Magura village is one of the most beautiful places in Romania, in my opinion. They say that if Heaven was a place on Earth, it would look just like that. If you doubt that, well, I let you decide for yourself, so read on.
Magura comes into my mind when I think of a sweet escape from the city. A destination where I still don’t see crowds, allowing me to connect to nature fully.
I’ve been here in every season over the years. There’s no way you could ever get bored in such a place. Why? First, because this scenery looks as if it’s out from a fairy tale.
Magura is the Romanian village where time stood still
You feel just as you are taking a walk in an artist’s painting if that would be possible. But nature often is the finest artist of all, don’t you think so?
Gentle hills will embrace you with their green meadows and sheep flocks. Now and then, you will see a few traditional wooden houses.
Then, on the horizon, you will be amazed by the beauty of the “Piatra Craiului” majestic mountain ridge. Every time I admire their snowy peaks, I remember my own motivation to hike and get to the mountain’s top. I don’t know about you, but for me getting to the top of mountains, no matter their height, is a reminder that as higher as you go, our everyday lives, jobs, worries, joys, fights become so insignificant; in dimension, and importance.
In Magura and Pestera region, I get this same feeling, even without getting on top of those mountains. Probably it is the splendid views and this panoramic landscape that give me this feeling of immensity. Into the wild, you truly realize how small you and your problems are. And that one day, you will disappear, and the world will continue its journey, and it will be just as if you never existed.
It’s a tough one, but it’s about realizing how precious every day is and how lucky we are to have been offered the chance to experience life the way we do.
In these two traditional picturesque Romanian villages, Magura and Pestera, you will experience time slowing down all of a sudden. Far from city life, the only real-time evidence of the passage of time will be the lazy clouds slowly moving up there on the sky. If you look at the local people, they seem to know so well how to live in this country life stillness. They take the time to laugh, to give you directions and advice if you need, to offer you an exquisite traditional meal, or just to stop on the road and greet you.
Facts about “Piatra Craiului National Park”
Piatra Craiului was designated a Protected Area first time in 1938. Having a surface of 14 766 ha, it is home to a wide variety of plants and animals. At present, over 1000 different plants are living here (a significant number of mountain orchids: from a total number of 58 species existing in Romania, 41 species are in this National Park).
Here you will find over 216 different species of butterflies, 112 species of birds, and approximately 100 species of mammals. The Park is inhabited by brown bears, wolves, deer, chamois, wild boars, martens, wildcats, and otters.
The main way to enter Piatra Craiului National Park is through Zarnesti town.
The spectacular limestone mountain ridge you will admire is 25 km long and has several summits over 2000 meters. The highest is called “Varfu la Om” (also “Piscul Baciului”), and it is 2238 meters high.
Magura village is entirely part of the National Park, while Pestera is only partially included. This is not a common situation in Romania, as most of the National Parks don’t incorporate human settlements. Both Magura and Pestera have considerable cultural value because of the local traditions that are still kept here.
What activities can you do in the area?
The place is a perfect destination if you like hiking, biking, and spending time relaxing in nature. It is always a good idea to ask the locals about trails next to where you stay. They will be happy to recommend you various options.
Also, it is a beautiful place to go if you love photography and you’d like to train your skills. Many photo tours are organized here if you wish to travel with a small group of people who share your interest.
If you like adrenaline, you can go and try bungee jumping nearby at “Cheile Rasnoavei.” You can have an unforgettable memory in a breathtaking scenery. This is one of Romania’s highest points where you can practice bungee jumping – approximately 140 meters.
Via Ferrata is another activity that you can practice in the area, at “Cheile Rasnoavei.” The route is well organized, and it will take you around 2h30 to go through. However, the views are one of a kind and worthy of all effort.
What else can you see next to Magura village in Romania?
You can visit Libearty Bear Sanctuary, a home for bears saved from horrible living conditions in the area. The Sanctuary is situated near “Zarnesti” town, and it is now the home of over 100 bears.
There are also several caves in the region (“Dambovicioara Cave” or “The Bats Cave”) if you are a fan of speleology. You can’t miss the “Rasnov Fortress” if you like old castles and ruins. It is located just 20km away from Magura.
Nearby is the famous Bran Castle, which is the area’s main tourist attraction. Beware of the crowds, though.
“Prapastiile Zarnestiului” is a beautiful area of impressive gorges that you can discover in a 1-day relaxed hike. Climbers come here regularly to practice rock climbing. If you are lucky, you will see them having fun high up on the rocky walls.
Here there are also a few popular trails taking you to the “Curmatura” mountain cabin.
How to get to Magura and Pestera villages?
You can get to Magura and Pestera either through Moeciu de Jos or through Zarnesti. Magura is situated approximately 200 km away from Bucharest and only 35 km from Brasov. It is easily accessible by car.
However, if you plan to get to Magura from Moeciu de Jos, the road is practicable by regular car only until you reach Pestera village. After a certain point near Pestera, I recommend you take a walk to Magura. The road is unpaved after that point making it difficult to drive unless you have a 4×4 car. Even so, it is much more rewarding and environmentally friendly to go on foot in these areas, to breathe the fresh air, enjoy the sun and the magnificent views.
Starting from Zarnesti, you will get to “Fantana lui Botorog” (Botorog Fountain) quite easily. From here, you can continue your journey to Magura. The twisting road is beautiful, with spectacular views over the mountain range.
Where to stay?
There are various options when it comes to choosing a place to stay in the area. The only thing you must keep in mind is that lately many people plan to visit these unique natural areas in Romania, so make a reservation in advance.
I recommend you Alpine Escape Studios, located in Magura, a chic location with a killer view. Each studio has its own kitchen and bathroom. The wooden furniture is very rustic, making you feel that countryside vibe right from your arrival.
The location doesn’t provide food, so you’ll have to bring everything with you. You’ll have a microwave and fridge in the studio, and you can also have a barbecue outside.
Let me tell you that having breakfast or drinking coffee on the wooden terrace outside your studio and looking at the immensity of the mountains right in front of you could be just what you need to unwind after a busy week.
Another recommendation for you is the Adoro guesthouse in Moeciu de Jos. It is a 3* lovely and very sweet place, where you will find the most welcoming and friendly host. The accommodation has a pleasant design with colorful furniture, and the rooms also have a cheerful appearance. They can offer breakfast, but you will have to find places nearby to eat for the rest of the day.
There is also a river flowing behind the building, so in the morning, when you open the window and get out on your terrace, you will hear the birds singing and this relaxing and chill sound of the mountain river.
Adoro guesthouse is very close to Bran Castle and Rasnov Fortress. This is a location offering very good value for the price.