The hiking route with superb views from the amphitheater of Argeșului Valley PHOTO VIDEO

Even if, during this period, DN 7C is closed in the alpine area and Bâlea Lac cannot be reached by car, the place also offers other special attractions and routes.

The route with superb views Photo: Vidraru Outdoor Experience/Facebook

The Făgăraș Mountains, the Poenari Fortress, the Vidraru Dam and Lake and the Statue of Prometheus are beckoning you and waiting for you to discover them. Tourists can enjoy the enchanting views of the Argeș Valley, the cool and clean air of the mountain.

Accommodation spaces are numerous, both near these objectives and further away, with prices for all budgets.

The area offers many tourist routes, which can be covered in just a few hours. An ideal route for beginners or for those looking for a short hike with unforgettable memories is the one between Prometeu-Poiana Pleașa-Vârful Albina. The duration of the entire route is five to six hours, at a leisurely pace.

The road to Prometheus

The route starts near the Vidraru Posada Hotel, located on DN 7C – Transfăgărășan, just 200 meters from the Vidraru Dam. It is a lesser-known trail that can be done by all members of the family, from young to old, and can be completed without problems at any time of the year. Of course, only with the right equipment.

It is mandatory to have adequate equipment, first of all the footwear must be appropriate. It is a forest area, with leaves, and there is a risk of slipping. A pair of boots or boots is required. The rest, appropriate clothing. At first, the route requires a bit of physical effort, but we also did it with 7-8 year old children“, says Mihai Răvescu, president of the Vidraru Mountain Association, an NGO that wants to conserve, promote and develop the Vidraru Lake area.

Statue of Prometheus Photo: Vidraru Outdoor Experience/Facebook

Statue of Prometheus Photo: Vidraru Outdoor Experience/Facebook

After about 15 minutes, the route leads you to the Electricity Monument, also known as the Iron Man or the Statue of Prometheus, an imposing monument, made in 1965 by the sculptor Constantin Popovici, which depicts the mythological hero Prometheus with lightning in his hands – a statue of bronze, 10 meters high. “The first part, between Vidraru Posada and Prometeu, is not a marked route. After an easy climb of 15 minutes, maximum 20 minutes, we reach the statue of Prometheus, the most beautiful viewpoint of Vidraru Lake and Dam“, states Mihai Răvescu.

Unfortunately, the main access to the Iron Man, from the Vidraru Dam, is closed, following a decision by the Hidroelectrica company, and this route only offers you a variant of access to the monument via a mountain path. “It issomehow there is also a variant of circumventing the decision of Hidroelectrica to close access to Prometeu. Normally, the access path to Prometheus was more than well laid out, made with stairs, with lookouts, but it is closed. This is the back way, via a mountain path“, says the president of the Montane Vidraru Association.

Poiana Pleașa, viewpoint over the Argeș Valley

To discover one of the most beautiful views, follow the red dot marker from Prometheus for ten minutes to the intersection with the red triangle marker. Then continue on this marker, and in about 50 minutes you will reach Poiana Pleașa. It is the place that offers one of the most beautiful viewpoints over the Făgăraș Mountains, Vidraru Lake and the Poenari Fortress.

It is a very handy area. It is a shame that she is not known. Up to Poiana Pleașa there is no danger, neither in summer nor in winter, and from there you have a superb view of Lake Vidraru“, states Ion Sănduloiu, director of Salvamont Argeș.

From Poiana Pleașa to Vârful Albina it takes about an hour and a half, the route being practicable all year round. “Although it does not impress with its altitude, being 1,322 meters high, Vârful Albina provides a viewpoint to the south, towards the Argeșului Valley, but also to the west, towards Cozia and the Buila-Vânturariţa massif“, inform the representatives of the NGO.

Bears, the guardians of Transfagărășan

Prometeu-Poiana Pleașa-Vârful Albina is a short route and accessible to everyone, but we must not forget that bears can also appear in the area.

Everyone knows the bear problem. In autumn, winter, the bears leave there because there are no tourists to feed them. When the picnic season starts, April-May, the bears also appear. On the last exits, I have to admit, that I didn't even see a trace of a bear. But people have to be careful, make noise but talk normally. We must be aware, however, that there are enough bears in the Făgăraș Mountains and they can meet a bear at any time, including in that area“, says Mihai Răvescu.

This is the easiest access to Vârful Albina. Other routes to this mountain start from Căpățâneni or Poiana Moliviș, the Curmătura Ursului point, but they are a bit more demanding.

The Montană Vidraru Association is the one that started, in 2022, the Via Valahia hiking trail, which stretches for 150 kilometers. The route starts from the commune of Corbi in Argeș to the bank of the Olt river, at Câinenii Mari, in Vâlcea county. Via Valahia aims to enhance the value of these areas in the country by rediscovering the history, geography, traditions and customs of these places.

Vidraru Lake and Dam, the most popular places

On Transfăgărășan, the road crowned with clouds, there are several objectives, and the Vidraru Dam is one of the most important tourist attractions in Argeș County. Inaugurated in 1966, the Vidraru dam was designed to withstand an earthquake of 8.5 on the Richter scale. With a height of 166.6 meters and a crowning length of 307 meters, the dam was ranked fifth in Europe and ninth in the world at the time of its inauguration. 480,000 cubic meters of concrete were used for its construction.

Lake Vidraru, located between Frunţii and Ghițu Mountains, is a 10.3 kilometer long reservoir, artificially formed in the period 1965-1966 to collect the water used by the Vidraru Hydropower Complex for the purpose of producing electricity. In addition to the role for which they were built, Vidraru lake and dam offer viewers a wonderful landscape. Various sports can be practiced on the reservoir of the dam during the summer, being also accessible for boat trips.

The fortress of Vlad the Impaler

Located near the Vidraru Dam, the Poenari Fortress was the secondary residence of Vlad Ţepeş, being built as a fortress post against the Ottomans. In the process of restoration, the reopening of the fortress is eagerly awaited.

The works should be completed at the end of June, so starting this summer, tourists will once again be expected to climb the 1,480 steps to enjoy, from an altitude of 850 meters, the splendid view of the Argeș Valley. Being mentioned in a document for the first time in the year 1453, the Poenari Citadel bore, in the course of history, different names: it was called the Cetatea lui Argeșului, the Cetatea lui Negru Vodă or, simply, the Cetatea lui Țepeș.