The Rarau Mountains are part of the Eastern Carpathians and offer fantastic hiking opportunities. The area is usually accessible from May to October. The region’s main base for hikers is Cabana Rarau (Tel +40 (0) 744 320 496), located at an elevation of 1400 meters, near the town of Campulung Moldovenesc. Doubles at the cabana are about 15 euros per night. There’s a small restaurant and provisions shop there too.
Enter Campulung Moldovenesc from the east, look out for the sign on the left (‘Cabana Rarau 14km’) and you’re on your way. Do not attempt to drive this route in bad weather unless you have a 4WD. Indeed, even in good weather, it’s no treat; the road is narrow and extremely pot-holed and rocky in places. Hiking takes three to four hours (follow the red circles).
A second, fractionally less destroyed mountain road leads up to the cabana from the village of Pojorata, 3km west of Campulung Moldovenesc. Or hike (four to five hours; yellow crosses). This road is not marked on maps (and that first one shouldn’t be either). Turn left at the fork after the village post office, cross the railway tracks, then turn immediately left along the dirt road. Also, take a moment to admire the large stones of Adam and Eve as you enter Pojorata.
The best way to access Cabana Rarau (by car) is from the south from the village of Chiril, 24km east of Vatra Dornei on the main Vatra Dornei-Durau road. From here, hiking takes three to four hours (blue circles). Cabana Zugreni (Tel. +40 (0) 230 373 581), 4km from Chiril on the Vatra Dornei road, is a good option, offering a restaurant serving traditional Moldavian meals.
From Cabana Rarau it’s just a 30 minute walk to the foot of Rarau’s most important rocks, the Lady’s Stones or Princess’ Rocks (Pietrele Doamnei). The highest (1678m) is bedecked with crosses in memory of the climbers the mountain has claimed (and the view is outstanding).
Additionally, a trail marked by red stripes and red triangles (five hours) leads from the cabana to the Slatioara Reservation. From here another trail (red triangles) leads to the Todirescu Flower Reservation.