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  • Writer's pictureTania Andreea

Hiking in Bucegi: Simon Village - Devil's Mill Waterfall


MEDIUM DIFFICULTY HIKE IDEA IN THE BUCEGI MOUNTAINS, ROMANIA, STARTING FROM THE VILLAGE OF SIMON - BRAN


I spend quite a lot of my time looking for beautiful destinations to visit and I get to discover amazing places that are not very popular. I discovered Devil's Mill Waterfall (Cascada Moara Dracului) absolutely by chance, on Google Maps, documenting myself about other tourist attractions in the area. Seeing photos of the waterfall, I didn't waste any more time and looked for information about the route, prepared my equipment and ran to the mountains.


Although the trail itself was very beautiful, it was the waterfall that prompted us to choose to do this hike and I can say it did not disappoint. I was a bit worried that the waterfall would be dried, as I had seen someone posted online on a group of mountain hikes. Fortunately, that was not the case, the waterfall was gorgeous and I was surprised to see how free the path was, we met very few tourists throughout the hike, so we could enjoy the peace and birds singing.



DETAILS ABOUT THE HIKE TO DEVIL'S MILL WATERFALL


Route marking: yellow triangle to the clearing in Valea Gaura, then red cross, then red dot (there are signs on the route, so you will know when you need to change direction).


In total there are approximately 14-16 km (round trip), which can be covered in 4-5 hours.


The route starts from the village of Șimon, Bran commune, Brașov county.


Once you arrive in Şimon, proceed along the main street. It is paved, but full of potholes, but you can't go in the wrong direction, especially if you set the navigator to the village of Šimon.


The entrance to the route is at the exit of the village, after which there is a forest road to a barrier, where you have to park the car and continue on foot. The road is quite good and accessible for any type of car, but there is a sign that prohibits cars, so we walk that part, which is quite long, but easy to do.


THE HIKE TO DEVIL'S MILL WATERFALL ROMANIA

After about an hour of walk, on the left side of the road, there is a monument erected in memory of a helicopter that fell in 2010. In the accident, several people lost their lives, namely military personnel of Romanian origin, but also of Israeli origin. The Israelis came to Romania for military training.


THE HIKE TO DEVIL'S MILL WATERFALL ROMANIA

Passing this area, the road continues just as smoothly through the forest. There are also several mini-farms and stables in the area, so you will meet domestic animals on the route, especially cows, which fortunately are not aggressive. Also, I did not see any dogs in the area.


At some point, the road splits in two, but there are markings so you won't take the wrong turn. The path intersects with another route that goes to Padina Cabin.


THE HIKE TO DEVIL'S MILL WATERFALL ROMANIA

The path begins to narrow, and after a few hundred meters, a steep ascent begins, quite demanding, being the hardest part of the route and also the part I liked the least. The landscape doesn't help much either, everything around is a forest with tall firs, dry at the base due to the lack of light.


The proper equipment will make this area easier to walk, as the humidity makes the ground quite slippery. Both boots with grippy soles and trekking poles will help you both on the way up and down. Although it is a rather steep section, there are no exposed areas, so I don't see any problem in doing this route even on winter.


THE HIKE TO DEVIL'S MILL WATERFALL ROMANIA

After this demanding area, which is the ugliest part of the route, follows the visual reward offered by mother nature. The landscape of Valea Gaura is absolutely charming, as is the rest of the hike to the waterfall. We don't have to go up on this part of the trail, the path is straight, without differences in level, so it is very easy to walk to the waterfall.


THE HIKE TO DEVIL'S MILL WATERFALL ROMANIA

In this valley, we follow the path to the left, and after crossing the stream, the yellow triangle marking changes to a red cross. From here, we have another 25 minutes of walking.


THE HIKE TO DEVIL'S MILL WATERFALL ROMANIA

Once you reach a small clearing, the marking changes to the red dot. The red cross marking does not disappear, continue on another route, which takes about 3 hours, to the Omu Peak.


If you thought that the climb to the Gaura Valley was demanding, see what the climb to the Omu Peak looks like (a route you can follow after visiting the waterfall). We didn't dare to climb, but we saw other people climbing through the still unmelted snow.


THE HIKE TO DEVIL'S MILL WATERFALL ROMANIA

In a few tens of meters, a small stream appears in our path, and the waterfall is hidden behind the rocks. It is a waterfall formed by melting snow, having the highest flow in June, being possible to dry until the end of summer, especially if there is a drought.


The best point to admire it and take photos is on the right side of it, across the river, not above, near the first step of the waterfall.


The beauty of the waterfall surprised us, especially since it is such an unpopulated route, we thought it would not be very spectacular. It seems that we were wrong and most likely not many people know about this route, or do not venture to climb the steep part of the route. Be that as it may, the waterfall is gorgeous, much more beautiful than many other more well-known and promoted ones in Bucegi Mountains.


THE HIKE TO DEVIL'S MILL WATERFALL ROMANIA

To return to the place where we parked the car, we chose to follow the same route, which we took much faster on the way down, as expected.



OTHER DETAILS ABOUT THE HIKE TO DEVIL'S MILL WATERFALL:


- the route is not the easiest to do, it can be quite tiring if you are not physically fit, but it is not a dangerous route, which requires experience on the mountain, only suitable shoes and a minimum of equipment. It can also be traveled with children or pets;


- it can also be walked in winter, but I cannot guarantee that you can enjoy the waterfall, because it is possible to freeze. The snow is present on the route even at the end of May, but it is mostly melted;


- The Bucegi Mountains are known to be the mountains with the largest population of bears in Romania, however we did not see any signs to warn us about the bear and fortunately, we did not see any. Just in case, we had a whistle with us, which we used to make heard our presence;


- the period with the most beautiful scenery is at the end of April - the beginning of May, when the meadow is full of crocus;


- although it is an absolutely gorgeous route, it is not very popular, therefore not crowded at all. We were able to enjoy the scenery without other tourists, and on the route we met only two groups of hikers coming down;


- the area at the beginning of the route (as well as during the route, in case I have to mention :)) is quite rural and unpopulated, so you won't find shops, restaurants or places where you can buy something to eat or drink, so stock up before reaching the village of Simon;



WHERE TO STAY NEAR THE HIKING TRAIL TO DEVIL'S MILL WATERFALL:


- Voinescu House - Natural Living & Eating - accommodation unit in Simon, with double, triple rooms or apartments. It has a garden, a playground for children, parking and an outdoor bath tub;

- Casa Mărioara - accommodation unit in Sirnea, with double or triple rooms, with shared bathroom. It has a garden and private parking;

- Casa Daniel - accommodation unit in Bran, with double or triple rooms. It has a terrace, garden, playground, place for barbecue and parking;

- Transylvania Mountain View CDI - accommodation unit with double rooms, or an entire private villa. The location has a garden with relaxation areas, terrace and private parking;

- Casa Cenţiu - accommodation unit in Bran, which has double rooms or apartments. It has a restaurant, a bar, room service and private parking;



PLACES TO VISIT AND EASY HIKES IN BRAN AREA:


  • Bran Castle;

  • Magura and Pestera villages;

  • Bats Cave, Pestera;

  • Prapastiile Zarnestiului (Zarnesti Gorges), from where you can continue on an easy hike to Curmatura Cabin;

  • Rasnov Citadel;

  • Valea Cetatii Cave, Rasnov;

  • Easy hike through "7 ladders canyon" (Canionul 7 scari) - has as its starting point the village Dambul Morii;

  • Gradistea's Gorges;

  • Alpine Coaster Cheile Gradistei (Gradistea's Gorges);

  • Hike from Rasnov to Malaiesti Cabin. It is a route of easy-medium difficulty;

  • Transilvanya Amphitheatre;

  • Dambovicioara's Gorges and Brusturet's Gorges;


CONCLUSION ABOUT THE HIKE TO DEVIL'S MILL WATERFALL:



The route to Moara Dracului Waterfall is one that suits any nature lover. Apart from the sustained effort that must be made to climb a portion of the route, nothing else seemed difficult to me, on the contrary, most of the path is a smooth road through the forest, and once you reach Valea Gaura, the landscape becomes absolutely spectacular. It is the ideal place to escape the crowds, breathe fresh air and enjoy the birds singing.


If you are looking for other ideas for routes of easy-medium difficulty, you can find some options in the "Romania" section of this travel blog. We've done many of them as a day trip from Bucharest (without booking accommodation).


If you have questions about the route or want information that I omitted to include in the article, do not hesitate to leave them in the comments section.



Read about another hike from the Bucegi Mountains, much easier, but just as spectacular, the one to Scropoasa Lake and 7 Springs Waterfall. You can also read about other locations: hiking in Tenerife, the Danube Delta, Manasia Estate, or Balea Waterfall.


To visit beautiful places in this world on organized tours, check the options on Get your guide.


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