Generally speaking, if you want to plan a great holiday, whether it’s just a few days or a longer stay, it’s important just what you’re going to visit, but also when you’re visiting. For example, it makes no sense to schedule a hiking tour in the mountains during winter in dangerous areas, just as it’s useless to hit the beach in late autumn when weather conditions are no longer favorable for sunbathing.
That being said, here are a few things that you should consider when it comes to choosing the best seasonal destinations in Romania. Sometimes, it’s recommended to visit the said destination during high season, to make the best out of it, but on the other hand, if you’re the type of person who likes to avoid crowds, perhaps it’s a good idea to visit certain destinations off season.
Visiting the Black Sea and beaches
Even if you don’t plan to spend your entire trip to Romania at the beach, you’re probably tempted to give it a try, especially during summer season. But so do other thousands of tourists and the beaches can become quite crowded. However, there are still a few quieter places that may be enticing for those who like to admire a “wild” landscape. Vadu and Corbu are such beaches, known for the multitude of shells you can find in the sun. For most Romanians at least, it’s a tradition to bring back a shell whenever they travel to the Black Sea.
Another popular beach destination is Vama Veche. For some time, here was the favorite spot for musicians, poets and other artists that liked to hang out on the beach near a bonfire. However, over the last years, Vama Veche is not so quiet anymore, because it has become a thing to demonstrate you have a “rebel” side by visiting this beach. And it’s also a popular destination for young people.
Regardless of the area you choose to visit, it goes without saying that the best season to take a trip to the Black Sea is during summer, starting from late spring, until the beginning of autumn. Some tourists like to visit the beach during winter, because it’s very quiet, but there aren’t many activities you can do when it’s cold outside.
Christmas fairs – not only during Christmas
It goes without even saying that the best time to visit Christmas fairs is during the holidays. Usually, the few fairs that were organized in Romania were open only for a short period of time, just about a week before Christmas. But after the increasing international success of the Christmas fair from Sibiu, other cities decided to follow its example and know there are several Christmas markets in Romania open during the holiday season. Some of them are even open starting with November and most of them can be visited throughout the entire month of December.
Ski and winter sports resorts
During the ski season – which usually starts in Romania around the holidays in December or just at the beginning of January, most winter resorts are packed with tourists, especially during weekends. Many choose to make a short trip for a weekend on the ski slopes coming from nearby cities or even further away.
The most popular winter retreats are the ones found on Prahova Valley – Busteni, Azuga, Sinaia or Predeal, but people are starting to pay attention to other lesser known resorts, such as Transalpina ski resort, with seven ski slopes and cable transport facilities.
If you don’t plan on going skiing right at the start of the season, you should know that Paltinis resort is open for a longer period of time, because there is more snow, due tot the high altitude. It’s not only the oldest winter resort from Romania, but it’s also located at the highest altitude in the country.
Another popular destination for ski and winter sports enthusiasts is Vatra Dornei, a resorts locate din the Bucovina region. Be prepared to endure lower temperatures in the northern part of Romania and make sure you have enough warm clothes in your luggage.
Transylvania is one of the preferred regions for cycling tours in Romania, due to the fact that the relief is ever changing, passing through hills and plains. At the same time, the routes found here are easily accessible even for cycling beginners. The best time to go on a cycling tour in Transylvania is almost all-year round, as long as you don’t mind colder autumn days.
For those interested in discovering more challenging routes, the Piatra Craiului Mountains are a great option, with 11 cycling routes, on a total of 115 km in length, spread over the entire surface of the Piatra Craiului National Park. Of course, during the winter season you should refrain from this type of activity in the mountains.
Those who are interested in observing nature, especially beautiful wild flowers, there are a few Romanian destinations that you should consider. For example, in the Rodnei Mountains, there is a beautiful meadow, known simply as Daffodils’ Meadow. The flowers can be admired during the month of May, when they are in full blossom. At the end of the month, there is also a fair organized. The meadow is located approximately 60 km from Brasov.
Close to Bucharest’s surroundings, in the Comana forest, there is a beautiful peony reserve that you should also visit in May, when the entire beauty of the flowers is revealed. Being part of a reserve, it’s not allowed to pick the peonies.
Speaking of seasonal destinations, it’s worth mentioning the interesting ice hotel built each year near Balea Lake. The hotel is opened only for a limited amount of time, because the ice eventually starts to melt. Reservations are quite hard to get, because apparently there are plenty of people willing to spend a night at below freezing temperatures.
In general, seasonal destinations in Romania are quite versatile in the sense that you can find interesting things to visit or do even off season. Except for destinations that are conditioned by weather, most of the places you want to visit are just more or less crowded. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to find out as much as possible about the places you want to visit, but also about certain tourist attractions. For example, some museums have different schedules in the summer and winter season.
For a great experience, you should consider opting for a private tour in Romania, with an experienced guide who can advise on the best places to visit during certain periods of time.