The first hike in Piatra Craiului National Park

On a nice summer week-end we said let’s go on a hike.

Thinking about the location, being beginners, we chose a light hike in Piatra Craiului National Park. ⛰🌄🥾

Equipped for hiking and ready to leave, we stopped in the center of Zărneşti town- the gateway to the Piatra Craiului National Park.

Zărneşti is a small but chic mountain town, the tourism industry being in full development here.

Knowing of the existence of a tourist information center in the city, we started our day with a dose of information. We inquired about the route we were going to take, we took a map or two, to direct us later, and we took a look around both inside and outside, and later taking some photos with the mountain (Piatra Craiului can be seen especially beautiful in the town).

We walked to Botorog’s Fountain (starting point of the hike).
For those who want to shorten the road you can take a taxi to Botorog’s Fountain (approx. 4km. distance from the center of Zărneşti, taxi cost = 15-20 lei).
After approx. 50 mins. on the way, we reached Botorog’s Fountain.
From here begins the route to Cabana Curmătura (Curmătura Chalet), a route marked with a yellow stripe, lasting 2 hours – 2:30 min.

Mountain Spring at Botorog’s Fountain

The spring water here is very good to drink, very clean, coming straight from the mountains, so we filled up our bottles and went uphill.

How fresh the spring water is 💧😋

On the way to Curmătura Chalet

After about 1 hour and 30 minutes we arrived in Poiana Zănoaga (Zănoaga Clearing), a place to stop and admire the ridge of Piatra Craiului and the shepherds grazed there.

We decided to retreat above into the shade of a tree for a short break. How beautiful Piatra Craiului looks 🏔🏔🏔
Of Course the break meant a good time to add a few more pictures to the portfolio.

I took my eyes off the beauty of the scenery and continued my hike.
After another hour of walking, waiting for us to reach our destination once, we kept repeating the phrases:
– “Are we there yet?”
-“Let’s take another break.”,
-“Look, those young people with a baby are moving faster than us! Let’s beat them.”
-“I’m dying of thirst, look there is a spring, that’s good!”
Finally, the Curmătura Chalet can be seen. Joy, good cheer, a lot of people can be seen (it was already past 12:00), Romanians, foreigners, children, furry friends. 😸🐶🐈👪🚶‍♀️🚶‍♂️

Located in the Piatra Craiului Massif, built by S.K.V. between 1936-1937 and inaugurated on August 22, 1937, Curmătura chalet is an important tourist base serving as a stopover for hikers who cross the paths on Piatra Mică and the northern ridge of Piatra Craiului.
Situated in a thicket of the surrounding spruce forest, which ends below the steep tower, it is also a base for alpine tours in this area.
(Text source:

You can camp in the courtyard of the cottage (rate approx. 10 lei / tent).
You can also dine (serve traditional dishes – potatoes stews, stews with sausages, soups), or serve the famous pie with apples or creamy sweet cheese.

After a well-deserved break (lunch and dessert), after admiring the perfect mountain-scented landscape, after stroking the furry friends who guard the cottage (Portocală- Orange-the cat and Muki-the dog), we decided to take it in stride, to return to the city.
On the way back, we chose the blue stripe route that descends through the Zărneşti precipice gorge (Prăpăstiile Zărneștilor).

Zărneștilor Gorges (Cheile Zărneştilor) is an ideal place for a short hike in the nature.
Sculpted in spectacular rock walls, also called Zărneşti Canyon, it stands out with a monumental appearance due to the vertical walls or even bent walls with heights exceeding in some places over 200 m.
The route through the Zărneşti precipices impresses with the spectacular rock walls in which numerous climbing routes have been arranged.
Arrived in the town, after approx. 3 hours, we decided to linger over an iced coffee or a cold juice on the terrace (thinking that we will surely have muscle fever the next day 😄), choosing from many options, of course with a mountain view.
We really enjoyed this hike. We will definitely be back, especially since this route can be covered all year round.

ℹ Route followed: Zărneşti Tourist Information and Promotion Centre – Botorog’s Fountain – Curmătura Chalet (yellow stripe marking) – return blue stripe marking – Zărneşti Gorges (Prăpăstii) – Zărneşti center.
• Round trip duration: 5-6 hours
• Location: Piatra Craiului National Park, Brașov County
• Tour: 1 day
• Route type: marked
• Route shape: circuit
• Difficulty: SMALL
• Distance: 12 km
• Level difference: +660 m
• Min. Altitude: 830 m (Botorog’s Fountain)
• Max. Altitude: 1470 m (Curmătura Chalet)
•By car
• By train + taxi / on foot
• The route starts from Botorog’s Fountain, located at approx. 5 km from Zărnești train station.
* At Botorog’s Fountain there is an undeveloped parking lot where you can leave your car.
* The access road there is paved until the exit from Zărnești, the last 2 km being unpaved, stone road, but can be traveled by any car.
* Zărneşti can be reached by Regiotrans train and / or by bus (Codreanu, from Bus Station 2) from Brașov and then by taxi or on foot.

• Tips:
-If you are a beginner, this route is perfect.
-Don’t forget to equip yourself properly and check the weather before departure.
-Don’t forget to buy the entrance ticket to Piatra Craiului National Park, before setting off. It is 5 lei / person / 7 days and can be purchased from the ticket machine near the Tourist Information Center, by sms or online on
“So lets go hiking!” Piatra Craiului is waiting for you.



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