If you are not sure what hiking in Romania involves, maybe these questions will help you.
Is hiking in Romania safe?
Yes, Romania is one of the safest countries in Europe and hiking enthusiasts will find here friendly people and sometimes, even friendly bears 🙂 Generally speaking, you don’t have to worry about bear attacks. As long as you make noise while hiking in Romania, bears will tend to keep a safe distance from you. If you’re travelling alone, try to sing, whistle or simply attach a bell to your backpack. This will keep the bears away. If you encounter sheepfolds and there are guard dogs nearby, try to avoid them before they see you. Go around, if possible, and they will leave you alone. If the dogs spotted you and they continue to be friendly, just continue your hike. If they become aggressive, try to locate the shepherd and ask him for help. A pepper spray is always handy in situations like these. If you cannot bring one, you can always buy a basic one in local hunting shops.
How difficult are the routes?
Depending on the chosen mountain range, routes can vary from easy to very technical. Always check for information on the chosen trails or contact a licensed Romanian mountain guide to get advice.
What to do in case of an emergency?
If you are alone in the mountains and you are lost or badly injured, contact the Romanian Mountain Rescue Service called SALVAMONT. They can be reached by phone (0-SALVAMONT) 0-725826668 (+4 if you don’t have a Romanian number) Try to give them as many details as possible about your whereabouts. Some GPS coordinates will be perfect, so keep your Location on on your phone. Once they have these coordinates, do not move from your location. If there is poor signal in your location dial 112 – the emergency number.
What to do before a hike?
- Choose your route wisely. Don’t overestimate yourself.
- Always tell someone where you are going. If you stay in a guesthouse or in a mountain chalet, there should always be someone who should know about your plans.
- Always check the weather forecast, two days before, one day before and several hours before the hike. Weather can suddenly change and you have to be prepared.
- Pack in everything you need, especially water and food.
What to do during a hike?
- Wear adequate hiking gear. This means good hiking boots, pants, clothing, hat or balaclava (Buff), sunglasses, gloves (during cold season).
- Stick to the marked trails. Never take shortcuts.
- If possible, try not to hike alone. Always be with someone or attach to a group. If you are hiking alone, make noise to avoid encounters with wild animals.
- Never take unnecessary risks. Don’t try to climb that steep rock just for the perfect selfie. It might be the last selfie your ever take.
- Respect the nature and the others. Never litter. Never.
- Keep an eye on the map / GPS. You wouldn’t want to get lost and spend the night unwillingly in the mountains.
What to do after a hike?
- Enjoy a cold Romanian beer or a drink of your choice 🙂
Can I spend the night in the mountain chalets?
Yes, but always ask before if you need a reservation. In high season, it’s recommended to book a room / a bed a few weeks before. If you get somewhere and there are not beds available, ask if you can camp outside. In most cases, it’s possible.