Situated along the Valley of river Olanesti, at an altitude of 450 m, Baile Olanesti (Olanesti Baths) is a renowned resort in Romania and abroad, with the largest number of natural springs in the country. Thousands of tourists come here annually to treat various illnesses, by using the healing water of the springs in the resort. Olanesti has 35 hydro sources, as natural springs or wells and minerals. For this reasons, the resort is also known as The Golden Baths.
I’ve been to Olanesti very often, from my early childhood, since it is located only 20 km distance from my hometown, Ramnicu-Valcea, somewhere in the South-Western part of Romania. This year, I visited the resort two times, once in June, when everything was very green, and another time, at the end of October, when I spent two days with my boyfriend, in the beautiful resort.
If you’re wondering where the name of the resort comes from, you must know that the natural springs were found on the lands of the nobleman Toma Olanescu. Therefore, there is a possibility that the name comes from him, as it’s pretty obvious the similarity. In terms of climate, is good to visit Olanesti, both in winter and in the warmer months, since it’s protected by a portion of the Carpathians, which makes the winters milder and the summers pretty cool.
How to get here:
You have two options. You either choose to go with your personal car or by bus. The distance between Bucharest, the capital of Romania, and Olanesti is 3 hours driving.
What to see & do:
Treatment with therapeutic waters
I’ve already told you Olanesti resort it’s famous, since more than 100 years ago, when they first made the analysis of water and was discovered their healing power. From then until now, the resort has been visited by a large number of tourists from all over the world, but especially from Europe, to cure various diseases. I admit that I didn’t go to Olanesti for this reason, especially because given the composition of water, it smells pretty unfriendly.
Another thing I totally dislike is that a company put a toll on the natural springs; therefore, you must buy a card from Hotel Olanesti, in order to open the valve. But to tell you a secret, the spring no.11 has a faucet with free sulfurous water. However, bypassing the disadvantages mentioned above, I advise you to take seriously the possibility to treat here, especially as the prices are affordable to any budget.
Get tanned or bath in the refreshing river
During the summer, the weather is perfect in Olanesti. The sun heats up so much that each of us would need a bath in the cold water, sprung from the mountain. The Valley of Olanesti River gives you the opportunity to sunbathe on the gravel and to cool your body in the clean cold water. Many tourists also make barbecues along the river. Sounds like fun, right?
Explore the town
Baile Olanesti is not very big but has quite a lot to offer. So, if you want to explore the surroundings, you can get the chance to admire beautiful houses, with stunning architecture, but also shops and landscaped walkways.
Spend a day in one of the largest and most beautiful spas in Europe
Tisa Spa Resort is a wellness center, opened in 2015. It has many different areas designed for all tastes and needs, AQUA, Thermarium, Spa, Fitness, Games, Jacuzzi, and Restaurants. It’s open Monday to Friday, and the prices are more than affordable. For example, I paid 40 lei, for 3 hours on a Sunday afternoon, for the pool and spa areas. Thermarium is my favorite, as it is extremely diversified, giving you a lot of options, such as sauna, steam room, ice fountain and emotional showers, aroma sauna, hot stone beds, and saline. Tisa Spa Resort is also a great place for families with kids, as they have kids pool size and water slides.
Visit the golden baths
The natural springs can be found on a driveway that gets lost in the forested hills and leads to the National Park, Buila– Vanturarita. The road to the springs is very beautiful, and the scenery is downright spectacular all season. My last visit was in the late October, this year when the trees are dressed in shades of yellow, orange, copper, red and brown. The best known of the natural springs is number 24, due to its very strong power of healing diuretic problems. However, regardless of the source from which you choose to drink the water, it is absolutely mandatory to consult a doctor before.
Go hiking through the woods
The forests around the resort are beautiful, and this is thanks to the density of trees and plants. There are many marked trails that you can follow, trails that can easily lead you to waterfalls, but also to dangerous animals, so you must be careful and not derivate too much from the road.
Go shopping for souvenirs
The road to the springs is full of stalls, from where you can buy souvenirs, but also a very beautiful and traditional Romanian blouse called ie, or Romanian food products, such as honey, smoked cheese, and home-made chocolate.
Play ping pong in the park
It may sound silly, but it could actually be a very entertaining activity. In Olanesti, are only a few small parks where you can spend some time, such as the Lovers Park, Parang Park or the downtown park. However, all of them are very nicely decorated with walkways shaded by tall trees, with benches and playgrounds for children, but also ping pong or chess tables for adults.
Visit the churches in the area
If you want to go on a short trip, you can choose the road that leads to the Monastery Comanca. Or, if you want to remain in the area, then make a stop at the church of Horea from Albac, a beautiful small wooden building, brought from Transylvania in 1907, having an important historical and cultural value for Romania.
Where to eat
We ate in several places in Olanesti and tried even the home-made chocolate, but my favorites are the food and the service at Pension Rubin and Pension Europa. At Pension Europa, I recommend you try the fried cheese or the fried chicken and fries. Everything fried! )) Also, they know how to make a good coffee. On the other hand, at Pension Rubin I ate one of the best tuna pizza, but neither the chicken pizza did not disappoint me. For dessert, I wanted pancakes with jelly and chocolate, which were absolutely delicious. I will let the pictures speak for themselves.
Where to stay
We stayed at Vila Nicoleta, and I want to recommend it to you, too. Situated in the central area, the villa offers a superb view, irrespective of the position of the room you choose. Each room is equipped with modern furniture, TV, wifi, minibar, and hydro massage shower. Moreover, there is a fully equipped kitchen where you can prepare breakfast or dinner. Currently, the villa also offers massage for relaxation for only 50 lei/ 40 minutes (about $13).
What I liked the most about the villa is that on each floor, there is a terrace and a barbecue. The host is a very nice person, who will be available for any further information or questions that you may have. For more information and booking, visit the official website or DescoperimRomania.ro (Descovering Romania), a very useful website for when you decide to spend your vacation in Romania.