High peaks, crystal clear waterfalls and a crazy amount of wild animals still enjoying their untouched habitats. If you are looking for adventure and you enjoy camping in the wild, then Romania should be your next destination. The country's beautiful and colorful architecture of most cities is in great contrast to the wild nature it has to offer. Since we heard a lot of stories about it, we wanted to see it with own eyes.
First stop: Timisoara
During our trip, we only had 5 days to explore and experience what Romania has to offer. Our starting point was Timisoara in the far-west of the Country, this non-touristic city is also called ‘’Little Vienna’’. The stately buildings date from both the Baroque and from the second half of the 19th century. Concentrated on a number of large boulevards and squares: the elongated Victory Square (Piaţa Victoriei) is closed on the south side by the largest Romanian orthodox cathedral of the country.
Since wild-camping is very common in Romania, we planned to do this for at least 2 nights in the nearby forests of Timisoara. The rest of the days we planned for transport and enjoying anything Timisoara had to offer.
The destination for our camping trip was ‘’Brebu Nou’’ a small village in the middle of the Semenic-Cheile National Park. To get there we took a train from Timisoara to Caransebes. From there we had to hitchhike because there was no public transport to Brebu Nou.
We experienced hitchhiking in Romania as very easy and many Locals do this on a daily base. When hitching a ride in Romania, you usually offer a small fee to the driver. Owning a car in Romania is quite expensive and since Public Transport is scarce, hitchhiking is by far the most popular way to get around the Country.
Hitchin' a ride
In Caransebes, there even was a hitchhiking spot to where we were brought for free by a very friendly taxi driver. He noticed that we were hitching but that we were doing at the wrong spot in the city. After a city tour, we arrived at the hitching spot where we had to wait for our turn to get a lift.
Several rides later we arrived at Brebu Nou, dropped off at a small bar at the entrance of the Forest. We got invited for a beer and some whiskey by some elderly Romanians. We shared stories and they told us that they are spending most of their time with fishing now that they are pensioned. According to them, there was a Mountain Lake nearby, which was the perfect spot to camp for the night. A few beers later, we shook hands and went to the Lake.
Into the Wild
Although it is legal to camp in the wild in Romania, if a ranger comes by it can happen that you have to pay some kind of park-fee. According to our Romanian friends, this fee normally is around 8 Lei or if you met the ‘’right’’ Ranger, a can of cold beer.
A thing about Romania what not many people know is that 60% of all bears in Europe life in the Romanian Wilderness. So if you go camping, it is important to take some precautions before being bear dinner in the middle of the night. The best way to protect yourself is to use the ‘’Bearmuda Triangle-Rule’’.
Read more - Bear Encounter Precautions
Wild-camping was for us the best to experience Romania’s beautiful Nature. We put up our tent for 2 nights near the mountain lake in Brebu Nou. Besides having a tent, we had nothing else on us. So we made cooking equipment from stuff we found along the road and cooked our dinner on a camp fire we made. A truly amazing and special experience being so alone in the woods.
We really enjoyed Romania, beautiful cities, stunning nature and very friendly people. If you haven’t discovered this unbeaten beauty yet, do it quickly before it is overrun by hordes of tourists.