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Fagaras Mountains - Negoiu Peak


If you find yourself in the central region of Romania you shouldn’t miss one of the biggest attractions the Carpathian Mountain Range has to offer, Fagaras MountainsNegoiu Peak via one of the highest alpine roads in the country, Transfagarasanul. Besides the impressive mountains and high altitude lakes in the area, that are something to be experienced firsthand, you should definitely drive the full length of the Transfagarasan, declared one of the best road in the world by BBC’s Top Gear. This amazing hike will take you on an alpine track set at an altitude of over 2000 meters in the direction of two glacial lakes, Balea and Caltun, and two mountaintops, Laitel - 2390 meters and Negoiu - 2535 meters. From the top, you will have a clear open view over Transylvania in all its might and over the surrounding peaks, so make some time and visit this place without a doubt.

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Negoiu Peak View


Hiking stats


Time: 14 - 15 Hours
Distance: 20 kilometers
Altitude gain: + / - 1000 meters
Difficulty: Medium / Hard
Route: Custura-Peak-Hike-cr.gif ba.gif br.gif bg.gif GPS Track Negoiu Peak

 


Where is this?




Getting on the Transfagarasan is easy and the roads are in good condition no matter where you are coming from, but I will highlight the best route to get there if you are arriving from Timisoara. You should start the drive in the direction of Lugoj from where you can enter the motorway A1 for approximately 30 kilometers. Continue afterward on road E673 through Faget and close to Deva you will enter the motorway A1 again, this time for 140 kilometers. After Sibiu, you will head down E68 through Avrig and right after Scoreiu village you will make a right turn in the direction of Cartisoara and Transfagarasan. Drive up the mountain until you reach the top at Balea Lake and leave the car in the big parking place on the right. There is a parking fee of approximately 10 lei (2.5 euros) per day.

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Balea Lake and parking lot
 

Entrance fee?


There is no entrance fee for this hike or the Transfagarasan road.

 Let’s start!


From the big parking lot, on the right side of the road, next to the tunnel at the top of the mountain, you will start the hike on the Custura-Peak-Hike-cr.gif markings in the direction of Saua Doamnei, a somewhat steep ascent that should get the blood pumping for approximately 30 minutes - 1 hour. As a side note, we did this hike with full camping gear and heavy backpacks and as such we have spent two days on the track, but it can also be done in one day if you have a good physical condition and you have an early start in the morning.

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Saua Doamnei

From time to time you will have some gorgeous openings towards Balea Lake so make sure you have the camera with you!

After reaching Saua Doameni, we will change the markings at the intersection and we will continue to the right on ba.gif in the direction of our next objective, Laitel Peak.

negoiu-peak-hike-saua-paltinului
Before Saua Paltinului

In the distance, on the right, we can see a few mountain lakes and as we continue we reach a perfectly flat camping spot from where you could study the night sky, Saua Paltinului.

negoiu-peak-hike-before-laitel-peak
Laitel Peak in the distance

From here we will continue on the br.gif markings and the track will have constant ups and downs until the very end. At this point, on the right side of the track, you will find a small freshwater spring that can be used to replenish your reserves (this is the last water source until reaching Caltun Lake).

After 3 hours walking time and a steep climb you will reach the first peak of this hike, Laitel.

negoiu-peak-hike-laitel-peak
Laitel Peak

Caltun lake is just 1 more hour walking time from here and mainly downhill. At the lake, you should make camp if you plan to sleep over the night. We left our heavy gear in the tent and started the ascent to Negoiu Peak on the br.gif markings.

negoiu-peak-hike-caltun-lake
Caltun Lake and the old shelter

 You have two options to reach the mountaintop, one via Strunga Doamnei - a longer path on the left side of the intersection that is much more easier / safer and one via Strunga Dracului on the right side of the intersection - shorter but closed to tourists because of the rockslides that have damaged the chains. We chose to ascend via Strunga Dracului and to return on Strunga Doamnei. As such, at the intersection, we continued to the right on br.gif and started the technical climb on a narrow, rock filled path which involves a lot of scrambling and maybe a bit of bouldering. Check the video below to get a feeling of the track on Strunga Dracului, but I would recommend skipping it if you don’t feel safe.

negoiu-peak-hike-strunga-dracului
Strunga Dracului

negoiu-peak-hike-strunga-doamnei
Towards Strunga Doamnei


After exiting the narrow path, you will reach Negoiu Peak in approximately 30 minutes.

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Negoiu Peak

For the return track, you follow the same road until you find an intersection, the br.gif marking on the left is Strunga Dracului and bg.gif on the right is Strunga Doamnei that you should follow down. Sleep at Caltun Lake and the next day make your way back to Balea Lake on the same road you came. 


Where do I sleep?


Besides the accommodation facilities at Balea Lake, there are no other chalets close by where you can sleep during this hike. As such you can either sleep by tent at Caltun Lake or in the newly built shelter there, but I strongly recommend using the last only in case of emergency. If you plan to do the trip in one day then you can sleep at Balea lake where you can book a double room at one of the few accommodations available (Paltinu or Balea Lac) for an average price of 190 - 260 lei (43 - 60 euro).

negoiu-peak-hike-tent-at-caltun
 

What do I eat?


Same as with sleeping you can find food only at the cabins and hotels at Balea Lake and as such you should bring everything with you. The prices at Cabin Balea Lac are decent and a breakfast shouldn’t cost you more than 4 euros (15 lei).

 

Good to know!


As this hike is located at more than 2000 meters elevation you will not find any firewood to cook your food or to get warm so bring a camping stove and warm clothes as the temperatures at night can fall close to 0 degrees even in the summer.

The precipitation level in these mountains is pretty high and as such I recommend to check thoroughly the weather forecast before planning your trip. Also do note that it is not uncommon to have some light snowy days even in August or September so pack accordingly in order to keep yourself warm and dry.

Before starting the hike, it might be a good idea to check with the Mountain Rangers at Balea if there is any snow on the path or if Strunga Dracului has been reopened to tourists.

If you do not have a car or if you visit this place during the winter season when the road is closed you should know that you can use the cable car that operates on a daily basis. The price for a round trip is 50 lei (12 euros) but check this link for a complete pricing table of the cable car.

Starting with December until march you can sleep at the Balea Ice Hotel for a fantastic experience. The hotel gets rebuilt every winter in a totally new layout and style. Even though the temperature in the room is around 0 degrees Celsius you will get pretty warm as you will receive pre-heated sleeping bags and many blankets. For a double room, you will pay around 400 lei (90 euros) but it’s something you will not forget anytime soon.

negoiu-peak-hike-ice-hotel-balea
Balea Ice Hotel room

 If you are an experienced skier you will love Balea because of the natural slopes that start at 2200 meters altitude and end at the start of the cable car roughly at 1200 meters. The slopes are as nature has made them with no  interference from the hand of man so caution is advised!

Also during winter Balea freezes and you can ice skate on the lake in an enchanting landscape, but you should bring your own skates as I am not sure you have the possibility of renting them.

 

Other close destinations?


There are a lot of other destinations you can go to in the close vicinity, but for more info consult this map of Fagaras Mountains. You could plan a whole vacation in these mountains and only scratch the surface of all the hikes available in the region.

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










 

Fagaras Mountains - Negoiu Peak Reviewed by Alex on 12:01 Rating: 5

6 comments:

  1. This was great! Hoping to follow a similar route in September!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi ElliotG,

      Hope you had a great time on this hike! If you need any help with your future trips in Romania let us know and maybe we can come with some helpful tips :)

      Have a great adventure!

      Delete
    2. Hey Alex, thanks for the reply. Actually yes! I was looking at going up the Transfagarasan road to Lake Balea, then making my way all the way through west (stopping at Negoiu) and watching the train up to Sibiu.
      What do you think? How many days should I rely on?
      Something like this: http://imgur.com/wJtekB1

      Delete
    3. Hi Elliot,

      Nice hike :) ! This is going to be really long so please send me you email address via the contact form of the site :)

      Happy trails!

      Delete
  2. HI,

    First of all thank you for these detailed descriptions!! It is so helpful!
    Can we do this hike in one day? How long will it take?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello there,

      We are grad we could help. Yes, this is absolutely for sure doable in one day and with a good physical (and weather) condition and light packing it should take you not more than 8 - 10 hours.

      Happy trails,
      Karina and Alex

      Delete

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