dam was built on the river Bistrița. It is located some 64 km away from the resort of Vatra Dornei, known for its thermal springs and many options for exploring the surrounding mountain trails. Among the accommodations options available here are the Fisherman's Resort, which has two outdoor pools and one inside, alongside a Jacuzzi, and Chalet du Lac, which can accommodate 16 guests in its seven rooms, five of them facing the lake.
Egreta, in Berzasca, in Caras-Severin county, is a resort consisting of several bungalows suspended on stilts above the Danube. A long pontoon connects the houses to the Romanian bank of the river, allowing guests to take in the spectacular views of the Daube Gorges. Attractions in the area range from Bigar waterfall and Zamonita/ Dragosele Cave to the Czech villages in Clisura Dunării, Cheile Nerei-Beușnița National Park, and the water mills in Rudăria.
Also close to the Danube, Dream Tricule is a boutique resort located 5 km away from Svinita, in Mehedinti county, and close to what is left of the Tricule Fortress. The ruins of two towers of the medieval fortress on the bank of the Danube are currently visible. In the area, visitors can travel to the spa resort of Baile Herculane, which is some 65 km away or to Drobeta – Turnu Severin, 70 km away.