The impressive mountains of Ciucas in Romania (2-day hike)
Romania has many mountains where you can do some amazing hikes. One of my favorite places is the mountain of Ciucas. The mountains of Ciucas are formed by gigantic boulders, in the weirdest shapes. Because of this it never gets boring during your hike in Ciucas, because around every corners you will have some new, unique views. Not all of the mountains in Romania are suitable for everyone, but the mountain of Ciucas is nice for almost everyone. There are some more advanced places where you can hike to, but even as a beginner or with kids you can go to the mountains of Ciucas. Most parts are not steep at all and you don’t encounter many dangerous places, cliffs or crazy ridges. The highest point is “only” 1954 meters high. In this article I will share my experience and some nice photos of the mountains of Ciucas in Romania!
2-day hike in the mountains of Ciucas: the start
Brasov is a great base if you wanna visit the mountains of Ciucas. Brasov is only an hour away from the village of Cheia (not far away from the mountains). If you’re traveling with a (rental) car you can drive to Cheia and park there. From there you walk all the way up to the Ciucas Peak. If you have a jeep you can even drive all the way to Cabana Vârful Ciucas, but with a regular car you shouldn’t do this.
Also read: what to do in Brasov? Lots of tips! + VIDEO
A friend and I start our 2-day hike in the mountains of Ciucas at Pasul Bratocea. This is a parking spot on the way from Brasov to Cheia (a couple of kilometers before the village you will see this place). Unfortunately there are no busses going from Brasov to Cheia. A friend brought us to Cheia by car, but otherwise you can come here by taxi. A taxi would probably be around 120 – 150 lei (€25 – 30 euros).
For the way back to Brasov my friend and I just hitchhiked. Hitchhiking is really common in Romania and especially on this road, since there are no busses going here. It will be really easy to find someone who wants to bring you to Brasov. Because most cars that drive here will continue to Brasov anyway. Within 2 minutes we already had a ride!
From Pasul Bratocea we hiked in about 2 hours over the mountain ridge of Ciucas to the peak of the mountain: Vârful Ciucas. Along the road we see multiple mountains around us: Piatra Mare, Bucegi and Muntele Rosu (the Red Mountain). The hike is not tough and we don’t have to climb a lot. Only the last part of the hike to the peak is a bit more steep, so you have to climb a little. It was amazing to see how the signs got frozen before our visit. When we are on the peak there is barely any wind, but you can imagine how windy it can be if you see those signs…
From the peak we walk in about 1 hour to the mountain hut where we will spend the night. Because of the snow and some slippery parts we walked a bit more slow, but I think in summer time you can walk this part in 45 minutes.
Sleeping in the mountains of Ciucas
You can visit the mountains of Ciucas in 1 day, especially in the summer months. But my friend and I wanted to hike over the Red Mountain as well and since the days are short in winter time we decide to do this hike in 2 days. Besides that it’s always nice to spend a night in one of the cabanas in nature.
We sleep at Cabana Vârful Ciucas. This is most luxurious mountain hut I have stayed in in Romania. The toilets are inside (no, that’s not common), there are private rooms with showers AND there is hot water. The beds are comfy and there is a restaurant where you can eat some nice Romanian food. And on top of that you can enjoy the amazing view over the mountains of Ciucas and the peak as well.
A private room or 2 persons is 130 lei (€28 euros) and breakfast is included in that price. There are also rooms for more people. For solo travelers this cabana is not so perfect, because it’s not possible to book a single bed. So you have to pay the full price of 130 lei for the private room. You can check the website of Cabana Vârful Ciucas for more information. In low season you don’t need to reserve, but in the high season it’s better to make a reservation.
Day 2: hiking over the mountain ridge of the Red Mountain
The second day starts well. After a couple of minutes we already see the first tracks of a bear in the snow. I have walked in a lot of places in Romania where you can encounter bears, but I notice that my friend is a bit nervous at this point. Luckily we have some dogs from the cabana with us that make enough noise and check out the area around us. The first part of the hike is more difficult than we expected, because of the slippery roads. It feels like we walk on an ice rink.
But luckily once we reach the foot of the Red Mountain we can easily walk in the snow to the top. The dogs are running around us and are playing with each other. We are so lucky with the weather. It’s cold, but sunny and clear. And there is barely any wind. On the highest point, Vârful Zaganu, we have some amazing views over the surroundings. If I will ever come back here, I really wanna come here in may or June. The mountain then is covered in pink and purple because of the colorful rhododendron flowers.
And then there is the tricky part of the hike. While we walk over the mountain ridge – and climb and fall on our ass sometimes as well – we are a bit afraid. Some places are super slippery and some cliffs are really steep. And then there is even the finale: a part with cables. But after more than 5 hours we arrive finally at the road again. We say bye to the cute dogs, raise our thumb and within 2 minutes we already have a ride. Time for hot chocolate!
I hope you enjoyed this article about the mountains of Ciucas in Romania. I absolutely love the place and I would really recommend it if you’re in Romania and you love hiking. Let me know if you have any questions about this place, or another place in Romania. I have been here multiple months so I hope I can help!