Five Ideas for Amazing Winter Vacations in Romania

Diana Condrea
Diana Condrea
Diana is a tourism consultant, tour guide, travel writer and amateur photographer, focusing on sustainable tourism practices and destinations. You can find Diana Condrea on Twitter and Google+

If you’d like to explore Romania, check our private tours on www.uncover-romania-tours.com

Winter vacations in Romania are a great time to discover breathtaking landscapes and to enjoy unique experiences like wildlife observation or sleeping in an ice hotel. Winter is also an excellent time to visit must-see landmarks without the summer crowds. Plus, skiing and hiking in the Carpathians are the locals’ favorite activities, and you’ll find many ski slopes and hiking routes to keep you occupied all winter long.

winter vacations in Romania

Fagaras Mountains

Winter wilderness hikes

This is our first and top idea simply because the snowcapped peaks of the Carpathians offer the most scenic nature view in the entire country during the cold season. Don’t miss out on the chance of a winter hike in this wilderness paradise.

You don’t have to sign up for a strenuous and long trail, you can choose easier hikes in Ciucas, Rarau, Ceahlau or Apuseni Mountains. If you’re properly equipped and stick to routes you can do during daylight, you’ll find that winter hikes are fun and, above all, very spectacular.

Winter vacations in Romania

On the way to Iezer-Papusa Peak

Skiing in the Carpathians

While the altitudes in the Carpathians cannot guarantee the skiing conditions in the Alps, this is still one of the best options for your winter vacations in Romania. It’s by far the most popular winter sport in the country, and the traffic to and from the mountain resorts is a good indicator of it.

You’ll find several skiing slopes close to Bucharest, on Prahova Valley – in Sinaia, Azuga, Predeal, Busteni –, in Poiana Brasov and two smaller ones close to Bran. You can also ski in Arieseni (Alba County), Borsa and Cavnic (Maramures County), Straja and Parang (Hunedoara County), Vatra Dornei (Suceava County), Ranca (Gorj County), Voineasa (Valcea County), Cozla and Durau (Neamt County). You’ll find ski slopes also in Harghita and Covasna Counties, in the Oriental Carpathians.

winter vacations in Romania

Ski slope in Azuga

In Poiana Brasov, only a couple of minutes from Brasov, you’ll find the largest network of skiing slopes – 26 km –, while in Sinaia you have around 20 km of slopes close to 2,000 meters, the highest skiing altitude in Romania.

Sleep in an ice hotel above 2,000 meters altitude

You need to book your stay long before this ice hotel is built in Fagaras Mountains. Located at an altitude of 2,034 meters, on the panoramic Transfagarasan road, close to the glacial Balea Lake that also supplies the ice blocks for its construction, this ice hotel is rebuilt every winter since 2005.

winter vacations in Romania

The Ice Hotel, Balea Lake

Photo credits Hotel of Ice

Each year, the organizers choose a new theme for the ice hotel from Balea that also has a bar, a restaurant and even a church for those who want to marry in the most unusual way.

Spending one night in its ice rooms is maybe the most original experience you could have during your winter vacations in Romania.

Read more about the ice hotel

Wildlife observation

If you think winter is too cold and long, we suggest you go on a wildlife observation trip to see how much easier the cold season is for us. Winter months impact wildlife in a tremendous way. Daily life changes as wild animals prepare to survive the months of cold weather.

While it would be too dangerous to go by yourself to the forest to observe large mammals, we suggest a bird observation experience instead. In Romania, almost 400 species of birds have been seen, and this makes it a top European destination for bird watching. Besides the local species, you can also spot northern species that migrate here for winter like the beautiful red-breasted goose.

ducks winter

Ducks on a frozen lake

The best places to observe winter birds are the wetlands – lakes, rivers, deltas – and Romania has plenty of it. Depending on where you are, you can see Dalmatian pelicans and cormorants, wild ducks and geese, birds of prey like the white-tailed eagle, the greater spotted eagle or the Western marsh harrier and smaller birds like fieldfares and the great tit.

Don’t forget to pack your binoculars or telephoto zoom lens.

Enjoy less crowded attractions

Winter is often the best time to explore those places that are crowded with tourists in the warmer months. This is the perfect time to take photos of famous landmarks without all the souvenir stands, parked cars and selfie sticks around. You’ll have a more personal experience when visiting even monuments like Bran Castle and Peles Castle, the most visited museums in Romania. Don’t hesitate to book a winter weekend break in Romania, it’s more than worth it.

Cantacuzino Castle

Cantacuzino Castle

Check our day trips and city tours

We hope that the cold won’t keep you inside too long. Winter is a great time to uncover your favorite destinations in a new and fun way. If you’re traveling to Romania this winter, try at least one of our ideas for memorable winter vacations in Romania.

If you’d like to explore Romania, check our private tours on www.uncover-romania-tours.com

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