MOUNTAINS OF ROMANIA (CICERONE)
A guide to walking in the Carpathian Mountains in Romania by James Roberts
NB: This guide was published in 2005 and has not been updated since. Romania is a country in transition so hikers intending to travel this way should check for updated information as best as possible. Neil Blundy of Bogong was hiking in these mountains in 2014 and found some cabanas (huts) mentioned in the guide to be either derilict or not operating but other mentioned in the guide as closed to be now open. See notes we have added below.
Romania’s Carpathians offer some fine walking. There are well waymarked paths, adequate maps and a good network of serviced mountain huts and refuges. These huts are much more basic then those found in the Alps and can be quite variable in facilities. Many Romanians carry an inflatable mat (thermarest type) for use on mattresses in cabanas as these can be very old and worn. Bring this guide and an adventurous attitude and enjoy the cultural journey. You will meet sheep, shephards and their sheep dogs. Note the warning on p41 of the guide. We strongly recommend taking walking poles as dog protection. Conversly bears do not appear to be a hazard for the hiker. In fact you will be very lucky to see one.
More than just beautiful landscapes, Europe’s wildest mountains offer a chance to discover a European scene that has now disappeared further west. There is a remarkable wealth of wildlife, the region being one of the last European strongholds of the wolf and bear.
The author, James Roberts, was an enthusiastic walker and explorer from an early age. As a leading authority on walking in Romania, he guided walking groups there for several years. Sadly, although quite young, he died while this book was in the final stages of preparation.
Update For The Mountains of Romania by James Roberts 2005
Information collected July 2014
Cabana Caraiman (pages 49, 205) is no longer operating as a full service cabana. Use the nearby Cabana Babele instead.
Cabana Urlea (pages 92, 211) is totally derelict. It is not even suitable for emergency shelter.
Cabana Suru (pages 101, 211) has been rebuilt and is now a full service cabana again.
These changes bring major implications for hikers attempting the full skyline traverse of the Fagaras Ridge as described in the guide pages 91 – 103. Particularly if camping gear is not being carried.
It is now almost impossible to do the route as described by Roberts as the day from Plaiul Foii to Urlea (derelict), already extremely long, would need to be lengthened further to reach Sambetei.
An acceptable alternative is to approach from the north via Breaza. This is route 1c, page 104 in the guide. Very comfortable accommodation and meals can be found at House Coltii Brezei, 4km south of Breaza. House Coltii Brezei is clearly marked on the Bel Alpin 1:75,000 Fagaras Mountains map but no mention of it is made in Roberts book, presumably because it post-dates it.
The good news is that with the resurrection of Cabana Suru the traverse can be completed on the western end without problems.
COVID Update Sept 2021: Aus Post is having major delays across the network.
Standard/Free shipping to major capitals takes 2-5 business days.
Order before 11am - we usually ship the same business day!
Choose Express Post for priority packing and faster shipping.