Extending from the valley of the Csík Basin and out to the eastern edge of Transylvania, continuing out into Bacau County in Romanian Moldova, lies the Pogány-havas (Pagan Snow Cap) Region. Few visitors from the West have discovered this very special part of Transylvania.
This diverse area consists of parts of two distinctly separate regions, Csík and Gyimes. Csík has a wide, open landscape surrounded by mountains, while Gyimes is a mountain area with deep and narrow valleys. Both are rich in natural treasures: many rare plants and animals, including the southernmost range of several species left here since the last ice age.
The Csík basin is one of the three large tectonic mountain basins of South East Transylvania. It is characterized by bustling agricultural activity with the beautiful backdrop of green mountains. Another characteristic is the naturally carbonated spring water, called "borvíz" (wine-water) locally. The terrain in Gyimes is mountainous and the villages are tucked in narrow valleys. Gyimes also has many natural springs. Each area is uniquely beautiful and offers a wide range of cultural relics, natural marvels and scenic trails.
Separating the two regions is one of the most important passes in the East Carpathian Mountains: the Gyimes Pass. With wonderful panoramic views, it connects the Carpathian Basin and the Transcarpathian Regions. You can reach Pogány-havas, our organization’s namesake mountain, by taking a short walk from the pass.
Farming here still uses methods characteristic of another age, on a very small, subsistence scale. The great value of this method of farming is that it creates and preserves habitats for the animals and wild flowers of the alpine grasslands and wet meadows, while also maintaining a rich cultural value. Our researches showed, that in European comparism these grasslands are among the most biodiverse habitats, which also explains why the local villagers have the largest traditional knwoledge about their natural environment on the whole world!
For more information about the tourism opportunities, history, culture and natural treasures of the region, see our booklet.
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Location and how to get here
When planning your trip to the Pogány-havas Region please use as destination the town of Csíkszereda (Miercurea Ciuc) since it's the closest town and most accesible by car or by train. The town represents the best connection with our region. The office of the Pogány-havas Association is also located there.
Since this is a Hungarian-speaking region we give the Hungarian place name first followed by the Romanian name in brackets. However most maps use the Romanian name only.
- Driving from Nagyvárad (Oradea): Kolozsvár (Cluj Napoca) - Marosvásárhely (Tirgu Mures) - Szováta (Sovata) - Székelyudvarhely (Odorheiu Secuiesc) - Csíkszereda (Miercurea Ciuc) - Driving from Bukarest (București): Ploiești - Brassó (Brașov) - Sepsiszentgyörgy (Sfântu Gheorghe) - Csíkszereda (Miercurea Ciuc) - Driving from Szeben (Sibiu): Medgyes (Mediaș) - Segesvár (Sighișoara) - Székelykeresztúr (Cristuru Secuiesc) - Székelyudvarhely (Odorheiu Secuiesc) - Csíkszereda (Miercurea Ciuc)
By plane or train:
The closest airport is Transilvania Airport in Marosvásárhely (Tirgu Mures) located at 160 km from the town of Csíkszereda (Miercurea Ciuc); from there it takes about 3-3.5 hours by car to Csíkszereda (Miercurea Ciuc). Other options are: Kolozsvár (Cluj Napoca) 265 km, Szeben (Sibiu) 252 km and Bukarest (București) 275 km.
Any train with the destination to Csíkszereda (Miercurea Ciuc).
A nice trainride that crosses our region is recommended to all visitors from Csíkszereda (Miercurea Ciuc) to Gyimesbükk (Ghimeș) with beautiful scenery. Trainstops along the way: Csíkszereda (Miercurea Ciuc), Madéfalva (Siculeni), Csíkszentmihály (Mihăileni), Ajnád (Nădejdea), Karakó viaduct (Caracău), Lóvész (Livezi), Utusalj viaduct (Utușoiu), Gyimesfelsőlok (Lunca de Sus), Tarkő (Tarcău), Gyimesközéplok (Lunca de Jos), Balahányos (Bolovăniș), Gyimesbükk (Ghimeș).
Detailed map of the region
Please click here for a detailed map showing the municipalities of the Pogány-havas region: Csíkpálfalva (Păuleni Ciuc), Csíkszépvíz (Frumoasa), Csíkszentmihály (Mihăileni), Gyimesfelsőlok (Lunca de Sus), Gyimesközéplok (Lunca de Jos) and Gyimesbükk (Ghimeș-Făget).
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