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Fagaras Mountains Romania

Moldoveanu Peak via Cabana Valea Sambetei

Moldoveanu Peak (2544 m) is part of the Fagaras Mountains, Southern Carpathians, and is the highest peak in Romania.

Climbing Moldoveanu Peak via Cabana Valea Sambetei during summer does not pose major difficulties, however the total length and elevation gain make it a strenuous hike.

We recommend to split the hike in 2 days. Spend the first night at Cabana Valea Sambetei (1400 m) or in the bivouac refuge Fereastra Mica (2196m) if you have proper sleeping bags to keep you warm.

There is only one short exposed passage between Vistea Mare Peak (2527 m) and Moldoveanu Peak. It is not dangerous if you are careful, but it can be scary if you are afraid of heights. Climbing from Portita Vistei to Vistea Mare Peak involves some scrambling.

Spintecatura Vistei - Varful Moldoveanu
Spintecatura Vistei – Varful Moldoveanu

Quick info about Moldoveanu Peak via Cabana Valea Sambetei trail

  • Starting point: Complex Turistic Sambata (670 m)
  • Primary objective: Varful Moldoveanu (2544 m)
  • Seasonality: not recommended during winter
  • Duration (one way): 5-7h
  • Length (one way): ~18 km
  • Markings: red triangle, red bar, red dot
  • State of the markings: good
  • Difficulty: moderate to hard
  • Closest accommodation unit to the start of the trail: Complex Turistic Sambata
  • Closest town to the start of the trail: Fagaras (28 km)
  • Distance from Sibiu: 80 km (1.5h) by car
  • Parking: free parking near Complex Turistic Sambata

Moldoveanu Peak via Cabana Valea Sambetei trail description

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Trail markings

Total duration: 10-12h

Red dot

Red triangle:

  • Complex Turistic Sambata  (670 m) – Cabana Valea Sambetei (1400 m) ~3h
  • Cabana Valea Sambetei – Fereastra Mare a Sambetei (2188 m) ~2.5h
Red bar

Red bar:

  • Fereastra Mare a Sambetei – Vistea Mare refuge in Portita Vistei Saddle (2310 m) ~3.5h
  • Vistea Mare refuge in Portita Vistei Saddle – Vistea Mare Peak (2527 m) ~45 min
Red dot

Red dot:

  • Vistea Mare Peak – Moldoveanu Peak (2544 m) ~30min

Directions and checkpoints

Complex Turistic Sambata (670 m) – Cabana Valea Sambetei (1400 m)

3h, red triangle

You can park your car near Complex Turistic Sambata or even higher on the side of the forest road.

From Complex Turistic Sambata you should reach Cabana Valea Sambetei in about 3h. Follow the red triangle on the forest road towards Brancoveanu Monastery. The 4 km walk on the road is followed by a pleasant hike through the forest.

Cabana Valea Sambetei (1400 m)
Cabana Valea Sambetei (1400 m)

Cabana Valea Sambetei (1400 m) – Fereastra Mare a Sambetei (2188 m)

2h, red triangle

From Cabana Valea Sambetei continue on the red triangle. After a 2 hours steep hike, you will reach the main ridge at Fereastra Mare a Sambetei.

Nearby you will find the bivouac refuge Fereastra Mica (2196m). You may find a water source 5 minutes down from the refuge, towards south.

Bivouac refuge Fereastra Mica (2196m)
Inside the bivouac refuge Fereastra Mica (2196m)
 

Fereastra Mare a Sambetei  – Vistea Mare bivouac refuge in Portita Vistei Saddle (2310 m)

4h, red bar

From Fereastra Mare a Sambetei start following the red bar markings towards Vistea Mare and Moldoveanu peaks. Prepare for a 4 hour up-and-down strenuous hike.

On the way to Portita Vistei you will climb Varful Galasescu Mic (2433m), descend to Fereastra Racorelelor (2297m) and then climb Varful Galasescu Mare (2470m). You will spot some glacier lakes like Vistisoara, Valea Rea, Iezerul Moldoveanului (The Triangular Lake).

Vistea Mare bivouac refuge is located in Portita Vistei Saddle (2310 m), between Vistea Mare Peak (2527 m) and Galbenele Peak (2456 m).

Vistea Mare bivouac refuge
Vistea Mare bivouac refuge

Portita Vistei Saddle (2310 m) – Varful Vistea Mare (2527 m)

45 min, red bar

After a steep hike from Portita Vistei you should reach Vistea Mare in about 30-45 minutes. Vistea Mare is the third highest peak in Romania. The second highest peak is Varful Negoiu (2535 m), also in Fagaras Mountains.

Vistea Mare refuge, Vistea Mare Peak and Moldoveanu Peak

Varful Vistea Mare (2527 m) – Varful Moldoveanu (2544 m)

30 min, red dot

From Vistea you will reach Varful Moldoveanu in 30 minutes. You will pass through Spintecatura Vistei, a sharp and narrow rocky passage where you have to pay increased attention. Use the chains embedded in the rock and take your time.

Varful Moldoveanu viewed from Varful Vistea Mare
Varful Moldoveanu viewed from Varful Vistea Mare

Varful Moldoveanu via Cabana Valea Sambetei photo gallery

Inside Vistea Mare refuge
Inside Vistea Mare refuge
From Vistea to Moldoveanu
From Vistea to Moldoveanu
Moldoveanu summit
Moldoveanu summit