What do u guys think about hiking bucegi mountain in winter like towards end of december and how do I go about this?any website recommendation?can it be done without a guide?
Hiking in Bucegi in winter is dangerous...it can be done without guide but you must be well prepared. You have to talk first with some locals before you start your trip!
If you need more help please do not hesitate to contact me!
We are planning to go by New Year's Eve and would like to hike a little in the mountains, but we are not experienced nor climbers.
Are there easy / well signed trails that can be followed for a while walking?
Quick note of caution: the Bucegi Mountains are notably snowy and also deceptively dangerous to hike. Almost everything that can be called a "hike" should be off-limits to inexperienced hikers in winter. I would stick to "leisurely walks" rather than hikes if I were you. I would also double check before choosing a hike as some people tend to minimize how difficult some of the walks they recommend actually are.
With that in mind, here are a few recommendations:
- from Sinaia, take a walk through the city up to Peles Castle and then on to "Poiana Stanii" glade and "Stanca Franz Josef" viewpoint (about 2-3 hours in total). Not dangerous but will turn into quite a bit of a workout in the snow.
- Another very popular forest walk near Sinaia is "Cascada Urlatoarea" waterfall in Busteni. This is a very easy 40-minute forest walk, slightly uphill, from the Busteni Cable Car Station ("Telecabina"). Here is how you get from Sinaia to the Busteni Cable Car: https://goo.gl/maps/yAMuRhRm9RD2 . It should be only 10-15 minutes by car with no traffic and maybe about half an hour under the heavy weekend traffic (or you can just take the train, it's the first stop). From the Cable Car you should look around for signposts or ask around.
Actually, since you're there, the Cable Car ride from Busteni up to the high plateau is spectacular, you should do it, but there will probably be a queue of people waiting in line. You might not want to waste 3 hours waiting in line.
- another Busteni walk: take the hike through the valley to Gura Diham Lodge ("Cabana Gura Diham"). If you feel encouraged and energetic, continue further up to Diham Chalet ("Cabana Diham") (about 2 hours in total)
- from Predeal (another nearby town), drive up to the "Trei Brazi" Lodge. The view is very nice there and you can easily spend half a day playing in the snow, but if you want to walk, take the 20 minute route further on to "Poiana Secuilor" Chalet: https://goo.gl/maps/LUsA5n6ddK92
- Personally, the highest recommendation I have for you is taking a day trip to Zarnesti. There you can walk along the Zarnesti Gorge ("Cheile Zarnestilor") and there's also a bear sanctuary to visit. But this is best done by car. Train connections exist (change in Brasov) but plan them out beforehand as trains are not frequent and a bad connection or missing a train could end up wasting half your day. Here is how you get to the Zarnesti Gorge: https://goo.gl/maps/gutwR6mFRq92 . It is a very easy walk. The road for the car ends a little bit before the start of the actual Gorge, just park on the side of the road where you see everyone else has parked.
- another recommendation: from Sinaia, take the train or a bus to Timisul de Jos station and from there find the large meadow where the hike up through the "7 Scari" canyon starts. Bit of a wet experience this one so do bring (at least somewhat) waterproof gloves and a change of clothes. The return path circles back down around the canyon through the forest. Here is the route: https://goo.gl/maps/iQR44YZVqPk
This is so useful!
We are definitely gonna go for one of the easy walkings you said and the bear sanctuary.
We are gonna rent a car.
Is there any local renting car you would recommend?
Thanks so much!
If you rent a car, you can go to the Malaiesti chalet which is located in a breath taking area :)
Basically, leave your car here (https://goo.gl/maps/xZmPVEdY5GS2) and follow the vertical blue line sign. The path is quite popular so you won't have problems with the snow.
We did this hike on Sunday and it took us 2 hours until we reached the chalet - with a more "medium" physical shape, you might probably get there in 3 hours.
At the chalet, you can order hot soup, hot food etc. and can rest for a while. If the weather outside is great your effort will be rewarded with a beautiful view (you can google it but you will spoil the real feeling when you see it live).
Take into account:
- this hike has about 6 Km and you gain 800 meters in altitude
- what time you start the trail (in december sun sets down at about 16:30 in this area so start as early as possible)
- how much you carry with you (in the winter hikes with a chalet I don't personally carry too much water)
- winter boots in order to be comfortable (having summer boots is not a deal breaker though but at least get some good socks)
- trekking poles might get useful (but are not a deal breaker)
The Malaesti Chalet is easily one of the most beautiful places in Romania, however I personally think this is one of the hikes I mentioned earlier about which people tend to be too optimistic. Even though it's not technically challenging, it still ends up as several hours hiking through snow and sub-zero temperature. It is a hike for people who came in specifically to hike and properly equipped. It is NOT a hike for people who came in to spend the New Year and just want to do a little walking to pass the time and get some clean air.