ECO-TUSNAD CYCLING TOUR (ETCT) is a charted route for bikers, which includes the natural, cultural and architectural values and Tușnad and Cozmeni communes. The route passes through the 5 villages of the two communes (Tușnadul Nou, Tușnad, Vrabia, Cozmeni and Lăzărești), including attractions in the inner areas and the outer areas connecting them. The route can be made alone, in groups and with families, as destinations are designated so that there is enough time for rest, meals and permanent fresh water is available for the tourists.

About Tușnad commune you can find detailed information here and about Cozmeni commune here.

The route starts and ends in Tușnadul Nou village, where you turn and enter the settlement from the DN12 highway. Route tracks and attractions can be downloaded and uploaded to your device that will help you to find them precisely.

In the beginning, you have to pass the new concrete bridge over the Olt River, then follow the trail to visit the following targets:

“Julis” mineral water:
The mineral water, which belongs to the calcium magnesium hydrogen carbonate group, is a spring in a metal ring. The locals are happy to drink it because it tastes slightly ferruginous and sulphurous. It is recommended for hyperacidity as an excellent mineral water. At the beginning of the route, you can fill your bottle with the fresh mineral water.

The church of Tușnadul Nou:
The Roman Catholic church was built between 1873-1897 by the residents of the village. By the end of the communist regime, the faithful attendants decide to expand the church in 1997, adding another eleven meters. The church is dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua and the local pilgrimage is held every year in June.

The stone cross:
On the stone cross in front of the churchyard is engraved the year of 1875. In that year a local stone carving masters made it in honor of Virgin Mary. Next to the cross there is a memorial created in 1922 to honor of the fallen during the World War. There are also two public buildings here: the cultural home of the village and the local brass band rehearsal hall, both built in 1933.

The route leads out of the settlement on the main street of the village and during the departure we can see painted stone gates that are characteristic of the settlement.

From the village the route continues to north, towards Tușnad village, along the regulated bed of the Tușnad stream. On the left side of the narrow agricultural road is the Tușnad stream, and on the right side is the Grădina Mestecăniș fen botanical reserve. The first target is a master carver’s workshop, which can be visited if the master is at home.

Other spectacular attractions in the settlement:

„Owl” mineral water:
The artisan well in the center of the village was drilled in 1957. The wellhead is made of oak, which depicts a crowned owl, hence the name of the mineral water source. Composition: the sodium calcium magnesium hydrogen carbonate mineral water is recommended as a treatment for bile and liver inflammation, and it has high iodine content. In 1960 another well was drilled, which we have seen along the route in the settlement and bears the „Alszegi” name.

Mineral Water Museum:
We can visit the only mineral water museum in the region where we can get informations about the geology of the area, the mineral water bottling history and the traditional baths and mofettas. You can read more about the museum here.

After visiting the museum, you can go shopping in the mixed shops in the central zone or have a breakfast in the restaurant next to the car park (Oasis).

The church of Tușnad:
The church was built between 1802 and 1824 to replace an Árpád-era chapel in Neo-Baroque style. It was dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi, and the local pilgrimage is held every year on the first Sunday of October. A stone baptismal well from the Roman era remained in the church. Before the entrance to the cemetery there is a stone cross made in 1743, which was created by Ferenc Betegh for the memory of the plague epidemic. Next to it is the memorial of the heroes fallen in World Wars.

The church can be opened to visitors based on prior arrangement (phone number +40742371242).

The stone cross:
The cross near the cemetery was erected in 1651 by priest István Boldizsár. In the village you can see more wood and stone crosses, which taken care by local residents. In the cemetery of Tușnad there are several stone crosses that display the sun disks of pagan Christian culture.

The route continues northwards to Vrabia. In the settlement you can visit the following attractions:
- The Roman Catholic Church, bearing the Guardian Angels name, was rebuilt between 1770 and 1775. You can see combinations of elements of gothic and baroque style of the end of 15th and 16th centuries original church. The local pilgrimage is held on the first Sunday of September.
- the stone cross of Vrabia was erected by Imre Bécsi Kovács in 1868.
- Vrabia is a small settlement, whose nearly two centuries old Szekler wooden gates still remain. Just as we arrive from Tușnad, we can see the first on the right side of the curve, under number nine. Continuing from the main road to the left towards the Olt River, under the 65th house on the left there is a gate erected in 1823 by Balás Kováts and his wife Julianna Éltes. Just ten steps later on the right under the 23rd number ther is the gate of Gergely Kováts landholder, which he made in 1847 according to the inscription.

The route continues this time towards east, until the village of Cozmeni, in Cozmeni commune. Here are the following targets:

The church of Cozmeni:

In the center of the village there is a Roman Catholic church dedicated to St. Cosma and Damjan. It was built to replace an older chapel in Gothic style in the XV. century, but you can admire the baroque style on it. There is a baroque stone cross in the church garden dating back to 1710.

The village museum of Cozmeni:

The building of the museum shows a strong bourgeoisie characterizing the end of the nineteenth century, rather than a typical peasant house, but it was built in 1882. The locals have come up with the idea of gathering in here items, which were typical of a simpler peasant life. The collection is incomplete but very taken care of. The person who receives tourists to the museum and church: Mária Sövér (+40724231827).

Before leaving the village, you can dine in the nearby rustic-style Tulipan Restaurant (booking: +40746181983), near the Mayor's Office.

After that we can visit a traditional mineral water bath near the village.

Sószék traditional bath:
In the south-east of the village, on the right side of the Nyerges stream, the sulfuric acidic salted springs burst, which can be classified into the group of sodium calcium hydrogen carbonate-chloride (Na-Ca-HCO3-Cl). The water of the pool with the sparkling mineral water is recommended for problems of the musculoskeletal and vascular system, while the saltwater is recommended for female problems. Next to the pool there is a guesthouse with sauna.

The route continues to Lăzărești village, mainly along agricultural land.

Nyír traditional bath:
It is located in the south-east part of the village, called Nyír. The calcium-magnesium hydrogen carbonate water comes to the surface in the grey, brownish sandstone zone. Here is a 3x5 meter swimming pool, foot washer, and a sauna in the nearby building. There is a strong mofetta effect in the region, whereby a gas bath (mofetta) was created. The mofetta is recommended for those who suffer reumatism and it is used only at everyone's own risk. There were very rare sulphate minerals in the area, such as uzonit and anakari, which can be found only in active volcanic locations.

The stone cross:
There are more beautiful stone crosses in the cemetery and in the village. Here, as in every village in Ciuc region, there were great stone carvers. One of these stone crosses was erected in 1884 in the place of a burnt down chapel. In several places in the village you can see wells with huge wheels, which were used by whole streets in former times, because there was no drinking water everywhere in the village.

The church of Lăzărești:
The Roman Chatolic church was built in 1883 in a neo-baroque style. The Greek Catholic church was built in 1742 in honor of St. Nicholas, but remained without faithful attendants. The Miklóssy mansion was built in the XIX. century, which became nowadays the cultural center of the village.

Finally, on the way back, we arrive at Tușnadul Nou village, where we can visit the last destination, which is the natural rarity of the region.

Sand mine:
It is located at the edge of Tușnadul Nou village. Between May and July we can observe the sand martin (Riparia riparia) and the European bee-eater (Merops apiaster) colonies in the tall sand walls of the mine.

ACCENT database

Route details:

Eco-Tusnad Cycling Tour (ETCT) – Tușnad and Cozmeni communes – cycling trail
Length of the route:
26 km
Duration: 6 hours (3 hours of bicycling, 3 hour stop at the destinations) and meals.
The highest point of the route: 761 m.
The lowest point of the route: 640 m.



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