The Bucegi Mountains (Bucsecs in Hungarian) - usually regarded as the easternmost range of the South Carpathians - with an area of approx. 300 square km, mark the border between the East and South Carpathians. The geographic boundaries of the Bucegi (please see this chapter also) are:
E: Prahova Valley, which separates them from the Baiului (Gârbova) Mountains; and the valleys of Cerbului and Glăjăriei, which separate them from the mountains of Predeal
N: Ţara Bârsei (Country of Bârsei with the city of Braşov; Burzenland in German)
W: Bran-Rucăr corridor, with the Piatra Craiului Mountains to its west
SW: Valea Brăteiului and Valea Ialomiţei, the Leaota Mountains west of these two valleys
SE: Valea Ialomicioarei towards the Gurguiatul Mountains
The highest point in the Bucegi is Omu Peak (2505m), which which stands in the north and constitutes an orographic node where the following five, most important ridges meet: the main ridge(SE from Omu, then S), Moraru (E), Bucşoiu (N), Scara-Gaura (W) and Strunga (SW).
The main ridge runs south from Omu Peak, separating the Prahova Valley from the Ialomiţa Valley, over the summit of Surlele-Brânduşa, until after about 24 km it reaches the village of Moroieni. In its central part the main ridge gets wider and forms a plateau (Bucegi Plateau) which has a length of 10 km and is up to 3 km wide.
The peaks that rise south of Omu are: Bucura Dumbravă (2503m); Găvanele (2472m); Colţii Obârşiei (2405m); Şaua Şugărilor (2360m). Along the east rim of the Bucegi Plateau, over the Prahova Valley tower the following peaks: Coştila (2490m), Caraiman (2384m), Jepii Mici (2143m), Jepii Mari (2075m), Piatra Arsă (2044m), Furnica (2103m), Vârful cu Dor (2030m), Vânturis (1942m) and Păduchiosu. Along the west side of the Bucegi Plateau, beyond which the Ialomiţa River flows, sit these summits: Babele with the peak Baba Mare (2294m), Cocora (2191m), Pietrosul (1931m),Lăptici (1872m), Blana (1875m), Nucetul (1861m), Oboarele (1707 m), Dichiu (1713m).
Strunga Ridge begins at Găvanele Peak and runs westward, but after a few kilometers it turns south. Thus Strunga Ridge and the main ridge together form a huge horseshoe, open to the south. Strunga Ridge contains the following summits: Doamnele (2402 m), Guţanul (2246m), Batrâna (2181m), Colţii Ţapului (2168m), Strungile Mari (2089m), Şaua Strunga (1909m), Strunguliţa (1968m), Tătarul (1998m), Deleanu (1904m), Lucăcila (1895m), Lespezi (1686m). The total length of Strunga Ridge is about 18km. At Strunguliţa Peak Bucşa Ridge branches off and runs west to connect with the Leaota massif.
Moraru Ridge runs from Omu Peak toward the east with the Acele Morarului peaks; from east to west: Colţul de sus, Acul Crucii, Degetul Roşu and Acul Mare.
Bucşoiu Ridge extends from Omu to the north. It has two adjacent valleys, Morar and Bucşoiu, beyond which rises Bucşoiu Peak (2492m). There the ridge of Bucşoiu Mare starts and runs south, and the ridge of Bucşoiu Mic, or Creasta (ridge) Balaurului, runs east.
Scara-Gaura Ridge extends westerly from Omu and forms the peaks of Scara (2421m) and Lancia (2288m). From the summit of Scara to the north runs a ridge named Padina Crucii, between the valleys of Mălăieşti (east) and Ţigăneşti (north). Scara Peak is the point where the ridges of Gaura (west) and Ţigăneşti (north) ramify. Ţigăneşti Ridge has summits called Ţigăneşti (2019m) and Velicanul (1902m), and the secondary summits of Ciubotea and Clincea to the north-west.
Valleys & Chutes
In the Pleistocene, the Bucegi mountains were covered by glaciers. After they melted, typical glacial valleys, with U-shaped cross sections and irregular long profiles, were exposed. Around the peak of Omu there are 9 post-glacial valleys. Three of them form the headwaters of the Ialomița river: Obârşia valley, Doamnele and Şugarilor. The Cerbului valley lies in the east and the others: the Morarului, Mălăieşti, Ţigăneşti, Ciubotea and Gaura valleys lie between the northerly summits.
The Ialomiţa valley is the greatest valley of the Bucegi Mountains but the most interesting is the Horoaba valley. The most important valleys with headwalls within the abrupt cliffs towering over the Prahova river are the Cerbului and Moraru valleys, then the Alba, Jepilor, Urlatorilor, Babei, Peleşului and Zgârburei.
Other places where there are sheer headwalls which are pleasant to climb and require some knowledge of technical climbing are: the Adânca valley, Râpa Zapezii, Vâlcelul Ţancurilor, Valea Poienii, Bujorilor and Comorilor; the valleys below the north rim, east of Coștila: Priponului, Caprelor, Urzicii, Ţapului, Seaca of Coştilei, Verde, Mălinului, Gălbenelelor, Coştilei all tributaries of the Cerbului valley; Albişoarele and Valea Seacă of Caraiman affluents of Vaii Albe; Spumoasa valley, Seaca dintre (from) Clăi and Comorilor from the Urlătorilor Basin.
A special thanks to yamesu for his photographic contributions.
The basement of the Bucegi mountains is of crystalline schists, which are covered by sedimentary rocks from the Jurassic and Cretacious periods. The Cretacious rocks are mostly the characteristic Bucegi conglomerates and gritstone. In the east Jurassic limestone takes over.
Climate & Weather
Webcam at 2000m a.s.l.
Weather at1400m a.s.l.
The average temperature is a function of altitude. So when it is +6 C in the Prahova Valley between Sinaia and Buşteni, on the summit of Omu the temperature is -2,6 C. Isotherm 0 C hovers at 1910m corresponding with the upper reaches of the bush and tree zone. The coldest month is January, when isotherm -6 C is at 1250m, and -10 C at 2250m. The warmest month is July when isotherm + 10 C is at 1800m.
In Sinaia the absolute maximum and minimum temperatures are +32 C and -27 C respectively, while on the summit of Omu they are +22 C and -38 C.
The average annual wind speed is 7m/s on Omu Peak, strong winds blow at 10-15 m/s for 8 months. Fog is present 23 days per year at Sinaia and 258 days on Omu. The annual precipitation is 808 mm in Sinaia and 1346 mm on Omu, the wettest month is June and the driest is October.
Snow lasts 78 days in Sinaia, 153 days in Peştera (1610m) and 208 days on Omu. The first snow falls in October (on Vârful cu Dor), the last in May on Omu; on La Verdeaţă in the Valea Albă you can sometimes ski until July.
* information on snow may need updating due to global warming.
Protected Areas & Wildlife
The following areas are protected:
- main area (400 ha) between Sinaia and Şaua Strunga, including Jepii Mici, Caraiman and Valea Jepilor;
- Peştera Ialomiţa Reserve including: Cocora mountain, Peştera Ialomiţei (cave) and Batrâna Valley, Batrâna mountain;
- Zănoaga Reserve including the mountain and the keys with the same name;
- Omu peak (2505m)
- Babele (2200m)
- Poiana Crucii (1590m)
- Lăptici (1470m) with the most interesting oligotrophic swamp in the Bucegi.
The best-known protected flowers are: Leopoldinum Alpinum, Rhododendron Kotschyi, Nigritella - rubra and Nigra,Trollius europaeus, Gentiana lutea,Gentiana kochiana, Daphne Blagayana.
The wildlife is rich and includes species such as the brown bear, wolf, chamois, red deer, roe deer, wild boar, red fox, squirrel.
Access & Tourist Resorts
The Bucegi Mountains are easily accessible by rail/road from the capital city of Romania: Bucharest airports
Resorts around the Bucegi
Sinaia is situated in the Prahova Valley on DN 1, about 130 km north of Bucharest and 40 km south of Braşov, at 800-1,000m, below the Furnica and Piatra Arsă peaks. The town, packed with hotels and boasting Romania's biggest ski resort, can be likened to Chamonix.
Cable car (called 'telecabina' in Romanian): middle station at 1400m, upper at 2000m
Tourist attractions: Peleş Complex with Peleş Castle, Pelişorul; Sinaia Monastery founded by Mihai Cantacuzino in 1695, Museum of Sinaia Monastery, Casino built in 1912 – a copy of that in Monte Carlo, Museum of the Bucegi Nature Park.
Poiana Ţapului sits in the Prahova Valley on DN 1 at 134 km from Bucharest, 860-900m in elevation
Buşteni, at 885-925m, is the capital of Romanian alpinism. It is situated in the Prahova Valley on DN 1 - 136 km from Bucharest and 35 km from Braşov - below Caraiman Mountain.
Most of the alpine routes are accessible from Buşteni. The town is convenient for day hikes in the northern, most interesting part of the Bucegi Mouintains.
Cable car: Buşteni-Babele
Sights in town: Cezar Petrescu Memorial Museum, Biserica (church) Domnească, Cantacuzino Castle.
Azuga sits in the Prahova Valley on DN 1, 139 km from Bucharest at 900-1000m and has the longest ski track.
Predeal is the most important tourist station. Although it is rather a long way away from the Bucegi mountains, it's convenient for the routes in the Diham area.
Pârâul Rece is a tourist resort on DN 73A, between Predeal-Raşnov, 8 km from the Predeal train station at 800m.
Hiking trails that begin here lead to the Glăjăriei Valley and Diham Hut.
Râsnov is located at the intersection of DN 73 (Braşov-Câmpulung) and DN 73A (Predeal-Şircaia), 12 km from Braşov, on the road Braşov-Zărneşti, at 650-700m. It's the trailhead for the path to the Mălăieşti Valley and Omu Peak.
Bran, the 'Dracula' town (with the adjacent villages of Poarta and Şimon), lies northwest of the massif, in the Bran-Rucăr corridor on DN 73 (Braşov - Câmpulung - Piteşti), 24 km from Braşov, at 700 - 900m, and boasts a fine castle.
From Bran trails lead to Omu Peak and the Mălăieşti and Ialomiţa valleys.
Villages at the foot of the Bucegi: Moieciu de Sus, Pietroşiţa, Moroieni.
Huts, Shelters & HotelsCuibul Dorului - Păduchiosu Mountain, 1160m
Hotel Alpin Cota 1400 - Furnica Mountain, 1400m
Brădet - Furnica, 1300m
Valea cu Brazi - Furnica, 1500m
Mioriţa Hut, 1960m
Salvamont Refuge (2030m) near the upper station of the cable car Sinaia–Furnica - only for emergency use
Valea Dorului - ski hut on the Furnica mountain
Piatra Arsă - Bucegi plateau, Jepii Mari,1950m
Babele, 2200m; access by cable car: from Buşteni or from Peştera
Caraiman - on the edge of the plateau above the Jepilor valley, 2025m
Omu Hut and Refuge (convenient location; the hut is closed from Oct to May, buffet, no running water) - Omu Peak, 2505m
Mălăieşti - Mălăieşti valley. The old hut burned down in 1998 and has been replaced with a new building.
Hotel Peştera - Ialomiţa Valley on the Cocora mountain, altitude 1610m, category ***
Padina hut - Ialomiţa valley on Colţi Mountain,1525m
Bolboci hut - Ialomiţa valley near Lake Bolboci,1460m
Cheile Zănoagei - Ialomiţa Valley near Lake Bolboci,1400m
Scropoasa - Ialomiţa valley near Lake Scropoasa, 1205,
Izvorul Tătarului - Ialomiţa valley between Padina and Bolboci,1500m
Gura Dihamului - Cerbului valley, 987m
Diham - Diham mountain, 1320 m, another hut that was burned and now there is a new one
Poiana Izvoarelor - between Diham and Căpăţâna Porcului peaks,1455m
Coştila refuge - Coştila Valley, 1670m and is the principal starting point for the climbing routes in the Coştila area, access from Buşteni through Poiana La Măsuratoarea Urşilor, unmarked route.
Ţigăneşti refuge - Şaua Ţigăneşti, built in 2010
Bătrâna refuge - Şaua Bătrâna, built in 2010
Strunga refuge - Şaua Strunga approx. 1900m
Morarului shelter - 100m above the red triangle mark between Coştila glad and Pichetul Roşu.
Camping, Red Tape & Bears
|There used to be no red tape in the Bucegi but things have changed recently!|
Now you can bivouac only at designated campsites. Be aware
there are lots of bears and the bears
have become really dangerous
since they fear humans no more:
Just have a look HERE
|You'd better not do what the guy did towards the end.|
Check out the following link to find out how to behave if you meet a bear.
Maps & Books
An online map
A paper map can be purchased online:
1:30,000 - click Harti on the left
BUCEGI 3D! (with waymarked trails, huts and related infrastructure)
Guidebook by James Roberts
Climbing guidebook Romania by Dimension Vertical (Gerald Krug)
- These sites on climbing are in the Romanian language:
- You will find some gps tracks/points, rescue service numbers and more information as well as fine pictures on alpinet.org but most of the text will be in Romanian:
- Plenty of photos - to view them as a slide show, click the arrow in the bottom right-hand corner
- Bran-Omu Route (via Ţigăneşti Ridge)