Explore Moldavia’s secrets while staying at Hanguloft’s Cabin

While many travelers to Romania have Transylvania, the seaside, or the Danube Delta on their itinerary, few venture into Moldavia. However, this overlooked region is a hidden gem, boasting a wealth of attractions that you must not miss.

I am so excited to share with you all a fantastic accommodation  – the Hanguloft Cabin in the Moldavia region. As I explored Neamț County, I stumbled upon this gem and couldn’t wait to recommend it. 

girl on a cabin's terrace

How to get there?

If you’re traveling from Bucharest, you can drive to Hangu village in Neamt. You have 2 main options:

  • One option for reaching Hangu village from Bucharest is to follow the E85 road via Buzău, Focșani, Bacău, and Piatra Neamț, before continuing on DN15. The total distance is 420 km, but due to bad road infrastructure, expect a journey time of 6-7 hours.
Romania's map
  • Option two entails driving to the charming city of Brașov, which offers plenty of experiences – from stunning architecture and exquisite dining to blissful natural surroundings. Continuing your journey, drive along DN11 and then E578, passing close to Sfântu Gheorghe and through Miercurea Ciuc before taking a right turn upon arrival at Gheorghieni, along DN12C. This road has awe-inspiring natural vistas that will be impossible to forget. Your route includes passing alongside Lacul Roșu and driving right through the awe-inspiring Bicaz Gorges until you arrive at Bicaz town. Upon turning left on DN 15, you will follow the road along the shores of Bicaz Lake until you arrive at Hangu village. This is my absolute favorite road to the region! I can’t get enough of the incredible natural beauties and stunning vistas that always greet me. The route spans 430 km, and if you choose this path, expect the journey to take you 7 hours or more, depending on how many pitstops you make.

If you are heading to Hanguloft from Cluj-Napoca, you have around 250 km to cover. It’ll take you approximately 4 hours to drive. While traveling via this route, you may take a slight detour to Borșa. This region is nestled amidst the Maramureșului and Rodnei Mountains Natural Parks. It will add two hours to your journey, but the area’s beauty is a sight not to be missed.

Once you arrive at Hangu village via DN15 from Piatra Neamț, continue driving until you notice the Hangu exit sign, and then go left on a small meadow just before the Chirițeni sign. From there, you’ll see a forestry road leading down the hill towards the lake, marked by a sinuous road sign. Note that the road is rough, so if you don’t have an off-road vehicle, drive cautiously. In case of heavy rain, it’s best to park on the roadside and walk the rest of the way to prevent getting stuck. You can call the cabin hosts, and they’ll happily assist with your luggage in this case.

Prepare to be awestruck by the breathtaking views, the beautiful colors of the pristine lake, and the lush forest enveloping it once you arrive at the shore. Between November and May, the lake’s water level often recedes, which can sometimes hide it from the view of the cabin. However, the extent to which this happens depends on how much rainfall the region receives during this period. By May, the lake usually begins to fill up again, revealing its tranquil blue waters visible from Hanguloft’s patio.

Girl on a cabin's terrace with laptop and wine
Working on Hanguloft’s terrace 🙂

You will admire Bicaz Lake’s impressive size and beauty, the largest artificial dam in Romania, along the DN15 road, en route to the cabin.

Hanguloft – the cozy cabin by the lake

You’ve arrived at this enchanting place! As you stand on the terrace and look out, your eyes widen in awe. You’re spellbound by the mesmerizing view. Take a breath, and let’s discover what this beautiful place has in store for you. 

Hanguloft is a stunning A-frame cabin crafted entirely from wood. Once inside, it instantly captures your heart with its simple yet ingenious design, tall windows, and chic furniture. You enter right into the living and dining areas and the open-space kitchen. The cozy fireplace creates the ideal atmosphere for indulging in your favorite book on grizzly nights as you enjoy a steaming cup of tea.

On the ground floor, there are two cozy bedrooms and a bathroom. As you ascend to the first floor, another two snug bedrooms come into view, accompanied by an additional bathroom. The design aesthetic beautifully merges industrial and traditional elements. Moreover, the colors, lights, and textures will transport you to a world perfectly integrated with nature. The cabin boasts an abundance of plants, logs, and artwork that create a perfect mix of nature and modern comfort inside.

This vacation rental is ideal for small groups of 8-10 people. What’s more, if you’re a fan of remote work, it’s a perfect place to stay. The internet is lightning-fast, so you can work uninterrupted and make your calls at any time. Plus, a smart TV with Netflix is available to keep you entertained. But honestly, with those incredible surroundings, who has time for TV? During my entire stay, I didn’t even switch on the TV.

Food – what you need to know

As Hanguloft Cabin is located in a remote area, some prior meal planning is necessary. The nearest supermarket is a ten-minute drive away in the Hangu village. Still, the narrow forestry road to access the cabin can make daily trips unappealing. Furthermore, the selection is limited. For those with specific meals in mind, I recommend purchasing groceries beforehand. You’ll fin bigger hypermarkets in Piatra Neamț (Kaufland, Lidl, Carrefour) or Bicaz (Penny, Profi).

Hanguloft’s kitchen welcomes you with all the right tools for any kind of dish, plus the option of preparing it outdoors at the fire pit. 

Behind the cabin, the fire pit area has everything you need, including a table and two benches to prep the food before sizzling it.

Spending time next to a fire, sipping wine, and stargazing on summer nights can be pure magic–even if a barbecue isn’t on the agenda!

The cabin also boasts a wooden tub to soak in hot water and connect with nature. Nothing beats the feeling of warmth enveloping you on cold nights. Just surreal.

If you’re not fond of cooking, you can consider dining out instead. Even if it is a remote area, there are at least a few options that you can explore to satisfy your cravings. 

A delightful culinary experience awaits at the “Grădinile Romane” restaurant. Situated just next to the Hanguloft cabin, you can even enjoy a leisurely half-hour stroll on the lakeside to reach it. Savor great food while taking in the serene beauty of the surroundings.

“Pensiunea Lostrița” is another fantastic dining option, just 8 km from Hanguloft’s cabin. They serve fresh, locally-sourced food; you can even call them and order a meal, which you can take and enjoy at the house.

What can you do while staying at Hanguloft Cabin?

girl sitting on SUP on the lake

After arriving, you may wish to do many other things besides work. Fortunately, there are plenty of activities you can explore. Here are some ideas:

  • During the summer, head out to the cabin and use the two SUPs available at your disposal. Row up and down the lake for a truly relaxing. But remember to bring a cap and some water with you, as the sun can be pretty intense during those summer days. 
  • Explore the area next to the cabin by having short hikes.
  • Find peace and energy in your morning routine with a refreshing session of meditation or stretching exercises on your yoga mat right on the terrace. It’s an invigorating way to start your day with full vitality! 

What else is there to visit in the area?

Exploring the beauty of this area requires more than an article’s worth of words, but here are some exciting places that will pique your interest:

  • Neamțului Fortress, a famous Romanian landmark built in the late 14th century, stands atop a tall hill. Here, visitors can relish breathtaking panoramic views of Târgu Neamț. The meticulously restored medieval fortress offers a remarkable experience for visitors.
  • Red Lake – one of the largest natural dams in the country, offers a truly unique view. Tree trunks are jutting out of the water, remnants of a once-thick forest. This striking view is nearly unparalleled in its beauty, and visitors can enhance their experience with a peaceful boat ride through the picturesque landscape. 
  • Bicaz Gorges – Renowned for its breathtaking dimensions, Bicaz Gorges should definitely be on your list. This splendid and protected area is a part of the National Park Bicazului Gorges. It is one of the most sought-after locations for rock climbing enthusiasts. 
  • The Vânători-Neamț Natural Park is home to a thriving protected herd of bison (over 60 specimens). Unlike the Zoo nearby, it allows you to witness them in their natural environment. The entrance to the park is where the Park’s Administration is located, near the intersection of DN 15B and DN 155C. On the right side of the road, there’s a forestry road not far from the intersection. This place is a haven for nature lovers, where you might get lucky and spot bison wandering in their natural habitat. It’s a must-visit destination for anyone looking to connect with nature’s beauty.
  • The Popa Târpești Museum near Târgu Neamț is a hidden gem that deserves a spot on your itinerary when visiting the region. Its roots lie with Neculai Popa, a man deeply passionate about preserving local Romanian traditions. In the 1950s, he began collecting and preserving traditional objects to document and save ancient local customs. Neculai was more than just a collector. He was also a talented artist, meticulously carving wood and rock sculptures with a unique artistic sense. You can now admire it at his home in Târpești – a museum showcasing an impressive collection of traditional objects, masks, costumes, paintings, and sculptures. 
  • Cnejilor Palace -Although now sadly in ruins, the Cnejilor Palace was once a grand and elegant noble residence. It belonged to the Cantacuzino family. Constructed on the former Hangu Abbey site in Ceahlau village, the palace’s rock walls can still be seen today, framed by birch trees and lush vegetation. 
  • Cuejdel Lake – While not as renowned as the Red Lake, Cuejdel Lake is well hidden within the lush forest. Its breathtaking beauty surpasses its more famous counterpart. Here, you’ll find a peaceful sanctuary that feels pristine and untouched by the modern world. Unlike other touristy spots, this natural dam provides solitude and a chance to be one with nature. No boat rides, no distractions, only you and the enchanting wilderness.

Romania boasts numerous locations that are worth exploring. With just a little bit of online research, you’ll find plenty of exceptional accommodation options if you want to travel to Romania. Among the gems I discovered was Hanguloft, a unique and charming accommodation that exceeded all my expectations. I wholeheartedly recommend giving it a try and experiencing it for yourself.

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