Passing through the Mud Volcanoes site

Written by | Car Rides, Romania

A visit to Pâclele Mari and Pâclele Mici from Buzău mountines

The day after the trip at Babele in Ulmet, on our way back home, we decided to make a trip to the Mud Volcanoes.

I knew about this landmark since childhood but honestly, I never considered it appropriate to go such a long way just to visit this place.

But now, being so close, we decided, however, to go there, at least just to be able to say that we saw the only “volcanoes” in Romania.

The route we reached branches off of the National Road 10, which links Buzău to Braşov, within the locality of Sătuc. From here, following the County Road 102F, and then the County Road 220A from Policiori, there are about 15 km to Pâclele Mari (“The big puddles”), as the Mud Volcanoes are called by the locals. The driving time is about 25 minutes.

The road winds through the hills,  being unfortunately inappropriately taken care of for such a popularized tourist sight  as the site of the Mud Volcanoes.

Here and there, the asphalt is completely destroyed, being completed with a stone and sand embankment. On the last part, the road is so rippled and run down, that you have to drive with great care to avoid touching the bumps with the floor of the car (attention to those who like speeding!).

In short, a very big bad mark for the local authorities, which could have rehabilitated this road, so circulated by tourists from all over the world, a very long time ago.

When we arrived at the Mud Volcanoes we pulled into the free parking (attention, the first parking on the left as you enter the location is private) and I looked for the entrance to the location.

The atmosphere of county fair that characterizes this site shocked me. Many people in transit, probably in a hurry, just like us, wanting to “tick” the visit to this tourist sight, posters with the indispensable “Pleşcoi sausages” on all fences and walls, finally all those attributes that do not really make you to come back, when you think of a visited place.

At the entrance gate sat an ugly, skinflint individual, who collected the fee and gave monosyllabic answers to your questions. As if his purpose was not to answer your questions about the location for which he charged a fee.

Finally, we paid the fee, which is actually modest, only 4 lei, and we entered the site of the Mud Volcanoes.

We haven’t found anything here close to modern tourism specific to such sites, either.

Except for a banner with the local flora, located at the gate, throughout the site you will find no information point, no indicator and no bench to sit on and admire the scenery. It’s a shame! Especially since the people who come here are not necessarily used to mountaineering.

You can’t even find here any explanation on how the volcanoes formed and what the geological history of the place is! That would have been useful at least for excursions organized for elementary school pupils!

However, regarding the beauties of nature, things are a little different. The bubbling of the earth, which generates puddles with silver mud, is indeed a curiosity worth seeing.

Here’s a shot from the spot so you can figure it out yourself.

In addition to the main mud puddle (hmmm… you could hardly call it a volcano), there are some small cones, no larger than 20-30 cm in diameter, which form bubbles in their turn.

The landscape generated by the leaking mud is a barren, lunar one, being chosen for the casting of many films on this topic over the years, according to the locals.

A tour of the Pâclelor plateau reveal to us in all its splendor the result of the forces hidden in the depths of the earth beneath our feet.

What is even more interesting (unfortunately read on other blogs) is the fact that the landscape is constantly changing, from one visit to another, the configuration being different every time.

We enjoyed the stroll on the plateau and after taking a few pictures, we left the place, like all the other visitors, with mixed impressions. On the one hand, with respect for the power of nature and, on the other hand, with a bad opinion about those who manage this site of national importance.

Conclusions and recommendations

The road to the Mud Volcanoes is an easy one, without too many problems regarding the directions.

Be careful though and drive at low speed on county road 102F/220A because at any time you can get into a pothole or asphalt deformation!

It’s not a road to hurry on! It would be much better to admire the scenery driving at low speed, in order to have the time to go around the potholes or to safely cross the macadam parts of the road.

Hit the road with no high expectations regarding facilities, so that you won’t be disappointed! Admire the beauty of nature, which really deserves the kilometers driven to the Mud Volcanoes!

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Last modified: 12 October 2019

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