OLANESTI: a spa resort (s. geographical chapter ) near Rimnicul Vilcea round 3 km direct distance from Ocnele Mari, fine visibility and quickly access on the top of the mountains by forester roads. The Labors Union hotel ** full board 70 USD/ day; more than 3 days 60 USD/days
THE MONASTERIES IN THE AREA The area round the Greatest Point is one of the intensive Orthodox life: several churches and monasteries activate here. Some of them were declared as art monuments for their medieval architecture or arts treasure they are hosting.
BISTRITA Monastery: located West from Ocnele Mari 35 km near Costesti, just closed to the exit of the Bistrita Gorge. Good road till the monastery. In the Gorge and up to Monastery Arnota a good country road about 3 and a half km. Built in 1480 by Craiovesti boiards ( s. The Castle in the Carpathian by Jules Verne to find a romance about this family ) it hosts the relics of Saint Dimitrie Decapolitul ( born 780 died 842 - know as an icons defender ). In the monastery there is "The 6 faces icon" that is a kind ancestor of the tridimentional cards: according the place you look at you shall see an other saint. From the monastery you can climb on the Gorges' rocks to a cave which host two little churches. In the cave live bats ( women have to cover the hear for protection!). Near the monastery, on the river side each year on Saint Mary's day (passed away), the Gypsies of all over come and celebrate the born of Saint Mary ( a lots of legends, very complicated... For sure Saint Dimitrie is for them their main saint and they consider the monastery to be theirs. There was a custom on this day: young Gypsies get into the cave, try to catch a bat and cut his neck with a silver knife in order to get lucky and have a lot of money the next year; now stopped etc. ) The monastery enjoy a good visibility, and 26 places accommodation similar to a *** hotels ( but no lights near bed sand big sowers in the bathroom) in one, two or three beds rooms. An extrabed can be added. From here you can drive 3 and a half km to
ARNOTA Monastery - half way high from the Bistrita monastery and the top of the mountain. Only camping, water supplying and dried toilet, electrical power. From here by a forester road you can get on the top of the mountains.
HOREZU Monastery: 40 km far from Ocnele Mari. The masterpiece of art during medieval period in Valachaia. Built by Constantin Brincoveanu. The small city of Horezu derives its fame from the late 17th century monastery built under Prince Constantin Brancoveanu - a very modern personality, for his time, who contributed significantly to the crystallization of an intriguing architectural style which blended elements of European baroque, oriental style and traditional Romanian architecture. His profound influence is recognized by modern scholars who named this style after the great patron himself. A Significant pottery site developed in the village nor very far from the powerful ecclesiastic settlement. The elaborate decoration and finesse of Horezu pottery is, to some extend, due to the proximity of the important and rich monastery that covered its needs for ceramics by ordering it from the neighboring craftsmen rather than transport it from afar The place was count as one of the best for eclipse observation. The monastery enjoy a good visibility, and 26 places accommodation similar to a *** hotels ) in one, two or three beds rooms. An extrabed can be added. The night August 10/11 only few rooms available. Also wild camp facilities
DINTR - UN LEMN Monastery: Located near Vrincesti cca 25 km from Ocnele Mari. The monastery has a long and exciting history. One of the Craiovesti brothers decided to be a monk and has bind himself by steel shacklers etc.etc. very good visibility, in the plain. There are round 20 places in 2 beds rooms under construction planned to be finish end June. Also wild camp facilities
Rates: for 4-6 days sejour
FOR ALL MONASTERIES'S ACCOMMODATION: you have to look the monastery's rules that is no parties, laud music etc. That time ( August 11 ) is fast period. The food has however variety and plenty of calories. Some monasteries, according their rules offer also fish dishes.
FRASINEI Monastery: up in the mountains is a restricted area only for men access. There are two 4 beds rooms: facilities: running water toilet, water supplying, monk's accommodation ( very simple bed, only one carpet ), eating in the monastery. Maximum stay 2 nights. Strictly respect to the monastery rules: no alcohol, songs or parties ).
NO PAYMENT: you may, if you wish, ask the monks to make preys for you and you can give as much as you want. Electrical power supplying. In 25 minute you can be on the top of the mountains. Direct line distance from the Greatest Point cca 4 km.