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Two days hike in Tarcu Mountains: Nedeia, Caleanu and Brusturu Peaks

How about spending two wonderful days in the Tarcu Mountains, one of the wildest mountains in Romania, remote and exquisitely beautiful! Discover Romania's wonderland and go on your own adventure!


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Where is this?

The place where you start the ascend
As usual, I will explain how to reach this place using Timisoara as a landmark for our journey. So, from Timisoara, you need to get to Poiana Marului Lake. Pay attention as in Romania there are other places that have the same name. Choose the one with the lake, from Caras Severin County. When you reach the lake, just follow its coast on the right side (so that you have permanently the lake on your left, as you drive) until you reach the village. Here you keep on Road 683, pass by Florina Guest House, the church and leave the car where you can find a parking place near the below house as this is the starting point for the ascend - you will begin to see the retezat-peak-hike-ta.gif mark on the electricity poles and on the trees. 

Let’s start!


So, you found a right place to leave the car, maybe you bought a coffee and whatever you consider necessary from the little shop on the road here and you are ready to start! This is going to be a long hike so you better be prepared and have very comfortable shoes otherwise I would advise you not to jump into it! 

We start the ascension from the approximate altitude of 600 m above sea level through quite a steep forest road wich will surely warm you up a bit for the first five kilometers. The track is very well marked with retezat-peak-hike-ta.gif, so orientation should be easy.

When you exit the forest, you will be at around 1500 m altitude already so the demanding part of the ascension is over. From here you will continue to climb but it will be smoother and you will also have wonderful panoramic views to keep you busy and forget about the effort.

After leaving the forest, there will be no trees, as such the marking will also be missing, but you can follow a footpath and make sure always to have the lake behind you (so go slightly South-East) and try to keep the path that follows the middle of the ridge.  Also, you can use my above Day 1 GPS Track to guide you if you want to be sure.

Poiana Marului Lake behind us

Before reaching Nedeia (or Matania) Peak you can admire on the right side as you go, Tarcu Mountains Peaks and on the left side some really impressive and very steep slopes. The landscape somehow relates to green Icelandic sceneries. Simply enchanting, although we have no elves here!

The Steep slopes before reaching Nedeia Peak 

Somewhere around you will see the retezat-peak-hike-br.gif marking that will further guide you on this hike.

Further, get ready to meet Nedeia peak, with its 2150 m in height! The peak has no pronounced shape so you will probably be a little confused when you will be near and still won't be able to spot it exactly. But follow the GPS track towards a rocky prominence you see a little on your front-left side. You will recognize it when you'll get here! The advantage of this track is that is not so popular, so you will have the opportunity to really enjoy wild nature, silence and peace so I strongly advice you to take at least 10 minutes and just rest and admire the view. This is one of the places it's so easy to fall in love with!

View from Nedeia Peak

Return to the retezat-peak-hike-br.gif markings and continue left, as you leave Nedeia Peak behind. Again, the road will carry you along the center of the ridge.

Nedeia Peak is left behind me and in front I have the dirt road towards Tarcu, Caleanu and Brusturu Peaks

After about two kilometers, you will see Pietrele Albe Lake on your left side, down in the valley. If you are tired and looking for a place to camp, you can go down there, if not, you can continue a bit further and look for another place to sleep, bypassing a little nameless peak through his left and reaching a small spring.

As an advice, try to find a place with rocks and build a little shield for your tent, as it can get very windy in the night.

In our two days hike, we stopped here and joyfully, tired and satisfied said Good Night!

Sunset in Tarcu Mountains


I woke up very early in the morning to catch the sunrise for pictures and I was just surprised to see frozen dew on my tent in the middle of  June.


No worries, as soon as the sun will come out, the summer will be back! Another nice thing that is absolutely magical in Romania is that most probably wherever you sleep outside in the mountains, you will always be waken up by the clicking noise of the sheep's bells. Such a peaceful feeling!

So, breakfast and on our way! Where were we? Ah ok, following the retezat-peak-hike-br.gif markings on the dirt road towards our next objectives. Among the first Suculetu Saddle and Suculetu lakes.

Suculetu Lake and Caleanu Peak

From here, if you look towards the left, you can see a big mountain with a tiny little building and an antena on top,  keep in mind, that one is Tarcu Peak - so easy to recognise because of its meteo station building.  Somewhere around here,  you will most likely find the Custura-Peak-Hike-cr.gif marking and start climbing to Caleanu Peak.

Caleanu Peak

Caleanu Peak is easy to recognize as it's the only one from this track that has the name and altitude written on a board on it's top.

Continue on Custura-Peak-Hike-cr.gif towards the next peak: Brusturu. This one, even with no board, is easy to recognize as it is the rebel of the Tarcu Mountains due to the big rocks covered with yellow-green lichens from the surface.
On top of Brusturu Peak

Carefully begin descending on the scree following the same Custura-Peak-Hike-cr.gif sign. Down in the valley, you will see a mountain hut (probably private property as no one was around when we got there). Note that here, at this mountain hut you can find a fresh water spring where you can make a refill.
Descend from Brusturu Peak 

We follow the same marking and head toward the forest where we will begin descending on quite a steep dirt road.


After around three kilometers, you should encounter the retezat-peak-hike-bg.gif marking. Follow this to the right and it will take you directly to Poiana Marului in 8 km. When you arrive at the village, follow the road again to the right so you can reach the place where you left your car (around one more kilometer).

Sunset at Poiana Marului Lake

Where do I sleep?

You must know there is absolutely no accommodation or restaurant and you need to carry all the necessary things with you, meaning: warm clothes (as during the night temperatures might go as low as -2 degrees even during the summer), waterproof clothes, tent, sleeping bag, food, water and don't forget your camera, the place is amazing!

Other great places to sleep over in Tarcu Mountains:
  • Cuntu Meteo Station: the forest is near (for shade) and you can find a permanent spring water source there.
  • Tarcu Iezer: right under Tarcu Peak, you can find spring water to drink there.
  • Suculetu Lake: under Caleanu Peak.
  • Pietrele Albe Lake: between Caleanu Peak and Nedeia (Matania) Peak (on the right side as you go).
  • Somewhere in Saua Iepii, probably an excellent spot to catch the sunset and sunrise. 
  • Under Brusturu Peak, there is a big private mountain cabin and there you can also find a spring.
  • At Lake Poiana Marului.

What do I eat?

No restaurants, no shops, so make sure to bring everything you need with you! 

Good to know!

If you are a professional hiker, you could probably do this hike with no heavy backpack in one day. If not, then like most of us this will require two days and quite a heavy backpack.  

As a must, after you leave the forest, there will be no place you can hide from the sunshine so don't forget your sun blocker cream and protect yourself by using something to cover your head. 

There is no entrance fee for this area.

Other close destinations?

There are a lot of other destinations you can go to in the close vicinity, but consult this overview map of the hiking routes in Tarcu.

Places you can reach from Poiana Marului with estimations on distance and altitude difference:

  • Brusturu, Caleanu and Tarcu Peak: 17 km, + 1500 m altitude difference.
  • Saua Plaiului: 16 km, altitude difference of +1500m / - 100m.
  • Saua Iepii - Gura Apelor Lak(Retezat National Park): 20 km, altitude difference + 1500m / -700m.
  • Nedeia Peak, Seiu Peak, Prislop Peak, Saua Mlacile and Godeanu Peak: 30 km, altitude difference: + 2500m / - 800m.
  • Muntele Mic Peak: 9 km, altitude difference + 1000m.
And as a highlight, if you dare, try Tarcu Marathon! Oh boy, you will like it so much! Click here for more details. Warning: Romanian beauty is addictive! :) 

Hope you found the information helpful and accurate, but remember, if you have any questions drop them in a comment below!

Just some nice donkeys with their heads in the clouds

Caleanu Peak 

Ridge in Tarcu Mountains

Somewhere between Caleanu and Brusturu Peaks

Descend from Brusturu Peak

Two days hike in Tarcu Mountains: Nedeia, Caleanu and Brusturu Peaks Reviewed by Karina on 09:23 Rating: 5

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