Bâlea Lake is a natural wonder located in the Fagaras Mountains, Sibiu County in Romania. Carved 2,034 meters up into the rugged stones, this stunning glacier lake offers breathtaking scenery and is a must-visit destination for nature lovers seeking a unique and unforgettable experience in Romania.
The lake is named after a young Romanian shepherd named Balea, who bravely defeated a bear and tragically lost his life in a storm. Today, his memory lives on in the mesmerizing beauty of the lake.
Bâlea Lake – known as Balea Lac in Romanian -, is a popular spot for outdoor activities such as hiking, ice climbing, cycling, and skiing. During winter, the lake becomes a ski resort with off-piste skiing and snowboarding.
Accommodation options near the lake include rustic chalets and the first Ice Hotel in Eastern Europe, providing visitors with a one-of-a-kind stay on the frozen lake.
Transportation to the lake can be done by car on the Transfagarasan Road, a scenic mountain route that offers breathtaking views, or by taking a cable car from Balea Waterfall.
- Bâlea Lake is a stunning natural wonder located in the Făgăraș Mountains in Romania.
- The lake is named after a local legend about a brave shepherd named Balea who lost his life in a storm.
- The lake offers a range of outdoor activities such as hiking, ice climbing, cycling, and skiing.
- Accommodation options include rustic chalets and the first Ice Hotel in Eastern Europe, providing visitors with a unique and unforgettable experience.
- Transportation to the lake can be done by car on the Transfăgărășan Road or by taking a cable car from Balea Waterfall.
The Legend of Balea Lake
The name of the lake is rooted in a local legend that tells the story of a Romanian shepherd named Balea. According to the legend, Balea was tending his sheep when he was attacked by a bear. Balea fought bravely against the bear and was eventually able to defeat it. Impressed by his courage, the king invited Balea to join his guards. It was during his time as a guard that Balea fell in love with the king’s oldest daughter and eventually married her.
Tragically, on their wedding day, Balea and his wife were caught in a violent storm and lost their lives. In honor of their bravery and love, the locals decided to name the lake after the heroic shepherd.
Balea Lake continues to attract visitors from all over the world with its stunning natural beauty and unique range of activities. Hiking is a popular option, with numerous trails offering breathtaking views of the Făgăraș Mountains, including the highest peaks of Moldoveanu and Negoiu. For those seeking a challenge, the Transfăgărășan Road provides a thrilling cycling or driving route to reach the lake. In winter, Balea Lake transforms into a ski resort, drawing expert skiers and snowboarders with its long slopes and off-piste opportunities. Ice climbing is also a popular activity at the nearby Bâlea Waterfall.
Accommodation options around Balea Lake include rustic chalets like Paltinu Chalet and Bâlea Lac Chalet, which offer comfortable rooms, traditional Romanian food, and event spaces. For a truly unique experience, visitors can choose to stay at the Ice Hotel, the first of its kind in Eastern Europe, which is constructed entirely of ice cubes extracted from the lake.
Transportation options to reach Balea Lake include the Transfăgărășan Road, a scenic and winding path with breathtaking views, or the Balea Bus from Sibiu. Visitors can also opt for cycling or private tours. Regardless of the mode of transportation, a visit to Balea Lake promises an unforgettable journey into the beauty of the Romanian landscape and the legend that surrounds it.
Outdoor Activities and Adventures at Bâlea Lake
Bâlea Lake offers not only stunning natural beauty but also a range of adventurous activities for visitors. This picturesque lake is carved into the rugged stones of the Transylvanian Alps, offering a spectacular backdrop for a variety of outdoor activities.
Hiking is a popular option in the area, with several trails leading to the highest peaks of the Făgăraș Mountains such as Moldoveanu and Negoiu. These trails vary in difficulty and length, allowing hikers of all levels to enjoy the stunning scenery of the surrounding mountains.
Mountain biking is another activity that visitors can indulge in at Bâlea Lake. The challenging Transfăgărășan Road, one of the most famous roads in Romania, provides breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and forests.
In winter, Bâlea Lake transforms into a ski resort, offering off-piste skiing and snowboarding on the longest slope in the Carpathians. Ice climbing is also available at Bâlea Waterfall for those seeking a more adrenaline-fueled adventure.
After a long day of outdoor activities, visitors can retreat to one of the rustic chalets near the lake or experience the unique opportunity of staying at Eastern Europe’s first Ice Hotel. Both options offer an unforgettable experience and a chance to connect with nature.
No matter what your outdoor interests are, Bâlea Lake provides a range of activities and adventures for all nature lovers to enjoy.
Accommodation Options at Bâlea Lake
When visiting Bâlea Lake in Romania, there are several accommodation options available. Two rustic chalets, Paltinu Chalet and Bâlea Lac Chalet, offer year-round accommodation with double rooms, apartments, and restaurants serving traditional Romanian food.
For a smaller and more intimate experience, travelers can stay at the Bâlea Tunnel Refuge, where the hosts provide comfortable beds and traditional food.
In winter, visitors can also stay at the first Ice Hotel in Eastern Europe, which is made from ice cubes extracted from the lake.
To reach Bâlea Lake, travelers can drive on the Transfăgărășan Road, take the Balea Bus from Sibiu, or go on a private tour from Sibiu or Bucharest.
With its scenic views and various activities such as hiking, ice climbing, skiing, and snowboarding, Bâlea Lake is a must-visit destination for nature lovers.
Getting to Bâlea Lake
Getting to Bâlea Lake is an adventure in itself. The journey takes visitors through the breathtaking Transfăgărășan Road, one of the most spectacular highways in the world. The road twists and turns through the Făgăraș Mountains of Romania, offering stunning views at every turn.
The Transfăgărășan Road is open for visitors during the summer months and can be accessed from Arefu village in the south or Cârțișoara in the north. In the winter, the road is closed, and access to Bâlea Lake is only possible from the north. Alternatively, visitors can take the Balea Bus from Sibiu to the lake or go on a private tour from Sibiu or Bucharest.
For the more adventurous, biking up to the lake is also an option. From the bottom of the Transfăgărășan Road, it’s a challenging but rewarding 25-mile climb up to Bâlea Lake.
Once visitors reach the lake, they can take a cable car from the parking lot to the chalets or the first Ice Hotel in Eastern Europe. The cable car is a thrilling experience that offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
Overall, the journey to Bâlea Lake is an unforgettable experience that adds to the natural wonder of this destination in Romania’s Transylvanian Alps.
Alternative Transportation Options
If you don’t have a car, there are other options for reaching Bâlea Lake. Public transportation and private tours are great alternatives for those who prefer not to drive.
One of the most convenient options is public transportation, specifically the Balea Bus. This bus runs daily during the summer months and transports visitors from the bottom of the Transfăgărășan Road to the top, where Bâlea Lake is located. The Balea Bus also makes stops at nearby attractions, including the Balea Waterfall, making it a great option for those who want to explore the area.
If you prefer a more customized experience, private tours are available. These tours offer transportation to Bâlea Lake as well as guided tours of the surrounding area. Private tours can be arranged through local tour operators or hotels and can be tailored to your preferences.
Overall, there are plenty of alternative transportation options available for those looking to visit Bâlea Lake. Whether you opt for public transportation or a private tour, these alternatives can help you reduce your carbon footprint while still enjoying all that this beautiful destination has to offer.
Exploring the Surrounding Area
Beyond Bâlea Lake, there are numerous hiking trails in the breathtaking Făgăraș Mountains. The area boasts stunning natural landscapes and a variety of outdoor activities.
|The Făgăraș Mountains provide excellent hiking opportunities, with several trails leading to the highest peaks, Moldoveanu and Negoiu. Bâlea Waterfall is a popular destination for a 10-kilometer hike.
|The area offers scenic cycling routes, with challenging terrain and panoramic views.
|Visitors can take in the stunning natural landscapes and explore the local culture and customs.
Bâlea Lake can be reached by car or cable car, with plenty of rustic chalets and even an ice hotel for accommodation. Other activities in the area include mountain biking, backcountry skiing, and snowboarding. The journey to Bâlea Lake, known as the Transfăgărășan Road, is a beautiful and winding route through the mountains.
Dining Options at Bâlea Lake
Bâlea Lake offers a variety of dining options to satisfy your appetite. Located in the Făgăraș Mountains, visitors can enjoy stunning natural beauty while indulging in traditional Romanian food.
For rustic accommodation and dining options, visitors can choose between Paltinu Chalet and Bâlea Lac chalet, both of which provide year-round availability. These chalets also have event spaces available for weddings and conferences.
|Traditional Romanian food
|Bâlea Lac chalet
|Traditional Romanian food
For a more intimate experience, visitors can stay at the Bâlea Tunnel Refuge, which provides comfortable beds and traditional Romanian food.
|Bâlea Tunnel Refuge
|Traditional Romanian food
For a truly unique experience, visitors can stay at the first Ice Hotel in Eastern Europe, constructed entirely from ice cubes extracted from the lake. The Ice Hotel offers double rooms, igloos, and an Ice restaurant and bar.
Whether visitors are looking for traditional Romanian cuisine or a one-of-a-kind dining experience, Bâlea Lake has options to suit everyone’s tastes.
The Beauty of Bâlea Lake in Winter
Bâlea Lake transforms into a winter wonderland, offering a range of activities for snowy adventures. Nestled in the Făgăraș Mountains, this glacier lake is surrounded by rugged stones and breathtaking views that are sure to enchant visitors. The lake is named after a brave shepherd named Balea, who fought off a bear that attacked him. Winter at Bâlea Lake provides a unique opportunity to experience a ski resort for expert skiers and snowboarders, with a long off-piste slope for exhilarating thrills.
In addition to skiing and snowboarding, the surrounding area is ideal for hiking, ice climbing, and mountain biking. Visitors can explore the frozen landscape with snowshoeing and sledding or enjoy skating on the frozen lake. Bâlea Lake provides an unforgettable winter experience that is perfect for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts alike.
Getting to Bâlea Lake is part of the adventure. Travelers can ride on the Transfăgărășan Road, which is closed during the winter but accessible with special permits. Alternatively, the Balea Bus offers a convenient and comfortable way to reach the top of the mountain from Sibiu.
Accommodation options are available near the lake, including rustic chalets and the Bâlea Tunnel Refuge, which offers a cozy and warm shelter for visitors. Additionally, the first Ice Hotel in Eastern Europe is a unique and unforgettable accommodation option, made entirely of ice cubes from the lake.
Overall, Bâlea Lake in winter is a spectacular and exciting destination for those seeking natural beauty and outdoor adventure. Whether you come for the skiing, snowboarding, hiking, or just to admire the stunning views, Bâlea Lake is a must-visit destination in Romania.
Unforgettable Experiences at the Ice Hotel
One unique experience at Bâlea Lake is staying at the first Ice Hotel in Eastern Europe. This stunning hotel is made entirely of ice cubes taken from the lake, providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for guests to sleep in a cozy ice bed.
The hotel offers a range of rooms with different themes, such as the Ice King suite and the Ice Queen suite, each with intricate ice sculptures and carvings. The hotel also features an ice bar, where visitors can enjoy a drink surrounded by stunning ice architecture.
Despite its icy construction, the hotel provides all the necessary amenities and comforts, including warm sleeping bags, blankets, and fur throws. Guests are also provided with hot drinks and a traditional Romanian dinner served on ice plates for a truly unique dining experience.
Staying at the Ice Hotel is not just a place to rest your head but provides an unforgettable experience, especially given that the hotel can only be open during the winter months. It’s an adventure that you will never forget, and the perfect complement to the winter activities available at Bâlea Lake.
The Magic of Bâlea Lake
Bâlea Lake is a true gem in Romania, offering a range of activities and breathtaking scenery. Nestled in the Făgăraș Mountains at an altitude of 2,034 meters, the lake boasts stunning views and a rich history.
Legend has it that the lake is named after a brave shepherd named Balea, who defeated a bear but tragically lost his life on his wedding day. Visitors can immerse themselves in this tale and explore the area where it took place.
But Bâlea Lake is not just a sightseeing destination. It’s also a haven for outdoor adventurers. Hiking, ice climbing, skiing, and mountain biking are just a few of the thrilling activities that visitors can enjoy. The surrounding Făgăraș Mountains boast hiking trails that lead to majestic peaks such as Moldoveanu and Negoiu.
In winter, the lake transforms into a ski resort, offering exhilarating off-piste skiing and snowboarding. The snow-covered landscape provides a stunning backdrop for winter activities.
Accommodation options at Bâlea Lake range from rustic chalets to the first Ice Hotel in Eastern Europe, made entirely of ice extracted from the lake. Visitors can take a break from the outdoor adventures and relax in unique, one-of-a-kind accommodations.
Getting to Bâlea Lake is an adventure in itself. The iconic Transfăgărășan Road, a winding route through the mountains, is one of the most picturesque roads in the world. Alternatively, visitors can opt for public transport options such as the Balea Bus.
Surrounded by natural beauty and outdoor adventure, Bâlea Lake is a must-visit destination in Romania. Embark on a transformative journey to Bâlea Lake and discover the enchanting allure of this magical destination.
Experience the Beauty and Adventure of Balea Glacier Lake
Whether you choose to hike, bike, ski, or simply take in the natural beauty, a visit to Bâlea Lake is a must for anyone seeking a memorable outdoor adventure in Romania. Located in the stunning Făgăraș Mountains, this glacier lake boasts breathtaking views and unforgettable experiences.
The lake’s name is derived from a local legend about a brave young shepherd named Balea who defeated a bear. Balea Lake offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, and skiing. Hiking in the Făgăraș Mountains is a popular activity, with several hiking routes starting from the lake. You can choose to hike to the highest peak, Moldoveanu, in a nine-hour hike or to the second highest peak, Negoiu, in a five-hour hike.
If you’re a mountain biking enthusiast, the Transfăgărășan Road provides a challenging but rewarding route to reach Balea Lake. In winter, the lake transforms into a ski resort, offering opportunities for skiing and snowboarding. You can also enjoy high-adrenaline sensations by skiing down the piste or ice climbing at Bâlea Waterfall.
There are various accommodation options near the lake including rustic chalets, such as Paltinu Chalet and Bâlea Lac Chalet, that offer year-round accommodations and traditional Romanian food. For a unique experience, you can stay at the Ice Hotel, made with ice cubes from the lake.
To reach Balea Lake, you can ride on the Transfăgărășan Road, a winding path that cuts through the Făgăraș Mountains. Alternatively, you can take the Balea Bus from Sibiu or go on a private tour from Sibiu or Bucharest.
Balea Lake promises beauty, adventure, and unforgettable experiences in the heart of nature. Don’t miss the chance to explore this magnificent glacier lake in Romania.
Q: How was Bâlea Lake formed?
A: Bâlea Lake was formed when a glacier eroded the mountains and then melted, leaving behind a remarkable body of water that is surrounded by rugged stones.
Q: Why is Bâlea Lake named after a shepherd?
A: Bâlea Lake is named after a young shepherd named Balea, who showed great bravery when he encountered a bear while herding his sheep. He defeated the bear and earned recognition from the king. Unfortunately, he and his bride-to-be lost their lives on their wedding day, and the lake was named in their honor.
Q: What activities can I do at Bâlea Lake?
A: Bâlea Lake offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, skiing, and snowboarding. Visitors can also explore the surrounding Făgăraș Mountains and enjoy the stunning natural beauty.
Q: What types of accommodation are available at Bâlea Lake?
A: Bâlea Lake offers two rustic chalets, Paltinu Chalet and Bâlea Lac Chalet, which provide year-round accommodation. There is also an Ice Hotel made entirely of ice cubes extracted from the lake, offering a unique and unforgettable experience.
Q: How do I get to Bâlea Lake?
A: Bâlea Lake can be accessed via the Transfăgărășan Road, which can be entered from either Arefu village in the south or Cârțișoara in the north. In winter, access is only possible from the north, and a cable car takes visitors up to the lake from Bâlea Waterfall.
Q: What are the alternative transportation options for reaching Bâlea Lake?
A: If you don’t have a car, you can take the Balea Bus, which runs daily from Sibiu to Transfăgărășan and provides transportation to the lake. Private tours from Sibiu or Bucharest are also available for a more personalized experience.
Q: Can I explore the surrounding area of Bâlea Lake?
A: Yes, Bâlea Lake is surrounded by the beautiful Făgăraș Mountains, and there are several hiking trails that start from the lake and lead to the peaks and valleys in the area.
Q: Are there dining options available at Bâlea Lake?
A: Yes, there are restaurants at Bâlea Lake that serve traditional Romanian food, providing visitors with a taste of the local cuisine.
Q: What winter activities are available at Bâlea Lake?
A: In the winter months, Bâlea Lake transforms into a ski resort, offering opportunities for skiing and snowboarding. Off-piste skiing and snowboarding are also popular activities in the area.
Q: What can I expect at the Ice Hotel at Bâlea Lake?
A: The Ice Hotel at Bâlea Lake is the first of its kind in Eastern Europe. Made entirely of ice cubes extracted from the lake, it offers double rooms, igloos, an Ice restaurant, and a bar, providing a truly unforgettable stay in the midst of nature.
Q: Why should I visit Bâlea Lake?
A: Bâlea Lake is a true gem in Romania, offering stunning natural beauty and a range of outdoor activities and adventures. Whether you choose to hike, bike, ski, or simply take in the scenery, a visit to Bâlea Lake promises a memorable outdoor adventure.