209. Bâlea Lake, Sibiu, Romania
If you love mountains, snow and great views, then this is the place for you. You won’t want to leave I tell you. This Lake is also what forms the ice hotel in the winter time once its frozen over.
Bâlea Lake is located in the Făgăraș mountains of Romania near Sibiu. It is actually a glacier lake. You can drive via the Transfăgărășan Highway or through the mountain pass. You may also take a cable car to access the Lake.
How To Get Here
Start your booking at RailEurope or Eurail. There are trains from Bucharest, Brasov and Sighișoara and other surrounding cities to Sibiu, then you have to rent a car and make the drive up the mountain passes to get up there.
The nearest commercial airport is the Sibiu International Airport (SBZ).
The airlines serving the Sibiu International Airport (SBZ):
Austrian Airlines (OS), Blue Air (0B), Lufthansa German Airlines (LH), Tarom (RO) and Wizz Air (W6).
Alternatively, you may fly into the Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport (OTP), the home of BlueAir and Tarom, then take a local transport or rent a car or be picked up by your Guide arranged by JayWay Boutique Travel.
The following airlines serve the Henri Coanda International Airport (OTP):
Arkia-Israeli Airlines (IZ), Alitalia (AZ), Air France (AF), Aeroflot (SU), Air Moldova (9U), Air Serbia (JU), Aegean Airlines (A3), British Airways (BA), Blue Air (0B), Croatia Airlines (OU), Czech Airlines (OK), Dniproavia (Z6), ELLINAIR S.A. (EL), El Al Airlines (LY), Eurowings (EW), FlyDubai (FZ), Germanwings (4U), Iberia Airlines (IB), KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KL), LOT Polish (LO), Lufthansa German Airlines (LH), Meridiana Airlines (IG), Pegasus Airlines (PC), Qatar Airways (QR), Ryanair (FR), Swiss Airlines (LX), SAS (SK), Turkish Airlines (TK), TAP Portugal (TP), Tarom (RO), Vueling (VY) and Wizz Air (W6).
Eurolines has service to Romania from various points in Europe.
If you are already in the region you can take the drive. Just use a service like Google Maps for directions.
Hire A Local
JayWay Boutique Travel provides this level of service. When I went they took care of it all for me. Even if you don’t want to use all the services of JayWay Boutique Travel, its worth it to get a Guide once you arrive in Sibiu or Bucharest as they can show you the ins and out of the area. Having a Guide, who picked us up in Bucharest, made the trip so much more memorable and saved a lot of time.
Where To Stay
There are three places to stay on this mountain, The Refugiul Salvamont, Bâlea Lac Hotel of Ice Hotelul de Gheață Bâlea Lac (seasonal) and the Cabana Paltinu. The Ice Hotel is built from the ice in the Lake each winter.
Where To Eat
All three accommodations on the mountains has meals plus the Cabana Bâlea Lac Restaurant.
What To Do
Enjoy the great outdoors. In the wintertime, you can also ski the slopes which are a little higher than the Lake.
Currency: Leu (RON)
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