Some hiking to Curmătura Cottage
There should be a break from the biking tours from time to time. And what else can be nicer than some hiking ? 🙂
Because I absolutely love Piatra Craiului mountains, today I am going to recommend you an easy hiking tour to Curmătura cottage. It is situated at an altitude of 1470m, in the north-eastern side of the Piatra Craiului Massif, in between Piatra Mică and Turnu Pietrei Mari Peak. This is an important cross-roads for all the hiking routes in Piatra Craiului. From Zărnești, there are two tracks to Curmătura which can be accessed all year long, of course if the meteorological conditions allow it. The tracks are beautiful throughout the year, each season making the route amazing in its own way.
Our journey starts from Zărnești. Zărnești can be reached either by train or by personal car. If you choose the train, you will need to take the first one from Bucharest to Brașov. You can have a look here at the train schedule. When you reach Brașov, you`ll need to change the train and take another one towards Zărnești. The schedule for Regio Trans Brașov – Zărnești can be seen here. If you choose to go by car, just insert Zărnești in you GPS or Maps Application. 🙂
Once in Zărnești, you need to go towards Râului Street, or the road towards Măgura. Here is a map:
From Zărnești to Fântâna lui Botorog (Botorog`s Fountain), following Râului Street (River street), there are only few kilometers. And Fântâna lui Botorog is easy to recognize: it`s actually a small fountain on the right hand side of the road. Other reference points are: the way to Măgura located on the left hand side and the forest road to Prăpăstiile Zărneștilor which continues straight.
From Fântâna lui Botorog you need to follow the yellow tape marking. The hiking track is quite easy and it won`t take you more than 3-3,5 hrs. The first part goes through the forest and can be quite demanding for a beginner. This won`t take more than an hour. After climbing through the forest, you`ll reach Poiana Zănoaga (Zănoaga glade), located at an altitude of 1314m.
The track goes further away across the sheepfold from Poiana Zănoaga, traverses the whole glade, then continues to the cottage through the forest.
For those who worry about bears, I have good news! Due to the limestone geology, water is hard to find in Piatra Craiului Mountains. Therefore, bears cannot survive here. So, no bears. 🙂 The lack of water, though, can be a problem for us, too, so take extra water with you.
Regarding the equipment, for a summer hike you won`t need too much: a 20-25l backpack, boots, polar sweater, wind-stopper, T-shirts and some rain wear should be enough.
If you`re going in winter time, you`ll need some thick clothes (polar sweater, first layer, rain repellent wear), water-proof boots (with Goretex membrane if possible), water-proof trousers or over trousers and snow leggings.
Curmătura Cottage offers you food and accommodation. The prices are low and accessible and you can either take a bed in a big shared bedroom or have a private bedroom (with 2 or 3 beds). As you prefer. 🙂 More details and up to date information can be seen on the official website of the cottage.
P.S: if you wish to stay over night, better take a sleeping bag with you.
Personally, this is one of my favorite hiking tracks and it`s perfect for a weekend break. It is not a difficult hike and it has amazing views. The cottage is warm and friendly and reminds me of the Alps.
Have a nice hike!