Here is the most persistent layer of snow in Romania. A luxury complex is being built right next to the slopes PHOTO VIDEO

Lovers of nature, landscapes, winter sports or fresh air know the place in the Lotrului Mountains, which is among the largest localities in Romania in terms of surface area. The resort is ranked fifth nationally.

Vidra Obârsia Lotrului in Voineasa Vâlcea Collage

Although winter has returned to the Lotru Mountains, the 2023-2024 ski season at the Transalpina Domain in Voineasa (Vălcea) has ended. The local authorities claim that there is good news about the development of accommodation infrastructure in the Obârsia Lotrului area.

The biggest problem of the ski area with the most beautiful views in the country – Transalpina Ski – is the undersized accommodation infrastructure, despite the huge potential, near the slopes (SEE PHOTO VIDEO GALLERY).

“We have a bad time with the accommodation infrastructure”admits the mayor Gabriel Năstăsescu, from Voineasa – Vâlcea, to which the ski complex belongs.

Access to the tourist attractions in the area and the electricity distribution network – also undersized – are also among the issues often complained about both by economic agents operating in the north-western extremity of Vâlcea county and by tourists.

For the first theme, things are moving, even if more difficult. The large influx of tourists in Valea Lotrului and especially in the ski area has attracted the attention of investors who build, expand and modernize accommodation units in the Vidra-Obârsia Lotrului area.

From the end of November 2023 until the end of March-beginning of April 2024, the slopes of Vidra-Voineasa were enjoyed by more than 60,000 tourists.

The effect of global warming on the slopes with the most persistent snow cover

“I think there are more than 60,000 tourists who came to Transalpina, we still haven't finished reporting for the Ministry of Tourism, based on the tickets (skipass, gondola lift, ski lifts) sold. The number of those who arrived here was certainly much higher, considering that some of the tourists came only for the tobogganing. Compared to the last two or three years, however, it was, I think, weaker. At least that's my feeling, before seeing the final numbers. Not by much, though”mentioned for “The Truth” the mayor of the Voineasa mountain resort, Gabriel Năstăsescu.

Among the causes that have determined this is the lack of snow, caused by the global warming so felt around the world. “It affected the ski season. Now let's see what the papers also say, that I haven't been on the slopes every day”, Năstăsescu shows.

Chinese and mulatto skiers

There are also foreigners among the tourists who storm the slopes next to Otter Lake year after year.

“There are quite a few of them lately. From what I've noticed, in the last ski season, many are Asian – Chinese, generally – and English-speaking mulattoes. I suspect that they are among those who live in our country and come especially from Bucharest and other big cities, taking advantage of the fact that we enjoy the most persistent snow cover in the country. I also saw Spaniards, but I don't know if they come from outside or are residents”the mayor also specified.

Four-star resort, closest to the ski area

The tourist potential attracted attention. “There are requests to build in the area, but it is very difficult, due to the fact that the areas to be built on must be removed from the forest. Such investments are more expensive than if you were to build on a pasture, for example”, explained Gabriel Năstăsescu.

Among those interested in increasing the accommodation infrastructure in the Vidra – Obârsia Lotrului area is an investor who wants to build a hotel with 30 rooms. It will be ready, most likely in the next two to three years, and will therefore be the closest hotel to the ski slopes of the Transalpina Resort. “It will be a select, luxury, four- to five-star hotel with everything you need.”“He is someone financially powerful, who I believe will complete the construction in the next two years. He has already removed the area from the forest fund, deforested… A hotel will be built up to the slopes area, approximately 700 – 800 meters away. Now it has come for the building permit. It's a resort,” the mayor also said.

“There will be 400-500 places to stay”

In addition to hotels and guesthouses, there is an increased interest in the area to build holiday homes or to expand and modernize already existing accommodation spaces.

“There are some owners who have built holiday homes, others have come with information certificates. We also have some subdivisions through PUZs… What I can tell you is that it is still being built, but being a forest area, the process is longer. There are also in Obârsia Lotrului some extensions to other existing hotels, some pensions are being finished, these are pensions that have about 20 or so rooms. Easy – easily there will be somewhere around 400 – 500 places to stay, just in this area (Vidra – Lotrului Obârsia – n.ed.)”, says the mayor.

According to the mayor of the Voineasa resort, Gabriel Năstăsescu, over 130,000 euros have been invested in the Transalpina Ski Area in tourism, in 2023, in facilities and the ticketing system, including an online shop for ski cards. “We still have work to do with the installations and the snow plows,” lists the chief mayor.

Voineasa (Vâlcea) is among the largest towns in Romania in terms of area, being ranked fifth nationally. The resort in the Lotrului Mountains also includes the Vidra and Obârsia Lotrului areas, between which is the Transalpina Ski Domain, being located on the DN7A national road, which connects the Oltului Valley with the highest road in Romania – the Transalpina and the Jiului Valley.