Hugging the banks of the Lotru River where it meets the Olt River, Brezoi is a small town in Romania’s Vâlcea County. It was originally established as the village of Moșneni and flourished with the arrival of Hungarians and Germans to fell the surrounding coniferous forests.
Brezoi serves as a gateway to Cozia National Park, which encompasses a mountainous area of the Southern Carpathians. It provides a habitat for chamois, wildcats and deer, as well as migratory birds travelling between Central Europe and the Aegean Sea. One of its most popular hiking trails begins at the 18th-century Turnu Monastery.
Dotting Cozia National Park are several ancient ruins, many of which date to around 2,000 years ago during the time of the Roman conquest. History buffs can visit Castrul Roman Arutela, the remains of a Roman fortress that was built in 138 AD. Also of note is the 14th-century Cozia Monastery with its medieval treasures.
Brezoi is around an hour’s drive from Sibiu and Sibiu International Airport, which has flights to destinations across Europe. Regular buses connect to Brezoi and the town centre is small enough to explore on foot.