Făgăraş Mountains

Făgăraş Mountains

Page Type Page Type: Area/Range
Location Lat/Lon: 45.60000°N / 24.73330°E
Activities Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing, Toprope, Ice Climbing, Scrambling, Skiing
Additional Information Elevation: 8346 ft / 2544 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Munţii Făgăraşului (RO) - Fogarasi-havasok (H) - Fogarascher Gebirge (D)
The Făgăraş Mountains are the longest continuous ridge in the Carpathians.
Lespezi - Caltun - Negoiu Lespezi-Călţun (left) and Negoiu (right of center) - a triple crown of the Făgăraş

The Făgăraş Mountains belong to the South Carpathians and are one of the most impressive mountain ranges in Romania. They are the country's highest and largest mountains, covering an area of 3,000 square kilometers. Across the Carpathians, there is only one mountain range which is higher than the Făgăraş, namely the Tatra Mountains which rise at the opposite, northern end of the Carpathian arc. The main ridge of the Făgăraş Mountains forms a massive spine, which extends west to east in a fairly straight line for more than 70 kilometres - from the valley of the Olt River to the Piatra Craiului Mountains and the Iezer Mountains. The main crest never drops below 2000m over a distance of about 50 km. In the Făgăraş Mountains sit eight of the 14 Romania's peaks rising above 2500m. There are also at least 42 peaks whose elevations fall within the 2400-2500m brackets. The highest peak of both the Făgăraş Mountains and Romania is called Moldoveanu and rises to 2544m in the eastern chunk of the Făgăraş. But no less renowned than Moldoveanu is Negoiu: rockier, reigning in the west, at 2535m the 2nd highest summit in Romania.

The main ridge of Fagaras mountainsEast Central
Capra neagra peak 2494m, Fagaras mountainsCentral Făgăraş
The main ridge of Fagaras mountainsWest Central

The wild beauty of the landscapes: a great number of prominent peaks, narrow crests, deep valleys and picturesque tarns prompted the French scientist Emmanuel de Martonne to refer to the Făgăraş Mountains as the Transylvanian Alps. This nickname is more often used, however, for all of the South Carpathians. The Făgăraş Mountains form the bulk of a little bigger mountain group which is named after them and which contains the Făgăraş proper and a couple of mountains a bit farther south: the Coziei Mountains and the Iezer Mountains. In fact, the latter can be thought of as part of the Făgăraş proper. On the other hand, among the extremely long lateral ridges branching off the main ridge to run southward there are two that are sometimes listed as separate mountain ranges: the Frunţii Mountains (spur branching off at Negoiu) and the Ghiţu Mountains (spur branching off not far from Moldoveanu). They can be easily located on the map as they have become separated by a big dam called Lake Vidraru. May these wise words of a Romanian poet, Lucian Blaga be the best invitation to the top of Romania: "God, please stop the clock with which you measure eternity."

Movie created by LukZem during his two visits to the Făgăraş: part 1/10
Moldoveanu summit  (2544m)Moldoveanu, 2544m - the highest point of Romania - as seen from SE
Făgăraş peaks
Mountain poetryNegoiu, 2535m - the second highest mountain in Romania

Altogether there are eight peaks that rise over 2500 meters:

Height in Metres 
A few words about
The highest peak of both the Făgăraş and Romania. It is surrounded by peaks at above 2400m, so its summit can't be seen from the north foot of the Făgăraş Mountains
The second highest mountain in Romania, located in the main ridge in the western, jagged part of the Făgăraş, notorious for unstable weather.
Viştea Mare
The mountain brother of Moldoveanu (i.e. the lower summit of the massif: on the left), sitting right in the main ridge, about 20 minutes' walk from Moldoveanu. The massif can be easily recognized from afar thanks to its characteristic, trapezoid shape.
In the western, jagged part of the Făgăraş, near Călţun Lake, can be seen as the highest summit of the Călţun-Lespezi Massif
Vânătoarea lui Buteanu
In the central part of the mountains, just near the Transfăgăraşan Road. It is said to turn bluish-black when a storm is approaching.
In the eastern, grassy part of the Făgăraş Mountains
Close to Lespezi Peak, towers over Lake Călţun, no marked trail to the summit
In the eastern, grassy part of the Făgăraş Mountains, close to Hârtopu Peak
Negoiu and ŞerbotaNegoiu (2535m) and Şerbota (2331m)

What rocks (and whom) 

Vanatoarea lui Buteanu 2507m, Fagaras, RomaniaMountaineering

In summer, the Făgăraş Mountains are a paradise for backpackers, who usually attempt to trek along the main ridge. Such a trek takes 5 to 7 days, most people are carrying a tent. On days of inclement weather - virtually unavoidable in these mountains, usually swept by high winds and often battered by storms - shelter can be sought in one of the few rudimentary refuges (see Huts and Refuges), of which the refuge by Lake Călţun is the best-known and the best-known and usually packed with people at night. The most difficult section of the marked trail running along the main ridge is near the peaks of Şerbota and Negoiu (UIAA I, partly fixed with cables or chains: Custura Sărăţii, Strunga Dracului, Strunga Ciobanului; "strunga" = couloir), in the western part of the Făgăraş.

Lake Călţun from Lespezi.Lake Călţun from the summit of Lespezi (no marked trail)
Lack of rocks such as granite results in technical climbing in summer being limited to a couple of places, of which the impressive crag of Colţul Bălăceni at the head of the Sâmbăta Valley boasts routes rated up to V (UIAA). In winter, a wider area offers many a breath-taking mountaineering option, and the traverse of the main ridge is quite an endeavor. Along a route of over 70km you will be slogging along a wild ridge with many tricky cornices, and you will have to traverse many places where the avalanche danger is high.
In February 1972, a German-Czechoslovak team succeeded in doing the traverse of the highest and rockiest part of the main crest, covering thirty-six summits at above 2300m. The feat took them as much as 12 days. Apart from the main ridge, the northern spurs - wild, cut off from the crowds, shattered, abrupt, partly vegetated – can also make for memorable climbs which can be graded at about 3B. An easy but pretty attractive route, which starts at Zmeilor Pass, runs over the summits of Vârtopel(1B) and Arpăşel(3A) with the Rabbit's Ears.
As far as skiing is concerned, there is plenty of terrain for skiers of various skill. Good, natural slopes can be found near the following huts: Urlea, Sâmbăta, Turnuri, Podragu, Capra, Bâlea, Negoiu, Bârcaciu, Capra. Ski alpinism will be cool on the north-south crossings, there are plenty spots for extreme skiing, while ski touring on the southern ridges you will be practically cut off from civilization.
viewColţul Bălăceni, 2286m
Fereastra ZmeilorFereastra Zmeilor
on the crestOn the crest
The Făgăraş Mountains are formed mostly of metamorphic rocks, such as gneiss and schists. In few places thin layers of limestone can be found. The relief of the mountains was shaped by Pleistocene glaciers, hence the U-shaped valleys divided by jagged crests. In the northern valleys the glaciers were up to 5 km long. On the other, southern side the Valea Rea Glacier had a lenght of 9 km. The northern slopes of the Făgăraş Mountains, facing Transylvania, are shorter and steeper, whereas the lateral ridges and valleys south of the main ridge drop toward the sunny Muntenia more gradually, being up to 30 km long. Therefore, they are deserted and wild - very few hikers have roamed the area.
panorama of western Fagaras Mountains viewed from Moldoveanu peakWestern part of the Făgăraş viewed from Moldoveanu
Summer traverse of the main ridge: West to East
FAGARAS MOUNTAINSThe wild spurs branching off the main ridge

When To Go & Climate

Arpașu MicArpaşu Mic during sunrise
Fagaras Mountains
typical phenomenon Typical phenomenon
If you are a hiker you should come in summer. Early autumn can also be a wonderful - besides being colorful - time, but all this varies between years. As for the summer, August seems to be best, July tends to be very rainy. Some summers have been kind of horror: hurricane force winds, frequent thunderstorms, torrential rains, freezing weather. You'd better be careful when planning your trip. You must realize that a walk-up from the foothils to the main ridge takes at least 10 hours. It is good to start the ascent early in the morning, when the weather conditions are favourable. In winter and spring, the risk of avalanches is usually high.
On our way down13 July 2009 (worthy of a click: mini-TR inside)
Morning on Saua Serbotei...Morning on Şaua Şerbotei
The climate of the Făgăraş Mountains is alpine and is harsher than the climate of most of the mountain ranges the Carpathians are made up of. The average temperature, the intensity of the winds and the level of precipitation depend on the altitude and the orientation of the mountain faces. The Făgăraş Mountains are characterized by the highest amount of rainfall, which reaches an annual 1400 mm/year.The average yearly temperature in the alpine regions (above 2000m a.s.l) is -2°C. Encountering patches of snow in mid-June is not a rare thing. Across the Carpathian Mountains, the most frequent avalanches occur in the Făgăraş.
Also, the most deadly accidents have been registered here. The climate of the Făgăraş climate has peculiarities determined by the size of this massif and the west-east orientation of the ridge. The north slope blocks the cool, wet air coming from the Atlantic and from the north of Europe, and the south slope blocks the Mediterranean and tropical air, which leads to the natural timberline (bear in mind that centuries of grazing have lowered it considerably) running higher on the southern flank. This is the only place where we can watch the enchanting cascades of surging fog, which make the heights seem endless, envelop the rocks in a mysterious shawl, and then unexpectedly open a window on the world below, where the green meadows are bathed in sunshine. In contrast to the rockier northern valleys, the southern slopes - grassy, descending more gently - are the territory of an intensive pastoral life.

Flora & Fauna

Flora The diversity of vegetation cover is determined by altitude.
Fagaras Mountains
alpine roseRhododendron
Dianthus glacialisDianthus glacialis
Lower montane zone reaches 1200 meters in altitude. Mean annual temperature is 4-6°C and the vegetation cover is formed by deciduous forests. Various species of flowers can be found here: creeping bellflower Campanula rapunculoides, matragon lily Lilium martagon, Trifolium alpestre, globe-flower Trollius altissimus or autumn crocus Colchicum autumnale
Upper montane zone begins at 1200m and extends up to 1500m. It is a domain of the coniferous forest. On the south slopes of the mountains, the upper borders of both deciduous and conifer forests runs 150-200 meters higher than on the steeper and colder north slopes. Open moist meadows are the best habitat for orchid species.
Subalpine zone stretches from 1500m to 2000m. It is the domain of dwarf mountain pine and common juniper. From the floristic point of view, it is the most interesting habitat. In spring it is covered by enchanting carpets of crocuses. The mountain cornflower Cyanus montanus and the mountain garlic grow here. Allium montanum. The typical representative of this zone is the Carpathian rhododendron with its red shining flowers.
Alpine zone in the Făgăraş Mountains begins at 2000m and reaches the highest peaks. The alpine pastures are covered by sedges. It is the best habitat for some extremely rare species of flora - relics from the Ice Age, such as Dianthus glacialis. Among other important species are the alpine bellflower Campanula alpina, Primula elatior, Hieracium alpinum, Leontopodium alpinum, Aconitum and Saxifraga.
In the Făgăraş Mountains, the flora is richest in the subalpine and alpine areas. In comparison with other mountains, the Făgăraş boast the largest number of endemic species of flowers which can't be encountered anywhere else in the world.
Fauna of the Făgăraş Mountains is typical of the high mountain zone. The most representative animal of the highest, alpine areas is the Carpathian chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra carpatica). Many populations of this subspecies occur throughout the Transylvanian Alps. Carpathian chamois are slightly bigger than their relatives in the Alps. As a species, the chamois is still common and not threatened. However, several subspecies are on the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Animals. There have been a number of successful reintroductions.Another animal typical of the Făgăraş Mountains is the marmot. Unfortunately, this largest squirrel species is on the verge of extinction. Among the big birds of prey that soar over the mountains are the eagle and the vulture. There is also the big forest game: the Carpathian brown bear, the deer and the wild boar. As for the bears, however, their population is relatively small (fewer than a hundred individuals) compared to some other Carpathian mountains. Most of them still keep away from humans and don't constitute such a big threat as the depraved bears of the Bucegi Mountains.
The Carpathian Chamois <i>(Rupicapra rupicapra carpatica)<i>Carpathian chamois
Alpine Accentor <i>(Prunella collaris)<i>Alpine accentor
young eagleGolden eagle

Mountain Lakes

Lake Călţun and shelter CălţunLake Călţun
Balea CascadaCascada Bâlea
The Făgăraş Mountains have the densest water network in Romania. The most popular waterfall is called Cascada Bâlea.Mountain lakes, or tarns, are truly jewels of nature and they are said to be the pearls of mountains. To some they resemble big or small mirrors scattered in the mountain valleys - emerald green, dark blue or black in color - enhance the mountain landscapes greatly. They are precious relics of the past epoch when the valleys were filled with glaciers which gouged the rock under their cold bodies. The tarns of the Făgăraş are full of splendour and magnificence but they are also sources of crystal-clear water which, however, must be boiled before drinking. The largest natural lake of the Făgăraş is Bâlea Lake (46 acres), Podragu Lake is the deepest (15.5 m) and Mioarelor Lake is situated at the highest altitude (2282 m).
Resort of Lac BâleaBâlea lake
thousands of shining pearlsThousands of shining pearls
La Fundul Bândei summit (2454m)Mioarelor lake
Altitude(m) Area(ha) Depth(m)
In the western part of the Făgăraş, at the foot of Ciortea (2400m)
In a cute cirque in the west-central part. Lespezi-Călţun-Negoiu Peaks at about 2500m form a magnificent background.
The biggest lake in the Făgăraş Mountains, part of a crowded tourist resort, located in the middle part of the main ridge by the Transfăgărăşan Road.
A little east of Bâlea Lake, under the peak of Vânătoarea lui Buteanu. (2507m)
Podu Giurgiului
In the central-eastern part surrounded by Arpaşu Mare and Mircii peaks (2460m)
The deepest of the lakes, sitting in a cirque in the central part of the range.
Valea Rea
Sitting in the eastern part just under Moldoveanu-Viştea Mare massif
Located in the eastern part near Urlea peak (2473m)
The highest lake, encircled by a massive spur with Dara and Hârtopu summits (2500m)
Capra lakeCapra Lake
scenery near Capra lakeJewel of nature
Saua Caprei Fagaras, RomaniaCapra Lake
Lakes in Făgăraş Mountains, by LukZem

Getting There

transfagarasanTransfăgăraşan Road in summer
Transfagarasan route in...Transfăgăraşan Road in winter
NegoiuIt can get crowdednear the Transfăgăraşan Road
Most of the routes start from the DN1 highway between the cities of Sibiu and Făgăraş. On the south side most routes begin at Curtea de Argeş, although there are two which run from the Olt Valley up the western reaches of the mountains and there is an eastern route which runs west from the foot of the Piatra Craiului Mountains, namely from Plaiul Foii Hut, accessible from the town of Zărneşti (railway station).
In the early 1970s the Transfăgăraşan Road was built between Arpaşu de Jos - Bâlea Waterfall - Lake Bâlea - Vidraru Artificial Lake - Curtea de Argeş. This second highest road in Romania is 90 km long and at an altitude of 2042 meters turns into a tunnel dug under the main crest of the Făgăraş Mountains. Due to severe weather conditions, the road is only passable in the summer period (approx. 3 months a year). Between Cascada Bâlea Hut (1234m) and Lake Bâlea (2030m) a cable car runs almost all year round.For current weather conditions on the Transfăgăraşan Road check out this live webcam:Jurnalul National Balea Lac-Transfagarasan
Red BrothersBig Brothers

Red Tape, Camping, Dangers

View to Moldeveanu- Panorama...
Balea Reservation
Because the Făgăraş Mountains are not a National Park yet, you can pitch the tent practically everywhere.There are only a few nature reserves in the Făgăraş Mountains, namely: the area around Lake Bâlea, the clearing with daffodils near Vad, the hunting reserve in the Arpaşul Valley and the fossils reserve near Turnul Roşu. Although the Făgăraş Mountains are home to many unique species of the Carpathian animals and plants, the number of nature reserves isn't big yet. Dangers in summer:
On the ridgeNot always this peaceful, and not always are the shepherds around.

Huts & Refuges

The main range of the Făgăraş Mountains is completely free of any hostels. There is a network of mountain refugees scattered in each section of the Făgăraş Mountains.
Refuge Elevation (meters) Nearby Peaks Nearest source of water(minutes) Capacity(persons) Location
Berevoiescu peak (2300m)
Easternmost Făgăraş, 800m from Peak Berevoiescu Mare
Zârnei(2223m), Leaota(2312m)
Zârnei saddle in the eastern part
Fereastra Mica - Cheia Bandei
Gălăsescu Mic(2438m), Slăninei(2268m)
Fereastra Mica saddle in the eastern part
Portiţa Viştei
Moldoveanu (2544m), Viştea Mare (2527m)
In the eastern part close to Romania's highest summit. RENOVATED
Podu Giurgiului
Arpaşu Mare (2468m), Podragu (2462m), Mircii (2461m)
In the central part close to a lake. DAMAGED!!!Not a good option due to a garbageall around
Fereastra Zmeilor
Arpaşu Mic (2460m)
Central Făgăraş, at the bottom of Fundul Caprei cirque RENOVATED
Lespezi (2517m), Călţun (2505m), Negoiu (2535m)
In the west, near Călţun Lake
2 146
Scara (2306m)
In the westernmost part of the mountains NEW
Situated at 2136m, Podragu Hut is the highest tourist hut in the Făgăraş Mountains.Located at 2044m, Paltinul Hut is the best known hut just near the Transfăgăraşan road.
Caltun refugeCălţun Refuge
Podragu hostelPodragu Hut
Paltinu ChaletPaltinu Hut
Hut, elevation in meters Nearby Peaks Nearest Train Station/DN www/e-mail Telephone/Mobile Remarks
Suru, 1450
Suru (2283m), Tătarul (1890m)
Sebeşul de Sus
0723 201 410
Rebuilt near the ruins of the old hut, another smaller hut nearby.
Ghiocelul, 520
0744 391 877
Fancy, expensive.
Poiana Neamţului, 706
0269 523 261/0788 592 600
Good conditions with clean rooms, hot water, a bit overpriced.
Bârcaciu, 1550
Ciortea (2427m), Scara (2306m)
0740 059 805
Great hut, very hospitable hosts, delicious food, many perspico games and chess in case you get bored on a rainy day.
Negoiu, 1546
Şerbota (2331m), Negoiu (2535m)
Porumbacu de Jos(DN1)
0744 573 875
Nice hut, hospitable hosts, good food, some people have had problems with the dogs near the hut.
Vama Cucului, 600
Cârţişoara(Sibiu, Transfăgăraşan DN7C)
0744 476 698
Fancy, expensive.
Bâlea Cascada, 1234
Bâlea waterfall
Cârţişoara(Sibiu, Transfăgăraşan DN7C)
0269 211 703
Fancy, expensive.
Bâlea Lac, 2034
Vânătoarea lui Buteanu (2507m), Iezerului (2417m), Lake Bâlea
Cârţişoara(Sibiu, Transfăgăraşan DN7C)
0269 523 517/0745 072 602
A bit too expensive. Looks really good with good conditions but not a hut for mountaineers in my opinion, rather for fancy people.
Paltinu, 2034
Paltinului (2399m),Laiţa (2397m),Lake Bâlea
Cârţişoara(Sibiu, Transfăgăraşan DN7C)
269 211 703/0744 638 823
Not a good choice. You can choose to sleep on the other side of the tunnel in the rescue team refuge Cârţişoara (just 25 Ron.)
Arpaş, 600
Arpaşu de Sus or Victoria Town
Not functional anymore.
Turnuri, 1520
Arpaşu de Sus or Victoria Town
0740 247 362
A nice hut, very welcoming.
Podragu, 2136
Podragu (2462m),Tărâţa (2404m),Lake Podragu (2110m)
Victoria Town
+40 745 319 766
Many bad comments about the prices and hosts...
Complexul turistic Sâmbăta, 670
Sâmbăta de Jos
0744 332 805
Many expensive villas, fancy.
Hotel Floarea Reginei , 800
Sâmbăta de Jos
+40 724 320 651
Fancy, expensive but I always stop there to eat trout.
Valea Sâmbetei, 1401
Gălăşescu Mic(2438m),Slănina(2260m),Colţul Bălăceni(2286m)
Sâmbăta de Jos
www.simbata.ro, cabana.sambata@yahoo.com
0731 340 914
Dirty, crowded by many young guys that get very drunk (most on the weekend), too noisy, better use your tent.
Piscul Alb, 655
Făgăraş or Sebeş
0722 308 461
Nice, hot water, warm, a bit expensive.
Plaiul Foii, 849
Zărneşti (DN73A)
Fancy, expensive.
Cumpăna, 920
Curtea de Argeş - Căpăţîneni (DN7C)
0248 721 456
Fancy, expensive.
Valea cu Peşti, 850
Curtea de Argeş - Căpăţîneni (DN7C)
0747 11 99 01
Fancy, expensive. Boat trips on Lake Vidraru.
Capra, 1520
Muşeteica (2448m),Capra waterfall
Curtea de Argeş - Căpăţîneni (DN7C)
0040 248 721 451
Fancy, expensive.
Piscul Negru, 1300
Lespezi (2517m)
Curtea de Argeş - Căpăţîneni (DN7C)
0248 721109
Fancy, expensive.
Voina chalet, 1020
Câmpulung (DN73)
0722 595 328
Expensive and very crowded by people that come in the car just to eat and have non-mountain fun.
Friends of the Negoiu Hut Friends from Negoiu Hut

Maps & Books

    • Interactive map (click on it and you will find descriptions of the marked routes)
Făgăraş map
Arpasu Mic (left) and Buda...Arpaşu Mic and Buda peaks

Weather & Rescue Service

Scara peak - Făgăraş mountainsScara peak in winter sunshine
The national Salvamont dispatcher is: 0-SALVAMONT (0725-826668).
Area covered Rescue team Name Phone number
Lake Urlea - Peak Podragu
Thomas Bross
0268 241940,0726 686 692
North, between Olt river at west and Tărâţa side ridge at east
David Adrian
0269 216477,0745 140 144
Retevoi Valentin (Chief of rescue team Nucşoara)
0744754445,0724 212 591
Curtea de Argeş
Pleşiţa Nicolae (Chief of rescue team Curtea de Argeş)
0745 826 430,0726686788
Câmpulung (Argeş)
Stoica Cosmin (doctor)
0740 673 011
Câmpulung Muscel (Argeş)
Holoboşan Alexandru (Chief of rescue team Câmpulung Muscel)
0744 270 266,0726 686 678
Sănduloiu Ion (Director of rescue team Argeş)
0745 047 069,0726 686 675
East till Berevoi peak
Pivodă Ioan
0726 686 689
sunlight in the mountains is richer in blue, violet and ultraviolet raysearly morning sunlight

More External Links

Animated Snapshots

All videos by LukZem
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Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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dorucalinciobanu - May 19, 2014 1:01 pm - Voted 10/10


1. Best online free downloadable resources (Guidebook - Romanian - 6 vols. & Map - 2012): http://www.romania-natura.ro/node/24 2. Best weather forecast for Făgăraș mts.: http://freemeteo.ro/weather/muntii-fagaras/7-days/list/?gid=678498&language=english&country=romania


LukZem - May 21, 2014 10:11 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Additions

Thanks a lot.

Viewing: 1-2 of 2



Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.