Archives June 2016

A breath of the purest air at Colibița

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


Colorful getaway at Poiana Narciselor flower reservation

The nature reservation “Dumbrava Vadului”, also known locally as “Poiana Narciselor” (the Meadows of Daffodils), is the biggest of its kind in Europe, covering an area of 400 hectares. Dumbrava Vadului became a natural monument in 1967. The reserve lies in Sercaia commune, Vad village, less then 60 km distance from Brasov. Besides daffodils, irises and yellow peonies also grow adding to the vibrant natural colors.  Apart from the specific fauna, roe deer, wild boars, foxes, rabbits, wild ducks and a few ant bears also live in the reserve making the place even more interesting.

In Romanian, the term used for the flower is “narcisa” and it comes from the beautiful young character from the Greek mythology called Narcis, who, it’s been said, fell in love with his own appearance. The legend says that the flower appeared after his death, right on his grave.

The Festival of Daffodils

The Festival of Daffodils is organized in the Meadows of Daffodils every year on the eve of the Day of Saints Constantine and Helen on the 21st of May.

This is the time of the year when the Transylvanian traditions and dishes can be admired and tasted. The young people from the Homorod Valley, dressed in traditional costumes, are head towards the meadow to race against other young people from the surrounding villages and counties.

The festival is a unique opportunity to emphasize the beauty of traditional dances, music and costumes, as well as the local customs and traditions in an incredible environment, surrounded by the beautiful daffodils.

Millions of daffodils bloom in Dumbrava Vadului every year, especially during the month of May, in some places exceeding 150 flowers per square meter. The locals have called them “coprine” and feel very blessed with this gift from God.

The beauty of this place attracts thousands of tourists every year. Dumbrava Vadului was also featured in the Romanian movie “Neamul Soimarestilor”, based on the novel with the same name written by Mihail Sadoveanu.

In case you are planning your getaway from Bucharest, the beautiful reserve is 228 km away in the Brasov county. You need to take DN1 to Predeal, then take the road DN73A to Vad and from there Dumbrava Vadului is just 3 km away on a local road.


Nature and tranquility at Cernica and Caldarusani monasteries

When out of ideas on what to do during the weekend and longer trips out of Bucharest are not an option, we’d recommend exploring the areas around the Romanian capital city. There are plenty of places to choose from for visiting, but this time let’s visit two monasteries. Two of the many surrounding Bucharest.

If you feel like a true explorer, the visit to the monasteries could include a drive through some of the nice villages around Bucharest. Not all of them are worth your time, but some might be just worth the trip.

Cernica monastery is first on our list. The first time we saw it, it was for a funeral, but that didn’t stop us from admiring it, and made a promise to return. Come next weekend and the nice spring weather, and we were there.

The full story here.