Visit Romania, Visit Transylvania

Racos volcano and the Emerald lake in Romania

Volcano in Racos Romania

Racos Romania is a small town north of Brasov. It is still a secret destination to many tourists, but once you get here it will surprise you. Around this town, you can visit the extinct Racos volcano, the newest volcano in Romania and the Emerald lake. But these are not the only attractions in the area!

Brasov is a popular destination in Romania, but after a tour through the old city and wandering up and down the streets, it’s worth start discovering other tourist attractions in Brasov County. Racos is one of the mysterious destinations in the area, and although it is home to several hidden gems, it is rarely visited by tourists.

How to get from Brasov to Racos

The distance from Brasov to Racos is only 70 kilometres and it makes for an easy, approximately one hour trip by car. Driving towards Sighisoara, right after you pass Hoghiz, there is a sign that shows you that turning right you will reach Racos in 10 kilometres. The road is paved and the drive to the village is smooth.

The second option is the county road that splits off from the main road to Sighisoara before Hoghiz, also turning right, and passing through Bogota, the village that became famous after the rapper Snoop Dog accidentally checked in on Facebook here, confusing it with Bogota, the capital of Colombia.

Once you have arrived, you will need a few hours to visit Racos and to enjoy everything there is to see around.

If you want to visit Racos with a guide, book the Medieval Transylvania tour and we will customize it to include Racos.

Tourist Attractions in Racos Romania

There are 4 main attractions to see in Racos: the extinct volcano, the Emerald Lake, the Basalt Columns, and the Sukosd Bethlen Castle. Let’s see why it’s worth stopping by each one.

The Extinct Volcano Racos

Racos volcano

The volcano of Racos is one of the most impressive tourist attractions in Romania, although it’s relatively unknown. Cinder was exploited from the crater of the extinct volcano. The cinder quarry is no longer in use, but the landscape is otherworldly.

The road to the Racos volcano is difficult to find, but with a good map on your phone, you will manage to reach the crater.

What Does the Extinct Volcano in Racos Look Like?

Racos is not the only extinct volcano in Romania. The volcanic activity in Romania took place in the central part of the country a long time ago leaving behind several craters. Racos is the newest of them.

In Romania you can also visit other type of volcanoes: the mud volcanoes.

The landscape does not seem to be from this world. The volcano’s crater looks like a giant bucket with red sides and bloody and black soil dunes.

In line with it, there is a red mound which can be seen from a distance, with a large hole beside it from the exploitation of the cinder. The plants growing here are adapted to the area and survive an extended period without water.

The Emerald Lake

Emerald lake Romania

Leaving the volcano behind, the next attraction to visit in Racos is Emerald Lake. To reach the lake, you take an unpaved, but a relatively wide road, and when you come to its end you have two options: left takes you to the basalt quarry and right to the basalt columns. The Emerald Lake is formed in the basalt quarry.

There is a road that descends to the edge of the lake from where you can admire the colours of the water up close. The landscape seems to be from the moon. The water is a superb turquoise colour and it is framed perfectly by the basalt cauldron in which it sits.

There are two theories to explain the formation of the lake. The first theory says that during the works in the quarry, the groundwater was reached, filling the hole left behind by the excavations. The second theory, however, maintains that precipitation filled this basalt “cauldron”.

The Racos Basalt Columns

Basalt columns Romania

The village is primarily known for the Basalt Columns from Racos. After visiting Emerald Lake, the road continues towards the columns. Similar to tree trunks, these basaltic shapes are lined up next to each other on one side of the hill. They formed from lava cooling down slowly after a volcanic eruption.

For those who don’t like hikes, you can drive up to these natural landmarks with the car, but it’s important to know the way. You could also leave the car in the village and come on foot.

The Sukosd-Bethlen Castle

Sukosd-Bethlen Castle Racos

The Sukosd-Bethlen Castle in Racos cannot be visited. When you enter Racos, the road takes you right up to the gates of the castle. The castle is pretty much in ruins. All that’s left standing are the four bastions in the corners, the square tower at the entrance, and the walls that surround the interior courtyard.

Do you want to discover other castles in Transylvania? Try our Transylvania road trip 7-day itinerary.

On the western side of the castle, there is a park with a few benches where the locals meet up to chat.

The estate on which the castle was built in the 17th century belonged to Gabriel Bethlen, who gave it to Count Sukosd. Count Samuel Teleki came into its possession in the 19th century and at the start of the 20th century, the village administration bought the property. That’s where the name of this castle comes from.

Do you want to read about other castles in Romania? Find details here.

If you don’t want to spend a whole day here in Racos, you can stop at least to see the volcano on the way from Brasov to Sighisoara or you can combine it with a visit to Viscri, located 30 kilometres away. Take advantage of the fact that Racos is not that popular. Soon, others will discover it too and it won’t be a hidden gem anymore!

Do you need extra details about Romania? Please read our Romania Travel blog.

Do you want a custom tour that includes the Racos volcano? Contact us and we will send you the best offer!