Fagaras Mountains

Fagaras Mountains

The Făgăraș Mountains are found on any of the top lists of touristic mountain ranges in the Carpathians. Its majestic peaks (8 out of 13 peaks over 2500 m in Romania are here) that tower over the Transylvanian lowlands, its alpine lakes scattered under the craggy cliffs at altitudes that often exceed 2000 m, offer travelers unforgettable sights. To all these we can add other numerous attractions such as the so-called "ferestre" (windows) of the range (in Făgăraș, many passes on the main ridge are called "ferestre"), the glacial cauldrons (circuses) that deepen in the shadow of the high peaks, the steep glacial ridges crashing north towards the Olt river, as well as the wild valleys whose waters tumble downwards in the uproar of waterfalls. From spring until late autumn, the Făgăraș Mountains are covered with abundant and colorful vegetation while during winter a deep mantle of snow gives them a grandiose appearance that justifies their byname of "the Transylvanian Alps".

Our proposed tour is a full traverse of the main ridge from west to east, which allows you to experience the best that these mountains can offer (high peaks, beautiful lakes, steep cliffs, amazing wildlife). The traverse takes 7 full days, with an extra one day for approach and one for retreat.

Day 1: Approach (Sibiu)
On the first day you will be taken from your arrival airport to Sibiu, a beautiful medieval city in Transylvania and we will spend the night in a pension in one of the villages situated in the foothills of the Făgăraș Mts.

Day 2: Turnu Rosu - Chica Pietrelor - Chica Fedeleșului - Tătarului Peak - Apa Cumpănită Pass
This marks the beginning of our alpine endeavor. We start in the Olt river valley at about 350 m altitude and for the next 5-6 hours we will trek through dense forests, at first deciduous and then, as we gain height, coniferous. Upon reaching an elevation of about 1600 m we get out in the alpine meadows in the Chica Pietrelor area. For the next 2 hours the trail climbs steadily up to Tătaru Peak (1890 m), all the while keeping us on the northern slopes with great views over the Transylvanian lowlands. From the peak there's a short descent to Apa Cumpănită pass (1807 m) where we will be setting our camp for the night.

Day 3: Apa Cumpănită Pass - Moașa Peak - Suru Pass - Budislavu Peak - Avrig Lake - Scara Peak - Scara Pass
The day's trek, except for the first hour, is done in its entirety above the 2000 meters mark. The trail takes us over two peaks over 2300 m: Budislavu (2343 m) and Scara (2306 m); optionally, from Garbova Pass there's an easy climb to Ciortea peak (2427 m). One of the main attractions of the day is the Avrig lake (2011 m) which is situated in a wild glacial circus, surrounded by massive cliffs. At the end of the day we will camp in Scara Pass where there is also a very basic mountain refuge.

Day 4: Scara Pass - Șerbota Peak - Custura Sărății - Negoiu Peak - Călțun Lake
Ending the western part of the Făgăraș ridge, the itinerary takes us on this day through some of the most difficult passages we'll encounter in these mountains (Custura Sărății and Strunga Ciobanului). From Scara Pass to Șerbota Peak (2331 m) the trek is an easy one giving us time to warm up for the next passage, Custura Sărății which is considered by many as the most difficult passage in the Făgăraș Mts. After this exhilarating passage we start climbing towards Negoiu Peak (2535 m) the second highest in Romania. Upon reaching it, if the weather allows (the point is known for its notoriously capricious weather) we have a vantage point across the Southern Carpathians, Transylvania to the North and in a clear day we can even see the Danube in the South.

Day 5: Călțun Lake - Lăițel Peak - Paltinu Peak - Iezeru Caprei Peak - Capra Lake
Our fifth day takes us over the halfway mark in the Făgăraș traverse. This is a short day of trekking taking us to Capra Lake (2230 m) in the vicinity of Bâlea lake and the Transfăgărășan Highway. We begin by hiking up the Lăițel peak (2390 m), from where we have impressive views over Negoiu peak and Călțun lake area. The trail takes us eastward without any great difficulties up to Paltinu peak (2399 m). The segment between Paltinu peak and Iezeru Caprei peak (2417 m) allows us some great views over the Transfăgărășan highway and Bâlea lake. From this last peak there's a short descent (15 min) to Capra lake where we will camp.

Day 6: Capra Lake - Portița Arpașului - Podu Giurgiului Lake - Podragu pass - Viștea Mare peak - Moldoveanu peak - Portița Viștei
One of the most beautiful parts of the main ridge, this part will take us on the top of Romania, Moldoveanu peak (2544 m) and also on the 3rd highest peak in the country - Viștea Mare (2527 m). Soon after the day's start we get to traverse the beautiful sector of "La trei pași de moarte" (Three steps away from death) which is really not as dangerous as it sounds. The trail continues along some minor peaks and allows us some great views over the northern glacial valleys and some charming glacial lakes (Buda, Podu Giurgiului, Podragu). This fifth day in the mountains ends with a tiring climb up the third highest peak in Romania - Viștea Mare (2527 m) from which after a 10 min walk we get on the very top of Romania, Moldoveanu peak (2544 m).

Day 7: Portita Viștei - Fereastra Mare a Sâmbetei - Fundu Bândei Peak - Curmătura Zârnei - Curmătura Brătilei
The beginning of the end of our journey marks also a change in the landscape and as a result our trail becomes much easier. Although the altitudes are still high the peaks don't stand out as much from the surrounding areas and the trail also evades most of them on their southern slopes. Still we have some amazing views back to the Moldoveanu-Viștea Mare pyramid and from place to place there are little gems hidden beyond the craggy cliffs of the northern slopes (Viștișoara galcial valley and lake, Urlea lake). On the southern side, our eyes are captivated by the strong buttress of Dara-Hârtopu, with the last 2500 m peaks (Dara - 2500m, Hârtopu 2506 m). After passing this area the Mioarelor glacial circus looks inviting for us tired backpackers with its multitude of glacial lakes and flat meadows but we keep on going for a little while towards the last high passes in the range: Zârna and Brătila.

Day 8: Curmătura Brătilei - Berevoescu Mare Peak - Luțele Peak - Comisu Peak - Lerescu Peak - Rudărița - Plaiu Foii lodge
Our last day in Făgăraș offers us some spectacular views over the surrounding mountain ranges (Iezer Mts., Piatra Craiului Mts.) while trekking an easy descending trail towards Plaiu Foii lodge. We start by crossing a high plateau passing the last peaks over 2000 m (Brătila - 2274 m, Pietrele Popii - 2275 m, Berevoescu Mare - 2300 m, Luțele - 2176 m), after Luțele Peak the trail starts descending to Comisu Peak (1883 m) and Lerescu peak (1690 m) and a little while after Lerescu pass (1396 m) we leave the main ridge and descend to the Lerescu valley where a forest road will takes us to Plaiu Foii lodge 10 km away.

Day 9: Farewell
Photo sharing sessions, delicious breakfast and see you next time.

Click here to view photo album

The proposed tour is made up so that you may see most of the attractions of the Făgăraș Mountains, however it cat be modified in order to accommodate your needs in case you have more or less time at your disposal.

Tour Pricing:
Prices start with 700 EUR/pers. and they have a 25 EUR/pers. discount for group bookings (for example if you book for 2 persons the price will be 675 EUR/pers.; if you book for 5 persons the pricewill be 600 EUR/pers. etc.)

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The tour price includes return airport transfer ( from Timisoara, Oradea, Sibiu and Cluj-Napoca) to the tour location, any National Park fees required, one night accommodation in Turnu Roșu, one night accommodation in Plaiu Foii, and guiding fees. For Budapest and Belgrade airport transfers 20 EUR/pers. return transfer is charged extra. Tents are also provided for the nights spent on the ridge without any extra fees. The price does not include flights, visas and travel insurance.