Sightseen, Adventure & Fun

Day trip to Balea Lake, Horse stables, Sambata monastery & Lisa

Balea  LakeBalea Lake: Is a glacier lake situated at 2,034 m of altitude in the Fagaras Mountains the most spectacular in Romania. This bit of the Carpathian Mountains is famous in all Europe for the wild scenery, it's fauna and the amazing Transfagarasan road. A certain promise that you'll not be disappointed in the lucky decision of choosing such an adventure. Fagaras Mountains are world famous for practicing the virgin skiing where acces is possible only with the helicopter.

Transfagarasan Highway: Was build between 1970-1974. It's 92 km of twists and turns long road and for the construction they dislocated 3 million ton of rock. Ceauşescu wanted to ensure quick military access across the mountains in the event the Soviets attempted a similar move into Romania. Consequently, the road was built mainly with military forces, at a high cost both financially and from a human standpoint—roughly 6 million kilograms of dynamite were used. Transfagarasan   HighwayIt has more tunnels (a total of 5) and viaducts than any other road in Romania. Near the highest point, at Balea Lake (2043m), the road passes through the longest road tunnel in Romania (884 m).In September 2009 the cast and crew of the British television show Top Gear were seen filming along the road. The segment appeared in first episode of Series 14, which first aired November 15, 2009. Host Jeremy Clarckson claimed they had made a mistake in naming the Stelvio Pass as the best road in the world and instead Transfăgărăşan should have this title.

La Valtore - Lisa Village: Romania doesn’t get any more authentic than this: La Valtore is a traditional carpet production facility in the village of Lisa. The entire production is based on water power, and it’s fascinating to watch. First the carpets are submerged into a tub in the river for softening, then put on a cylinder to pull threads, and finally heated to tighten the weave – using only water power! There’s a small shop on site where you can buy the carpets.

LippizzanerLippizzan Horse stables: The history of the Lipizzaner started in 1580, when Charles II of Austria established the stud farm in Lipiza in today’s Slovenia. The aim was to breed a horse suitable for the imperial court: excellent, resistant, impressive, which would express richness and splendor in its character. At the origin of the species are the horses from the mountains, resistant, having strong personality, and the stallions originating from Naples and Spain. The first import from Spain had great importance, it included 24 mares of Arabian origin and 9 stallions. On the other hand, the eastern influence is of equal importance, namely the Arabian mares from Radauti and Babolna. After the initial selection focusing on the requirements of the founder, they switched to pure breeding. In order to exclude the disadvantages of incest, starting from the 18th century they initiated breeding according to genealogical lines. Thus the classical 8 lines of stallions, 17 classical families of mares were formed, as well as the next families of mares acknowledged until these days: 14 Croatian, 1 Slovenian, 13 Hungarian and 14 Romanian, which show the uniqueness of the species.

LippizanersIn Romania, the stud farm in Sambata de Jos was re-established in 1920 from the remaining stock, with purchasing from private owners, as well as with the Lipizzan stock left in the possession of the army. An important stock got back from the Todireni stud, Botosani county. The stock gathered by this in the reestablished stud was extremely diverse, with a lot of flaws, like short stature (149 cm), big and heavy head, convex profile, too long back and loin, the rump having the tendency to be horizontal, tight chest, and shuffle pace. Starting from 1953, with hard work, progressive selection and supervised coupling , as well as proper nutrition the augmentation of the stature has been achieved: until 158 cm at stallions and 155 cm at mares, their weight has increased, the shape of the head, the line of the back, the pace and the breadth have been improved.

Brancoveanu MonasterySambata de Sus: The "Brancoveanu" Monastery - is famous for being a place of recovery, comfort and spiritual balm for visitors who halt or pray in this sacred dwelling. Brâncoveanu Monastery was build in the 17th century, when Preda Brâncoveanu erected on Sambata Valley the first church built in wood. On its place, around the year 1696, Constantin Brâncoveanu, the ruler of Wallachia (1688 - 1714), re-built a monastery in stone, in  order to strengthen and save the Romanian Orthodoxy from the danger of Catholicism,Brancoveanu Monastery which appeared when Transylvania was ruled by the Hapsburg's (1683). In 1785 the monastery was partially demolished by the order of general Bukow from Vienna All the cells were completely destroyed, the church became a ruin and the monks were driven away. The honor of becoming the second founder of the Brâncoveanu Monastery was given to Metropolitan Nicolae Balan, who started the restoration work in the 1926. Its consecration took place in 1946 , after the war (that is why the precincts were not rebuilt).
 The architectural style fits entirely Brâncoveanu style, which emerged in Wallachia at the end of the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th century. Stones decorate the windows and the door frames and I took real interest in observing the front entrance door, the sculptured pillars and the stone panels of the church which add a special beauty to the monastery.

Tour details

  • 1 person - 150 euro
  • 2 persons - 200 euro
  • 3-6 person - 70 euro/person
  • +6 persons - 50 euro/person


  • Transport by private car/minivan
  • English speaking tour guide
NOT included: Entrance fees at Museums


Similar trips: 
Balea Lake, Transfagarasan & Sibiu | Fagaras & Sambata Monastery | Balea Lake & Sambata Monastery