Weekend in Calimanesti-Caciulata

The Olt Valley or Olt Gorge is a wonderful region from Romania. With a length of 47 km, it is the longest gorge in Romania (and the most spectacular one, from my point of view). The Olt River divides Lotru and Capatanii Mountains (on its right side) from Fagaras and Cozia Mountains (on its left side) creating unique landscapes.

As it is impossible to stop during the Olt Valley (there are no sidewalks, no hostels), I have planned a 3 days escape to Calimanesti (near Cozia – the end point of Olt gorge). I wanted to discover the Calimanesti-Caciulata area, have a thermal bath, admire the last part of the Olt gorge.

I have traveled by train, in a hot weekend of summer. It was a pretty „adventurous” trip due to weather conditions and booking issues.

Calimanesti-Caciulata is localized on the bank of Olt river, at 18 km distance from Ramnicu Valcea. It is famous in Romania for its thermal baths and their curative properties (they are used in many treatments).

caciulata romania.jpg
Planning the trip and other adventures
You can get there by train (yes, there is a train station in Calimanesti, as well as in Caciulata) or bus. I have chosen the first option.

The cost is 110 RON (return ticket) and there is one direct connection per day. The jouney takes up to 5 hours (during summer, you can expect to have delays due to hot temperatures). The journey was not as expected as the air conditioner worked only in the first hour, the next 4 hours were a bit „hot”. Also, the returning train had the same problem (the air conditioner was not properly working).

Tips! It is very important to take into account that the train stops in a small village (Jiblea Veche). The distance to Calimanesti is approximately 20 minutes by foot. We did not know this and we walked in the heat (it were aprox 32 degrees) for almost 20 minutes!

Once arrived at our destination, we had another unpleasant surprise: we have booked a room on Booking but the host told us that the room was overbooked and they cannot receive us!

Tips! The region is pretty small and totally booked during summer weekends. If you are planning to visit it, just book the accommodation in advance and call the pension to confirm.

As there were no pensions nor hotels free in the whole region, we went to Ramnicu Valcea where we found a very nice hotel with breakfast included and we took advantage of this to visit Ramnicu Valcea. The city is pretty small, however you can walk though the center and in the park (which is beautiful).

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What to do in Calimanesti-Caciulata
The next day, we took a bus to Calimanesti (5 RON one way) and started our journey by foot. We walked until Cozia Monastery (there ends the pedestrian part) and it took up to 2 hours.
cozia romania'.jpg
olt_river.jpg
I really enjoyed the pedestrian part near the Olt River (it starts in Caciulata and it ends in Cozia region) You can admire the Carpathian mountains, the Olt river and its wonderful narrow paths.
caciulata_romania.jpg
Other activities:
  • Boat walk on Olt River (20 RON/person). The boat hosts almost 15 persons and will take you from Calimanesti to Caciulata.
  • Thermal baths, you can enjoy a relaxing day at the pool or Caciulata Water Park.
  • Ecumenical tourism: visiting Cozia Monastery and other monasteries from the region.
  • Visit nearby places traveling by bus (ex. Voineasa)
In Calimanesti there are few restaurants and shops. Also, there were few people on the streets, this is why I had the impression that the resort is empty.

Caciulata is a bit more animated. There are some restaurants, also kiosks with souvenirs, swimsuits, water coils. In Caciulata there is a beautiful park in which you can rest and admire the nature.

Trips costs
Train: 110 RON
Bus to Calimanesti: 5 RON (one way)
Accommodation: 420 RON/2 persons/2 nights
Travel. Enjoy. Repeat.
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