F&P Harghita County

Harghita County


Harghita County

The Harghita county is situated approximately in the central part of Romania, having a surface of 66.610 sq.km. In this county there are two municipalities and seven towns.

The relief of the county is prevalently mountainous but there are also hills and large meadows along the two legendary rivers: the Olt and Mured. The climate is characteristic to the hilly regions, with long and cold winters, but the summers are short and with temperate temperatures.
This county is one of the most attractive zones for Romanian and foreign tourists.

The variety of the relief, geological structure, climate, numberless springs of table waters and the mofettes determined the setting up of a lot of spas - real sources of health - since the XVI-XVIIth century. Among them the oldest one is Borsec Spa which seems to be known since the ancient Rome.

The Baile Tusnad Spa, situated in the Tusnad Pass, is an other point of balneary and climatic attraction. Other spas in the Harghita county are: Lacu Rosu, Homorod, Bradul Toplita, Madicea, Baile Harghita, Baile Jigodin, Valea Intunecoasa, Baile Chirui, Praid with its thermal waters and aerosols from the old salt mine, Izvorul Muresului, a youth spa.

All these spas developed along the time, having now accomodation facilities, restaurants, balneary hospitals, sport grounds, nautical facilities a.o.
In the landscape of Harghita county a special point of tourist interest is the clearing of narcissuses with a surface of 30 ha and a density of 180-200 flowers per square meter. The narcissus blossoms late in May and early in June, creating a fairy landscape arround the town of Vlahita.
The tourist attraction of this county is properly completed by the only European lake situated in a volcanic crater (the Sf. Ana Lake), the biggest natural dam from Romania (Lacul Rosu) as well as the lake situated at the highest altitude (1750 m) from Romania (the Iezer Lake), situated at the foot of the Rechitis Peak.

The 2,000 springs of table waters are used and bottled with therapeutical purposes, being known in about all countries of the world.

Both forests and rivers are not polluted helping a special fauna.

The variety of the rocks of the soil helpt the creation of a karst formation like grottoes or caves. Among them we have to mention the Sugau Cave near by Voslobeni, the Bears' Grotto and Ice Cave near by Borsec Spa, the Meresti Cave, and others situated in the Varhisul Quay. The salt, worked in the village of Praid, helpt the settling up of a sanatorium inside the old drifts where the breathing diseases are cured.

The inhabitants of this county - Romanians, Magyars, Szeklers, Germans, and other nationalities - have their own folk traditions as well as popular costumes were preserved along the time. The specific character of the county is given by the traditional professions as well as by the museums and historic monuments from here. Among them there are the Franciscan Cathedral in the Sumuleu residential district and the Mike fortress-museum in Miercurea Ciuc, the Szekler's Monument in the village of Siculeni, the Holy Virgin Orthodox Church (built in 1658) and the "Sf. Prooroc Ilie" Orthodox Monastery (built in 1847) in Toplita, the fortified peasant Fortress in Carta (1444), the "Tamasi Aron" funeral monument in Lupeni, the mediaeval Fortress (the XVI-th century) and the Municipal Museum in Odorheiul Secuiesc, the fortified church in Darjiu, the Monument from Lutita. The Heroes' Monument in Secu-Toplita, "Movila Tatarilor" (The Tartars' Hillock) near by the village of Lazarea, and also here, the Castle of Count Lazar.

These monuments are built in different periods of time, in baroque, neo-baroque, neo-Renaissance, eclectic, Secession, modernist styles showing a good relation with the European culture. A special zone is situated on the upper course of the Trotus River where a population named Csangos lives (this population lives in the Bacau county too). Being catholics, speaking the Magyar language and dressed in authentic Romanian folk costumes, this population brings about many disputes regarding its origin and the time of its appearance. The inhabitants of the villages and mountain zones are hospitable and communicative, in the last period being developed the agrotourist activity, the rural and mountain tourism.

The most developed zones of this county from the tourist point of view are Praid and Lazarea.

The municipality of Miercurea-Ciuc

The municipality of Miercurea-Ciuc is situated in the Eastern part of Transylvania, in the central zone of the Ciucurilor Depression being rounded by the volcanical mountain range of the Harghita and Ciuc Mountains at the crossing of the roads which pass through the Carpathian Passes of Vlahita (Tolvajos) and Ghimes.

The municipality is situated on the terraces of the Olt River, at the foot of the Sumuleu Mare Mountain (1033 m above sea level). The altitude of the town is between 655 and 730 m above sea level.

The post-volcanical activity is continued also in our days by carbo-gaseous table waters ("Borviz) and mofettes (gaseous emanations of carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide).

The main sources of table waters in Sumuleu, Baile Miercurea-Ciuc and Baile Jigodin.

At 19 km far from this town, at 1350 m above sea level, there are the Harghita Bai, a spa of Miercurea-Ciuc known thanks to its table waters and beneficial mofettes.

Also, it is situated at the highest altitude in this county. In summer, the average temperature is of 160 Celsius, and in winter, of minus 5.90 Celsius. The highest temperature was of 35.50 Celsius in 1953, and the lowest one was of minus 40.00 Celsius in 1977. The most rainy month is July, and the most droughty one is February. Here there is snow 27 to 124 days per year.
The municipality of Miercurea-Ciuc is rounded by spruce fir forests. The leafy trees disappeared step by step. But the pumuleu Mountain is covered by beech forests or mixed forests.

In the forests, clearings, hay fields and pastures around the town there are species of protected plants and animals. The fauna of the forest from here is quite rich, very interesting being the big animals. Among the protected species there are the brown bears, lynx and capercaillie.
Miercurea-Ciuc was founded near by existing localities as: Sumuleu (1333), Toplita-Ciuc and Jigodin (the XII-XIIIth century), on the place where the peasant fairs were organized on Wednesdays. The first known authentic document which certified this town as "a plain town" is a letter of Queen Izabella, mother of Janos Zsigmond, Prince of Transylvania, dated back from August, 5th, 1558, in which the inhabitants of the town were exempted from the taxes, but not from the ones to the Ottoman Empire.

At Sumuleu, in 1630, there was a Franciscan gymnasium, and in 1676 there was a printing shop of Franciscan monk Johannes Kajoni.

In 1849 revolutionist poet Petofi Sandor paid a visit here and in the letter written to his wife, Julia, he mentioned: "The envinrons of Miercurea-Ciuc and Targu Secuiesc are wonderful".

These wonderful environs were put into account along the time being settled up many spas which use the table waters, mofettes, mountain picturesque landscape f rom here.

The traveller who arrives in Miercurea-Ciuc has good facilities of accomodation and meals in the "Bradul" Hotel (two stars) with 198 places in single and double bedded rooms, restaurant, bar, bathroom and TV set in each room. Similar conditions are offeres by the "Harghita" Hotel (two stars) with 300 places. The two hotels are situated in downtown.

The mountain lovers are able to choose the "Ozon" Hotel which is situated in the wonderful landscape of the Harghita Mountains near by the Harghita Bai Spa at 1504 m above sea level. This hotel has single, double, three and four-bedded rooms with bath, conference hall, restaurant, bar and sauna.

More tourist information you'll ask in Miercurea-Ciuc, from the Office of tourism and transactions (p. 361) and Office of tourism of the S.C. "Bradul" S.A. in Miercurea-Ciuc.

Tusnad Spa

Situated in the Harghita county, on the banks of the Olt River, in an afforested zone of the Eastern Sub-Carpathians - at the foot of the volcanical Harghita massif, S.C. "Tusnad" S.A. in Tusnad Spa has good conditions to cure a lot of diseases. The picturesque landscape, calm, comfort of this spa is a wonderful place for holidays all year round.

The altitude is of 650 m above sea level. The climate is sub-Alpine one. The average temperature is of minus 6 Celsius degrees in January, and of 17.5 Celsius degrees in July.

Known and used for many centuries thanks to their therapeutic effects, the table water springs, are good to cure many diseases. The table waters from Baile Tusnad, with a minerality up to 13.0 gr/1 are used in intern and extern cure. They have different chemical compositions: bicarbonated, calcium, magnesic, chlorinated, sodium, carbogaseous, hypotonic and mesothermal ones. Bottled they are used as drinking water. The mofette is an other element of a cure.

Besides these natural elements of a cure, the mountain bioclimate, a tonic stimulus, an air rich in resinous aerosols, and negative ions. S.C. Tusnad S.A. has modern facilities for: carbo-ga-seous and galvanic bathes, packing with paraffin, hydrotherapy, massage, aerosols, electro-therapy (ionizations, galvano-therapy, ultraviolet and infrared rays, ultra-sounds). Here there is a mofette with rooms for bathes with carbon dioxide, a pool with carbo-gaseous water. There are also halls for physical exercises, clinical laboratory and laboratories of functional tests, different consulting rooms. Here there are consulting rooms of psychiatry, general medicine, stomatology, emergency.

The following diseases are cured succesfully: anxious and bearing down neuroasthenia; neurovegetative dystonia, secundary asthenic dispositions, physical and mind tiredness, cardiovascular diseases - diseases of myocardium and valvular diseases - convalescence after a myocardic infarct, circulatory troubles (of the peripherical venas and arteries), arterial high blood pressure, diseases after phlebitis, miklegs, chronic digestive diseases of stomach and colon, hypo and hyperacid chronic gastritis, enteritis, enterocolitis, biliary dyskenesis, diseases of liver and biliary ways, endocrine diseases, hyperthyroidism, parathyroidian insufficiency, suprarenal insufficiency, Bazedov disease, associated, nutrition diseases, diabetes, gout, fatness, renal diseases, diseases of urinary ways, chronic glomerular nephritis, renal lithiasis, chronic inflammation of urinary ways, locomotory, gynaecological diseases.

S.C. Tusnad S.A. offers accomodation for all its guests:
*Tusnad Hotel - I-st class double-bedded rooms, its own balneary facilities,restaurant, bar, parking;
*Ciucas Hotel - I-st class - single and double bedded rooms, suites, restaurant, bar, parking.

In these hotels there are phones and TV sets in each room. There are other services (laundering, errand)
- rest homes with different comfort, double and three-bedded rooms. Most of them are situated in areas of calm and privacy, either near by the Olt River and the Ciucas Lake, or at the foot of the mountain near by the fir forest.

To reach Tusnad Spa there are the following ways: by train, on the Bucharest-Satu Mare railway, Baile Tusnad railways station, or from Galati-Adjud via Ciceu; by car, on D.N. 12 at 67 km far from Brasov, 37 km far from Sf. Gheorghe and 32 km far from Miercurea-Ciuc.

Borsec Spa

Borsec is a town-spa situated in the same named depression in the Northern part of the Harghita county, on the national road Toplita-Piatra Neamt, at 26 km far from the town of Toplita.

Borsec is famous thanks to its numberless springs of table water with special qualities which give it the name of the Queen of the mineral waters. The oldest documents regarding the mineral waters from here was a book of Marco della Fruta, published in Venice in 1687.

Borsec Spa is also known thanks to its therapeutic mud used here since 1889. The raw material is the peat which covers a surface of 10 ha. As a spa it is acted (represented) by SCAT Borsec which has accomodation facilities in villas-rest homes, two tourist camping grounds, restaurants, balneary hospitals.

The microclimate is a mountainous one, with an ozonized air rich in negative ions, the resinous forests helping to the ozonization of air.

The mineral water is used in internal cure or hydrotherapy (kinetotherapy, balbbad, subaquatous showers, different kinds of shower, massage-shower a.o.

From balneary point of view, this spa helps to cure the cardio-vascular diseases, endocrine diseases, digestive diseases, hepato-biliary diseases and neuroasthenia. The natural cure factors are the climate, altitude, mineral carbogaseous, waters, peat, medicinal herbs, a.o.

Additional information can be obtained from the office of tourism of the SCAT Borsec.

Lacu Rosu Spa

The Lacu Rosu Spa is situated at 900 m above sea level, in the Oriental Carpathians, on the main road to the monasteries from the Northern part of Moldavia, it's a special place to spend a wonderful holidays.

The accomodation in little hotels of two stars as well as the four restaurants from here, the walks and trout fishing, climbing on the Suhard Mountain are only some points of tourist attraction.

Being situated only 3 km far from the Bicaz Quay, the most impressive quay in Romania, with their climbing routes of different levels of difficulty, are an unique place in the Romanian tourist landscape.

More information you'll receive at the dispatcher's office in Lacu Rosu or Office of tourist information in Gheorgheni - telephone number: 066/161568; fax: 066/163753.


The town of Gheorgheni is situated in the Giurgeu depression, on the Belchia Valley. Certified since early the XVIth century, it has some interesting historic monuments as well as valuable touristic and architectural places: the Both Fortress, church in baroque style (1734) Dendrological Garden (a natural reservation of 12 ha with over 2,500 species of plants and 185 species of trees).

From a tourist point of view, the guests of Gheorgheni are able to choose either Lacu Rosu Spa, Izvorul Muresului youth Spa or the agrotourism in Lazarea. Here they are able to visit: Count Lazar's mediaeval Castle, "Friendship" painting and sculpture camp, "Movila Tatarilor" (Tartars' Hillock) a.o.

The Office of tourist information in Gheorgheni will offer you the best way to spend a nice time.

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Updated: 1997-06- Please write to us with your comments and suggestions.