Rucar – Bran Corridor

Between Bran and Rucar stretching for 22 km, there is a fairy-tale space, with rustic settlements nestling along a corridor flanked by the Piatra Craiului Mountains on one side and the Bucegi Mountains on the other. Hundreds of years ago, a trade road ran through the corridor, linking the cities of Brasov and Campulung. Today, this region of knolls, ravines and hills, on which shepherds who know the traditional methods for making cheese in pine bark became one of the favorite destinations of tourists.

Trips and sightseeing:

1. The top of Magura Mica (Duration 1h/hiking)(1375m) offers a breathtaking view over Tara Barsei and National Park of Piatra Craiului. Along the way you can admire the mountain flora, pick strawberries or blueberries, depending on the season.

2. Sfanta Treime Monastery (Duration 45min/hiking) is a monastery under construction, situated on the road between the villages of Magura and Pestera.

3. The Bat Cave from Pestera village (Duration 1h/hiking)
Although it was discovered centuries ago, the first archeological excavations in the Bat Cave were made around 1950. Now, the Bat Cave is a national natural monument, part of the Park “Piatra Craiului”. Cave entrance is through a narrow corridor, followed by a grotto and a gallery. You can admire the Jurassic limestone formations, formed over centuries, including so-called "tears of the earth". The cave is not electrified, in order not to change the natural habitat of the bats. Therefore, a flashlight is necessary if you want to visit the cave.

4. Zarnesti City (Duration 15min/6km by car)
Situated at an altitude of approx. 720 m, Zarnesti city is located in the compartment Zarnesti-Baraolt depression, at the foothills of Piatra Craiului Mountains and is a good start for trails and climbing the mountain. From here you can easily reach (13 km) Plaiul Foii Refuge (849m), the main access to the mountain ridge.

5. Zarnesti Cliffs (Duration 45min/hiking)
Is an impressive 3-4 km long gorge, located in the north-east of Piatra Craiului Mountain, the access to the gorge is from Fountain of Botorog. The valley walls high range between 100 and 200 m. The route through the cliff, impresses with its wild landscape and spectacular rock walls, in which our climbers opened many alpine trails.

6. Piatra Craiului and Piatra Craiului National Park (see map)
Is the most spectacular massive in Romanian Carpathians, which appears as an isolated limestone ridge, stretching from Zarnesti city to Dambovicioara Bridge, on 25 km. It is distinguished by the presence of numerous karst forms of relief : about 160 caves (Dambovicioarei, Ursilor, Dracilor) and 23 gorges (Dambovitei, Dambovicioarei, Pesterii). The maximum altitude of Piatra Craiului Mountain is on the top of La Om, known also as Piscul Baciului, with 2244m.

7. Curmatura Refuge (Duration 2h30min/hiking)

Located in Piatra Craiului Mountain at an altitude of 1470m, under the route between Piatra Mica and the top of Turnul Pietrei Mari, the refuge Curmatura is serving as an important touristic resting place for people hiking and climbing on Piatra Mica and the northern ridge of Piatra Craiului.

8. Rasnov Citadel (Duration 35min/20km by car)
Citadel Rasnov is an old traditional citadel, one of the best preserved traditional fortress in Transylvania and it was built by the Saxons in Rosenau(Saxon name for Rasnov) in the middle of the fourteenth century as a refuge during military invasions. Now, the citadel has a history museum with an exhibition that includes weapons, items, old documents and pictures. Fortress location offers a splendid panorama of the entire depression. Other sights of the Rasnov city: Rasnoavei Gorge, Rasnoavei Cave and Valea Cetatii.

9. Bran Castle (Duration 25min/15km by car)
Bran castle was originally a wooden fortress, on which the Saxons built in 1377 a stone fortress, which was intended to defend the important trade route linking Transylvania (Brasov) and Tara Romaneasca (Campulung Muscel). In 1920 the Town Council of Brasov gave the Bran Castle as a present to Queen Maria, as a gratitude for her contribution to the Greater Union in December 1, 1918. This gloomy castle with Gothic and Renaissance elements was than rebuilt by architect Karel Lima and became a pleasant summer residence. In Bran there is a small, but modern ski slope, equipped with lifts – Zanoaga Slope.

10. Poiana Brasov (Duration 40min/29km by car)
Poiana Brasov is the largest ski resort in Romania and became an international tourist attraction. The resort altitude is 1030m, the highest peak – Postavarul is 1803m. Poiana Brasov has 12 ski slopes with different degrees of difficulty, 11 ski-lifts (3 cable cars, 8 lifts). In the resort center is a lake surrounded by hotels and pensions, sport fields, bars and restaurants. In 1951, Poiana Brasov hosted the International Students Winter Games.

11. Brasov City (Duration 50min/35km by car)
Brasov City has its charm of both the medieval heritage and landscape that surrounds it, and the city’s bohemian air, given by the streets from the city center, crowded and packed with restaurants, terraces and shops. The main tourist attractions: Old Town Hall; the towers and the bastions of the old fortifications (the White Tower, Black Tower and Bastion); St. Bartolomeu Church, in early gothic style; the Black Church, in gothic style with a famous collection of Oriental carpets; Princely Church "St. Nicholas" in Schei and first Romanian School Museum Complex, with a collection of 4,000 old books and more than 30,000 documents; Museum "Casa Muresenilor".

12. Other shorter or longer trips can be made in Magura village, trips by bicycle to Pestera village, in Zarnesti Cliffs, at Plaiul Foii or even at Curmatura Refuge.

Traditional celebrations

Popular arts such as pottery, furrier and painted eggs are widespread in this area. Here are organized traditional celebrations such as “Nedeia” in Fundata village – celebrating the return of shepherds from the mountains, which takes place in August and “Measure of the Milk” which takes place in the middle of the summer. In Bran, every year in the last Saturday in September is celebrating “Spreading of the sheep” – the sheep come down from the mountains and are taken by the owners.