In the summer of 2021, I was on a beautiful trip around Romania country during the July heat and droughts. In this post, I am going to share with you my experience at Vidraru Lake (not to be confused with Vidra Lake, from my other post – two different lakes hundreds of miles away from each other.
Vidraru Lake, as known in Romanian as “Lacul Vidraru,” is an artificial lake created on the Arges River by constructing the Vidraru dam.
The lake is massive, with a length of over 10km and a max depth of 155 meters. It is an impressive touristic attraction because the main road, 7C, is built on top of the dam, and the 7C is part of the Transfagarasan Highway, a 150km road in length which was voted as one of the most beautiful roads IN THE WORLD!.
I had the opportunity that summer to go on a trip covering the whole of Transfagarasan and the Vidraru Lake (dam), which is part of the area. In this post, I am going to share my experience and some images and videos captured on Vidraru Dam.
In one of the following posts, I am going to share my whole Transfagarasanu experience in an unprecedented article.
But for now, let me share a bit more base information about the location and how to get there.
The dam is located about 30km north of “Curtea de Arges” city, on the road DN 7C, easily accessible all year around if coming from the south (Curtea de Arges). There is another route access to the Vidraru dam, but that means following the whole Transfagarasan highway from Sibiu City following E68 and then DN 7C; however, DN7C, which crosses Transfagarasan, is closed during the winter due to high snow levels and steep roads, which make it impossible to travel during snowy times.
Therefore, the only access road would be the one from Curtea de Arges during the winter.
There are a few market stalls where it’s on sale food and snacks traditional to the region and to the country. The stalls are located on the left side of the dam, where the road continues through a tunnel back towards Curtea de Arges, and there is a road also that crosses through another tunnel on the right side, a tunnel accessible by car but by unknown origins (never knew what was there and no information available). That tunnel basically goes up the mountain, and if access is allowed, what I would recommend is a four-wheel drive car.
There is also a giant logo on the wall between the tunnels from “Ceresit”, a construction products company.
The top of the Vidraru Dam is also accessible by a walk-on path on both sides of the road, towards the lake and the ‘abyss’ on the right. On the right side of the dam, looking towards the lake, it seems like there is a restaurant (unsure) and a tower easily accessible, followed by a further path.
Parking spaces are available on both sides of the dam but not on the bridge itself.
Now, for brave people, the “abyss,” or gap, which constitutes the dam height at that point, is reflected in a heroic act to approach the edge and look down.
The area is stunned by a rocky landscape and a stream running out of the dam. There is a little warning here; other than the lifted edge size, there is not much protection on both sides of the bridge.
Here I want to share another panoramic picture I managed to capture there.
A tourist attraction or a dangerous act, at Vidraru Lake?
No, I am not talking about the dam and the lake now, which can easily be classified under this title. I am talking about something else entirely, which took my breath away when seen.
While I was going down the Transfagarasan road via the Vidraru Lake, at less than two miles up the lake and, again, less than a mile continuing the road down from the dam, I encountered three different bears in three different locations.
This one little friend (not so little) was sitting on the side of the road not far from the Vidraru dam. I mainly managed to capture videos, and this picture is a capture from the video.
It was the first time in my life seeing bears in nature and so close to the road. The bears may look friendly, but they are wild animals, and there have been reports of bears attacking near Vidraru Lake; just a heads-up: DO NOT APPROACH THE BEARS.
Now, the Romanian government added a new law stating that it is forbidden to feed wild animals such as bears, which they accommodate by the sides of the road in this place, particularly for this specific reason.
Cyclists have difficulties traveling this path for this very reason. Multiple cars we assisted in helping to block the sight of one of the bears and offered access to a few cyclists who were going up the road from the opposite direction but were afraid to pass the wild animal.
My Personal Experience at Vidraru Lake.
During the summer heat, around that place, the temperature is delightful, with a nice breeze coming from the lake. A simple walk on the dam brings the relaxing effect of being on a fantastic trip. The people are amazing, and most of them around is, in fact, tourists part of the Transfagarasan trip, and the dam seems like a fantastic place for a break and to enjoy the wonders of nature. The bears were the adrenaline rush pumping the heart rate to one extreme. Of course, I never left the car when I saw the bears; it would be too dangerous.
Local emergency alerts are popping up on your phone, which is frequently going on when bears are spotted near the roads. Local authorities stay vigilant and active when the bear presence is active, but they mostly focus on bear mothers with little bears, which are the most dangerous to be near a road.
Before seeing the first bear while going down the lake towards the dam, there was near a car park the “SMURD” emergency services (emergency rescue service) attempting to keep away a mother bear and a few baby bears. We saw one baby bear about a hundred meters down (the first video) when we turned around the car to inform the SMURD team that there was another unreported baby bear down the road.
This is what a bear emergency alert looks like (sorry, it’s in Romanian). A few of those popped up during the few hours spent in the area.
Okay. Sorry; It looks like I spoke more about the bears than the lake hehe.
The lake is lovely. the bears are FANTASTIC! <3
If you ever go to Romania on the Transfagarasan trip, you will definitely pass the Vidraru Lake (dam). It’s the only way.
Don’t forget to stop there to enjoy the wonders of nature and the beauty of the trip. You can stop your car near the bears as we did but DO NOT get out of the vehicle, and if the bear looks like approaching the vehicle, you better get moving quickly.
Thank you for reading this post. If you reached this point without getting bored and clicking the back button, you are a legend! (and that means I’ve also done a pretty good job of keeping you entertained and not bored at all with this endless post).
Thank you again, and I appreciate your support. I will see you around.