An Introduction to Beautiful Salaj County

Salaj County, Romania

Sălaj County can be found in the north-western part of Transylvania and boasts some of the most spectacular hilly landscapes in the country. We were lucky enough to explore the area last autumn, when all the forests were covered in colorful leaves. The vivid natural world left a deep impression on us and even though we only traveled around the county for one full day, we’ll surely be back. If you’re planning a visit to get to know the lesser-known side of Transylvania, then Sălaj County is a great place to start.

Spend a long weekend here and just drive around the countryside and get to know the two most awesome tourist attractions in Sălaj County:

Vasile Fati Botanical Gardens Jibou, Salaj County, Romania

Start your weekend of exploration in the fabulous Vasile Fati Botanical Gardens located in the city of Jibou. The charming garden was first set up 50 years ago by a local professor called Vasile Fati. Today it gives home to a biological research center, a huge Japanese Garden, a small zoo, quite a few greenhouses with tropical plants and a  big rose garden.

Vasile Fati Botanical Gardens Jibou, Salaj County, Romania

Vasile Fati Botanical Gardens Jibou, Salaj County, Romania

To my surprise the outdoor Japanese garden was pretty impressive even in mid-October. It is an excellent place to enjoy the wonders of the great outdoors by admiring both local and foreign plant rarities. On the premises you’ll also find one of the largest and most beautiful Baroque buildings of Transylvania, the Wesselényi Castle, which is unfortunately left to ruins and cannot be visited.

Wesselenyi Castle, Jibou, Salaj County, Romania

My personal favorite place in the entire Botanical Gardens were definitely the greenhouses. I just loved the myriad of exotic plants, cacti, succulents and palm trees and couldn’t get enough of their patterns. Nature truly is the best artist, let me prove it with the photos below (which don’t actually do justice to the place, so in reality it’s even cooler):

Vasile Fati Botanical Gardens Jibou, Salaj County, Romania

Vasile Fati Botanical Gardens Jibou, Salaj County, Romania

Vasile Fati Botanical Gardens Jibou, Salaj County, Romania

Vasile Fati Botanical Gardens Jibou, Salaj County, Romania

Vasile Fati Botanical Gardens Jibou, Salaj County, Romania

 

Practical Info

Opening Times – From the 1st of April 08:00-19:00

Entrance Fee: 8 Ron – Adults (10 Ron as of 1st of April 2018) / 5 Ron – Students & Retirees

Address: Str. Wesselenyi Miklos, Nr. 16, Jibou, Judetul Salaj, Romania

Contact: (+4) 0260 641 617

Vasile Fati Botanical Gardens Jibou, Salaj County, Romania

Since you’re in the area, you might also want to take a short detour and head south-east. Merely 9 kilometers away from Jibou, close to the small village of Gâlgău Almașului you’ll find the Dragon’s Garden Nature Reserve (Grădina Zmeilor). Part of the Meses Mountains, the beautiful protected area is known for its scenic rock formations.

Gradina Zmeilor, Salaj County, Romania

Once you park your car in the designated parking area, head towards the well-marked hiking trail. Make sure you watch your step and don’t wander around or climb onto the rock formations. Since they’re made up of mainly sandstone, they’re still in continuous formation today and you wouldn’t really want to mess with that, would you?

Gradina Zmeilor, Salaj County, Romania

If you’ve had enough of the first panorama overlooking the Dragons, don’t hesitate to head further into the forest to see it from other angles as well. Even the forest itself is a pretty fascinating sight, with interesting trees and fun, adventurous hiking areas. The trail is not hard per se, but it’s always good to take your time and do it leisurely.

Gradina Zmeilor, Salaj County, Romania

Gradina Zmeilor, Salaj County, Romania

Gradina Zmeilor, Salaj County, Romania

 

Once you’re done with observing the formations from above, venture further into the forest and find the trail which will lead you right between the dragons. Enjoy some quality time and observe them from up-close. And don’t forget to respect the nature reserve enough to not litter or climb on the rock formations!

Gradina Zmeilor, Salaj County, Romania

Gradina Zmeilor, Salaj County, Romania

As you head towards the end of the trail, climb up one more time and enjoy the unique view once more before you leave.

Gradina Zmeilor, Salaj County, Romania

Photo Credit: Ruth Enyedi

All in all, the trail lasts approximately 3 hours in a leisurely tempo. Don’t rush it, just enjoy the surroundings. The trail itself is well-marked so your chances of getting lost are slim to none. Like I said in the beginning of the article, this is just a small teaser of all the wonderful, rich places Salaj County is known for. And I honestly can’t wait for Spring to get another chance at exploring this gorgeous area of Transylvania, which is sadly way too often overlooked. So let’s change that! 🙂

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Salaj County, Romania

4 Responses to “An Introduction to Beautiful Salaj County

  • This is a great idea to present some of the lesser known travel destinations, especially because you have useful inside tips as a Romania. Foarte frumoasa initiativa.

    • Multumesc foarte mult, Luminita pentru comentariul generos 🙂
      Incerc sa promovez cat mai multe locuri frumoase din tara noastra, pentru ca sunt extrem de multe si poate unii inca nu le cunosc 🙂

  • Found your website through a guest post you did on hiking in Romania. Thank you for the fantastic information you share.
    Was looking forward to reading some articles directly on your website, but it is just too jumpy, with all the flashing.
    Maybe you could consider making a few changes to your website to make it more user friendly.

    • Hey Sven!
      Thanks so much for your comment!
      What do you mean by jumpy and flashing exactly? We are continuously working on providing a better user experience, so really looking forward to your answer.
      Thank you 🙂

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