ep1 Saint Anne Lake

Saint Anne lake it’s the first episode of the Explore Transylvania series. Even though this is not the format of the series, I decided to start with this one because it’s a place close to my heart. The video was just a test shot, as I wanted to see if I could shoot an entire documentary strictly on a GoPro camera.

Back in 2017 I returned home in Romania after four years spent in Miami aboard my boat, trying to make my dream of sailing around the word come true. I needed to renew my passport in order to start my first voyage, and since I was home.. I wanted to start working on an older project I had in my mind for a long time.

I did a short hike and visited this amazing place, so I decided to shoot this test episode. The rest of the episodes will be a lot longer actually, and have a little more life into them. But for now, let’s explore the Saint Anne Lake.


Saint Anne Lake is the only crater lake in Romania, located in the volcanic crater of the volcano named Ciomatu Mare of the Eastern Carpathians. The lake is near Tușnad in the Harghita County. The history of lake began about 9,800-8,800 years ago. The shape of the lake it’s close to a footprint and has an area of about 220,000 m². In the winter, the lake is covered with a layer of ice of up to 1 m. The lake is part of the Mohos Nature Reserve.

According to measurements made in 2005, the maximum depth of the lake is about 6.4 m, and the sediment thickness on the bottom is about 4 m. The lake is exclusively supplied from precipitations. The water purity approaches nearly the distilled water, with only 0.0029 ml minerals. Before you get in trouble… swimming in the lake in general is prohibited. But make sure you have your cameras ready because you may have an unexpected surprize.

If you are lucky… depending on how you see things actually, you may be able to take some amazing photos of the bears coming really close to the lake. This usually happens when there are not too many visitors around, and the place it’s really quiet. You can also stop and have a BBQ in the special prepared areas.


Did you know that you can predict weather thanks to the lake ? When the locals are close to the lake, they can tell the weather from the smell. If it smells bad it means bad weather is coming, if there is no smell it means that it will be sunny. The scientific explanation, is that there are two crevices in the mountain near the lake. When the air pressure is low and it could be a forecast for a storm, gases like carbon, dioxide, and sulfur, that are inside due to post eruption activity, rise to the surface. And this where the bad smell comes from.


One of the legends related to the name of the lake tells that long time ago, there was a girl named Anne that lived in the area. She was forced to marry a young man she didn’t love. Her parents arranged the marriage for his family wealth. She was so upset that she decided to jump into the lake and drown. It is said that no one could find her body, so they named the lake after her.

Another belief in the area is that the people who bathe in Saint Anne Lake get rid of all their iniquities and they are stronger facing death. The scientific explanation for this, could be the fact that the air here has negative ions which is really healthy and has a good impact on the nervous system.


Ciprian I. Popica

Photographer • Filmmaker

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I love this video. I do hope you stick around and make more videos on land and less videos at sea. We love having you closer 🙂

    1. Hehehe…. I don’t promise, but I will try to stick around closer. Either if I’m on land or sea :)…

Leave a Reply

Close Menu