My (Very) Cheap Summer Vacation in Romania: Eforie Nord

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Last year, we went for a summer vacation in Venus, Romania – and it was a surprisingly nice experience (especially based on our really low expectations). Now we knew exactly what to expect and decided to choose the Romanian beaches once more – this time we went for Eforie Nord where we chose Hotel Fortuna for our stay. And here you can find out my impressions about vacationing in Romania and the hotel itself.

The reason why we chose Eforie Nord was transportation-based: it’s close to Constanta (just 16 kilometers away) and there’s a direct train from Bucharest to Eforie Nord which gets you there in 3 hours. As we love trains, it was the perfect place for us to visit. And I am really happy that we made this choice!

How is Eforie Nord as a vacation destination?

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The Water Park in Eforie Nord
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The entry price was 8 Euros for an Adult

Personally, I liked it way better than Venus. Eforie Nord is a small town and is more alive than Venus was last year: more shops, more things to do, more than one main street, ha! It has a really nice and wide sandy beach, with really shallow water (you could walk a couple hundred meters and the water would still be waist-high) It really felt like a real vacation destination with all the shops and stores, the fast food shacks and all the crazy souvenirs. It also has a water park – although it only has a few water slides and a big pool, nothing fancy – but at least you have some options.

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Nice sandy beaches in Romania
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Romanian beaches are always crowded
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But there’s enough room for everybody

Even though we went there towards the end of the summer season (23-30 august, with the first day of September being considered off-season), it was pretty full and bustling with life. What I liked even more was the fact that I heard a lot of foreign languages there: French, German and Russian, which means that people abroad are starting to show interest in the country. And this can only lead to better services.

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Shacks selling all sort of souvenirs and… stuff
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“Autoservire” is the name of self-service restaurants. You’ll find a ton of them in Eforie Nord.
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One of the fast food shacks I really liked, situated near the beach. Notice the huge meat stick for Shawarma lovers.

But I was really happy with the quality of services too. It’s pretty much obvious to me that the Romanian hotel, store and restaurant owners are finally starting to invest a bit in customer service and even though the standards are still far away from perfect, you have fewer and fewer chances of running into places where you’re not treated nicely. Most of the staff we have interacted with were really polite, always serving you with a smile on their face and offering good value. I was pleasantly surprised even though not completely impressed.

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The beach is really nice and wide
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One day we were surprised to see this: they just couldn’t wait to sort out some sand issues in that area!

What really impressed me was how cheap everything was, even though we were still during the peak season: some prices were lower than they are in my home town or Bucharest, which was pretty much incredible. For example, a beer can go for as low as 3 lei (about 0.70 Euros), a delicious Frappe was 1.80 Euros, and a cold, fresh orange juice they were preparing in front of you was also 1.80 Euros. So everything was insanely cheap.

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My wife’s pork-something at the Chandellier restaurant
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Gorgonzola chicken with a delicious baked potato
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They called this a focaccia, but it was still extremely delicious. It just looked too good and I was too slow to take a photo of it whole 🙂
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Fried calamari and garlic-potatoes
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The spicy Mexican chicken with chili-potatoes was delicious, even though it wasn’t the best looking thing you could see.

The biggest problem, in my opinion, is that Eforie Nord is really, really lacking in the food area. 90% of the places to eat are fast foods or self-service restaurants. It’s true, you could go to a self-service restaurant and easily have a meal for two for less than 10 Euros, but the quality wasn’t there. We gave it a try in different places on three occasions and even though things got better as we learned how to sort the really bad ones out, the quality of food was still lacking: everything was greasy and you always had the impression that all the ingredients are of low quality. To be completely honest, though, my wife really loved the food at the self-service restaurants even though she agreed that it wasn’t the best possible quality (but the price/quality ratio was good). And I have to admit too that the soups that we tried were delicious!

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The Chandellier restaurant, the place that we really loved and would highly recommend

However, we managed to find a good restaurant, too, where we ate during our stay: the Chandellier Restaurant, with delicious food and great service. The prices were also good, as we usually spent around 25 Euros, tips included on the food (which usually consisted of two main courses, three drinks and desert). However, if you’re looking for good food and nice places to eat at, you won’t have many options in Eforie Nord, unfortunately (or at least we didn’t manage to find them).

Hotel Fortuna

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Yup, interesting choice of colors.

We decided to stay at Hotel Fortuna and we had a great experience there as well. The staff was incredibly polite and nice with us, they had a great activity center for kids (where they would get face-painted, where they could play, watch cartoons, interact and even take part in special activities such as magic shows, dancing and so on) as well as a mini-playground for the little ones. They also had a pool and a mini pool for kids, but we didn’t get to test it as Eric, our 2 years old boy, wanted to go to the “sand” only.

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The small pool was in the shades until the afternoon
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The even smaller kiddie pool

I forgot to take any pictures of the rooms, so you’ll have to take my word that they were really nice. We wanted an extra adult bed in the room and afterwards there was little space left after they installed it, but we don’t spend much time walking around the hotel rooms anyway… We also had a nice balcony and everything was clean and nice. No complaint here!

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View of the hotel – our room was on the opposite side
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The front garden, with a billiards table in the back
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The tent that housed all the activities for kids
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The mini playground for kids

The price was also extremely low – like all the costs in Eforie Nord, it seems: we paid for 7 nights just 240 Euros, which is a nice deal, I’d say, even though we didn’t have breakfast or other meals included, as the hotel doesn’t have a restaurant.

All in all, our Eforie Nord vacation was an extremely pleasant surprise and we’d gladly return for a second time, even though maybe next time we choose Romania as our summer destination we’ll go with the most popular place: Mamaia. But as far as Eforie Nord goes, we were really happy with how everything went and I personally consider it one of the best possible low budget destinations in Romania for sandy beach lovers.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Wow! The prices really are decent!!! 240 for 7 nights is super. The beach definitely looks like an Italian beach, always crowded..hah hah! But l love the fact that the water was shallow for a long while. I would like that since l have a fear of water, but l can finally float. Funny that Eric only wanted to go to the sand. I don’t blame him. It looked like fun. So glad you guys had a lovely vacation, and thanks so much for sharing it. Yeah..the colors of the hotel are really wild..you can’t miss it for sure.. :-).

    • Yup, it was indeed nice – Romania is definitely becoming a better and better option for spending a low budget holiday. And if you choose that particular hotel, you’ll immediately spot it as soon as you step out of the train 🙂

  2. Hi Calin: Long time no hear! I thought maybe you defected to Bulgaria, or to Montenegro–ha, ha!
    This is a very comprehensive review; certainly, this is 180 degrees from your previous post where you were “disappointed.”
    So, do you take a bus to Bucharest to catch the train? Is there no train service at all from your city? I guess in an ideal world, all cities of a certain population level would have train service.
    Looks like a lovely area for a sunny, beach holiday. (Certainly packed to the gills;-) Luckily there are no sharks in the Black Sea, eh? Sadly, here in the USA, all the coastal beaches have shark threats;-(
    Looks like your choice of Hotel Fortuna was a smart one. Yeah, the colors are sort of out of the 1960s. Do you ever go online to rate the places you stay?
    As for the food pictures, I could feel my arteries hardening just looking at them. (Is that Eric’s “Etch-a-Sketch” and purple toy car in the first food picture?) I am sure I would pack on the pounds after indulging it such fare. I would have to go on a salad and water diet to lose the avoir dupois I would gain.
    Well, I am glad you had a great vacay. Where to next? Maybe you’ll give “Wandering Earl” a run for his money-ha!
    ~Teil (USA)

    • Hello Teil, indeed it’s been a time since I last wrote here as real life was pretty hectic. But I’ll do what I can 🙂

      There is a train from my city to Bucharest and we visit pretty often as my wife is from here and there’s definitely a lot more to do in Bucharest.

      I always rate the places we stay at – we have our own TripAdvisor here in Romania and I make sure to write reviews of all the places that I visit. Although I will surely never get to the point where I’d give Wandering Earl a run for his money 🙂

      Yes, the food was really good actually and I came back weighting a bit more, so I’m already on that salad diet, hahaha. The toys are Eric’s – we can’t leave anywhere without some kind of entertainment.

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