A Romanian Tale in the Cozia Mountains
Friday, October 14, 2016
Welcome to Cozia in the Carpathian Mountains …
I want to introduce you to an amazing place in Romania, it’s one of my favorites actually, called Cozia. Right about thousands of years ago, Cozia Mountains have risen up in the Carpathian Mountain Range, in the middle of Romania, the nearest towns being Caciulata, Calimanesti, Brezoi and Perisani. I’m gonna show you a little bit of everything from there but now I want to tell and show you the mountains that impressed me that much that I always include it in my trips.
Well, to get there, the best transport is the personal car, because the road winds up the mountains in hairpin turns and short tunnels carved into the rocks until Caciulata, and for the designated driver, I guarantee, the road will be a very nice surprise.
Cozia National Park
From far away Cozia Mountains looks like a fort built on top of the mountain but in fact, it’s all natural. Going up means to climb almost 1.300 m altitude, the highest peak having 1.668 m.
The mountain trail winds up beside a small creek that flows from the top of the mountain, goes through a variety of trees, you hear and see many waterfalls, you smell the cold air filled with wet fir bark and sometimes you have to pay attention not to step on the salamanders.
∗ For the names below, I have roughly made a mot-a-mot translation from their Romanian names for a better understanding and imagining how the sights look like ∗
On the mountain trail, we meet a variety of natural sights like Cascada Gardului (the fence waterfall), Coltii Foarfecei (the fangs of the scissors rocks), Poiana Zanelor (the fairies glade), Muchiile Traznita (the thunder-struck edge), Sirul de pietre (the row of rocks) and Turneanu, each sight offers a unique perspective on the wonders of nature.
This mountain is famous for having very rare forms of life..very rare meaning that there are a few places in this world which have them..so I’m gonna give you some examples: the ground pine, edelweiss, variegated tulip, forest yellow lily, the Cozia rose, brown bear, wolves, lynx, wild cats, Carpathian stag, chamois (black goat) and also horned viper, which will take you into witnessing the natural diversity.
∗ SOME PERSONAL TIPS ∗
– the mountain trails difficulty are varied and may take, up to the top, on average, depending on the point of departure, between 2 and 5 hours;
– when you get to the top you can relax at Cozia cabin, to recharge your batteries for descending the mountain, here it is served good food and refreshing beverages;
– the mountain is famous for not having springs of fresh water at all so you’ll have to take water with you since the beginning;
– I recommend climbing the mountain from May-July because most of the rare flowers bloom at that time or September-November when the forest is colored in yellow-copper-red;
– Cozia Mountains is a place for everybody because has accessible trails for every age and at its feet lies many sights to visit like monasteries, Daco-Roman vestiges, rivers, waterfalls, thermal water pools, healing water springs.
∗ MONASTERIES ∗
The monasteries in Romania always have gathered a lot of tourists and this place it’s not different also because they are very old and with a beautiful medieval architecture and are part of our cultural heritage. Cozia Monastery it is situated in Caciulata town and it shelters an impressive collection of original mural paintings from the 1300s. Stanisoara Monastery can be admired when you climb the mountain because it is on the trail. Turnu Monastery is a starting point for climbing the mountain and it is famous for the hermitages carved into the rock.
∗ DACO-ROMAN VESTIGES ∗
The network of the Roman forts near Cozia belong to the old defense system. At the roman fort Arutela, which was built on an ancient Dacian settlement, you can admire roman ruins and artifacts and a part of an old roman paved road. Nearby, there are also located the Traian’s table and the Pretorium fort.
∗ RIVERS & WATERFALLS ∗
At the feet of the mountains, it winds up the Olt river, a river that had carved deep into the mountain. Also, here are some waterfalls up the mountains like Lotrisor waterfall which is a very well hidden beauty and Gardului waterfall which can be seen on your way up.
∗ THERMAL WATER POOLS & HEALING WATER SPRINGS∗
Caciulata is famous as a balneal town where you can make hot baths in pools with mineral, thermal, sulfurous water from the natural underground springs and also used for internal cure.
∗ SCIENCE ∗
The mountain is also visited by a particular category of visitors, coming mostly from environmental research programs. They are interested in filling the knowledge about the unique biodiversity and rare species found on the mountain.
∗ NEARBY SIGHTS ∗
I recommend you some nearby sights to visit: Sibiu where you can visit an outside museum with old and traditional constructions, the Ocnele Mari salt mine and Horezu which is famous for traditional ceramics listed in UNESCO cultural heritage.
As my last words in this tale, I want to thank you for reading my article. If my writing didn’t convince you I hope that pictures have and I encourage you to visit the Cozia Mountains during your trips to Romania. I will keep writing articles for you, therefore I will make you see Romania the way I see it…signing off..Just a tourist at home.