Merigar East is situated in the neighbourhood of a village called 23 August, in the province of Dobrogea of Romania, located between the towns of Constanta (35km) and Mangalia (10km). It is the very south-eastern corner of Romania, only 20km away from the Bulgarian border. Distances to the most important cities are: Bucharest - 270km, Varna - 120km, Chisinau - 450km, Odessa - 580 km.
The Gar is situated in the middle of the fields, 3 km far from the village and only 1km far from the Black Sea coast. There are some airports in the region, but if you are travelling by public transport, you can take a train or a bus from Bucharest to Constanta and then take a bus or a microbus from Constanta to 23 August (direction Mangalia). There are also several direct bus shuttles from Bucharest to Mangalia (passing 23 August) each day.
If you are arriving from Varna, during the summer season there are buses or microbuses towards 23 August. Coming from the east and north (Ukraine, Republic of Moldova, Russia), the best way is to take an overnight bus from Chisinau (Republic of Moldova) to Constanta or from Odessa (Ukraine) directly to 23 August. From the village 23 August to the Gar (app. 3km), there is no available public transport. You can walk, have a ride by car with other Community’s members or use transportation organized by the local Gakyil (only during retreats!).
The main airports serving the Gar are Bucharest Otopeni and Bucharest Baneasa, Constanta and Varna. In case of flying to Bucharest or Varna, it is best to choose a flight arriving early in the day to avoid having to spend the night in the city.
By car, from Bucharest it takes approximately 3,5 -4,5 hours (depending on traffic). From Varna the lift takes 1,5 - 2 hours. Constanta airport is only one hour drive from the Gar.
If you can afford it, the best solution is to rent a car. If you are traveling onward by public transport, check available connections before you book a flight. From Bucharest you can take a train or a bus towards Constanta and then the bus or a microbus to 23 August. From Constanta you can take a bus towards 23 August.
Coming from the North, West and East
Generally, coming from these 3 directions you must pass through Constanta and then drive south towards Bulgarian border (road E87 direction Mangalia, Varna) till you reach the village 23 August (35 km from Constanta).
From Bucharest city and both airports (west direction) you go to direction of Constanta (motorway A2 and after its end - national road E60). If it is not necessary, don’t enter the cities (neither Bucharest nor Constanta), better take the ring road (Romanian “Centura”, see the picture).There is a lot of traffic, but it is much better than spending hours in the city's traffic jams... In Constanta you have to follow the direction Varna and Mangalia (E87) till 23 August.
Arriving from north (Chisinau), east (Odessa) and Constanta’s airport you must go towards Constanta. Don’t enter the city, better take a ring road (Romanian “Centura” or “Varianta” – see the picture below) and follow the E87 road direction Varna, Mangalia till 23 August.
From the South
Coming from the south you will pass Varna and drive north towards Romanian border (road E87, direction Mangalia, Constanta). After you cross the Bulgarian – Romanian border (Durankulak / Vama Veche) follow the road until Mangalia and further - direction Constanta, until you reach the village 23 August (10 km from Mangalia).
For car rentals in the major cities, please refer to the Internet. Here you can check some car hire companies:
Bucharest:Hertz, Avis, Rentholiday, Bavariarent, Budget, Directrent, Dollar, Sixt
. For local rent a car companies contact the geko
In general it is adviceable to negotiate the price before you start the ride but never pay in advance! Bargaining skills are welcome and very useful! Payment is mostly possible in domestic currency, sometimes in euro. In 99% of cases it is not possible to pay by credit card! It is always better and cheaper to share taxi expenses! Take it under consideration planning your trip!
From Bucharest by taxi to 23 August:
The distance is 270 km. Time of passage: 3,5 - 5 hours (depending on traffic). Costs: 400 – 600 RON (100-150 €) Since you will travel long by motorway, eat something before or stop at one of the cheap restaurants after the motorway’s end (the good one is situated in the first village you will pass - Stefan cel Mare, on the right side).
From Constanta by taxi to 23 August:
The distance is 60 km. The travel takes about 1- 1,5 hours depending on traffic. It costs 100 - 150 RON (25 - 35€).
From Varna by taxi to 23 August (close to Mangalia/Romania):
The distance is 120 km. The travel takes about 1,5 – 2 hours depending on traffic. Costs: 80 – 120 BGN (40 - 60€). There are some taxi drivers always making a service for Merigar East. You can contact them directly or we book a taxi for you. For more details contact the geko.
Arrival to Bucharest:Bucharest Otopeni International Airport Bucharest Baneasa International Airport
Traveling to Merigar East:
The distance Bucharest - 23 August is 270 km. You must go to Gara de Nord Railway station and take a train or bus towards Constanta or Mangalia. You may have to exchange a little money using cash machines or exchange offices available at the airports. There is a low exchange rate at the airports, so take only the amount you need for travelling. If you travel by train or bus – you can exchange or use cash machines in the Bucharest’s city. The domestic currency is RON (old LEI). The exchange rate for now is 1€ = 4,2 RON. Check it before your journey. Please, be aware: many people still use the value of the old currency (LEI)! Due to the change, 1new RON replaces 10 000 old LEI. Don’t be surprised if you hear about “millions” – 500 RON now, was 5 million LEI few years ago and is the equivalent of 120€.
From the airport go to Gara de Nord railway station:
by taxi - the simplest way. The passage - 35-40 minutes, often traffic jams! From Otopeni Airport: 60 -100 RON (ca 20 €). From Baneasa Airport it is cheaper beacuse it is closer. In general: negotiate the price before you start and never pay in advance! Bargaining skills are welcome and very useful! Payment is mostly possible in domestic currency, sometimes in euro. In 99% of cases it is not possible to pay by credit card!
by shuttle (public transport) buses (from both airports) Line 780- double ticket costs 11 RON (ca. 2,5 €). Save it as you can use it when you return. Line 783- the same price. This bus runs to the center of the city, but not directly to the railway station! Change on Piata Victoriei for Metro to Gara de Nord (line M1 – “yellow” - 1 station).
You can find ticket offices at almost every bus stop and arrival terminals at the Airports. The bus stop at Otopeni it is located close to the Arrivals. The bus stop at Baneasa it is 5 min time to go from Arrivals - walk left from the exit, follow the street where taxis are used to park until the roundabout. Bus stop is at the opposite side of the big road.
by train : "Henri Coanda Express" trains - connects Otopeni airport and Gara de Nord Railway Station, via CFR “Airport Stop”, with a frequency of one train per hour, from 05:15 a.m. until 23:20 p.m. The passengers’ transfer to CFR “Airport Stop” is provided by buses which schedule is synchronized with the trains’ schedule. The tickets are valid both for the train and for the bus transfer, the price - 6 RON (1,5 €). Ticket office is located at the ground floor of Arrivals Terminal.
Take a train to Constanta:
A train ticket for Bucharest - Constanta costs 45 RON (ca 10 €). Check the timetable of Romanian Railways – and search for trains from Bucuresti Nord to Constanta. Passage time: 4-5 hours. In Constanta it is recommended to change for bus to 23 August (direction Mangalia) since there is no train station directly in the village! The closest one, called halta Pescarus, is situated 4 km far from the village but only 1km far from the Gar (see the picture). There are only 2 trains a day stopping there (look for trains from Constanta to halta Pescarus here).
Take a bus to Constanta:
It is the most common way to get to Merigar East. The bus station is situated 10 minutes walk from the Gara de Nord Railway Station (see the picture below). Every 45 minutes leaves a bus to Constanta. Once arrived in Constanta you have to change your destination to 23 August (direction Mangalia). There are several transport companies, the most popular ones are: SIMPA TRANS, GSM TRANS and SIR TRANS. If you check the timetable on the website, it appears to be written as departure (Plecare) - Bucuresti and as arrival (Sosire) - Constanta or Mangalia.
During summer time we recommend direct buses from Bucharest to Mangalia, which pass 23 August village situated 10 km before Mangalia. The first bus goes at 5:30am and the last one at 9:15pm. There is one night bus leaving at 2:15am and arriving at 6:30am. Please check the timetable before your journey as the schedule may change! Ticket to Constanta usually costs 50 RON, (12€), to 23 August 60RON (14€) and the time of passage is about 4 – 4,5 hours. If the bus goes only to Constanta, take a bus to 23 August (direction Mangalia). The bus stop is close to the railway station. In the summer time buses run every 15 minutes. Look or ask for buses and minibuses with the emblem “Mangalia”. The ticket costs 7 RON (almost 2€).
Travel to Merigar East:
The airport is situated 25 km far from Constanta city and 60 km far from Merigar East. You may have to exchange a little money using cash machines or exchange offices available at the airport. There is a low exchange rate at the airports, so take only the amount you need for travelling. If you travel by bus – you can exchange or use cash machines also later, in Constanta city. There are a lot of banks around the Railway station. The domestic currency is RON (old LEI). The exchange rate for now is 1€ = 4,2 RON. Please, be aware: many people still use the value of the old currency (LEI)! Due to the change, 1new RON replaces 10 000 old LEI. Don’t be surprised if you hear about “millions” – 500 RON now, was 5 million of LEI few years ago…
Take a minibus to Constanta city/Railway and bus station. Airport – Constanta transfer route is served by minibuses operating from Constanta railway station (Gara CFR ). The minibus departure is synchronized with the plane schedule. From the Bus Station in Constanta take a bus to 23 August (direction Mangalia). The bus stop is close to the railway station. In the summer time buses run every 15 minutes. Look or ask for buses with emblem “Mangalia”. The ticket costs 7 RON (almost 2€). The travel takes 45 minutes.
Travel to Merigar East:
The airport is situated 8km far from the city of Varna, however it is not always necessary to enter the city. Some providers can pick you up with microbus from the airport and drive you directly to 23 August.
In general: there are no regular bus lines connecting Varna and Constanta (23 August is situated 35 km before Constanta) besides some irregular, traffic dependent lines running on the route Istanbul - Varna -Constanta and Varna - Constanta - Odessa, which pass through 23 August.
In the summer season there are several Romanian bus and microbus providers always ready to pick you up, however it is recommended to travel in a group to share the travel expenses.
Before summer the schedule change, so you will find here some useful links and phone numbers connecting you directly with tour providers. For more information please contact geko.
Getting around by car:
Once arrived to 23 August from north (Constanta), follow the main road direction Mangalia and by signpost facing right “Pecineaga” turn left (!) In case you come from south direction (Varna) you have to turn right in this point. Just follow the stoned road passing the village. After 100m you will have a small creek on your left side (often no water!). After more 300m pass the bridge and immediately turn right having the creek on your right side. Follow the street until the end of the village and go further straight on, towards the sea. After a small hill, you should see the Gar on the left side of the road, in the midst of the fields. The distance from the village is 3km. There is no public transport!