Mountain climbing devotees and traveling families who love snow and ice can pack their bags for an adventure in the Făgăraș Mountains. In 2005, the first and only ice hotel in Romania and Eastern Europe was sculpted in these mountains. Since then, tourists and travelers return each year to the Bâlea Cascadă lodge to take the cable car and access the ice hotel. Of course, every year a new frozen hotel and restaurant are built in the vicinity of the Bâlea glacier lake. Prepare for a Transylvanian ice hotel experience straight from our guide into the secret world of fairytale castles.
A Warm Night at the Transylvanian Ice Hotel
At an altitude of 2034 meters (6,674 ft), talented artisans from Mureș county cut thick blocks of ice from the glacier and put them together, in harsh conditions. Every year for a period of 3 or 4 months, this magical Transylvanian ice hotel takes different forms and hosts over 8000 visitors. The Bâlea Lake ice hotel is a top European natural hotel, only 80 km away from Sibiu International Airport. A spectacular way to arrive there is to follow the Transfăgărășan road. Yet, you if you drive from north to south, you will only cover one-third of it, for it is closed from November to May.
For a start, if you’ve never dinned and slept in an ice hotel, you should know the temperatures vary from -2 to +2 °C. Therefore, the hosts cover the ice beds with a few thick layers of blankets and animal fur. Plus, you can tuck yourself in a cozy sleeping bag, available in the igloo. Rest assured, arriving by day will guarantee you acclimatization by the time you will get to sleep.
There is, even more, to do around this Transylvanian ice hotel. Bâlea Lake has been for a long time the perfect destination for expert snowboarders from all over the world. Competitions organized here in the Făgăraș Mountains, in Transylvania, attracted many winter sports enthusiasts. So, the Winter Park is where you can rent snowmobiles, do snow rafting, ski and snowboard. By the way, the Bâlea slope is the longest in the Carpathians. It stretches across 14 km (8.6 miles) with sensational trails offering an intense experience to free-riders. You can check out more about the skiing season in Transylvania on The Adventures of Kiara Yew.
Other Cool Ice Hotels in Europe
Ice hotels are more common in Northern Europe, as opposed to South Eastern Europe. However, our Transylvanian ice hotel has a secret: the grandeur and tranquility of the Făgăraș Mountains. One would expect no less of the Slovenian Eskimo Village or Sweden’s Ice Hotel. Especially, when the latter is made with ice blocks from the frozen Torne River. Yet, nothing compares to the exquisite scenery of the Bâlea Lake in Sibiu county, Romania.
Since this year’s sudden arrival of winter, we couldn’t help thinking about a very special ice and snow hotel. Last winter this ice hotel made quite a sensation when it unveiled its Game of Thrones theme. Moreover, the show’s fans can enjoy the same design in the Lapland ice hotel until April 2019. Located at more than 100 miles into the Arctic Circle, the ice hotel in Finland must feel just like Beyond the Wall.