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Aluniș- Rock Settlements

· 1 review · Hiking Route · Culmea Ivăneţu
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APTA Dealu Mare
  • Photo: Bogdan Tanase, APTA Dealu Mare
m 1000 900 800 700 600 500 10 8 6 4 2 km
Exploration route of the rock settlements on the territory of Bozioru commune, but also of the Romanian amber area of Colți. In the village of Aluniș, the starting point of the hike, we can visit the cave church and an interesting cultural centre.
Distance 10.7 km
4:25 h
888 m
889 m
995 m
598 m
The rock settlements (vestiges) are located at the contact of the Carpathians (Ivănețu Mountains) with the subcarpathian area, within the Bozioru, Brăești and Colți communes. They have the character of places of worship, but also of habitation, and are unique on the territory of Wallachia.

Some researchers have found analogies with Mount Athos in their Isistic tradition. The oldest of these rock vestiges seems to be the Fundul Peverna (Nucu, Bozioru commune), where there are representations of spearheads and short swords (akinakes, specific to the Scythians) placed in the Bronze Age and the first Iron Age - Hallstatt, together with signs and inscriptions in Cyrillic letters characteristic of the Middle Ages. Other dating elements are the Latin crosses, which appear at the Cave of Dionysius the Torchbearer, the Stone of the Cave and Alunis, as well as the Palaeo-Christian fish symbol at Joseph's Cave, which place the beginning of their operation in the 3rd-6th century AD.

From the above-mentioned vestiges, as well as from other hermitages and rocky places of worship (Agatonul Vechi, Agatonul Nou, Bucătăria, Fundătura), it is possible to deduce a medieval settlement in the 13th - 17th century on the basis of the inscriptions in Cyrillic letters, but also on the basis of documentary mentions referring to their activity.

Author’s recommendation

Our recommendation is to follow the route from Joseph's Cave (Peștera lui Iosif) to Agatonul Vechi and Agatonul Nou, then to Lake "Lacul Mistreților", returning to Joseph's Cave. From Agatonul Nou you can also make a detour to peak Țurțudui (lookout point).
Profile picture of Bogdan Tanase
Bogdan Tanase 
Update: October 07, 2021
Highest point
995 m
Lowest point
598 m
Best time of year

Safety information

Be careful about managing the time actually set aside for hiking! Please note that there are no drinking water sources on the trail.

Tips and hints

The recommended period for this route is April to October. Avoid hot days! We also recommend a visit to the Amber Museum in Colți.


Rock church in Aluniș (Colți) (663 m)
45.409137, 26.413440
45°24'32.9"N 26°24'48.4"E
35T 454100 5028569


Aluniș (Colți)

Turn-by-turn directions

From the rock church in Aluniș follow the communal road towards Colți to the second road to the left (east), descending to the creek bed. From here, with the stable as a landmark, we start climbing the Martyr's Ridge which we cross from west to east.

Once we reach the eastern slopes of Martirei, we can see the Poiana Cozanei, our next landmark. This clearing, crossed by the Nucu stream, separates Culmea Martirei from Culmea Crucea Spătarului, which is actually the target of our journey. Here are the most important rock vestiges (the Cave Bottom, the Cave of Dionysius the Torchbearer, the Cave of Joseph, the Old Agathon, the New Agathon, the Kitchen).

Also worth noting are the spectacular rock formations of the Spătarului Cross Ridge! After visiting the Bottom of the Cave and the Chapel of Dionysius the Torchbearer, we head north up the right side of the gorge. We enter the forest continuing the climb until we reach the Joseph's Cave (Church).

From here, following the path, we climb steadily up to below the summit of the Spătarului Cross, in the wilderness where Agatonul Vechi and Agatonul Nou are located.

Next, along a contour line, we reach the Lake of the Boars, from where, after a short time, we begin a particularly steep descent to the vicinity of Joseph's Church.

When we reach Poiana Cozanei again, we follow the road in the opposite direction over the Martyr's Ridge to Aluniș.

In Aluniș we arrive from Pătârlagele, a village on the Buzăului Valley, on the DN 10 (Buzău - Brașov), following the communal road that goes through the villages of Sibiciul de Sus, Valea Sibiciului and Colți.


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Colți can be reached by public transport (minibus) from Buzău and Pătârlagele.

From Colți to Aluniș it is another 10 km on a partially modernised communal road.

Pătârlagele can also be reached by train on the Buzău - Nehoiașu railway.

Getting there

Aluniș can be reached by coming on the DN 10 (Buzău - Brasov) until Pătârlagele. From here, crossing the railway and the Buzău river, follow DC 69 to Colți and then DC 71 to Aluniș.


It is safe to park in front of the rock church in Aluniș.


45.409137, 26.413440
45°24'32.9"N 26°24'48.4"E
35T 454100 5028569
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

Buzau - Small Historical Encyclopedia (Mousaios Collection, Buzau County Museum)

Rock Vestiges in the Buzau Mountains (Buzau State Archives, coordinator Corneliu Stefan, Buzau, 1980)

Author’s map recommendations

Tourist map of Buzău County (CJ Buzău)

Book recommendations for this region:

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Specific mountain hiking equipment (appropriate footwear, raincoats, change of clothes, telescopic poles). Water and snacks must not be missing! 

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+ 18

10.7 km
4:25 h
888 m
889 m
Highest point
995 m
Lowest point
598 m
Circular route Scenic Family-friendly Cultural/historical interest


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