Entry-header image

5 amazing places from Vâlcea county

Olt Gorge

In this article, we will present you 5 amazing places from Vâlcea County, which you will want to invite immediately. If you haven’t visited this wonderful area yet, then it’s time to do it!

Vâlcea County, located in southern Romania, covers an area of 5,765 km² and borders Alba and Sibiu counties to the north, Argeș county to the east, Olt county to the south and southeast, Dolj county to the southwest, Gorj county to the west and Hunedoara county to the northwest.

Due to its geographical location and the fact that here you can find all the major landforms: mountains, sub-Carpathian hills, plateau and meadows with plain appearance, arranged in steps from north to south, Vâlcea County is the ideal destination for nature lovers. The peace offered by this oasis will delight you and help you relax and detach yourself from the problems and bustle of big cities. Vâlcea County is recognized not just for its spectacular natural landscapes, but also for its historical treasures, which draw thousands of visitors each year.

1. The Olt Valley

We start our list with the first of the 5 amazing places in Vâlcea County – The Olt Gorge. The Olt Gorge stretches over a length of 47 kilometers, being the longest gorge in the country. There is a strategic road that has been connecting Transylvania and Oltenia for over 2000 years. The Olt Valley was one of the most important roads in Dacia, both commercially and militarily. The Olt Road is one of the busiest in Romania, being the one that crosses the Carpathians through the Olt Gorge. The Olt Valley is a spectacular area, with wonderful landscapes, which you will want to immortalize at every step. There are several resorts on the Olt Valley, including:

  • – Băile Govora spa resort
  • – Călimănești, Căciulata and Băile Olănești spas

    The beneficial effects of these resorts are due to the waters that spring from the mountains and are known since Roman times. Thousands of tourists choose to spend their holidays in these resorts, as they have treatments that help them treat various rheumatic diseases.

2. The Roman fortress Arutela

The Roman fortress Arutela is located on the Olt Valley. This fortress was built by the Romans and is a real system of fortifications, where Roman military units operated. The ruins of the fortress were discovered during the archeological excavations from 1890-1892, by Grigore Tocilescu. Part of this fortification was destroyed by the arrangement of the Râmnicu Vâlcea – Râul Vadului railway. Also, the hydrographic constructions on the Olt river, from the ‘70s and ‘80s, made what was preserved from the camp to be covered by water.

You can see on the Olt Valley, on the left bank, very close to the Cozia monastery, a replica of the camp that was included on the list of historical monuments.

3. Green Lake Cave

If you are on the Olt Valley, you must visit the Green Lake Cave, one of the 5 amazing places in Vâlcea County.

Green Lake cave or Emerald Cave, is a unique place through which Vâlcea “talks to heaven and earth”. Did I make you curious about this wonderful place? This cave is located in the Key Canyon. It was explored and put on the map in 1978 by the “Niphargus” Râmnicu Vâlcea Speleology Circle.

It was explored and put on the map in 1978 by the “Niphargus” Râmnicu Vâlcea Speleology Circle. The Green Lake Cave got this name after the intense color of the lake, which is inside the cave, in the great hall. It is a body of water of about 10 square meters, but with a depth that reaches in some places even 3 meters. The presence of the lake in a fossil cave suspended in strongly cracked limestone is explained by the waterproofing of the gallery well with descaling clay. By opening cracks, it is possible for the lake to drain, like the one in the Pagoda Cave.

For those wishing to visit the cave, the access road starts from D.N. 64A Râmnicu Valcea – Olăneşti, near the village of Cheia, follow, for about 16 kilometers, a modernized and forested road, then the unmarked path on the left bank of the Cheia brook.

4. The Vâlcean Village Museum

The Vâlcean Village Museum is one of the most representative tourist attractions of the county and is located in Bujoreni commune. It was built in 1966, but only after 8 years it was introduced in the tourist circuit. The museum stretches over a distance of 8 hectares, where you will find over 40 traditional houses. The place is organized in the open air in the form of a village with households specific to the Vâlcea areas, from the school, church, town hall or inn, to the workshops of the craftsmen of those times and the houses of the former villagers.

The area is divided into 4 sectors: Household, Craftsmen, Socio-Cultural and Specialized Constructions (crosses, fountains, sheepfolds, etc.).

From the moment you step into this place, you will be able to feel the authentic traditional spirit that characterizes this area.

Visiting hours:

– summer program (April – October): daily 10.00 – 18.00, closed on Mondays

– winter schedule (November – March): daily 09.00 – 17.00, closed on Mondays

5. Cozia National Park

Cozia National Park is located in the central-southern part of the Southern Carpathians. The entire surface of 17,100 ha of the park is located in Vâlcea County. If you want to visit this area you can go hiking, boating, playing sports, organizing expeditions, camps and outdoor competitions; to visit places of worship, places and historical monuments; or to observe places with special landscapes (Olt Gorge, Lotrişor Gorges, Gardului Waterfall, Bulzul).

The main anthropic tourist attractions: Arutela Camp, Trajan’s Table, Pretorium Camp, Cozia Monastery, Cospia Monastery (hospital), Turnu Monastery, Turnu Monastery, Ostrov Hermitage – Călimăneşti town, Stânişoara Monastery – 17th-century monks’ residence, c Frasina Monastery.

Cozia National Park is the ideal location for nature lovers, where you can walk through beech forests, green meadows, sprinkled with mountain flowers. If you are passionate about hiking, then you are in the right location. Cozia National Park offers you numerous tourist routes, which you can easily access, all of which are marked.

Here are some tourist routes you can take:

  • – Turnu Railway Station – Curmătura de la Troița – Scorțaru Mountain – Muchia Turneanu – Cozia chalet (1573 m altitude). Duration: between 5 hours and 5 and a half hours. Marking: red stripe.
  • – Stănișoara Monastery – Muchia Vlădesei-Durduc – Cozia Peak (1668 m altitude). Duration: between 4 and 5 hours. Marking: blue stripe.
  • 3. Brezoi – Valea Dăneasa – Poiana tarsa (1280 m). Duration: between 3 and 4 hours. Marking: Red dot.

Vâlcea County is an area full of historical monuments, tourist attractions, natural parks, and true oases of peace where you can recharge your batteries. Hotel Simfonia will welcome you with open arms, where you will spend a relaxing stay.