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Trekking to lake Tarnita, near Cluj

If you are in Cluj, but you dream of nature, water and clean air, this city comes with an incredible offer due to its geographical position, such as Fintinele, Belis, Marisel a.s.o, so there’s a lot to choose from.

As we welcomed a change after two serious days spent in Cluj and Turda salt mine, I suggested my kids an outing to a place that looked beautiful on the internet, but that is also close enough to Cluj.

It was a beautiful September, school and jobs were about to restart, so I thought some nature and movement will only do us good before settling in our sedentary routine (also because of Covid-19).

Relaxation: the head of Tarnita lake

We decided to go trekking to Lake Tarnita, to a place called Piatra lui Lucaci (Lucaci’s rock) not far from Cluj.

We parked at the Tarnita dam and were about to take our job seriously. The trekking involved 8 km of climbing, and the apps and blogs consulted said this was a one day trip. So, we packed enough water and food (or so I thought) and followed the trail markers.

The first part of the road was very simple with pleasant landscape. All we had to do was pass along some houses, then enter the forest and cross the head of the lake. Next, we went along the lake for a long time on tiny trails and enjoyed the nature that was still green.

Majestic view from the top

We met lots of sportspeople and amateurs on the way. At some point, we noticed that the trail no longer followed the lake, so the real ascent had started. It lasted for a while, but the breath-taking view from the top made us realize it was worth it. All in all, the whole trip lasted for around 5-5,30 hours.

If you want to try this route, you should download the Muntii Nostri app on the phone from Google Playstore.

It is very easy to use and works even without internet connection. The trip is Baraj Tarnita-Piatra lui Lucaci-Baraj Tarnita.

Professional pic from the top
Photosource: facebook/discover romania
Photo: Ana Maria Borza

Needless to say that by the time we were back at the car, we decided that we could eat something good despite the sandwiches I had packed. So, we were heading back to Cluj with no particular place in mind.

Scrolling from one eatery to another we simply didn’t agree on certain places for various reasons. But when we saw Samsara Foodhouse’s pictures, we were finally on the same page. It is a vegetarian restaurant that serves raw, vegan and vegetarian products in an impeccably designed space and terrace.

I’m not a vegetarian, but for some time now, I’ve been trying to eat more carefully and pay attention. It only applies sometimes, as I do not force myself into eating things that are heatlhy, but I dislike. All in all, we had a tremendous culinary experience.

Samsara: terrace in pastel shades; photo:

The menu is a celebration to the palate and is carefully designed for all tastes. Unfortunately, deliciousness took me by surprise, and I had no time to take pictures, but we had a spicy ramen, lasagne and a vegan burger with vegetable skin chips, all of them really savoury.

With our stomachs full and souls fulfilled, we went to our accommodation. What an amazing day and weekend it had been! It simply touched a chord! Just my way: visiting places, learning new things, being active and eating well!  So, if you are in Cluj and have the opportunity, take advantage of both the city and the surrounding!

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