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Harghita, the Family Friendly County

The year 2024 was declared the year of adrenaline in Harghita county

foto visitharghita
foto visitharghita

, 11.04.2024, 18:19

In the center of Romania, in Harghita county, there is a petting zoo. Contact with animals can be therapeutic, and here you can find deer, Icelandic horses, or rabbits. Another unique experience, for the whole family, is the visit to one of the sheepfolds. But you can also choose a trip to the Tinovul Mohoș botanical reserve. Here you can see rare species of plants, such as carnivorous ones. In fact, the year 2024 was declared the year of adrenaline in Harghita county. The thematic year will focus on tourism services that encourage an active lifestyle, exercise, and adventure. You can explore Harghita county on horseback, try six bobsleigh tracks, take a paraglider, or a hot air balloon flight. You can climb mountains or explore the world of caves, these are just a few examples of the countless opportunities that await you!

Going to visitharghita.com, the website developed by the Harghita Intercommunity Development Association, you will find many lists of attractions and holiday activities. And many of these, says Zsolt Mezey, project manager, are intended for families.

“My first proposal is the Salt Land destination. Here we have many experimental activities that aim to present the crafts in detail through the personal involvement of the visitor: ‘knowing by doing’. The experience is unforgettable, because, assisted by a professional, you become an apprentice and learn the secrets of the craft. You take the masterpiece crafted with your own hands home as a souvenir. The experimental activities of pottery, cooking the famous kürtőskalacs, or crafting Corundum aragonite jewelry will all be unforgettable. You can find more details on the application, or on our Visit Harghita page.”

An experience that is becoming increasingly popular is the Via Ferrata. The name comes from Italy, from the Dolomites, and originally it was an infrastructure for soldiers in the world wars, as we learned from Zsolt Mezey, project manager at the Harghita Intercommunity Development Association.

“In the Gheorgheni-Lacu Roșu tourist destination, there is only one via ferrata route called “Wild Ferenc”, and it is on the south-western wall of Suhardul Mic Mountain. This route has a length of 200 meters and a difference in level of 170 meters. Another route can be found in Cheile Șugaului, on the wall of Mount Munticelu, called Astragalus. It is found in the Cheile Șugaului nature reserve. Munticelu has a total length of 700 meters, has five routes, with an elevation gain of 285 meters on the main route. I think that the most beautiful of all can be found in the Corbu commune. A via ferrata route called Falco Tinnunculus (Falcon Rock) was created, with an approximate length of 150 meters, which includes both a 15-meter-long suspension bridge and a vertical section equipped with approximately 15-meter-long stairs. This program is available between April and November, but it depends a lot on weather conditions.”

The next destination on our list is the Tinovul Mohoș botanical reserve. The hour long tour is very interesting for children.

It takes place in a habitat reminiscent of the Ice Age, where carnivorous plants and other rare plant species can be seen. Many species in Tinov survived from the Ice Age. The tour takes place on pontoons and rafts, under safe conditions, with a friendly and knowledgeable guide. Also there, I propose a boat ride. It is an activity liked by families at Saint Ana Lake. The boats are suitable for families of 3-4 people, and the life jackets are also available in children’s sizes. Another family friendly experience is the bobsled, which offers unforgettable landscapes and moments. We currently have a summer track in Borsec. It has a length of almost 1,500 meters. The climb to the top of the piste is done with the existing ski lift and is open during the spring-autumn seasons. The bobsleigh track in Toplița is the longest bobsleigh track in Romania. It is 1,800 meters long, plus the curves. Most of the track descends through the forest, with the sled reaching speeds of up to 40 kilometers per hour, and there is also a slow uphill section. The ascent-descent circuit takes about eight minutes. Children between the ages of three and eight can only participate if accompanied by an adult. Access is allowed for 2 people in a sled, provided that they do not exceed 150 kilograms together.”

The oldest bobsleigh track is located in the Lunca de Sus commune, and has become, in a very short time, an attraction for tourists visiting the area or for adrenaline lovers who come here specifically to experience this sensation. In addition to the adrenaline rush, tourists can enjoy a special landscape, which many compare to the ones seen in Austria or Switzerland.

On the other hand, a mountain kart ride can be just as interesting, says Zsolt Mezey, project manager at the Harghita Intercommunity Development Association. “It’s a newly developed and fun means that gives us the opportunity to go carting all year round. The ergonomic seat makes it possible to focus only on the pleasure of speed. The three-wheel cart is a high quality and safe means of transportation that is perfect for families, groups of friends, and team building programs. Mountain karting is a new and unique adventure not only for Romania, but also for the whole of Europe. Here, the program lasts about an hour and a half, and there are two superb tracks, one is at Harghita Madaraș, and the other near the mountains in the vicinity of Baile Tușnad. A descent is 3-3.5 kilometers. All participants are normally trained and briefed, and given helmets. A specialist is present at the descent. On the other hand, the newest mountain kart can be found in Vărșag. They have the slogan ‘We take you up on the chairlift, you just have to enjoy the speed as many times as you want.’

At the end, you can stop at the sheepfold. Here you will discover the specific customs, traditions and activities. You will taste organic products and enjoy the wonderful landscapes and the mountains that surround you. The meal will be hearty, composed of the following: traditional platter, bulz, Transylvanian stew, Transylvanian topcit, or balmoș. You will have access to the grill, and you will be able to taste the trout or the steak on a hot stone slab.

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