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The area around Bicaz Gorge - Red Lake is the perfect destination for those who want to relax in an amazingly beautiful landscape and want to enjoy the silence and the fresh air. The passing from Moldavia towards Transylvania is done through this nature’s wonder, the Bicaz Gorge. You can imagine that the gorge was carved inside the mountain by a giant and strong water, but the truth is that the responsible for the most beautiful gorge in the Oriental Carpathathians is the small and whirling river, Bicaz. The impressive gorge is 6 kilometres long and runs between the Red Lake and the place called Bicazul Ardelean (Western Bicaz). The road is really breathtaking , made of many hairpin bends which prepare the passing to higher altitudes. If you suffer from car sickness, I recommend you to admire these beauties on foot; you will see  wonderful sights !

Red Lake


Bicaz Gorge

Winding roads

In the Gorge, the road narrows as you come closer to the stone giants, and then it winds along the stone mountain wall. The sight widens when the amazing and extremely beautiful hairpin bends, a real challenge for drivers, begin to show. You can reach the famous tunnel through the stone walls, whose crossing makes you think of the most terrible scenarios. You finally feel relieved when, after a few seconds, you take a glimpse of the mountians peaks and the wooden cross on the Altar Rock, which reminds of all the climbers who dared  to climb the steep vertical mountain walls.

The rocks, with trees grown on their surfaces, hide two caves, The Black Cave and the Waterfall Cave and two abysses, Licas and the Abyss with Three Entrances. The Waterfall Cave opens on the bridge situated on top of the Bicaz Valley, and is so narrow that it can be visited only on all fours, crawling. And the small running streams afluents of Bicaz make also smaller gorges, such as the Lapos Gorge, Sugau Gorge, Bicajel Gorge. The rocks which you can admire are the Altar Rock (1154 m altitudine), Pintesti Rock  (847 m), Arsita (Heat) Rock, Surduc Rock, Rocky Gate and the Bardos Shelves. In spring, when the snow in the massif melts, another waterfall forms, running down from the mountain. Don’t miss it, as it is a rare thing, only a few times such an impressive stream forms.

Bicaz GorgeBicaz Gorge

Red Lake Resort

The Red Lake (Lacul Rosu) was formed almost 200 years ago and its name is derived from the red sandstone, transported by the streams, which has painted in purple-red the soils and the surroundings up to the lake. The sight which flows and reveals itself before the tourists’ eyes is spectacular; you can admire a forest, once sunk in the lake, of which the fir-trees tops can be seen here and there.

When the mountains take their revenge

The legend of the place tells of a beautiful girl, black haired, green-grey eyed, who fell madly in love with a lad from the region. The lad asked her to marry him, but before the wedding, he was enrolled. The girl waited for him, but one day she was seen by an outlaw, kidnapped and taken into the heart of the rocks. The outlaw promised the girl gold, silver, a diamond palace, but she kept thinking of the lad she loved and her mind was at him. The tears of the girl who wouldn’t become the outlaw’s wife, softened the old mountain, that with a awful sound, started tearing the rocks down, covering everything that was in their way, killing the outlaw, but the beautiful girl at the same time. That is how the Red Lake, the Killer Lake, was born, out of love and despair.

On a rowing trip on the biggest mountain natural lake in Romania, you will be accompanied by crowds of ducks, which continue their travel without being bothered, inviting you to go farther from the bank to know their family.

Red Lake


Red Lake

If you are fans of open air strolls, you can relax walking on one of the routes that include the Bicaz Gorge and the Red Lake.

The round route Centre of the Resort Red Lake - the Stone Balcony - the Trout Pond Hatchery - the Pier is 3,5 km long and can be strolled in one hour in a slow rhythm, walk-like. You start from the centre of the resort, a point where all the routes cross. A highroad marks the entrance into the forest, and after a small climbing you can reach the Stone Balcony. Situated over the water shine surface, it is one of the most beautiful view points in the resort. You descend towards the Stone Gate, whose actual form is due to the explosions made during the times when the road was built, then to the Trout pond-Hatchery. From the Pier you can hire boats in order to go rowing on the lake each year in May-September. The route ends  by crossing the natural dam, close to the souvenirs selling merchands stands.

Red Lake


Red Lake

The round route centre of the resort Red Lake - Bicaz Gorge - Red Stone Saddle spreads on a distance on 10 km, and it can be done in 3-4 hours and it is accessible and open all year round. The departure is made from the centre of the resort and then you descend along the rock „Gate’s Tower”. On the left bank of the Bicaz stream is the „Fairies’ Garden”, a rocky area where the black goats take shelter.

The round route the Centre of the resort Red Lake - Red Stone Saddle - the Lime - chalk Workers’ Road - Tifra saddle - the Bicaz Gorge can be covered in one hour, on a distance of 3,5 km. On a shorter road then the previous you can see the Orthodox Church Saint John the Baptizer, in the Red Stone Saddle, the view point of Mary Rock and the mountaineering routes   Ficsúr and Derby '67.

At 8 km dsitance from the Red Lake, on the territory of village Bicaz Chei, there is Munticelu (Snowdrop) Cave. Situated on the left side of the Bicaz river, the cave represent a natural reservation, here one can admire beautiful stalagtites and stalagmites. The interiour is made of two rooms, but it is not supplied with an electric-light system yet. Without a guide it can be crossed in 30 minutes.

Bicaz Gorge


Red Lake


Bicaz Gorge

Craftsmen on mountain roads

You must take advantage of the stops you make along the gorge in order to chose souvenirs to bring to the dear ones. The Romanian and Hungarian craftsmen in the region deal with the traditional crafts trade, making wooden objects, pottery, woven fabric cloths, osier basketwork. The traditional and modern mingle into the specific of these little objects, so that on the tents you will find black pottery or grey clay ashtrays, wooden spoons, popular masks, straw or tinder hats, carved pencils, but also paintings made of glass and coloured sand, sandglasses and many coloured and funny toys. And if you already are in the region, do not miss the kiosks with the delicious Szekler rolls (kurtoskalacs). 

The region around the area  Bicaz Gorge - the Red Lake is the perfect destination for rest, relax, leisure, but also for those who want to venture into hiking trips, nature trails or to climb the rocks. The ever green woods give a specially pictoresque note, a sight which will give you the joy of fresh, clean air and the pleasure of wonderful . You must discover the paradise between the stone mountain sides of the gorge and the hidden secrets in the spectacular canyon, trying at the same time to catch a glimpse of the rare species of plants and beasts.

[An article written by Andreea Bertea]