The Bear lake in the Transylvanian city of Sovata

The Bear Lake from Sovata

Published on November 23, 2021 by Zoltan Nyaradi

The Bear Lake from the small city of Sovata is the largest heliothermic lake in Romania. This lake is popular in Transylvania especially in the summer season because of its salty water with healing powers which helps to cure diseases like rheumatism.

One day, after returning back to Sovata from our trip onboard the narrow gauge steam train Mocaniţa Sovata, we decided to check out our last objective, the Bear Lake. After a short drive from the narrow gauge train station, called Gara Mică in Romania, we arrived next to the lake.

This lake was formed in 1875 after a salt mine collapsed and water from the nearby streams filled the former mine with water. In the summer the water can reach a temperature of 35 degrees because the sun heats the layer of freshwater which ultimately warms up the saltwater layer found under the layer of freshwater.

The lake has a depth of 18 meters and it has a salinity of 100 g/l.

The main reason why the tourists are allowed to swim in the Bear Lake only at certain intervals is to preserve the heliothermic effect.

Tourists next to the lake after a summer storm.
Tourists next to the lake after a short summer storm
The Bear Lake in Sovata.
The Bear Lake in Sovata

Other objectives in the area:

  • In the forest behind the Bear Lake, you will find other smaller lakes. If you got tired of swimming or sunbathing you can take a longer walk and explore those lakes as well. Next to the Red Lake, you will have the chance to check out the Salt Mountain, which is basically a smaller hill of salt.
  • You can take a ride on the Sovata Steam Train or Mocaniţa Sovata in Romanian. It runs between Sovata and Câmpu Cetății. Usually, the entire ride will take almost 2 hours.