This hike is convenient for anyone who fancies some stunning views and has no extraordinary fitness level. For example, if you work in an office all day long, but at the end of the week, you wish to escape for a few hours and disconnect from the crowded city, doing this easy hike in Bucegi Natural Park is perfect for you. You can get to Padina mountain cabin also by car, but it is much more enjoyable and relaxing to have this walk through the forest and mountains to get there.
You arrive at Cota 2000 by cable car from Sinaia town or on foot. Sinaia is a lovely top-rated mountain resort in Romania, both for locals and foreigners. If you have some free time, don’t miss the opportunity to visit it. It is so peaceful and quiet compared with the noisy capital. It is easily accessible by car (taking DN1 from Bucharest, or the motorway until Ploiesti and then DN1) or by train.
Going up to Cota 2000 by cable car
I arrived in Sinaia early in the morning, around 9 o’clock. Having left Bucharest at 6 AM to avoid traffic, the group arrived in Sinaia before the cable car opened. (10 AM) While we were there earlier, I had time to have a coffee together with a few fellow travelers and to get to know each other. At 10.00 AM, we met with the rest of the group in front of the cable car building. There was already a long queue formed. Skiers, snowboarders, and hikers, we were all staying in line to go up.
Unfortunately, the logistics are poor. There is no delimited area for the queue, so it looks more like a crowd than a line. It was advancing pretty slow because of that reason. The ticket you have to buy to go to 2000 meters costs 5.25 EUR (25 RON). The poorly organization of the waiting area and the long waiting time created the proper context for locals to try and sell transportation services by car (11 EUR 🙂 )
Arriving at 1400 meters, we took another cable car and went up to 2000 meters. I must say that the views are stunning. We were lucky and had a beautiful sunny day, no clouds or fog, so we had the chance to admire the beautiful scenery.
After arriving at 2000 meters, we waited for everyone to get to the meeting point, put on winter equipment, and started the hike.
So, even with the waiting in line for going up with the cable car, you will probably conclude that it was worthed the wait when you arrive and see the magnificent views.
Here is what I took with me for this winter walk. I hope it helps you:
- Winter hiking boots covering the ankle for best support
- Snacks, 1 l of water and 700 ml of hot tea
- Waterproof trousers (actually mine were ski pants)
- Winter beanie
- Winter/ski jacket
- Thermal gloves and waterproof skiing gloves
- Two trekking sticks
What I didn’t have with me, and I wish I had :
- sunscreen lotion
- sleeping bag (for the mountain cabin)
- crampons (some areas were extremely slippery because of the ice).
The easy hike in Bucegi Natural Park
I think I will let the photos tell you the story. Everything was just perfect. If at the beginning of December I went to Ciucas and there was a lot of fog, this time nature was smiling back to us.
You could sense the frosty air in your face, but it was not windy, so the cold temperatures were easier to tolerate. We crossed a few skiing slopes, and then we entered the forest. This is the route we followed: Cota 2000 – Valea Soarelui mountain cabin – Saua Laptici – Padina mountain cabin
Probably I will also try this easy hike during the summer, but I think the most spectacular views are still in the wintertime.
The trek lasted about 4,5 hours. We made several breaks for snacks, taking photos, and such. So if you hurry, you could do it faster.
Facts and Figures
In 1690, a wealthy nobleman named Mihail Cantacuzino built a small Monastery and called it Sinaia (after the mountain Sinai). A small village grew around it that is today known by the name of Sinaia. This town is one of the most beautiful and most picturesque mountain resorts in Romania and is offering easy access to Bucegi National Park hiking trails and to the skiing slopes.
In 1860, Romania’s first king, Carol I of Hohenzollern, decided to build his summer residence here. The Peles Castel was inaugurated in 1883. Today it is one of the main attractions of the area. The castle has over 160 rooms, and it was the first castle in Europe to have electricity. Here you can find more information about it.
Bucegi Natural Park has 32 663 ha. Here you will find four main trekking trails. Starting from these main trails, you can explore in the area more than 40 trekking routes. (source: http://www.bucegipark.ro)
If you are curious and want to know more, here you can find them. (duration, description, altitude, everything you need to get inspired for your next adventure).
Have you tried this trail so far? How was it? Let me know in a comment below 😉