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Sarmizegetusa Regia
Deep in the heart of the Grădiştea Muncelului – Cioclovina Natural Park is Sarmizegetusa Regia, the ancient Dacian capital and UNESCO heritage site.

The site is stunningly beautiful and probably best visited in the morning when the crowds are less and it’s easier to park.

The road up to Sarmizegetusa Regia is quite a trek even by car, due to it being off the beaten track so to speak.  You pass a few villages when off the main road and there are few facilities here for the traveller, one campsite and a few B&Bs but once you are into the forest it really feels like you are somewhere special.  The road isn’t perfect so beware and for the last mile or so is single lane so you really do need to be careful (we were lucky because we didn’t have to pass anyone).  When you get there hope that you have good brakes because the parking is steep.

Once there, please note that there is a steep walk up to the site of about 1-2km.

Once there, the facilities are minimal.  There are toilets but they were lacking paper and anywhere to wash your hands afterwards!

I also didn’t see any refreshments, the ticket kiosk sells souvenirs but I didn’t see if it sold anything else.  Quite a few people were filling up water bottles from a spring inside the main temple area and that may well be the only place to get a drink!

Tickets for adults were (at time of writing), 14 lei, so pretty reasonable.  Once you’ve bought your ticket you are then free to wander around.  The main areas do have some information in both Romanian and English.  I don’t recall if there were English guides to buy as there was a bit of a confrontation at the kiosk desk with some other visitors, where the guy who works there clearly showed his lack of customer service and understanding of how tourism works.  

So, we walked around on our own and found the most stunning place.  It really is a magical and beautiful site.  It’s quite hard to believe it was there and almost impossible to describe other than beyond the basics.

The site, what’s left of it at least, shows the remains of temples and fortifications but I think it is the situation of it that makes it so remarkable.  The beautifully kept grounds and sunny summer’s day also helped.

We also managed to fit in a quick Geocache which I was really happy about because I don’t know if I’ll ever get chance to go back up there.

I would definitely recommend a visit to Sarmizegetusa Regia but be mindful of the lack of facilities and probably go early!

For more information on Sarmizegetusa Regia and the Dacians please visit the Wikipedia page, the UNESCO.

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