Piatra Craiului in English translation means the Kings’ Rock. Why is this name? Because this mountain is truly special: it has the most spectacular ridge of the Romanian mountains, it has exposure, has vertical huge walls, is always full of mountain goats and is simply beautiful. Piatra Craiului is the love of many mountaineers here in Romania and a must hike mountain.
Being at some distance from Bucharest and best to be explored in at least a full week-end, this one day tour is about entering into this limestone rock kingdom and wondering at every twist of the trail.
You should know that the mountain rises steeply on every side of it, but especially on its West side where one can see a most impressive vertical continuous wall. It seems almost unbelievable that touristic mountain paths are found unto this wall. But still they are and not one but many.
And from this side we are going to climb up the wall, exit into the ridge and then come back on another fascinating trail.
|Estimated duration of hike||around 9 hours|
|Maximum height||2100 m|
|Elevation gained||about 1300 m|
|Individual equipment needed||
|Accommodation||It is not the case. It is a one day tour. We will be returning at the end of the day.|
|Meals||We will eat dinner at a restaurant on the return way but some sandwiches and a couple of chocolate bars and/or biscuits will help.|
|INCLUDED|| Transport from and to Bucharest by car
Professional Mountain Guide
|NOT INCLUDED|| Other meals
Pieces of individual equipment
|Discount policy||For group bookings we apply a discount based on the number of the participants. Please book the tour and/or contact us to negotiate the discount.|
Other good to know issues:
- Water is a problem along the route so each participant needs to carry enough of it.
We start early from Bucharest so as to buy as much time for the hike as possible. We need contingency time because this one is a long and physically difficult route. We head out North, passing on the way Valea Prahovei while admiring the towering walls of Bucegi Mountain. But this is not our destination. After three driving hours we enter the town of Zarnesti at the foot of Piatra Craiului and have our first glimpse of this impressive mountain.
We take a Western country road which follows the river Barsa. In about 10 km we will be at the start of our hiking route. Almost all the West side of Piatra Craiului is visible from this spot offering us a continuous unbroken vertical wall of more than 1000m. It is breathtaking! And we shall go right at it.
Our trail of choice for climbing up is called Braul Cioranga Mare. As with all the other Western side routes of Piatra Craiului, we need first to reach the base of the wall through the steep path through the forest. We will reach in one hour and half the shelter called Hope which is strategically positioned at the food of several climbing routes.
Just behind the shelter we are starting on Braul itself – an ascending trail which goes parallel with the North-South direction of the mountain below the ridge. For more than two hours we will hike just beneath the huge amazing walls and, if we are lucky, we will see some shy mountain goats. The exit on the ridge is just on Varful Ascutit (the Sharpe Peak) which, contrary to its name, is not at all sharpen but rather round.
We are on the ridge and the view is magnificent: Zarnesti at hour feet and mountains all around us. But the true image that lingers long after we will be back in Bucharest is the long sharpen ridge of Piatra Craiului. And yes, there is a trail following it.
We are actually going to cover a little of the ridge itself. We head East following the ridge path up to another peak, called Padina Popii. From here we start to descend on a trail called Brana Caprei. It is as magnificent as the one we climbed up, but more direct and steeper.
We reach the car(s) after an exhausting but rewarding day and take the high road again stopping on the way to eat and make a toast for such a beautiful mountain.