At about 78 km away from Săpânța on DN 18, Valea Vaserului (The Valley of the Vaser), which extends on 50 km from Vișeu de Sus to Comanu’s final station, cannot be compared to any other valley from the Carpathians. It comprises a huge forest area, uninhabited up to the workers’ camps, there, and the only way it can be accessed is by railway.
Being part of the Natural Park of “Maramureș Mountains”, the Valley of the Vaser is under European protection, its silvan use is still permitted, but the environmental obligations ensure the fact that the forest will be preserved at its actual capacity.
Going from Vișeu towards the forest, there is a segment of about 8 km of unpaved road, where homes are scattered on each side. In Delta-Novăţ, where the railway forms a triangle for bifurcation, the railway splits to the right on a distance of about 7 km to Novăț Valley, and to the left, on the course of the Vaser river, it continues to the Comanu main line. Going through Cozia, Botizu, Făina to Comanu, the railway passes through some incredible landscapes: a narrow ravine, covered with rocks, whispering valleys, the bright colours of the diverse forest, and three short tunnels right before Botizu. In Făina, uphill the train station you can visit an old chapel that was built by the Austrian colonizers dedicated to Princess Elisabeth (“Sissi”).
Approx. 5 km away from Făina, at Măcârlău, the railway runs through the remains of a pier, once solid, which used to be really important back in the day for drifting.
A daytrip to the Valley of Vaser, either by train or a longer hike, is definitely an adventure. In the middle of the dark forest or on the bright plains, in the lonely train stations or in the loud workers camp, you can experience a different kind of world, a fascinating one.


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