The Complex Turistic Borsa, is a small ski resort and tourist complex 10km east of Borsa town proper. The tourist complex is the main entry point to the Rodna Mountains, part of which forms the Pietrosu Rodnei Nature Reservation (5900 hectares).
Hiking information is criminally scarce on the ground, largely because too few people make the effort to get to this excellent area. However, trails leading from the top of the ski lift are clearly marked, so as long as you don’t stray too far, you shouldn’t get lost. If you’re the plan ahead type, this website has excellent detailed information on hiking trails in the area.
Round-trip trails include a two-hour hike (assuming good weather and average fitness) to the Prislop Pass and a less demanding one hour signposted hike to the 40 meter high ‘Cascada Cailor’ (Horse Waterfall). A good way to warm up before undertaking these hikes is to take the path leading up underneath the ski lift.
The Complex Turistic Borsa also the starting point for a long, grueling, round-trip day hike as well as being an entry point for hikers wanting to trek north into the Maramures Mountains and/or south into the Rodna Mountains and onward to Moldavia. Cabanas are scarce in this area, come prepared to camp out. Furthermore, do not attempt to stray too far from these trails without a good map (virtually unattainable) and compass.
From the Borsa Complex Turistic, a winding road climbs for 10km to the remote Prislop Pass. Red triangles, then blue stripes lead to the peak of the Gargalau Saddle (1925m, 2 hours). Then either continue east (red stripes) to the Rotunda Pass, then southeast, terminating at Vatra Dornei (Moldavia), or west to the highest part of the massif and on to La Cruce (4 and 1/2 hours). From here the weather station on the summit of Mount Pietrosu (2305m, blue stripes) is only 90 minutes away. At this point, it’s a relatively direct decent back down to Borsa (2 and 1/2 hours).
In winter the Complex Turistic Borsa is a busy ski center, claiming the largest natural ski run in Europe (2km, beginner to intermediate levels). As of early 2006, ski hire was not available here. Hopefully some entrepreneur will change that soon.
Staff at the hotels in the complex are usually amiable (by Romanian standards). Hotel Mia (Tel. +40 (0) 262 342 347; address Str AI Cuza 237a) has clean, nice rooms as does Hotel Iezer (Tel. +40 (0) 262 343 430; address Str Decebal 2), Hotel Perla Maramuresului (Tel. +40 (0) 262 342 539; address Str Victoriei 27) and nearby Hotel Mihali (Tel. +40 (0) 742 797 599; address Str. Victoriei 65). At the Complex Turistic ski resort Pensiunea Focus (Tel. +40 (0) 262 344 038), near the chairlift, is the most popular.
Buses run between Borsa proper and the Complex Turistic throughout the day.