One thing you don't have to miss if you ever come to Baile Herculane, thermal water/hot spings resort in Romania, is the "La Vanturatoare" waterfall.
Of course the main attraction of the resort are the springs but if you're looking for peace and beautiful scenery, you won't find that at the springs... The hot (and sulphurous) water is the same as ever but the small pools in which you can bathe are rather ugly - made of concrete during the former communist regime. I believe the last time someone attended to them properly was before 1989.
That's sad since the spa had notable guests (kings and queens from all over Europe) since it was founded by Trajan Emperor.
Lots of architecturally beautiful buildings are in decay and while some parts of the resort look forgotten, one can tell that the place used to be a busy resort where the elite came for treatment and leisure.
Anyway - as an outdoor lover you may be more interested into climbing and trekking than in the resort as a city.
Speaking of that - the are is home to one of the most popular rock climbing contests in Romania - Herculane Climbing Open (HCO), developed by Alternative extreme sport club in Timisoara. There are tons of limestone crags all over the place, hence a great concentration of sport climbing routes (bolted).
Click the Play Button to see the cool waterfall (min. 5:00)
Climbing and Trekking Video shot in Baile Herculane - April 2011
How to get to the waterfall
If you get to the resort by train, and don't have a car, then you have to walk about 11 km North on DN67 D road until reach a bridge (at the tail of the accumulation lake). Carrying a GPS device may help you so here are the approximate GPS coordinates of this point: 44°57'50.53'' N 22°29'03.22'' E elevation 241 m.
From the bridge you have a 45 minutes light hike up to the waterfall on a marked footpath (red cross mark I guess...). Approximate coordinates of destination ("Vanturatoarea"): 44°57'59.27'' N 22°28'24.42'' E elevation 693 m. See pictures below for location details on Google map.
Baile Herculane is also known to be teeming with vipers - especially during hot days. The climate is sub Mediterranean and this enables creatures as vipers and small scorpions to live here.
You can recognize them by the zig-zag line on their back and the triangle shaped head. Some of them have a small horn as well. Wear boots and long pants and watch your step to avoid any unpleasant contact with them. The emergency phone number to call in Romania is 112.
For more pictures with reptiles from Herculane area visit this link (the guys holding vipers in their hands seemed to know what they were doing but don't try to do it yourself...).
Happy trekking! (Boy, does this sound evil after all the viper talk...) :-)
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