The beginning of the summer made us to crave some water fun and relaxation. Cluj doesn`t have a decent aqua park yet, so we decided to go to Felix, near Oradea. It`s easy to get to Oradea, by train or by bus, in less than 3 hours. We chose the second option.
Near the train station (and the bus station) there are buses and taxis to the bathing resort. We chose to take a taxi, as the price for 4 people is similar to the price of bus tickets. There are also buses in Cluj directly to and from Felix, but they don`t circulate as often as the ones to and from Oradea. However, we chose this option on our way back home.
In Felix, we stayed at a pension situated near one of the aqua parks. It was a nice area, surrounded by green hills and far from the agitation in the center of the resort. The only thing we heard from our balcony was a bikers party, taking place on a nearby field, and it was very good music. 🙂
We visited Felix many times in the past, so what we were seeing there wasn`t new for us. We noticed however some positive changes since the last time we visited: there a new accommodation units, hotels and pools. The market area is a bit busy and in a bad state of repair. The water lily ponds in the park are beautiful and worth a visit.
We visited two of the water parks in the resort. Apollo – which is best-known in Felix and renowned since the communist era – is nicely renovated, has several pools, booths with food and drinks, and some leisure activity options (like ping-pong and air hockey). In one of the pools, the thermal water is very hot, which is not that pleasurable on a hot summer day, but it`s ideal for a swim during spring, autumn, or even winter. In the summertime, you can choose from the other pools with different water temperatures.
The water park near our pension, called Aqua Park President is a more recent construction and is part of the President Hotel, but outsiders have access too. The entry fee is decent, and there are a lot of pools (13 indoor, 5 outdoor, saunas, water slides etc.). There is also a cafeteria with fairly good food, but a bit pricey. We liked it there and will be back!
In one of the days we went to visit the 1 Mai resort, which is very close to Felix. It`s accessible on foot in about half an hour if you are willing to cross a field. 🙂 The facilities here are falling short, unfortunately. There are some nice hotels and pensions, but there are lots of cars everywhere, it`s not really walking-friendly. The main water park (the one built in communism) had very little restoration work and poor amenities.
We couldn`t be in the area and not visit Oradea, too, especially considering the extensive restoration works made in the old city center and the citadel. We were impressed by what we saw! There is still a little work to be done in the citadel, but it already looks much better than in the past. The city center is superb, one of the best restored in Romania, it easily compares, and in some aspects even beats the the city centers of Sibiu, Timișoara or Cluj. It`s a must to make a stop here if you are in the area, if only to drink a lemonade at a terrace and admire the old Hungarian buildings.
Soon after we visited the city, a new aqua park opened its doors in Oradea. We will definitely pay it a visit next time we are in town!
The prices in Felix are affordable, despite the fact that it became one of the most renowned resorts in the country. Being two money-prudent persons, we didn`t spend very much, the food is about the same price as in Cluj restaurants. Of course, we also bought some goodies that were mandatory to try – like ice-cream filled kurtos. 🙂
We can say that Felix is a good place to spend a long weekend, especially in the off-season, even in stormy-weather (it`s a very special feeling to have a bath outside in thermal water when it`s cold or rainy). Maybe a full vacation in Felix would be a bit too much. There are not a lot of events here, it`s rather a destination for those looking for relaxation and quiet. We will come back as soon as we`ll feel the need for water fun and relaxation. 🙂