Balea Lake Resort is a highly important tourist attraction, situated in Sibiu County, in Fagaras Mountains (in the Meridionali Carpathians). Balea Lake is a glacial lake located at 2034 m altitude. Balea has 360 m in length, 11,35 in depth and a total surface of 46.508 sq. ft.
The lake, together with a surrounding surface of 100 ha, has been declared a natural reservation. The setting is spectacular. There are numerous terraces and peaks such as: Iezerul Caprei (‘The Goat’s Mountain Lake’ – 2417m), Saua Caprei (‘The Goat’s Saddle’ – 2315m) and Paltinul (‘Sycamore Mapple’ – 2398m). The lake is found at the foot of Piatra Craiului Mountains and of Olt River Strait.
During the summer, the Trasfagarasan is opened for circulation so you can reach the resort by car. But in the other seasons, the only access to Balea Lake consists of cable tramway. In 1904, the first cabin was built at Balea Lake, on the peninsula situated in front of the lake. This is the most renowned cabin in Fagaras Mountains as it is surrounded on three sides by water.
Balea Waterfall is one of the most impressive waterfalls in Romania. It is situated at an altitude of 1234 m and measures 60 m in length. The murmur that the water makes while falling down is quite powerful and for this reason, the cascade is also known as the Howling Balea. The waterfall then divides itself in several other smaller waterfalls which stream more peacefully.
Just to understand how noisy the cascade really is, you should know that tourists cannot get too close to it, as there is no access road. Even if they have to admire it from afar, they can still hear its ‘voice’. It is the voice of nature untamed.
The cascade and the lake can be admired for their actual size and worth from the cable tramway which runs over a 3800 m distance in order to take the tourists to Balea Lake. You cannot help but feel overwhelmed by the beauty of this landscape.Those who have a passion for the mountainside will be pleased to hear that they have a variety of mountain tracks to choose from, some posing a real challenge to the adventurers.
In 2006, the first Ice Hotel from Romania was inaugurated at Balea Lake and, at present, tourists can vist the Ice Church which is located right next to the hotel. The Ice Church is the first one of its kind in the entire south-eastern part of Europe. The worship house has furniture, crucifixes and icons, all made out of snow and ice.
Different sports, specific for the winter time, are practiced here. The area has numerous natural tracks and for this reason, skiing is the number one sport practiced by the majority of tourists. When the lake freezes, its surface is arranged for hockey, ice-skating and curling. In summer, tourists can engage in rowing.
Another glacial lake, Goat Lake, is located in close proximity of Balea Lake. The lake is situated at 2241 m altitude and it is separated from Balea Lake by a mountain slope which can be climbed in more or less than 45 minutes. It is definitely worth the effort, as the view from the top of the mountain is fascinating.