There is a constant debate about where to go on the summer holiday. Every single day, I keep hearing people wondering where to go and because I am such a good girl and when it comes to travel I am the first person that offers to help others with suggestions/advice, I have been doing some kind of ‘research’ in the last 2 weeks, to help everybody make an idea about what it means to be a tourist either on the seaside or on the mountains. As an intern at The Wander Bottle, I have noticed that people are afraid to leave the city and to book a holiday that they are not sure if they will be satisfied with.
Before you can decide where it is better for you to go, I advise you to make a list containing the reasons that pushed you to a nature break. You can have in view one of the following reasons (or you can use them as excuses, nobody will judge you anyway):
- the city is too noisy and too dusty
- the weather is too hot for staying in the city
- you have to take your kids out of the city
- health reasons
- you have been saving up all the year and you deserve a holiday
- your boss is a dork
- you cannot wait to use your new backpack which you bought on sale
- all your friends are out of the city, too
- you have the opportunity to pay no money for transportation, and you must take advantage of that
Now that you have circled at least two of the listed reasons, you can take a look over the next paragraphs and I hope you can make an idea about what is better for you to choose. I will have in view 2 top destinations in Romania, regarding both seaside and mountains.
- SEASIDE: Costinesti – Romania’s ‘Youth Resort’
In Romania, we call Costinesti the Youth Resort because what it used to be in the last years. Nowadays, Costinesti is like a normal seaside resort for everybody, but with a pretty developed night life. The city is divided into two parts, separated by the railroad: the quiet part, where the most of the accommodations are and the part that never sleeps.
To start from the beginning, if you plan to go to the seaside in Romania, I advise you to visit Constanta first, even for few hours. Of course, you will not ‘camp’ there when they are a plenty of other beautiful resorts, but Constanta is a really nice place for morning walks on the cliffs and for its architecture. There, I recommend sightseeing the Casino, the symbol of the Romanian seaside (it is said that the appearance of the Casino in Monte Carlo was inspired by it; the casino had been the main business center in Europe before WWI, but it lost his ‘fame’ when it was used as a hospital for the victims of the war and as a restaurant after that), the abandoned synagogue, the Tomis seaport plus the ruins of the old city, Carol 1st’s Mosque (if you go up in the tower you will have an amazing view on the seaport), and enjoy your morning coffee on Tomis boulevard, a long street in the city where I have no doubt that you can find your kind of coffee house. After that, you can go to Costinesti, which is one hour away from there.
As I have mentioned before, Costinesti is a resort for everybody. Its streets are filled with bars, coffee houses, restaurants, night clubs, souvenir stands, food booths, beer stands, ambulant musicians, carousels, henna tattoo stands and this is why I advise you to hunt the offers if you want to go out during the day or the night. I do not say that it is an expensive place because it is definitely not, but if you are an obsessive money saver like I am sometimes, you will be glad to eat two pizzas and pay just for one.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Noise (-), topless (+), reporters (-) , big queues (-), cold beer (-), very hot weather (-), beach games (+), heat-stroke (-), sunburns (-), cold water (+), waves (+), water sports (+), shells on the ground (-), thieves (-), sand in your panties (-), tan (+), vitamin D (+), sultry air (-), parties (+), beautiful sunset (+).
2. MOUNTAINS – The town Busteni and the Bucegi Mountains
The Bucegi Mountains are part of the Carpathians and they are believed to be the center of the Dacian religion. Once you got up there (you can hike or you can go with the cable car there, it is about 10 euros and the trip lasts around 10 minutes) you can actually find in the rocks small hollows where the Dacian people used to wash their faces. On that plateau, you can enjoy the beautiful Sphinx and Babele (In translation, ‘the old ladies’), two amazing rock figures, made out by the wind and the rain there. After this, I advise you to follow at least one of the arrows that you can find there. Thereby, you can get to Omu peak (the tallest in Bucegi – 2505 meters), to a plenty of chalets, but the most interesting point is the Caraiman peak (2291 meters) with its cross (you can see the cross from the town Busteni – it was built in the honor of the heroes of the WWI). The cross is also the tallest cross in the world which is placed on a mountain peak.
If you are in search for silence, you will not find it on the points I have mentioned before, but you can try to climb down by hiking, which is what I advise you to do. Maybe the sceneries up there will not impress you, but the roads down will do it for sure. From what I know, you have two possibilities for this: the Jepii Mici trail (marked with a blue cross – it is a difficult road which requires equipment) and the Piatra Arsa trail (marked with a yellow line, for beginners). Personally, I have picked the Jepii Mici trail even if I am not an expert and I swear it was the best mountain track that I have ever followed. They were around 3 hours of hiking rocks, chains, a colorful nature, forest, stairs and a lot of other surprises.
WHAT TO EXPECT: silence (+), refreshing wind (+), fresh air (+)… I am sorry, I cannot be objective; I am totally a mountain girl.
3. BONUS: MOUNTAIN LAKE. Sfanta Ana Lake, Harghita County
Because I know the feeling of a splashing after walking in the sun, I came up with a bonus suggestion that includes somehow both the seaside and the mountains. Sfanta Ana Lake (in translation, Saint Ana Lake) is the only volcanic lake in Romania and you have two possibilities to go there: by car or by walking. I have tried both trails and what I can say is that the forest one is more catchy. It is not so difficult and it lasts about 2 hours but you have to be aware of bears so you would better practice the death standing before. The lake is okay for swimming, the maximum depth of it is 7 meters and you will meet there with other tourists, in case you miss the noisy beach. You can get tanned there, you have plenty of terraces where you can eat, drink and relax. So what can you wish more?
No matter what you stand for, the best thing is that you consider a nature break instead of a city break. Frankly, I have to say that even if my article is done, my research will not be until the end of this summer (my huge amount of Instagram posts is justified now, pff). So good luck for now, stay beautiful, eat healthily, have fun on your holiday and see you somewhere in the world!