T3: Padurea Craiului, all-inclusive
Route: Remetea - Josani - Goila - Valani de Pomezeu - Campani de Pomezeu - Pomezeu - Sitani - Luncasprie - Albiorei Gorge - Runcuri Plateau - Poniţa - Crystal Cave from Farcu Mine - Lazuri - Roşia - Căbeşti - Josani - Remetea.
Distance: 45 km
Cumulative Level Difference: 810 meters
Duration: 5 hours
Degree of difficulty: medium
Surface: asphalt, paved road
Attractions: Crystal Cave from Farcu mine, Zipline, thematic trail, Roşia water mill, Vida Lake, Albioarei Gorge, Runcuri Plateau
Start off from Remetea to Josani and make a left towards Golia at the intersection with the proper road sign. Past the first few houses in Golia, you’ll see a Y intersection. Take the road to the left, which starts off with a soft descent that leads you into a small forest and becomes slightly steeper as it advances. Keep moving forward until you reach Vălani de Pomezeu and, once here, make a left towards Câmpani de Pomezeu. You have two options at this point: either take the county road (DJ), or the local road – they both connect the two villages, with the sole difference that the latter presents a more consistent climb.
At the far end of Câmpani de Pomezeu village there’s a large intersection and the Pentecostal Church. Head to Pomezeu from here and make a right at the intersection situated at the entrance of the village. Go through Sitari all the way to Luncasprie and make a right on the first street past the cemetery. The road will lead you away from the village, winding uphill through the forest, meadows and hayfields. The only intersection it encounters is the road from Răcaş; turn right at this point and follow the main road (the most used). The gentle ups and downs of this road will take you to the county road that runs through Cheile Albioarei (Albioara Gorge). You will pass two other roads on your right until you get there – just keep on going straight. A relatively steep descent will take you right into the gorge, where you should make a left. Steer right at the next intersection, on the road that will take you to Runcuri Plateau. Right as you enter the meadow, about 200 meters before the intersection, there’s a cold water spring, great for cooling off and refilling your water supply.
From here, the road will take you uphill to Runcuri Plateau, passing through a landscape of hayfields and karst sinkholes. Keep on the main road that will soon start a rather steep descent to Ponița. After passing the first two houses, there’s an intersection where you need to steer left. Cross the village in a continuous descent – you have to make a left at some point to keep going downhill; you can go straight as well, you’ll reach the same point, but you’ll need to climb a little if you do. After turning left at the intersection mentioned earlier, you’ll cross the river to the left bank and continue pedaling through fenced in hayfields, as the houses become more scattered. It’s not long before you need to make another left at the next intersection, towards Farcu mine. A soft climb ensues as the road follows the river upstream, crossing the village. This is where the road crosses the river and makes a steep right, starting a more demanding ascent to Farcu Mine, where you can visit Crystal Cave (Peștera cu cristale).
Once here, you have the option to visit the cave, try the zip-line or discover what the close by thematic route has to offer.
To continue cycling to Lazuri, take the road that makes a 180o right turn at the cave from the direction you arrived. At the next intersection, both roads go to Lazuri, but the one to the left is less difficult, as it is descent only. From Lazuri follow the road to Roșia and enter the main road by steering left at the intersection, towards Remetea.
About 200 meters past the intersection, on your right, there’s a watermill you can visit, but be advised that the visit might be unpleasant because of the owner who usually asks for money to allow photographs, even if you’re taking them from the side of the road.