Finding the right mountain trip for children and seniors can be difficult. It has to be a combination of safety and attractiveness, to keep the person’s interest without being too strenuous.
This article was inspired by a rising world movement that aims to promote mountains as an inclusive environment where all visitors can enjoy their outing experience to the fullest. Following this principle, we propose a couple of trails that are suitable for children, seniors and people with limited mobility, such as wheelchair users.
Packing for a mountain trip in Zărneşti Gorges
Embark on a trip that will take you through a deep and narrow limestone canyon, on a smooth road that is accessible for all. It is located on the eastern side of the unspoilt Piatra Craiului National Park, which is close to Braşov, at an uncomplicated half-hour drive. The well-marked route offers tourists more time to take in the beautiful landscape.
It is a cathedral-quiet place to be journeying on 5 kilometers of well-maintained road that is placed at the foot of 200 meters straight limestone walls. The road is paved with numerous descriptions of geological and geomorphological phenomena that shaped these great water splits, being also a great site to learn about nature conservation.
There are numerous guesthouses in the nearby Peştera and Măgura villages, so you can really keep the pack weight down to a minimum. These are typical Transylvanian mountain villages where sheepherders still walk the steep slopes in search of green grasslands.
We’re blessed by the fact that another of Brașov’s mightiest natural areas is barely half hour’s drive from the city. Râșnoavei Gorge is also easy to admire, with a cobble road which gives access to various viewpoints toward the spectacular stone verticals. The cliffs are often swirling with climbers that offer viewers a spectacle of bravery and majesty. You’ll encounter numerous wanderers which seek a place within the gazebos that were built on the banks of Râșnoava River and that give a wide view of the surrounding area.
On your way back to Brașov, you can stop for pictures at Râșnov Citadel, which is one of the best preserved rustic citadels from Transylvania. Even if the narrow and steep passageways between medieval dwellings aren’t appropriate for wheelchair access, you can still get a most picturesque view of the Piatra Craiului Mountains and surrounding settlements from the cable lift’s platform.
On top of Baiului Ridge
This journey is perfect for a small group for like-minded people that will leave with lasting landscape memories. The ridge is easily reachable from Azuga by a gondola lift that will help you discover one of the most beautiful sceneries in the Romanian Carpathians.
It’s worth including Baiului Ridge on your holiday plans because it stands out for its surprising viewpoints across Prahova Valley and the sharp edges of Bucegi Mountains.
Walking on Baiului Ridge is also a good choice for senior visitors and for families with children that seek to adapt to higher elevations.
A trip to Bolboci Lake
Bone-chilling water, wild spur trees and cobbled trails, these are my childhood memories of Bolboci Lake in the heart of Bucegi Mountains. Years later, the road was modernized and cars packed with tourists started pouring to this amazing landscape, to swim, fish, paddleboard or simply to lie out on the warm grass.
This truly breath-taking scenic lakeside in the heart of Bucegi Mountains is a hub from where everyone can find a suitable activity according to any preference or ability. Visitors with mobility impairments can go through Tătarului Gorge, a natural protected area at the norther end of the lake, which is actually a narrow 1 kilometre path into unusual rock formations which create a breath-taking landscape.
Bolboci Cabin is a favourite local stop for a casual meal on the banks of the lake, offering fresh Romanian cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Bucegi Mountains are visited by thousands of people, from children to seniors. During the peak of the season, usually July-August, it can seem like half of Bucharest’s population is up there, yet it’s an exciting outdoor experience. Despite its popularity, it shouldn’t be taken lightly, and cold temperature can be expected even in summer. Proper footwear and clothing is a must during every mountain escape.
As you can see, you have plenty of options near Brașov for smooth outings with soaring views of rocky gorges, lush mountain valleys and sparkling cold rivers.