Outdoor experiences to try in Romania this summer
Follow the tracks of the bison in Armeniș
The commune of Armeniș, in Caraș-Severin county, in western Romania’s Banat region, is a perfect spot to go on the tracks of the bison. The majestic animal, which disappeared from Romania some 200 years ago, was successfully reintroduced in recent years in the area, as well as in Neamț and Hunedoara counties and the Făgăraș Mountains. Those who chose this activity can also enjoy accommodation in a tented camp, with locally-sourced food, and leisure time at the Landscape Observatory in the area. More details here.
Hot-air balloon sightseeing in Covasna
X Balloon Transylvania, in Târgu Secuiesc, provides hot-balloon air rides. Blue skies, beautiful landscapes, clean and fresh air, and amazing sunrises are on offer. This March, amid the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, the tour agency offered a 25% discount to clients that agreed to book and pay the experience in advance. The rides last around one hour and can be booked here.
Climbing on Via Ferrata Vadu Crişului, in Bihor
The more adventurous and trained types can try climbing the Via Ferrata Vadu Crişului (in opening photo) in Bihor county. It is a spectacular route, offering amazing views of the gorge. The trail is a rather difficult one, and Salvamont Bihor, the mountain rescue service in the county, recommends it to people who have attempted via ferrata routes before, are older than 16, and are accompanied by guides. The trail takes between 1 and 3 hours to complete.
For a weekend or a longer stay, the entire area offers a wealth of activities, from visiting the many caves in Pădurea Craiului Mountains, climbing, hiking, and cycling to rafting on Crișul Repede. More on what is available in the area here.
Vadu Crișului is located some 54 km east of Oradea, on the Tileag - Alesd - Topa de Criș route. Those who arrive by car can leave it close to the sports hall in Vadu Crișului village. State-owned railway operator CFR also connects Vadu Crișului to Oradea or Cluj-Napoca.
Via Ferrata routes are also available in Harghita county. Via Ferrata Wild Ferenc, in Suhardul Mic mountain, near Lacul Roșu, has a length of some 200 meters, the same as the "Goat Danger" via Ferrata, in Harghita-Mădăraș mountain. In its turn, Via Ferrata Piatra Șoimilor has an approximately 150-meter ironed climbing trail, including a 15-meter suspension bridge and a vertical section with rungs of 15 meters. More about them here.
Try a one-day retreat in a lavender garden
Lavender plantations have multiplied across Romania in recent years, and there is no need to travel very far to see and breathe in the scent of the plant. In Prahova county, in Țipărești, some 90 km north of Bucharest, Grădina de Lavandă awaits visitors to enjoy the plants in bloom. This year has been a particularly changing one, weather-wise, so the blooming has been delayed, the garden announced on its Facebook page. Besides visiting the garden, which opened on June 10, visitors have the option of attending yoga sessions or concerts held there. More details here.
Discover local landscapes on a bike
From the northern region of Maramureș to the southern Clisura Dunării, there are plenty of options for cycling routes to try in the country. The rich heritage of Maramureș can be discovered along a 27-km route starting and ending in the village of Breb and reaching the picturesque villages of Mara, Sat-Sugatag, and Ocna Şugatag, and Hoteni. Elsewhere, in Apuseni Mountains, a 7 km long route links the scenic Stana de Vale resort to the top of Vârful Poieni, allowing those who venture here to admire the spectacular landscapes of the Apuseni. More on some of the most beautiful cycling routes in the country, including ones going through Saxon Villages or along the Danube, here.
Walk the Via Transilvanica
A work-in-progress, the Via Transilvanica route, which is set to link Drobeta-Turnu Severin to the northeastern part of the country, can be a great option to discover this year, along the segments that are already open. At the end of 2019, some 400 km of the route had been set up, and updates about the open sections are available here.
This June, the NGO that is doing the work on the trail announced a program for families called Vacanța Mare (The summer holiday). It runs between June 24 and June 28 and is meant to give families with children a taste of nature and trekking in nature. Because of the social distancing rules in place, the program is recommended to families ( 3 to 4) that already know each other and are comfortable vacationing together. More details here.
Go kayaking in Argeșului Delta
Some 25 km away from Bucharest, the delta of the Argeș river is a great place kayaking. Fans of water sports can enjoy the maze of water channels, lakes with water lilies, or the colonies of wild birds. At the end of the kayak tour, a traditional fish soup awaits. More details here.