Biking in Romania: Moldavia
When I say Moldova, not many people know what it is, where it is situated or how it`s like. Mainly because just across the border there is the Republic of Moldova. Well, to clarify things, there are two different regions: Moldova or Moldavia (engl.) as a county or part of Romania and the Republic of Moldova as a country in itself. I come from the first one, more exactly from the town of Botoșani, which is at the far north end of the region or, the place where we use to hang the map, as most of the locals say. 🙂
I am not promoting this place just because it`s my hometown, but because it`s the hometown of one of the most famous poets of Romania – Mihai Eminescu. It is also a very good place for biking, having lots of forests and meadows.
The trail I`m gonna talk about is taking the foot steps of the great poet, it’s an easy and relaxing one and it can be made in about 2-3 hours by a beginner. So that you have plenty of time to visit the memorial House of Mihai Eminescu as well as the famous lake he`s talking about in most of his poems, to take a picnic and to enjoy the beautiful nature around you.
Botoșani – Manolești – Stâncești – Cătămărăști – Ipotești – Lacul Mihai Eminescu – Pădurea Baisa – Hudum – Botoșani
Total length: aprox. 25 km
Time: 2-3 hours
Difficulty level: easy
Equipment : helmet, rain-wear,mosquito spray, water
A more detailed map here.
The tour starts right from Botoșani and it travels along the villages of Manolești, Stâncești and Cătămărăști. There is a second route through Cătămărăști Deal, but there`s more traffic out there. The road to Ipotești is not so spectacular but it`s quite traditional, more Romanian style. So you`ll have the chance to meet plenty of shepherds having sheep, goats and all these kind of animals. 🙂
The trip to Ipotești shouldn`t take more than one hour and a half for a beginner. The landscape is hilly and the traffic on the road is not heavy, which is amazing for biking. If you do the trip in June, you`ll have the change to eat some free mulberries right from the tree, as there are many trees there. For us, the temptation was too big. 🙂
The memorial House from Ipotești can be visited every day according to a certain schedule. The full schedule as well as other useful information can be found on the official website.
Just 15 minutes away from the museum, right in the heart of the forest, you can find the Mihai Eminescu lake. A true oasis of yellow lilies and tranquility. You can either take a break there, have a picnic, or simply enjoy the nature.
The way back is following the same forest – Baisa forest – and starts right near the lake. I must say that this is my favorite part of the tour. The forest road is simply amazing, there is no traffic and we even had the chance to meet some deers on the way. There are a few uphill areas but they are manageable. Very important: don`t forget about the mosquito spray!
The length of the forest is about 7-8 km after which you`ll find a cross-roads. There you have to turn left, towards Botoșani. From here, there are about 8 km to the city, the last area being the most difficult, as you have to go uphill.
Have a good journey!