May 14

Balea Lake (Balea Lac)

As you probably already know, there are certain places which are worth visiting in a specific time of the year, because the beauty of the particular location is emphasized solely in that season. But with others, tourists are lucky enough to undergo different experiences throughout the year.

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So is the case with Balea Lake. The surroundings are spectacular irrespective of the time of the year in which you visit them. It pretty much depends on whether you are more fond of winter or summer, but whichever the case might be, one thing is obvious: Balea Lake will take your breath away.

The alpine environment consists of mountainous peaks, of coniferous forests and specific flora and fauna, such as the yellow water lily, the edelweiss or the black goat, the Aquila, lynx –these are all animals protected by law. In fact, Balea Lake, together with a surrounding area of 100 hectares, has been declared a natural reservation so you are more that certain to encounter some of the species of plants and animals listed above.

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Probably one of the things which mostly attract tourists is the sense of seclusion they get upon reaching the location. It is true that the area has been specially arranged for visitation: a cabin has been constructed on the peninsula facing the lake and specific recreational facilities have been arranged so as to engage tourists in diverse entertaining activities.

Thus we can mention the sky track, the dock from where you can rent a boat and sail across the crystal clear water of the lake (in the summer), or the hockey court established over the frozen lake in winter time. An important aspect is worth mentioning about the resort. In winter, the Ice Hotel comes into being.

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Due to the extreme weather conditions, the organizers are given the chance to use their imagination and construct an edifice made out of ice. So if you are interested in experimenting something different, you can visit in the area in the cold season and book a room at this hotel, which is equipped with all the facilities you can think of. The less adventurous can simply take a tour of the Ice Hotel for a small fee.

At night, the hotel is transformed into a club and tourists can spend their time dancing the night away. You can only imagine the beautiful coloration conveyed to the ice by the lights especially brought in for the occasion.

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But while there might be a lot of visitors in the area, there is always the possibility to distance yourself from the crowd and explore the vicinity of Balea Lake Resort.

The picturesque imagery is overwhelming even to those who have visited quite a few impressive places of natural beauty. While summer transforms the region into a green oasis, it is mostly the winter which bestows the area with a fairytale-like look. It seems that the fascinating world of the north, with its impressive quantity of snow, takes hold of Balea Lake. The water of the lake is frozen, the mountains are embraced by the thick layer of snow and bits of ice hang over the eaves of the roof.

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There is one thing that you need to take into consideration. The Lake is situated at a high altitude and the winter conditions are harsh in this place so before deciding to go on the road, it is best to gather some information referring to the weather and to the traveling conditions. Because there have been instances when the road leading to Balea Lake was blocked by snow, thus making the entire region inaccessible to tourists, and not only.

Apr 13

Balea Lake Resort (Balea Lac)

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.

Balea Lake

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.