Alba County - Brasov County - Bistrita Nasaud County - Cluj County - Covasna County - Harghita County - Hunedoara County - Mures County - Salaj County - Sibiu County
Hotels in Harghita - Travel Agencies in Harghita
Other zones : Crisana and Banat - Dobrogea - Maramures - Moldova and Bucovina - Muntenia and Oltenia
- geographical situation: in the central part of Romania, in the middle group of the eastern Carpathians and in the east of the Transylvanian Plateau, the county covers the upper basins of the Mures, Olt, Tarnava Mare and Trotus rivers;
- neighbours: in the north-Suceava; in the east-Neamt, Bacau; in the south-Covasna, Brasov; in the west-Mures;
- surface: 6,639 square km (respectively 2,8 % of the country-s territory);
- population: 345,000 inhabitants;
- towns: MIERCUREA CIUC - capital of the county (with 46,000 inhabitants, close to the Olt,
between the Ciuc and Harghita Mountains, at the crossroads between Moldavia and Transylvania); Baile Tusnad; Balan; Borsec; Cristuru Secuiesc; Gheorghieni; Odorheiu Secuiesc; Vlahita.
- relief: the county is dominated by mountains (in the east the Giurgeu Mountains-1,545 m, the Hasmas Mountains-1,793 m, the Ciuc-1,490 m, the Bistrita, in the west the Caliman Mountains-with Iezeru Calimanului Peak-2,031 m, in the centre, the Gurghiu Mountains-1,777 m, the Harghita Mountains-1,801 m), hills (parts of the Transylvanian Sub-Carpathians-the Tarnave Plateau), intra-alpine depressions (Giurgeu, Ciuc, Gheorghieni, Bilbor, Borsec);
- climate: it is varied, the depressions are characterised by long cold winters and enough hot summers, more than 160 days a year with temperatures below 00C, in low areas. Late spring frosts (even in June) or early in autumn (even in September) can happen here;
- watercourses: the Mures, the Tarnava Mare and Tarnava Mica in the west, the Olt (with the Raul Negru and the two Homoroade) in the south, the Bistrita and the Trotus, in the east. The hydrographic network is completed with mineral water springs and mofettes (emissions of carbon dioxide and sulphuretted hydrogen), with healing purpose (Borsec, Tusnad) and with the volcanic lake Sf. Ana, or Karst lakes in the salt massifs of Praid, the natural dam lake-the Red Lake-between the Suhard and Ghilcos Mountains.
- The Hasmas Mountains-they are situated in the centre of the Eastern Carpathians and are a very important touristic place due to their landscape (culminating with their impressive Gorges of Bicazul) and to the attraction they offer to climbers. Geo Bogza, fascinated by these mountains, wrote: -This sympohony of earth is the Hasmasul Mare Mountain, bursting out abruptly in the plain, decided, massive, dominating the north and the east-;
- The Ciuc Mountains - they stretch between the springs of Olt and the Casin Pass, fragmented by rivers, with mild slopes;
- The Harghita Mountains.
- The Meresti Cave - on the Varghis Valley, the longest cave in the Eastern Carpathians;
- The Sugau Cave - accessible from the village of Voslateni, with three superposed entrances and continuing with many galleries opening in large halls;
- The Ice Cave and Bears- Cave-near Borsec spa.
- The Gorges of Bicaz-(3 km away from Lacul Rosu and 30 km north east of Ghergheni), the famous gorges are cut by the Bicaz river in the limestone of the Hasmas Massif, on a length of 8 km (between the Lacul Rosu spa and the Bicaz Chei village). From the road crossing this wild region, connecting Transylvania with Moldavia, one can admire unique beauties. Thus, here and there, we see steep walls, called -pietre- (rocks): -Piatra Altarului- (1,121 m in altitude, many climbers try to reach its peak), the legend says that, in times of free Dacians, it used to be a worship place; -Piatra Arsitei-, -Piatra Singuratica-. The central part, called -Gatul Iadului- (Hell-s Neck), impresses by its aspect of canyon; the writer Mihail Sadoveanu said: -From these vertical walls of stone the Bicaz thunders downwards-. The territory of the gorges has been declared monument of nature and forms a complex preserve, geological, floristic and faunistic.
- The Red Lake-(30 km from Gheorgheni and 30 km from Bicaz), the biggest natural dam lake in Romania. It took birth in 1837 by the collapse of a huge tract of soil from the north eastern side of the Ucigasul Mountain. This -alpine sea-, in miniature, is a joy for the travellers who came to admire it. The area surrounding the lake was declared floristic and faunistic preserve;
- Saint Ana Lake-(17 km from Bixad, on DJ Bixad-Targu Secuiesc, 3 hours from Baile Tusnad), it is situated in the Ciomatu Mare massif in the Harghita Mountains, at an altitude of 950 m. It is the only lake in Central Europe formed in a volcano crater. It is the main point of attraction for thousands of visitors arrived to rest in the resorts of the upper Olt. The area surrounding the lake forms a complex geological and floristic preserve.
PRESERVES AND MONUMENTS OF NATURE
- The Moors from Valea Mijlocie - in the Olt meadow, south of Tusnadul Nou, home of the small beech tree, Siberian species at its most southern location;
- The Moors from Sancraieni-Ciuc, (7 km from Miercurea Ciuc), permanently supplied with warm water;
- The Benes Moors - Tusnad;
- The-Dupa Lunca- Moors - Voslabeni;
- The Salt Mountain-Praid;
- The Snail Hill-Corund.
SPAS AND RESORTS
- Borsec-(26 km from Toplita), famous spa with old tradition situated in a natural pictoresque landscape, in the depression with the same name, between the Giurgeu and Bistrita Mountains, at an altitude of 850-1000. Its mineral waters are known and recommended for their healing qualities by Italian doctor Burcella since 1594. The Borsec water is a famous drinking water, poet Vasile Alecsandri, said (in 1848) that waters here -were bottled in hundreds of big flasks and scattered all over the world-. The international acknowledgement of the healing qualities of these waters came with a series of prestigious awards in Vienna, Paris, Berlin, Trieste. -The queen of the mineral waters-, as the spa is called, has an alpine stimulating climate, with refreshing air (pure and rich in ozone), quiet and comfortable accommodation facilities, numerous treatment devices. Ski and sledge slopes are also available for winter and interesting trips can be made in the surrounding area (the Fairies- Glade, Bears- Cave, Ice Cave). All these give Borsec a unique charm every season. Access: by train-Toplita railway station, on Bucharest-Brasov-Ciceu-Satu Mare line, then by bus, by road DN 12 Brasov-Toplita and then DN 15 to the spa;
- Baile Tusnad-(37 km south of Miercurea Ciuc, 67 km from Brasov), famous spa situated at the feet of the volcanic massif Harghita (at an altitude of 650 m), around the quiet Ciucas lake on the left bank of the Olt. Surrounded by century old fir trees, the spa has fresh and rich in ozone air and a subalpine climate (annual average temperature: 6oC). The treatment facilities include: modern devices for mineral water barths, mofettes, aerosols and inhalations, electro- and hydrotherapy, massage. Baile Tusnad are the ideal place for spending the holidays every season, with modern accommodation and many possibilities of spending the time (the Ciucas Lake, used for rowing in summer and skating in winter, trips to Saint Ana Lake). Access: by train-Tusnad-Bai station on Bucharest-Brasov-Satu Mare line, by road-DN 12 from Brasov or from Miercurea Ciuc, DN 11 from Onesti;
- Lacul Rosu (The Red Lake)-(30 km from Gheorgheni, 30 km from Bicaz), it is one of the most attractive and visited resorts in our country. It is situated in a depression (at an altitude of 980 m) between Suhardul Mare and Suhardul Mic. Being placed on the banks of Lacul Rosu, near the Bicaz Gorges, the resort represents a touristic destination of top importance, with many offers: rowing, fishing, ski, climbing;
- Izvorul Muresului-spa (18 km south of Gheorgheni, at an altitude of 900 m);
- Baile Jigodin-spa (3 km from Miercurea Ciuc, at an altitude of 650 m);
- Praid-spa (la 7 km de Sovata), important for the salt mine microclimate;
- Baile Homorod-spa (17 km from Odorheiu Secuiesc, at an altitude of 725 m);
- Toplita-(37 km from Gheorgheni).
- Vestiges of Miko Fortress-Mirecurea Ciuc, it was built in 1621, on the foundations of a previous fortress, at the order of the royal councillor Miko Ferenc; later it was rebuilt. Today it hosts the Ethnographic Museum of the county;
- Vestiges of the Dacian Fortress Sangidava - Toplita;
- Ruins of the Roman Camp-Odorheiu Secuiesc;
- Lazar Castle-Lazarea (16th century), the Transylvanian prince, Gabriel Bethlen, spent his childhood here;
- Medieval Fortress-Odorheiu Secuiesc (16th century);
- Peasant Fortress-Carta (1444);
- Ruins of Both Fortress-Gheogheni (14th century).
- The Baroque Complex from Somuleu-Mirecurea Ciuc, it was built in 1804 on the place of the Franciscan Church built in 1442 by Iancu de Hunedoara. It hosts one of the biggest organs in Transylvania;
- Unitarian Church-Cristuru Secuiesc (11th century), repairs in the 15th century;
- Church-Feliceni (12th-13th century), the ceiling was painted in 1670;
- Church-Misentea (13th century), with valuable sculptures;
- Fortified Roman-Catholic Church-Carta (1444), it still preserves original Gothic elements;
- Roman-Catholic Church-Gheorgheni (1498), later rebuilt;
- -Sf. Margareta- Chapel-Santimbru (15th century), with wall paintings;
- Roman-Catholic Church-Armaseni (16th century), in Late Gothic style, with valuable inner wall paintings dating from 1655;
- Church-Delnita (16th century), in Renaissance style, the only church in this area with external wall paintings.
- The traditional crafts and popular costume are preserved in their original form in the villages inhabitaed by Romanians, Hungarians, Szeklers. Of the ethnographical centres, we mention: Corund (famous centre of enamelled pottery, characterised by elegant and rich ornamentation), Danesti (black pottery), Sancraieni (fabrics), Tusnad-Sat (artistic stone sculpture), Corbu (textures and seams).
Source: Romanian Travel Guide / Publirom