Ciprian Draghici presents the climbing potential around the city of Brasov in central Romania.
There are many climbing areas in Romania, but I would like to introduce the region around the beautiful town of Brasov. With 17 climbing gardens and more than 700 routes, Brasov is probably the best “base camp” for climbing in the central part of Romania.
The Tampa and Pietrele lui Solomon rocks on the outskirts of Brasov are ideal starting points for those visiting Brasov with little time to climb. In Tampa you can find beautiful and easy routes while enjoying the panorama of old town Brasov from the heights of Tampa Mountain.
For those who prefer steep endurance routes, I recommend Pietrele lui Solomon, just 20 minutes from Brasov city center, while those who can afford a full day of climbing have several options. The Piatra Mare massif has two beautiful rocks: Tamina and Prapastia Ursului. Tamina is one of the newest climbing gardens in Romania, suitable for the hot summer days with long and persistent routes mostly on bags, while Prapastia Ursului offers sport climbing in an alpine environment. And if you can make it to the Piatra Mare massif, a visit to the Seven Stairs Canyon is a must.
Another beautiful climbing garden with long, difficult routes (and also many projects) is located in the Postavaru massif. This is the ideal place for technical climbing and if you feel like you haven’t had enough excitement after a day of climbing, then be sure to do a bungee jump in the Rasnoavei Gorge, one of the highest natural bungee jumping facilities in Eastern Europe .
Whatever you choose, don’t miss the Belvedere, one of the country’s classic climbing crags: if you love long and steep routes in shallow pockets, this is the place for you! The quality of the limestone and the landscape of the Bucegi Mountains that you can admire as you reach the top of the routes make this climbing garden an ideal place even for summer days when it can be quite cold due to the alpine climate.
If you are looking for multi-pitch routes, Costila is the perfect rock climbing crag. Here there are two conglomerate towers with many multi-pitch routes (mostly secured with hooks), which reward climbers with their alpine flair with a thirst for adventure. You can stay overnight for free in the nearby Costila hut or, if you prefer something a little more comfortable, choose one of the many inns down in the valley.
Brasov – Romania factsheet
How to get there
The regulations for crossing the Romanian border allow citizens from the European Union, the United States of America, Canada, Japan, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand a visa-free stay of up to 90 days. Turkish citizens can stay up to 60 days and citizens from states of the former Eastern European Communist bloc can stay up to 30 days. Although Brasov does not benefit from an airport, the easiest way to get there is by plane. The closest international airports to Brasov are in Bucharest and Sibiu.
Another way to get here is by train: there are daily international trains that connect Brasov with the largest cities in Central Europe (Munich, Prague, Venice, Budapest) or other areas (Sophia, Istanbul, Kiev, Moscow).
The Romanian road network is constantly being improved, so it is easy to get here by bus from the largest cities in Europe. You can also reach Romania by boat. Boats go daily from Passau and Vienna to the Danube Delta. From there you can take a train to Brasov.
Brasov offers various types of accommodation, such as pensions, hotels and hostels. Most of the accommodations can be found in the old town. The price for a double room in a guest house is around 100 lei (25 euros). For those who want to camp or use a bungalow, the Dirste campsite is located south of Brasov.
Something to see
Brasov and its surroundings are an ideal place to learn more about the local traditions of the people. Not to be missed is a visit to the old residential district of Schei, where you can still admire the old medieval houses that guard the narrow, zigzag alleys of this old settlement.
The best panoramic view of the city is from the top of Tampa Mountain. Reach the summit by cable car or on foot on one of the many forest trails. Bran Castle is 30 km south of Brasov; This is one of the most famous medieval castles in Romania and also a popular tourist attraction for those who want to tour Dracula’s castle.
If you fancy a day trip further south of Brasov, you shouldn’t miss the Sapte Scari Gorge in the Piatra Mare Mountains or the strange wind- and water-shaped rocks Babele and The Sphinx in the Bucegi Mountains. History buffs shouldn’t miss a visit to Peles Castle in Sinaia.
The variety and authenticity of the gastronomic experience of this area is sure to be unforgettable, especially for those visiting Brasov for the first time. Here are some of the local specialties: Sarmalute (meat and rice rolled in boiled cabbage), Mici (grilled rolled meat), Tochitura (stew made from internal organs), Ciorba de Burta (tripe soup) or Papanasi (cheese donuts with cream and jam).
The best restaurants can be found in the old town. Some well-known ones are: Casa Hirscher, Butoiul Sasului, Sergiana, Bella Musica or Ceasu ‘Rau, but there are many others to choose from. The Patisserie Vatra Ardealului is known for the most delicious cakes and sweets.
Best time of year
The ideal season for climbing in Brasov and the surrounding area is from May to September. Most of the rocks face south or southwest and offer ideal conditions for climbing. The average summer temperature is between 22 and 27 degrees Celsius. The rainiest month is June, and some rocks seep in early spring. Due to the alpine climate of the mountain regions, climbing in winter is only possible on a few rock faces and under favorable conditions: dry weather, sun and calm. One of them is the Tampa climbing garden, where you can only climb with a T-shirt in winter.
Where to buy equipment
Himalaya on Republicii Street and Sport Virus on Muresenilor Street, both in Brasov, just 5 minutes from old town Piata Sfatului.