Located in Western Romania, Timisoara is not only close to other big cities like Budapest (~300 km) or Belgrade (less than 200 km), but also to many unique natural tourist attractions.

Did you know that from Timisoara you can reach the mountains in about 2 hours?! If you are planning any day trips (or weekend trips) from Timisoara, the mountains are a great destination. One of the closest mountain you can visit is Semenic mountain. And while enjoying fresh mountain air, you can also take a dive in a mountain lake like Valiug or Trei Ape.

If this sounds like an interesting idea for a Timisoara day trip, then keep on reading, as this article is for you.

 

A drive to the Semenic mountains

To reach the full height of the Semenic mountains, you will have to drive for about 2 hours, towards the city of Resita and then up the mountain. You can choose as your destination the highest peak of the mountain, Peak Piatra Groazei (1446 m), or you can try to explore other beautiful Romanian landscapes along the way.

 

The lakes of Valiug and Trei Ape are popular attractions of the Semenic mountains, for tourists and locals alike. Since they are quite close to Timisoara, they are very popular weekend destinations, especially in the summer. These mountain lakes will give you an opportunity to get away from the heat of the city, while still working on your tan and enjoying a nice bath.  

 

Valiug Lake: weekend sun and fun

Valiug lake is a “man-made” lake, which was created thanks to the building on a damn in 1909, to support the coal mining industry in the area. The coal industry is no longer active, but the lake has survived. More than that, it has been revived as a popular tourist destination.

A lot of travellers go to Valiug lake to enjoy the wilderness, usually camping in the area. There are several lake-side terraces where you can sunbathe, have a drink or rent a boat or a “water bike” to explore the lake.

In recent years, the “La ponton” terrace in particular has been gaining a lot of popularity and has become a very “hip” place to spend the weekend. They organize all sorts of parties and events and many find this the perfect way to spend the weekend.

 

Trei Ape Lake: a relaxed weekend in nature

If you find the popularity of Valiug Lake overwhelming, don’t worry, you may still find something more to your liking. Just keep driving a bit further and you will eventually reach the lake Trei Ape (translated as “three waters”).

This lake is 45 ha. wide and is the highest artificial lake in the area. It has been formed by building a dam to block three mountain streams (Brebu, Grădiştea and Semenic), that meet here to give birth to the river Timiş.

Located at a higher altitude than Valiug, Trei Ape is also a bit cooler and maybe a bit less popular. However, it is a beloved destination for those who just want to enjoy some peace and quiet. It offers superb views, as the lake is surrounded by a beautiful  fir tree forest.

 

As both these destinations are not too far from Timisoara, they are perfect destinations for a one-day trip in the summertime. In case you want to take some time away from city life, then do spend some time in this area. You can either camp in nature (this is not really reglemented, but a lot of people do it) or you can try to find accommodation in one of the villages: Crivaia, Garang or Valiug.

 

 

The Nera Gorges are among the most spectacular gorges in Romania, and also the longest, with a total length of about 20 km. They are also home to some of the greatest springs, waterfalls, and caves in the western part of Romania. 

 

The Eye of the Bei (or Ochiul Beiului)

The Eye of the Bei is a beautiful spot to visit in the area of the Nera Gorges. It is actually a spring which comes from deep underground: it has a depth of about 3.6 meters, with clear blue water which never freezes.

According to a local legend, a long time ago, when these lands were owned by the Ottoman Empire, the owner of these lands had a son of rare beauty. His eyes were crystal blue. The boy often went hunting around the area. While going hunting, and one day he met the daughter of a Wallachian Sheppard, whom he fell in love with. This did not please his father, as the girl was a commoner, and he ordered for the girl to be killed.

When the young son heard the news about his father’s actions, he cried in sorrow near the girl’s body, but in vain. The son chose to kill himself and from his tears and suffering the Eye of the Bey was born. It is crystal blue, as the young boy’s eyes.

The Beusnita Waterfall

Although Beusnita Waterfall is rarely featured in travel magazines, we believe it’s even more beautiful her little sister, the Bigar Waterfall, which most people have already heard of.

The Beusnita waterfall is located only 40 minutes away from the Eye of The Bei (walking distance). In order to get there, you will have to go through fairytale-like pathways and clearings. The route is excellent for hiking, as you will be hiking through the wild greenery. And did we mention that there are also many small stair-like waterfalls along the way?!

The Beusnita Waterfall has a fall of about 30 meters. The best times of the year to see it are either spring or autumn, as that’s when the rivers have the most water.

 

The Vaioaga Waterfall

Although not as spectacular as the Beusnita Waterfall or the Eye of the Bei, the Vaioaga waterfall is also worth a visit, especially since it’s on your way.  This waterfall is located just 1-2 kilometers from the camping area.

How to get to the Nera Gorges

The distance from Timisoara to the Bei Bridge is 130 km and, according to Google Maps, the drive takes about 2.3 hours by car. Once you get to the Bei Bridge you can either leave your car there and go on by foot, either follow the forest road (which is of course not in great shape) by car until you reach the camping area. From the camping area, it takes about 1 hour to reach the Eye of the Bei by foot and another 40 minutes to reach Beusnita Waterfall. The pathway is marked, so you only have to follow the markings.

Timisoara- Oravita-Bei Bridge: 2.3 hours
Walk to the Eye of the Bei: 1hour walk
Eye of the Bei to Beusnita Falls: 40 minutes.
The total trip back and forth: 8 hours.

 

Finding the perfect outdoor activities for your stay in Timisoara may be quite a hassle if you rely just on a search on Google. To help you out, we have searched for the lesser-known things you can do in Timisoara. And we’ve already tried them out! Paragliding flights, acro flights with a jet plane or aerial tours…pick your choice. Whatever you choose, we can assure you each of them are totally worth it, especially if you are visiting Timisoara for a few days.

 

Paragliding Flights

Although this won’t take place in the city, a paragliding flight is definitely something you should take off your bucket list. Did we mention that the paragliding flights are one of the main attractions for travelers on Trip Advisor?

The paragliding flights take place in Clopotiva, a small village just two hours away from Timisoara, at the base of the Retezat Mountains.A tandem paragliding flight means that you will fly together with a professional pilot. You, together with the instructor, will take off from an altitude of about 1000 meters. The instructor will do the flying, while you will only have to enjoy the view and the experience.

A paragliding flight lasts for about 30 minutes, depending on the weather conditions and yes, the photos and videos are included in the price.

Cost: 65 euros

Website: https://skyrush.ro/

 

 

Acro Flights above Timisoara

 

We have a special recommendation for adrenaline lovers: an acrobatic flight with the only SkyBolt acro-plane in Romania. The plane will take you up about 3000 meters in the air. From that altitudine, the pilot will start doing loops, dives, and many other acrobatic maneuvers. The flights take about 15-20 minutes but, rest assured, that is plenty of time to feel the full power of the SkyBolt

The best thing is that the flights take place just 5 minutes away from Timisoara you can even get there with an Uber.

Please note, the plane has only two places: for the passenger and for the pilot. In case you want to live this experience with your friends, don’t worry, you can take turns.

Cost: 100 Euros

Website: https://skyrush.ro/

 Aerial Tour Above Timisoara

Timisoara is a beautiful city, but it’s even more beautiful from above. One of the alternatives of visiting the city on foot, is to see the city from above.

You will get to fly with a Dynamic VT-9 plane and do a full round above Timisoara. The trip is specially created for the people who just want to enjoy the scenery.

The flights takes about 30 minutes, enough to take dozens of photos and also enjoy Timisoara from a different “point of view”.

Cost: 75 Euros

Website: https://skyrush.ro/

 

 

‘Tis the season to be jolly! And who doesn’t love Christmas, with all its presents, cookies, mulled wine and the free time to relax and look forward to a jolly new year?! Timisoara, as most European cities, does its best at helping its locals and visitors nurture their Christmas spirit. And how does it do that?! The Timisoara Christmas Market is one of those ways.

[Later edit: This article talks about the 2017 Christmas market in Timisora. For our 2018 article, head here.]

 

timisoara-events

Timisoara Opera House during holiday events. Photo via timisoarachristmasmarket.ro

 

Timisoara Christmas Market 2018: 10 years of celebrating Christmas together

Timisoara has been organizing a yearly Christmas market for the last 10 years. The market has been growing slowly, but surely, year after year.
The Christmas market brings together local artisans and merchants, as well as local food and beverage “masters”. For tourists, the Christmas market is the perfect opportunity to “taste” the local culture: from mulled wine, to mulled “tuica” (a traditional Romanian drink, similar to brandy), to traditional sweets and traditional meat products, you can have your pick of authentic Romanian food.

timisoara-christmas-market-food

Local products at the Timisoara Christmas Market, photo via timisoarachristmasmarket.ro

In addition to these culinary delights, you can of course also do some of your Christmas shopping here. We’ll be honest here: not all the products are truly “authentic” or “crafted” locally, but some of them are. Unfortunately, the local authorities aren’t too strict in selecting who gets to display their goods in the Christmas market and so you can find some “generic” products there too. However, you can find beautiful handcrafted jewelry, knitted products, and beautiful Christmas decorations.

timisoara-christmas-market-presents

Artisan gifts at the Timisoara Christmas Market, photo via timisoarachristmasmarket.ro

 

Timisoara Christmas Market: When and where?

The Timisoara Christmas Market takes place every year starting December 1st and up to January 8th in the Victory Square in Timisoara.

In addition to the market itself, there are several events planned here for the holiday season, including live pop concerts of popular Romanian artists. So, if you happen to drop there in the evening, you might enjoy some entertainment as well. You can find more details about the events here.

 

Bonus: 2nd Christmas Market in Timisoara

The winter of 2017 marks the opening of a second Christmas market in Timisoara, in the old Citadel of Timisoara.

This “Christmas at the Citadel” market has been organised by the Banat Museum. Even though this market is smaller than the more central one, as it is surrounded by the old citadel of Timisoara, it is a very pretty sight and therefore a great place to enjoy a mug of mulled wine.
This second market will also host several events during the holiday season.