Colibița, a village in Bistrița Bârgăului commune in Bistrița county, is often described as the area in Romania where locals and visitors breathe the purest air, comparable to what one experiences on the peaks of the Alps.

It is more than a touristic description. An air quality study showed that the value of the maximum ozone concentration measured on site stood at 90 micro-grams per cubic meter. The average value in Romania is of 72.6 micro-grams per cubic meter, while at over 120 micro-grams per cubic meter the air is no longer breathable, authorities with the Bistriţa-Năsăud county council explain in a report of a local news agency.

Air quality aside, the site impresses with stunning views of the lake winding through the mountains, several touristic attractions and trekking options.

Located at an altitude of 900 meters, Colibița sits between the Călimani and Bârgă mountains, in Northern Romania. It used to be a mountain resort from 1923 up until 1975 but accommodation facilities in the area started degrading and after 1980 the resort disappeared with the construction works at the barrage that gave way the lake. After 1990 several private villas were built in the area, and they now offer accommodation to those looking to enjoy the Colibița landscape.

Options for spending time here include hiking trails to Tăul Zânelor, a protected area surrounding the lake by the same name, or to Borcut mineral water spring, trails to Bistricioru peak or to the Tihuta high mountain pass. The later, by its Hungarian name of Borgó, is referenced in Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel as the gateway to the realm of Count Dracula. Mountain cycling, kayaking or fishing can also be added to the list.

Authorities in the region are hoping to turn Colibiţa into a resort again and are working to receive the status. There are however several conditions that need to be met, among which: a modernized, signalized road, public transport between the site and a train station or bus station, furbishing and public lighting for the walking areas, and a minimum 500 accommodation places in tourist housing in the area.

How to get there:

Colibița is 50 km away from Bistrița, on the E576 road to Vatra Dornei, going through Livezile, Josenii Bărgăului and Prundul Bârgăului communes. Once out of the Prundul Bârgăului, take a right through the Bistrita Bârgăului to reach the village.

Photo: Colibita Facebook page