Perched high up in Transylvania’s Fagaras Mountains at an altitude of 2,034 meters, the glacial Balea Lake is a stunning location that will take your breath away with its changing facades throughout the year.
In the summer, the lake is reached via the Transfagarasan, a twisting snake of a road that has earned its title as ‘the best road in the world’ by Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson. The rugged alpine scenery at the top is a beauty to behold and is made even more ethereal thanks to the serene and crystal clear waters of the lake. Outdoor activities include hiking, walking and enjoying the fresh mountain air while the Balea Lake Chalet provides a wonderful spot for lunch right on the water’s edge.
As winter arrives and temperatures in the mountains begin to plummet, the lake gradually freezes over and its calm emerald waters are transformed into thick ice. Huge blocks of the icy lake are then cut and dragged to the location of the Ice Hotel where the construction process begins. In a matter of weeks, part of the frozen Balea Lake is transformed into a beautiful and uniquely designed hotel of ice with its very own Ice Church, Ice Restaurant and Sub Zero Ice Bar. Balea Lake’s Winter Park offers a range of snow and ice based activities including skiing, ice skating, tubing and snow mobiling. Snowball fights are an absolute must!
The frozen lake is only accessible by cable car during the winter months until the ice melts and the Transfagarasan reappears.
What: Stunning glacial lake
Where: Bâlea Lake, Cartisoara, Sibiu, Romania
When: Best visited during the winter for the Ice Hotel and the summer to enjoy trekking in the mountains
Why: For the great outdoors, the Ice Hotel and sheer natural beauty
Who: The Friends, The Family, The Active Aficionado, The Couple, The Big Group, The Nature Enthusiast, The Adventurer
Untravelled Paths Ltd is a UK registered company. Registered Address: 24 Ferncroft Avenue, London, NW3 7PH.