Time to time we feel the urge to go back to nature, to escape the busy urban life.
Living in Romania, we are lucky to have places where nature is untamed by men, like mountains and seaside
The spring is one of the magical moments to discover in the mountains. It is the perfect time and place to enjoy the magic of nature.
This spring, together with our friends, we decided to have a full hiking day in Piatra Craiului National Park and enjoy a beautiful spring day in nature.
But first, I should tell you more things about Piatra Craiului Mountain to have a better idea about this monument of nature.
So, Piatra Craiului Moutain is part of the Carpathian Mountains, which are one of the last wild mountains in Europe. Of course, there are not as famous as The Alps, or dramatic as the Himalayas, but they are spectacular.
The Carpathians stretches from the Czech Republic through Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine and ends in Romania which has one of the largest remaining areas of undisturbed forest in Europe.
There are 14 national parks in Romania, out of which 12 are located on or near the surface of the Carpathian Mountains.
The mountains are divided into 3 geographical groups:
- Eastern Carpathians
The Carpathians of Maramures and Bucovina
The Moldavian-Transylvanian Carpathians and
The Curvature Carpathians
- Southern Carpathians
Parâng Mountains and
- Western Carpathians
Poiana Ruscă Mountains and
Part of Apuseni Mountain, Piatra Craiului it is also a National Park and one of our famous mountain ranges in Romania.
With a spectacular area of 200 km², this national park has everything from secular forest and glacial lakes, a large variety of wild animals like wolves, bears, deer, and eagle owls and so on.
Piatra Craiului National Park is also a haven for many plant species. Almost all the typical mountain species from the Carpathians have here the best conditions to grow. And this was our purpose of visiting the mountains in this period of a year.
In March is the perfect time to see the mountain snowdrop and spring crocuses.
So, very early in the morning we jumped the car and drove for about three hours to the mountain from Bucharest to Rasnov. From Rasnov we drove for 15 minutes more, until our starting hiking point, inside de forest at Botorog Fountain, where we parked the car.
In Piatra Craiului Mountain there are more than 70 options of hiking trails from the easiest to the most intense.
We chose an easy trail because our main purpose was to see the beauty of the spring flowers.
The hike was as follow:
Botorog Fountain – Zarnestiului Gorge – Cheile Pisicii – Vladusca meadow – La Table – Saua Joaca – Magura Village – Botorog Fountain
Botorog Fountain – Zarnestiului Gorge
After parking the car we started to walk towards Zarnestiului gorge. The first part of the route was more of a walk in the park.
The access to the gorge is made by a small road, 2 km long, which winds through these spectacular rock walls.
With heights exceeding 200 m in some places, the trail is impressive due to the height of the vertical walls.
In that area, the temperature dropped by a few degrees because the sunlight penetrates the gorge only a few hours a day.
Zarnestiului Gorge – Cheile Pisicii
Going through the gorge at some point we reached Cheile Pisicii, which was a dry riverbed very difficult to climb.
There we were stepping on rocks. It was difficult to pass these small gorge.
But at some point in the forest appeared a blanket of white snowdrops.
It was such a beautiful surprise so find these amazing flowers.
Who doesn’t love snowdrops? They’re small, fragile but perfect first signs of spring. We were like small children who discovered new toys. We couldn’t get enough of these amazing flowers.
Vladusca meadow – La Table – Saua Joaca
After the completion of Cheile Pisicii, we ended on a forest road again, the one that continues on Vladusca area.
As we approached Vladusca meadow, the mighty Piatra Craiului Mountain started to show itself.When we stepped out of the woods, we entered a land of fairytales. Meadows were full of spring crocus flowers.
And among them, there were also from place to place the same gigantic snowdrops flowers.
It was the ultimate beauty of nature. All these beautiful flowers backed by Piatra Craiului Mountain.
It was such an overwhelming view.
After that moment, it was difficult to leave that place, but we had to continue our hike.So, finally, we reached the place called “La Table”, one of the starting points on the ridge of Piatra Craiului. We didn’t take the trail to the pick, instead, we took the left trail to Saua Joaca.
It didn’t take long and we reach Saua Joaca, where we found a spectacular view over the ridge and the steep slopes of Piatra Craiului.
It is the perfect place to have a break and admire the beauty of the mountain.
Before entering the forest, we look back one more time to the beautiful Piatra Craiului pick, after which we continued our hike down to Magura village.
It is a traditional mountain village and one of the most beautiful villages in Romania.
I’m a huge Carpathian mountain lover. And Magura village is surrounded by mountains. On one side the Bucegi Mountains and another side the Piatra Craiului Mountains. The village is rather sprawled on the top of rolling hills having a stunning view in each direction and amazing perspective over the majestic mountains.In the area, there are three villages: Pestera village, Sirnea village and Magura village. The latter being the most touristic one.
But still, an amazing place to explore the rural landscape lost long ago. People here still live like the old times. Don’t be surprised to see lots of cows, sheep or horses grazing in the meadows of the village.
We only walk around the alleys of the village on our way back to the car, but for those who want to enjoy the traditional village and the mountain scenery, there are many accommodation possibilities.
From Magura village, we went down on a winding forest road down to our starting point, Botorog Fountain.
And so it ended a beautiful hike on sunny March day and we have to thank our friends for the wonderful idea of this hike.
For us, the main purpose of our hike in Piatra Craiului National Park was to see the spring flower of the mountains, but the national park offers many more things that you can discover.
The park is an area of steep peaks of metamorphic rocks, amazing meadows, charming forests, glacial rivers, alpine gaps, canyons, caves, rivers and karst areas giving endless hiking trails to discover. But it has also impressive castles, such as Bran Castle (Dracula’s Castle), beautiful caves (Dambovicioara Cave) and amazing cities.