Top 3 Must-sees in Buzau County

Must Sees Buzau County

As the second poorest County in Romania, with an undeveloped tourism sector, less-than-perfect roads and scarce services, it’s no wonder that not many have heard of or actually visit Buzau. But naturally, if you have a sense of adventure, then these factors will hardly affect your decision of visiting this area.

When we were driving home from our trip to the Kavarna region of Bulgaria earlier this year, we decided to check out the County’s famous Mud Volcanoes, the tourist site for which Buzau is famous for. But we had no idea that there was so much more to discover here! We should’ve stayed at least 3 days to truly explore the County, but even though we had merely 2, we still managed to get a quick preview of some quite intriguing places.

So without further ado, here are the top 3 must-sees in Buzau County (in my personal opinion):

1. The Mud Volcanoes in Buzău

Let’s start the list with the legendary Mud Volcanoes! This curious natural phenomena happens when gases erupt from a great depth, bringing up salty water and mud in the process. These white and grey elements give the whole area a lunar scenery, which is unique in Romania.

Must Sees Buzau County - Mud Volcanoes

The most popular volcanoes can be found at Pâclele Mari. After paying a small fee to the caretaker (approx. 1 euro), you can enter the nature reserve and explore the mud volcanoes at leisure. The site at Pâclele Mari welcomes the most tourists, because it’s very easily accessible. Have fun and get a few creative shots in this surreal landscape! Please note that you cannot smoke near the volcanoes and you also shouldn’t touch them in any way.

Must Sees Buzau County - Mud Volcanoes

Must Sees Buzau County - Mud Volcanoes

Must Sees Buzau County - Mud Volcanoes

Since this reserve can get pretty crowded during the summer months, I’d recommend paring a visit to the volcanoes of Pâclele Mici as well. In my opinion this site is much more scenic, much larger and has much less visitors. The entrance fee cost the same if I remember correctly, but since it can only be accessed by climbing a small hill, many people skip this place. But the views and the volcanoes are definitely worth the (minimal effort), so get your climbing boots on and hit the trail!

Must Sees Buzau County - Mud Volcanoes

Must Sees Buzau County - Mud Volcanoes

Must Sees Buzau County - Mud Volcanoes

Must Sees Buzau County - Mud Volcanoes

Last but not least, if you don’t want to pay any kind of entrance fee, then the mud volcanoes at Berca are the ones for you. I’m not gonna lie, we barely found the reserve and the road wasn’t exactly perfect, but in the end we managed to see this site as well. Out of the three places, I’d say that this is the least spectacular. So you might want to visit the previous ones as well to get a glimpse of some truly awesome volcanic action.

Must Sees Buzau County - Mud Volcanoes

My favorite part of exploring the mud volcanoes (besides the surreal feeling of walking on the moon) was the incredible textures I discovered throughout the nature reserve. I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen anything quite like it before. From what I read, I found that there aren’t too many similar mud volcanoes in Europe, only a few in Russia, Bulgaria and Italy.

Must Sees Buzau County - Mud Volcanoes

Must Sees Buzau County - Mud Volcanoes

 

2. Trovanți

A good 40 kilometers away from the Mud Volcanoes you’ll find another one-of-a-kind place in the small village of Ulmet. After you’ve wrestled with all the bumps in the road and notice the road start to get steep, park your car in front of a local’s house.

Although there are signposts in the beginning, they’re much more scarce later on as they signal the correct path towards the Trovanți (which literally translate to concretions in English), also known as the Babele of Ulmet. If you feel you’re lost, don’t hesitate to ask around, because the locals are very kind and eager to help.

Must Sees Buzau County - Trovanti Ulmet

Once you left the houses behind, you’ll soon get to a glimpse of a green meadow. You’ll know you’re on the right path once you see the first rock formation leading the way:

Must Sees Buzau County - Trovanti Ulmet

From here on, you can’t actually miss the path since it’s so well-marked:

Must Sees Buzau County - Trovanti Ulmet

These rocks were formed in a special sandy terrain, according to specialists. They have been formed by the rain and wind and are still being continuously “sculpted” by the various weather conditions. The formations are interesting to say the least, but even so they don’t attract much of a crowd (yet!), since they aren’t too well-known.

Must Sees Buzau County - Trovanti Ulmet

Must Sees Buzau County - Trovanti Ulmet

Must Sees Buzau County - Trovanti Ulmet

Must Sees Buzau County - Trovanti Ulmet

Before you head back to your car, take a look around and admire the lush forests which cover the surrounding mountains:

Must Sees Buzau County - Trovanti Ulmet

 

3. Cave Churches in the Buzău Mountains

Last but not least, I’d love to show you a special hiking trail with some mystical vibes. This thematic path leads the way through more than 30 cave homes and cave churches, scattered around 80 kilometers of trail in the dense forests of the Buzau Mountains.

Must Sees Buzau County - Asezari Rupestre

The most popular trail starts in the village of Nucu and is called the hike of Drumul Luanei. It leads you through some of the most spectacular caves in the mountains, some of which you can only access by climbing a wooden ladder. Unfortunately, since it was getting dark and we still had to drive home that day, we only managed to visit the very first of the Luanei Road caves.

Must Sees Buzau County - Asezari Rupestre

Must Sees Buzau County - Asezari Rupestre

Must Sees Buzau County - Asezari Rupestre

But don’t forget, that this is just one of the 30! I have to admit that it was with a very heavy heart that we left this place, and I’m really hoping we can return soon so we can do the entire trek. But even so, I am pretty happy with the sneak-peek we got of this area, since it’s so unlike anything I’ve ever seen in my travels in Romania.

Must Sees Buzau County - Asezari Rupestre

 

Get In & Around Buzau County

The easiest way to get to Buzau County is by flying in to Bucharest. The Romanian capital is merely 140 kilometers away from the Mud Volcanoes. You can rent a car directly from the airport and leisurely arrive at the Mud Volcanoes two and a half hours later.

Despite the fact that I really loved exploring Buzau County, its road conditions are unfortunately sub par. It’s not so bad that you can’t get around, but you need an experienced chauffeur and a lot of patience to navigate through the myriad of potholes. The main roads are OK, but the secondary roads not so much.

On occasion you might also stumble upon a gravel road (which believe it or not have much less potholes than normal asphalt roads), but you can just drive right through them. Public transportation to these three attractions is virtually non-existent, so the only choice you actually have is driving.

Must Sees Buzau County

Where to Stay in Buzau County

During our short visit we opted to stay in a quiet place and were very happy to find the Valea Lupului Guesthouse. The inviting property lies in a scenic valley called the Valley of Wolves, has cozy rooms, a welcoming staff and good local food. It’s the perfect choice if you prefer a peaceful base instead of a jam-packed hotel in the city of Buzau.

Must Sees Buzau County

When to Visit Buzau County

Since the places I present above are all natural wonders, I’d advise to pay a visit to this area between late Spring and early Autumn. This way, you’ll get a chance to see all these gorgeous places in sunshiny days and you won’t have to worry about driving through muddy roads.

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Must Sees Buzau County

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