Top 5 Romanian destinations

Romania offers every tourist a unique experience since you can decide to lay in the sun on one of its many beaches, go hiking on mountainous paths or take a walk among historic and spiritual places. Some destinations, like Dracula’s Castle or the Painted Monasteries, are more popular than others but there’s more about Romania that you should know. Thus, Top 5 Romanian destinations will focus on places that are just as beautiful and interesting as the ones above, but a lot less advertised. This also means less crowded, more secluded and much better for a quaint getaway. They are also great spots to get to know more about Romanian culture and people.

The ‘Mocanita’ of Viseu de Sus

The steam train ‘Mocanita of Viseu de Sus is one of the last lumber railways in Romania. This steam train crosses the Vasser Valley which has been under European protection since 2007. The railway was constructed during 1930-1933 and it’s 56 km long. Though it takes tourists, this train also does what it was originally designed for, namely transporting lumber. During the summer, the train leaves around 6 o’ clock in the morning and round trips take 12-14 hours. You should be prepared for such long trip as there are no shops on the way. Another useful advice is not to wear light colored clothes since they will be dirtied by soot.

The 7 ladders canyon

Located in the Piatra Mare Mountains (within the range of The Southern Carpathians), this canyon is not what ordinarily expect of a canyon. It is actually a waterfall that has iron ladders from bottom to top that you can climb on. The last ladder is vertically positioned so that you have to pay extra attention not to fall. However, the view from the top and along the waterfall is breathtaking so it’s all worth it. Your trip to the canyon takes approximately one hour, walking through the woods. Don’t imagine, though, that the trip is like a stroll in the park. You must wear adequate clothes and shoes as the iron steps you must climb on are, most often than not, quite slippery; not to mention that you may get wet as well due to the water next to the ladders. You get on the top of the canyon in half an hour, more or less and if you are not too tired you may continue your trip to the “Piatra Mare” Lodge (another 2 hours trip).

The Bethlen of Arcalia castle

You might ask what is so interesting about this castle. Well, it’s the only castle in Transylvania built in Moorish – Byzantine style. It was erected by the Bethlen family around 1850. Though it has suffered damages along the time, nowadays it is completely restored, being University of Cluj Napoca’s centre of Francophonie. The town Arcalia is located 15 km far from Bistrita, in the north of Romania and the castle is surrounded by an arboretum where you can find more than 150 local and exotic species of trees. The castle hosts scientific symposiums, conferences, summer schools and so on and it seems to be the perfect location for such events.

The ‘Corbii de Piatra’ Monastery

Within Arges County, near the centre of the village Corbi, there is the ‘Corbii de Piatra’ monastery. The church was carved into a steep rock, 30m high and 14.5 m long. The first confirmation of its existence appears in documents dating from 1512 though it is believed that the church existed long before this date. The legend says that in 1882, during the Easter service, one of the interior walls collapsed but absolutely no one was hurt. The church is valuable not only for its manner of construction but also for its byzantine paintings.

The waterfall of the horses

This waterfall is found in Rodnei Mountains which are part of Eastern Carpathians, near the resort Borsa. What is interesting about this waterfall is that it is caused by the melted snow and rain accumulated on the top of the ‘Bad Stone’ versant. The legend has it that a long time ago, people who lived in this area would bring their horses here from spring to autumn the pastures being very rich. However, bears would come and hunt the horses and bring them till the edge of the precipice; thus, the outcome was never a good one for the horses. The locals decided to name that place the ‘Waterfall of the Horses’. This waterfall can be reached easily, either on foot, on a mountainous path or by a chair lift in Borsa. You should know that the latter takes you as far as 15 minutes away from the waterfall and that the last departure is at 5 p.m.

Top 5 Romanian destinations ends here, hoping that you have enjoyed reading about such unusual places.

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