Hiking through Prapastiile Zarnestilor (Zarnesti Gorge), Pestera and Magura villages is the most popular loop within Piatra Craiului National Park. It offers an excellent opportunity to walk along Zarnesti Gorge, to admire the spectacular views of both Piatra Craiului Montains and Bucegi Mountains and to enjoy the picturesque landscapes of Pestera and Magura.
In the morning, I will meet you the near the small town of Zarnesti, at the place called Fantana lui Botorog (Botorog’s Well) and, after filling up the water bottles, will follow the road that will lead us to Zarnesti Gorge, a deep and narrow limestone canyon that was formed by the collapse of a cave roof.
The gorge itself can only be explored on foot; we’ll walk along a narrow forest road, with sheer, massive rock walls on both sides, where you might be lucky enough to spot the enchanting wallcreeper bird. The limestone here has created a number of caves, many with fascinating tales to tell. The dramatic closing scenes of the Nicole Kidman/Jude Law film “Cold Mountain” were made here within the Piatra Craiului National Park.
Leaving the gorge behind us, we’ll follow our trail through the forest getting more altitude. Soon we’ll reach the highest elevation of the day (near Priporului Summit – 1493m) where we’ll have our lunch (picnic style). The views are magnificent, being surrounded by mountains: on one side Piatra Craiului Ridge and on the other side Bucegi Mountains.
After lunch we’ll just enjoy some easy hiking on the hills around Pestera and Magura villages. These are typical peaceful Transylvanian mountain villages, the main occupations of the villagers being still farming and shepherding.
In Magura village we’ll have the opportunity to stop and to have a tea or a coffee before the final descent back to Fantana lui Botorog.
Meeting point: Fantana lui Botorog, near the small town of Zarnesti. The place is accessible by foot or by car.
This itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, and weather conditions and forecasts.
- Tour Duration: 7-8 hours
- Group Size: 2-14 people
- Specialty Category: Hiking&Trekking
- Difficulty: Easy
- Season: April-November
- Airfare included: No
- Tour Customizable: Yes