This article is also available in Romanian.
The Ceahlău Massif is located in Romania in the Moldova region, close to Bicaz and Piatra Neamț cities and having the highest importance in the Eastern Carpathians. The highest peaks are Ocolașul Mare (1907 m) and Toaca (1904 m), but only the second one can be visited by tourists. Near the massif you can find the most beautiful lake from that area, the Mountain’s Spring Lake, also known as Bicaz Lake. It is the biggest artificial lake from Romania.
Mountain’s Spring Lake in the distance
Most of the massif is part of the Ceahlău National Park, the place where many endemic plants and protected animals live. Along the touristic hiking routes there are a lot of cliffs, many of them having their own legend. More information on those spectacular rocks can be found below in the Good to know section.
The hiking route that we chose on that day was the following:
Click on the small arrow from the map (top left corner) to expand the map legend and visualize all the touristic objectives mentioned in this article.
Red stripe-marked trail | Elevation gain: 1070 m | Length: 7300 m | Difficulty: moderate | Hiking time: 3h÷3h30 | Practicable trail throughout the year.
Durău Resort – Fântânele Chalet – La Morminte (The Infantryman’s Hat Cliff) – The Wide Stone – Baciu’s Stones – Mountain’s Spring Lake view – Panaghia Cliff – Toaca Peak – Dochia Chalet – Ceahlău Monastery – back to Dochia Chalet and follow the red cross-marked trail
Red cross-marked trail | Elevation gain: 1020 m | Length: 7900 m | Difficulty: moderate | Hiking time: 3h÷3h30 | This trail is not recommended during winter time.
Dochia Chalet – Voda’s Trough – Săiuş’s Meadow – Duruitoarea Waterfall- Viezuri Meadow – Durău Resort
Check out the official website of the Ceahlău National Park for more information on the hiking trails.
- located at 820 m altitude at 9 km distance from the Bicaz Lake also known as Mountain’s Spring Lake (RO: Lacul Izvorul Muntelui);
- check out this websites for accommodation: turistinfo.ro and booking.com;
- during winter time tourists can ski on Sun’s Meadow (RO: Poiana Soarelui) slope;
- not far from this resort are found some famous Orthodox monasteries like: Secu, Neamț, Văratec, Agapia, Ceahlău;
CEAHLĂU NATIONAL PARK
Tree silhouettes in the Ceahlău National Park
- official website: ceahlaupark.ro;
- visiting fee: 6 RON / adult (more details here);
- camping is allowed only in the designated places and dogs are allowed in the park only if they are kept on a leash (more details here);
- located at 1220 m altitude and 1h÷1h15 far from Durău resort (the trail goes through the forest having a steep slope on the last portion; elevation gain 400 m);
- check out this website (available only in RO) for more information on prices per night and the contact details of chalet’s host;
- offers a great view over the Ceahlău mountain;
View from Fântânele Chalet’s terrace
CONGLOMERATES (SEDIMENTARY ROCKS)
From the Fântânele Chalet, the red stripe-marked trail continues with a gentle slope through the fir forest to the place called To The Graves (La Morminte). The hike becomes more and more difficult until it reaches an open area where it’s found The Infantryman’s Hat Rock and from where you can admire Mountain’s Spring Lake and the Durău resort in the distance. The trail from Dochia Chalet to this point takes about 2h÷2h15.
The Infantryman’s Hat Cliff
Mountain’s Spring Lake in the distance
Also in the area there is the conglomerate called The Baciu’s Stones.
The Baciu’s Stones
After a trail portion crossed among the junipers, there is one of the most imposing cliffs, Panaghia.
From the Panaghia Cliff, the trail leads to the base of the Toaca Peak. From here the tourists can reach the top by climbing over 500 steps that were rebuilt in 2018. On the top (1904 m) there is the meteorological station with the same name.
Dochia Chalet and Toaca Peak in the distance
- official website: cabana-dochia.ro (content available in RO);
- located at 1750 m altitude in a remote area surrounded only by the nature;
- webcam live here;
- located at over 1800 m altitude on the mountain plateau, surrounded by high rocks;
- built between 1992-1993;
- more details here (content available in RO);
- located at 1218 m altitude, having 25 m in height;
- the name was given by the locals and it comes from the loud noise made when the water falls;
- just next to the waterfall there is a place with a bench and a table where tourists can make a stop;
- tourists can get to the waterfall by following several marked trails which start from the Durău Resort (the trail takes about ~2h; check out this website for more information about the trails);
- during winter time it’s not recommended the portion between Duruitoarea Waterfall and Dochia Chalet;
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