Buzau County, in southeastern Romania, is a land of beautiful landscapes and important tourist sites, making it a great place to spend a holiday.
Buzau County is home to beautiful monasteries, historic monuments, caves and various natural sites. Cristina Partal, the head of the Buzau branch of the National Association of Rural, Ecological and Cultural Tourism, ANTREC, says the tourist sites of Buzau are part of the world heritage: “Tourists can visit the so-called Buzau Geopark, a large area consisting of 18 villages. Those who are familiar with the concept at European level, given that there are over 60 geo-parks all over the world, will be excited to find one in Buzau. It is made of tourist objectives of world renown, such as the Muddy Volcanoes in Scortoasa and Berca, the Amber Museum in Colti and the cave settlements in Alunis, Bozioru and Valea Slanicului. Everything can be potentially discovered here. Children will be happy to discover 30-million-old secrets of the Earth in a 30-km area on Slanic Valley. Other sites worth mentioning are the Meledic Plateau, the Living Fires of Lopatari and Terca, the Salt Mount, the Manzalesti Coarse, which is in fact a tuff, namely the ash of a prehistoric volcano”.
A visit to the Amber Museum in Colti is a must. The museum displays some 300 amber stones of various colors, from translucent yellow to dense black. Moreover, the museum plays host to the world’s second largest amber stone, weighing a little less than 2 kilos, the biggest one being on show at the Buzau County Museum. Located close to Colti is also a famous spa resort.
Cristina Partal: “The Sarata Monteoru spa is attested in documents as early as 1895 by Grigore Constantin Monteoru, an industrialist of Greek origin. At the time, the spa was compared to Karlovy Vary and Baden Baden. It was also dubbed the ‘cane spa’, as people came there leaning on a cane and left walking. A larger number of tourists come to spend some time in the spa, the more so as more pools filled with salty water have been opened to the public. So, the spa is no longer boasting one only pool, but also swimming pools filled with salty water coming from the same source, Dealul Muratoarea. They have a high standard of comfort and provide high quality services. That is why we invite tourists to come back to Sarata Monteoru any time they want and enjoy the curative properties of this extraordinary salty water.”
In the town of Berca, in Buzau Valley, there is a traffic sign to the so-called Muddy Volcanoes. At the end of a 12 km track, you reach one of the most interesting geological reserves in Romania, at Paclele Mici. Tourists can see a strange, Moon-like landscape, created by numerous small volcanoes, whose craters emanate natural gas. When working its way to the surface, the gas also pushes up water and higher soil strata, which look like white-grayish or brown grayish viscous mud. The colour depends on the substances brought to the surface: oil, chalk or calcareous earth. This lava is permanently shaping the landscape, on a 25-hectare area, where no plant is growing.
There are also educational programs unfolding in the region, not only in the Muddy Volcanoes area, as the president of the Buzau branch of ANTREC, Cristina Partal, says: “When visiting Buzau, tourists can read about and think of various things related to the history of the Earth. They can actually touch ash on the prehistoric volcano there. In Naeni, in the Dealu Mare area, one can find chalk and prehistoric shells. We also carry out educational programs for children, under which we encourage them to touch a shell, dating back to pre-dinosaur times. Furthermore, volcanoes offer an incredibly beautiful show and the legends behind them fuel one’s imagination, telling about dragons coming from the centre of the Earth and which got killed by the brave men living on those realms.”
In Naeni, Buzau County, the tradition of stone carving has been preserved unaltered, to this day. Elena Stanciu, a local tourist guide in Naeni, has more on that: “Naeni is the newest and least-known tourist area in Buzau. Here, almost everything is related to stone. The old tradition of stone-carving is preserved almost unaltered to this day in Naeni, a place where limestone is at home. The craft of stone masonry has been handed down from generation to generation since times immemorial, until it became art. In the region you can visit the sculpture camp, actually a cluster of sculptures made in limestone, polished by children from Naeni, Slobozia and Chisinau. It is located in an area that offers stunning bird’s eye views. To the north, you can admire the ridges of the Carpathians, while to the south you can have a clear view of the Baragan Plainfield. Another tourist attraction is a church carved into the mountain rock, looking like an old fortresses. It is a unique asset in Europe. The interior, the exterior, the interior decorations, the iconostasis, everything is made of limestone. “
The Ciolanu Monastery, 40 kilometres north-west of Buzau is also worth visiting. In Ciolanu you can also visit a museum, which boasts a collection of 200 year old icons and other religious artefacts.
All around the county, tourists can find accommodation in many guest-houses where they can also taste local wines which are famous across Romania.