It’s wintertime and you’re ready for your next adventure hiking through the Carpathian mountains. You’ve booked your flights and accommodations and prepared your hiking gear. As your plane lands at the Sibiu airport, you observe the tall mountain peaks from your window. The mountains are calling but what is the best trail to choose? And where do you begin? The two main mountain ranges in Sibiu County are the Cindrel Mountains and the Fagaras Mountains and if you plan to arrive in the winter, it is important to understand the risks and accessibility of each trail to make the most out of your hiking experience.Here we’ve laid out what you should know about each mountain range, the trails that are accessible, and the risks and benefits associated with each. Read to the end to find out why in the winter we recommend the Cindrel mountains over the Fagaras for the best hike. 

Cindrel Mountains:

The beautiful Cindrel mountains are approximately 900 sqkm North of Sadu and Frumoasa Valleys andEast of the Sebes River. The highest summits are Niculesti (2036 m), Canaia(2045 m) and Cindrel (2244 m). The main river basin is Cibin. There are stream seven up high in the mountains at over 1800 m of altitude if you’re looking for some stunning picturesque scenery. It was such pastures and streams which led to the development of the impressive pastoral region known as Marginimea Sibiu.The hiking routes in the Cindrel mountains are excellent opportunities to discover the natural heritage of the region and also to encounter a specific culture, ancient way of life and well-preserved traditions. Altitudes in the Cindrel Mountains range from 1400 to 2244 m and the trails are moderate to difficult mostly beginning from Cisnadie, Cisnadioara, Sadu, Rau Sadului, Rasinari, and Sibiel. As a result of their smoother terrain and lower elevation, these mountains offer the beauty and adventure of a winter hike without the additional safety concerns of trail marking being covered, or the potential for avalanches.  

Fagaras Mountains

The ultimately off-the-grid adventure. The Fagaras mountains are the magnificent peaks that you see from every point in the city. Their presence calls out to all who are adventurous enough to explore nature’s work of art. The highest peaks of the Fagaras mountains are Moldoveanu (2544 m), Negoiu (2535 m), Vistea Mare (2527m). It is important to note, however, that the climate on these trails is harsh with steppe and subarctic characteristics. Throughout the year these mountains experience heavy rainfall (approx. over 1400 mm yearly) which converts into snow at an altitude of over 1900m. Longer hikes with great exposure can be reached through Sambata Valley. These also represent very challenging and difficult winter routes, with most of the trail marking being covered by snow, which is why we recommend the Cindrel mountains in the wintertime. Most trails are also closed in the winter, however, tourists can still go to certain points along Fagaras such as Suru cabin or Balea lake.