The only volcanic lake in Romania, Saint Ana is located in Harghita, 80km from Brasov and can be accessed from DN12 road but my recommendation is the more scenig DJ113 from Targu Secuiesc. Entry by car into the reservation costs 10 RON and there’s a car park 200m from the lake.
I chose to stay in the neares town, Baile Tusnad. Here accommodation starts from 60 RON and a meal can be had for 25. From this spa town you can climb towards the lake via forest trails. The shortest is marked with a red cross and takes 2 1/2 hours.
There’s a steep climb through the forest for the first hour and a half. Be wary as there are many hairpins on the trail. Many fallen tree trunks block the path. At 1210m, between Ciomatul Mare and Mic peaks, there’s an opening with a bench where you can make a stop. The trail then descends for 30 minutes through beech forest down to Mohos meadow. It’s a further 15 minute walk on the road down to the lake.
The water lacks minerals down to the point where it’s practically distilled and prevents organisms from living there. Bathing was common until it was banned in December 2017 after the discovery that sun lotion polluted the lake. Nevertheless, there are amenities to have a barbecue as well as a small restaurant. Do explore the area as there are nicer openings on the opposite shore.
Having come all this way, you might as well spare another 5 RON to visit Tinovul Mohos. From a far it looks like fir woods but it’s actually another crater. Ash from the eruption of Saint Ana covered the water that collected here and sedimentation favored the growth of peat moss. The resulting swamp is home to unique plants including Drosera rotundifolia, one of the few carnivorous plants in Romania.
Bear in mind that the area is populated by bears. I’ve had the (mis)fortune to meet one on the paved road leading to the lake. If venturing on the trails, make sure to be loud to make your presence known. If you do happen to cross paths with a bear, don’t panic as there are ways of dealing with it.