Mineral Water Trail
Start: Miercurea Ciu
End: Baile Tusnad
Distance: 16 miles (25.7 km)
Time: 6-7 hours
Surface: Forest Tracks and Unpaved Roads
The Mineral Water Trail was opened in 2004 and was one of the first of the greenway trails in Romania. It opens up a delightful part of the country, taking visitors on an easy hike through a series of medicinal mineral water springs along the Olt River in the Eastern Carpathian Mountains. The trail begins in Miercurea Ciuc, the small main city of Harghita County in eastern Transylvania, It’s in the center of Romania and surrounded by an estimated 2,000 or so sparkling mineral water springs. Six of these have been reconstructed as part of the creation of the trail, while others feature swimming pools. Miercurea Ciuc itself has two spas, as well as indoor and outdoor pools, where you can bathe in the health-giving thermal water from the springs.
In one of the villages that the trail passes through, Tusnad Sat, you can visit the Mineral Springs Museum and learn the history of what has been a thriving local business for centuries. Another village, Lazaresti, has more than fifty springs, and the trail ends in the spa town of Baile Tusnad. As well as its spa, this features St. Ann’s Lake, the only crater lake in Central and Eastern Europe. There are also several loop trails leading off the main one, between 5 to 25 miles (12-40 km)long, in this charming, little-known rural part of Europe.