Transylvania is the land of legends. The land of mountains and pine forests, too. Long hikes, unspoilt landscapes, flocks and shepherds. But this time we’d like to show you some adorable short hikes that’ll make you fall in love and tempt for more.
Even though many of the hiking trails in Romania’s Carpathians are long, demanding and not that easy to access, you can find some easy (and very pretty!) ones. We show you our favorites from the past years.
Turda Gorge (Cheile Turzii), Cluj County
According to the legend, Saint Ladislaus, the king of Hungary, cut the cliff in two with his sword while escaping the Cumans. Another possible explanation of the origin of Turda Gorge is that Hesdád Creek cut through the limestone cliffs and dug deeper and deeper. You choose the version you like. In any case, Turda Gorge is a dramatic place.
We started the hike in the gorge with the huge white cliffs towering above us. After crossing several lovely hanging bridges and some smaller caves, we reached the end of the gorge. To make it a nice loop trail, we returned to the trailhead on the path that leads on top of the cliffs. It offered different but similarly amazing views of the gorge.
Kis-Cohárd peak, Cheile Bicazului-Hășmaș National Park, Harghita County
The hike to 1344 meters high Kis-Cohárd peak is steep, but short. It starts from picturesque Red Lake, leads upwards among the huge cliffs in the forest and rewards with wonderful views of the lake and Cheile Bicazului-Hășmaș National Park at the top.
Red Lake (Lacul Roșu), Cheile Bicazului-Hășmaș National Park, Harghita County
And once we’re at Red Lake, there’s an easy, scenic loop trail around it that would be a shame to miss. Because this lake is one of the most unique ones in Romania. The stumps in the water are remnants of a flooded pine forest. Its red color is because of iron oxides, hence the name. Even though its water is more greenish than red these days. The loop trail around it is almost completely flat and impresses with reflections of the surrounding mountain peaks.
Bulbuci Waterfall(s), Apuseni Mountains
Finally, a nice waterfall from the Apuseni Mountains. A series of three waterfalls, actually. It’s one of the few short trails in the remote and barely known Apuseni Mountains, and the most challenging part of this hike is finding the trail itself.
We knew that the trailhead should be at the end of a small village called Boga. We found the sign that indicates “Cascada” there. (It’s a useful word to know, it means waterfall in Romanian.) So we started following that path. Only sometimes it was not that obvious whether it’s a path. Or there were more paths.
It shouldn’t be that hard to choose the right path, because the waterfall is at the end of the gorge. Once you find the gorge, you should be good. The problem is that the gorge is too narrow and steep, so you can’t climb up to the waterfall in the gorge. The trail that finally led us there is above the gorge on the left side. We had to cross the small stream and follow a narrow path upwards.
At the end, there was Bulbuci waterfall, the first one and the one we could walk behind. A short, but steep climb further up in the gorge took us to a viewpoint where we saw the second and third waterfalls, as well. Then we returned to Boga on the same path.
Have you ever hiked in Transylvania? Any short and scenic trail you’d recommend?
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