The Carpathian Mountains - National Parks

Calimani Mountains

» Apuseni Nature Park
» Bicazului Gorges - Hasmas Nat. Park
» Calimani National Park
» Ceahlau National Park
» Piatra Craiului National Park
» Retezat National Park

Romania’s national and natural parks, displaying a unique variety of landscapes, vegetation and wildlife, protect some of the largest remaining areas of pristine forest in Europe. Grasslands, gorges, subterranean caves, volcanic lakes, and extensive river network add to the richness of the park system that also includes the Danube Delta, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and Europe’s largest wetland. (For more information about danube Delta please visit www.RomaniaTourism.com/Danube-Delta)

The Oas – Harghita range in the Carpathian Mountains is the longest volcanic mountain chain in Europe.

The 3500-year old Scarisoara glacier, located in the Bihor Mountains – 90 miles southwest of Cluj Napoca - has a volume of 2,649,000 cubic feet (75,000 cubic metres), making it the second largest European underground glacier, after the Eisriesenwelt ice cave in Austria.

Romania’s diverse natural landscapes offer numerous choices for exciting outdoor experiences. Travelers can walk through serene alpine meadows covered with scores of wildflowers, trek around glacial lakes, take in the lush-green scenery while horse riding or mountain biking, climb curious rock formations, photograph fossil traces of 15,000-year old cave-bear species, track gold eagles or other rare birds, study endangered flora, wander in the countryside, picnic in the fields, try your hand at traditional crafts, - or just relax in the home of a village family and sample wholesome, country fare with home made wine and plum brandy.

Adventurers and wildlife enthusiasts who hear the call of the wild can add these unique experiences to the top of their activities list:

» Spotting wild egrets, Dalmatian pelicans, glossy ibises or some other 300 species of birds in the Danube Delta

» Rock climbing the unusual-shaped rocks Pietrele Doamnei in the Rarau Mountains

» Visiting the Scarisoara ice cave in the Apuseni Nature Park – the
153.6 ft. deep entrance shaft leads to some impressive ice structures, including spectacular six meters high ice stalagmites.

» Exploring the Berca mud volcanoes near Buzau – a stark lunar landscape of erupting mud.

» Taking the Sky Highway challenge — a trek around the Capra glacier lake in the Fagaras Mountains.

» Paddling through the frothy waves of the Crisul Repede and Bistrita rivers.

» Trekking Retezat, the rockiest mountain massif of the country, home to more than 80 glacial lakes and over three hundred flower species.

» Watching wolves at play in the natural park of Vanatori-Neamt in the Stanisoara Mountains, once the hunting ground of Stephen the Great.

» Horse riding in the Calimani National Park, renown for its volcanic bizarre shapes, traces of old craters, and the largest volcanic caldera in Carpathians.

» Completing an exciting multi-day hike along the main ridge of the Fagaras Mountains - one of the longest continuous high mountain traverses in Europe, taking you over three of Romania's highest peaks (Moldoveanu - 8,346 ft.; Negoiu - 8,317 ft.; and
Vistea Mare - 8,291 ft.).

National parks encompass extensive areas of particular geographical interest or outstanding natural beauty. They have an important conservation role and offer protection to many rare species of animals and plants. In addition to nature conservation, Romania’s natural parks also play an important role in preserving local customs, traditional crafts, historical settlement patterns, and regional architecture. Most of Romania’s national parks have arrangements for outdoor activities with a network of marked paths and trails and overnight accommodation in either staffed lodges or local guesthouses. In vulnerable areas where it is desirable to limit the impact of visitors, paths and accommodation are minimal.

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National Parks

  • Cheile Bicazului (Bicazului Gorges) – Hasmas
  • Calimani
  • Ceahlau
  • Cozia
  • Domogled – Valea Cernei (Cerna Valley)
  • Muntii Macin (Macin Mountains)
  • Cheile Nerei (Nerei Gorges) – Beusnita
  • Piatra Craiului
  • Retezat
  • Muntii Rodnei (Rodnei Mountains)
  • Cheile Semenic - Carasului (Semenic – Carasului Gorges)
  • Buila-Vanturarita

Nature Parks

  • Apuseni
  • Balta Mica a Brailei (Small Moor of Braila)
  • Bucegi
  • Comana
  • Gradistea Muncelului-Cioclovina
  • Lunca Muresului
  • Muntii Maramuresului (Maramures Mountains)
  • Portile de Fier (Iron Gates)
  • Vanatori Neamt

Romania's natural areas captured scientific attention early in the 20th century. The first law on environment protection was passed in 1930; the first forest reservation (Domogled-Baile Herculane) was set up in 1932, the first National Park (Retezat) in 1935 and the first geological reservation (Detunata Goala - Apuseni Mountains) was recognized in 1938.

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APUSENI NATURE PARK  

Park Highlights
» Fast facts
» Natural attractions
» Flora and Fauna
» Nearby Attractions
Park Essentials
» Main access points
» How to get here
» Accommodation
» Tourist info

Fast Facts

Location Western Carpathians (Alba, Bihor and Cluj counties)
Size 187,000 acres
Best known for Over 200 caves (including the famed Bears’ Cave in Chiscau and the Scarisoara Glacier) and the predominant karst formations
Natural features Caves, Deep valleys and gorges, Karst landscapes, Rocky steep walls, Underground watercourses
Activities Caving, Cross-country skiing, Hiking, Mountain biking, Rock climbing, Skiing, Wildlife and bird watching

Park Highlights

Apuseni Natural Park - LocationThe Apuseni Nature Park (Parcul Natural Apuseni) - known as the cavers’ paradise, protects one of the most interesting cave fauna in the country. Traces of the prehistoric man, as well as fossils of animals that lived in the Ice Age were found in several of the caves, along with rare bat populations. The higher ridges of the park are covered with spruce fir, while at lower levels the forest is dominated by mountain beech.
Limestone underlies most of the park and is responsible for the area's impressive landforms. Sculptured mountain ridges, mysterious underground rivers, and delicate cave decorations will surely keep visitors’ photo cameras busy. 

The complex karst landforms of Apuseni Nature Park are an attraction on their own, especially hikers with a fascination for geology. Deep valley and gorges, karrens and karst depression – where underground rivers and streams flow - give the landscape an exceptional character. Below ground lies the important and fragile ecosystem of the caves, the main attraction for amateur and professional cavers.

Note: Apart from the Bears’ Cave and Scarisoara Glacier, caving in the Apuseni Nature Park is not visiting nicely prepared tourist caves but visiting them as the first explorers have seen them. That means that you’ll have to climb, use ropes, crawl and creep to see their splendid beauty.

As opposed to other national and nature parks in Romania, the Apuseni Mountains are populated up to high altitudes, with permanent and quasi-permanent dwellings. The hamlets on the Ocoale – Scarisoara plateau, at 3840 ft., are among the highest settlements in the country.

If you wish to discover local life and preserved traditions, one of the main points of interest is the Aries Valley, where the beautiful villages of Albac, Garda, and Arieseni are located. Skilled artisans, the Motzi people, carve musical instruments, hope chests and houses from the local wood, the spruce. The Apuseni Motzi villages are some of the best places in which to find tranquility and timeless wisdom of the traditional village way of life. In Patrahaitesti, a little mountain village, you may hear the famous Bucium ("Alps horns"), used for generations in the Apuseni Mountains.

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Natural attractions

Scarisoara Glacier (Pestera Scarisoara)
Location: 4 miles north Garda de Sus commune
Nearby large town: Alba Iulia (52 miles southeast)
Open: Mon. - Sun. 9:00 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Admission charge
Average temperature inside: 32 °F (0 Celsius)
A national monument sheltering the second largest underground glacier on the continent, the 3,500-year-old ice cave features spectacular icy stalactites and stalagmites.

Bears’ Cave (Pestera Ursilor)
Location: Chiscau village (1/2 miles south of Pietroasa)
Nearby large town: Oradea (50 miles northwest)
Another natural wonder in the Apuseni Park is the Bears’ Cave, named after the skeletons of bears (extinct 15,000 years ago) discovered here by mine workers in 1975. Arranged on two levels, it features galleries of animals and castles-resembling stalagmites and stalactites more than a half mile long. Some of the stalactites are estimated to be 22,000 years old. They continue to grow at a rate of about one-third inch every 20 years. The upper level (292 miles) is open to visitors, while the second one (312 miles) is reserved for scientific research.

Fortresses of Ponor (Cetatile Ponorului)
Location: Padis Area (7 miles from Pietroasa commune)
Nearby large town: Beius (22 miles northwest)
Web: www.padis.ro/e_index.html
One of the most spectacular and rugged lime formations in Romania, the area known as Cetatile Ponorului was declared natural reservation in 1952 and soon after became a natural monument.  Extending some 21 miles, the area includes the Flowers’ Glade (Poiana Florilor) and the Galbenei Gorges (Cheile Galbenei).

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Flora and fauna

The cave fauna is the main attraction of the Apuseni Mountains, with some of the caves sheltering rare bat species, such as the dwarf bat (Pipistrellus pipistrellus). Fossils of animals that lived in the Ice Age, as well as traces of the prehistoric man, have been found in some of the caves in the park.

Protected mammals such as the bear (Ursus arctos), the Carpathian elk and the black goat (Rupicapra rupicapra) can be seen in the forest area. The park is also home to several alpine birds, such as the ural owl (Strix uralensis), the nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes) and the lesser spotted eagle (Aquila pomarina).

Nearby attractions

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PARK ESSENTIALS

Main access points

  • Albac
  • Arieseni
  • Belis
  • Chiscau
  • Garda de Sus
  • Nucet
  • Scarisoara
  • Sighistel

How to get here

›» By air

Nearest airports located in:

›» By car

European road E60: Oradea – Huedin – Gilau - Cluj-Napoca
From Huedin, take county road 761B towards Belis-Fantanele or
Rachitele - Ic Ponor - Padis
From Gilau, take county road 108 to Marisel - Belis-Fantanele

European road E79: Oradea - Beius - Deva
From Sudrigiu take the country road to Pietroasa - Boga - Padis Plateau
or the veer towards Bears’ Cave and Craiasa Valley.

National road D75: Turda – Campeni – Albac -Stei

›» By train

Nearby train stations:

  • Beius
  • Huedin

Train schedules: To check the latest train schedules for domestic routes please visit the website of the Romanian Railways: www.cfrcalatori.ro
The site has complete information about domestic train schedules and fares.
Note: For departures from/to Bucharest please select Bucuresti Nord.

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Accommodation

  • Lodges (Cabane)
  • Tourist pensions (Pensiune)
  • Camping areas (Poiana Glavoi; Valea Craiesii - near the Bears’Cave;
    Valea Sighistelului; IC Ponor; Ponor-Runcu Ars)

For a list of available accommodations nearby Apuseni Nature Park please check our Accommodations Guide (please enter Apuseni Park under “Location”).

Tourist info

Padis Area tourist information:
www.padis.ro/e_index.html

Apuseni Nature Park Administration
Address: Sudrigiu, Comuna Rieni
Telephone: (259) 329.3338 or (372) 702.242
Email: office@parcapuseni.ro
Web: www.parcapuseni.ro

information

BICAZULUI GORGES - HASMAS NATIONAL PARK

Park Highlights
» Fast facts
» Natural attractions
» Flora and Fauna
» Nearby Attractions

Park Essentials
» Main access points
» How to get here
» Accommodation
» Tourist info
 

Fast Facts

Location Eastern Carpathians (Harghita and Neamt counties)
Size 17,000 acres
Best known for The impressive Bicaz Gorges and Lacu Rosu
(Red Lake)
Natural features Gorges, Jurassic limestone walls
Activities Fishing, Hiking, Kayaking, Rock climbing,
Wildlife and bird watching

Park Highlights

Bicaz LakeThe Bicaz Gorges are famous for their 1000 ft. limestone rocks towering over narrow roads and passes. The road that slices through the Bicaz Gorges (Cheile Bicazului) is among Romania's most stunning and spectacular.

For kayakers and fly-fishing enthusiasts the park's main attraction is the Red Lake (Lacul Rosu), created in 1837 after a major natural landslide. Short and long walks provide access to the lake's spectacular scenery and many fishing spots. The Bicaz Gorges offer a unique view of the Ceahlau Mountains.

Natural attractions

  • Bicazului Gorges - the most spectacular road pass in Romania
  • The Red Lake (Lacul Rosu) - formed by the natural damming of the waters of the Bicaz stream
  • Sugaului Gorges
  • Piatra Singuratica Peak

Flora and Fauna

The alpine wildlife is represented in this area by: the wall lizard (Lacerta muralis) the red deer (Cervus elaphus), the brown bear (Ursus arctos), the lynx (Lynx lynx), the wolf (Canis lupus), the pine marten (Martes martes) and the beech marten (Martes foina). 

The wall creeper (Tichodroma muraria), the three-toed woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus), the rock bunting (Emberiza cia), the raven (Crovus corax), the capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), the oral owl (Strix uralensis), the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), and the great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocops major) can be seen in the park area as well.

Nearby Attractions

The monasteries around Targu Neamt (Agapia, Neamt, Varatec) - www.RomaniaTourism.com/Iasi.html#DayTrips

The Painted Monasteries of Bucovina -
www.RomaniaTourism.com/Monasteries.html

The famous hand-made pottery center at Corund

The town of Suceava - www.RomaniaTourism.com/Suceava.html

PARK ESSENTIALS

Main access points

Balan, Bicaz Chei, Barnadu, Lacul Rosu

How to get here

»› By air

Nearest airports located in:

»› By car

National road DN 12C (Miercurea-Ciuc - Suceava) to Bicaz Chei
National road DN 12 (Brasov – Miercurea Ciuc) to Balan

» ›By train

Nearby train stations:

  • Piatra Neamt
  • Gheorghieni
  • Bicaz

Train schedules: To check the latest train schedules for domestic routes please visit the website of the Romanian Railways: www.cfrcalatori.ro
The site has complete information about domestic train schedules and fares.
Note: For departures from/to Bucharest please select Bucuresti Nord.

Accommodation

  • Camping areas
  • Hotels
  • Tourist pensions

Tourist info

Bicaz Gorges – Hasmas Mountain National Park Administration
Address: Str Principala 44 A, Izvorul Muresului
Telephone: (266) 336.540
Email: parculncbh@hr.astral.ro
Web: www.cheilebicazului-hasmas.ro/en/index.php

information

CALIMANI NATIONAL PARK

Park Highlights
» Fast facts
» Natural attractions
» Flora and Fauna
» Nearby Attractions

Park Essentials
» Main access points
» How to get here
» Accommodation
» Tourist info
 

Fast Facts

Location Northern side of Eastern Carpathians (Bistrita – Nasaud, Harghita, Mures and Suceava counties)
Size 64,000 acres  
Best known for The volcanic plateau dominated by the Calimani caldera and the abundance of Swiss stone pine and juniper trees that shelter the endangered black grouse (Tetrao tetrix)
Natural features Massive eruptive rocks, Craters of old volcanoes,
Swiss stone pine and juniper tree forests
Activities Cross-country skiing, Hiking, Mountain biking,
Horseback riding, Skiing, Wildlife and birds watching

Park Highlights

Mountain with volcanic origins, Calimani features the biggest inactive caldera in Europe (about 6 miles in diameter).

Massive eruptive rocks and craters of old volcanoes in the Calimani National Park (Parcul National Calimani) are spawned over breathtaking landscapes, matched by the presence of large areas of natural ecosystems and the abundance of Swiss stone pine and juniper trees.

Calimani Mountains and National ParkThe Calimani Mountains features the highest massif in the Romanian volcanic chain, the Pietrosu Peak (standing at 6896 ft.).

The natural erosion process in the volcanic plateau has led to the formation of the unusual shaped 12 Apostles (Cei 12 Apostoli), Red Stones (Pietrele Rosii) and Nefertiti geological reserves.

Natural attractions

  • Iezerul Calimani Natural Reservation preserving the natural elements of vegetation and featuring the beautiful Iezer Lake bordered with dwarf pine and alpine roses
  • 12 Apostles, Red Stone, and Nefertiti  geological reserves
  • Tihu Waterfall – located at the confluence of Tihu and Paraul Umed brooks
  • Retitis Peak - from the top, there are magnificent views of Ceahlau Mountain and the distant Fagaras Mountains on clear days.

Flora and Fauna

For those interested in botany, Calimani National Park makes it possible to observe 774 species of plants, many of them marked as rare: alpine leek (Allium victorialis), narcissus anemone (Anemone narcissifolia), and mountains soldanella (Soldanella Montana). In juniper tree forests or on soils of volcanic nature, the rose bay (Rhododendron myrtifolium) is frequently encountered.

Calimani National Park is home to several endangered species,such as: the bear (Ursus arctos), the elk (cervus elaphus), the wild boar (sus scrofa), the roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), the wolf (Canis lupus), the tree marten (Martes martes) and the lynx (Lynx lynx). The cedar forest and juniper trees area on the western slope of the Calimani Mountain is home to the black grouse (Tetrao tetrix), a very rare species in Romania.

Nearby Attractions

Park Essentials

Main access points

  • Gura Haitii
  • Dorna Candrenilor
  • Poiana Stampei
  • Rastolnita
  • Ilva

How to get here

» By air

Nearest airports located in:

» By car

European road E 85/E 576 to Dorna Candrenilor (Bucuresti - Suceava – Vatra Dornei  -Bistrita)

» By train

Nearby train stations: Ilva Mica, Lunca Bradului, Vatra Dornei

Train schedules: To check the latest train schedules for domestic routes please visit the website of the Romanian Railways: www.cfrcalatori.ro
The site has complete information about domestic train schedules and fares.
Note: For departures from/to Bucharest please select Bucuresti Nord.

Accommodation

  • Camping areas inside the park area
  • Villages around the park offer tourist facilities, including accommodation.

Tourist info

Calimani National Park Administration
Telephone: (230) 374.197 or 371.104
Email: office@calimani.ro  
www.calimani.ro

information

CEAHLAU NATIONAL PARK

Park Highlights
» Fast facts
» Natural attractions
» Flora and Fauna
» Nearby Attractions

Park Essentials
» Main access points
» How to get here
» Accommodation
» Tourist info
 

Fast Facts

Location Northern side of Eastern Carpathians (Neamt county)
Size 19,523 acres / 7,742 ha
Best known for Its legends and significance in the history of the Dacians, the ancestors of the Romanian people. Ceahlau was considered to be the sacred mountain of Zalmoxis, the ancient deity of the Dacians.
Natural features Numerous mountain peaks, Ridges, Basal rocks
(limestone and conglomerates placed on
crystalline bedrock)
Activities Cross-country skiing, Hiking, Wildlife and birds
watching

Park Highlights

Ceahlau- Toaca PeakSurrounded by watercourses and dam lakes, Ceahlau Mountain, the Olympus of Romania, displays an incredible concentration of flora - over 2,000 flower species, and wildlife. Fossil limestone, the rock formations Dochia, Cusma Dorobantului, and the Duruitoarea waterfall are just some of the main attractions in the park. The park is bounded to the east by the Bistrita River and Lake Bicaz, and to the south by the Bicaz River.

Some of the most exciting Romanian legends refer to the strange stone shapes spread around the peaks in the park. The Dochia rock formations are said to represent a mean old woman (“baba”) who came on Ceahlau to feed her sheep. Deceived by the sunny days of early spring, she took off, one by one, all her nine-sheepskin waistcoats. When the frost came, it turned both her and her animals into ice, which over the years transformed into the stones we see now.

Natural attractions

  • The rock formations Dochia and Cusma Dorobantului
  • Duruitoarea waterfall (Cascada Duruitoarea)
  • The Ocolasul Plateau, with the Great Ocolasul Peak (6256 feet) - the highest
    peak in the Ceahlau Mountains – and the Toaca Peak (6246 feet)

Flora and Fauna

Over 90 species of birds can be seen in the Ceahlau National Park. The capercaillie (Tetrao urogalus), the biggest among the birds in the park, can be seen in Piciorul Schiop and Poiana Maicilor, during the mating period in April. With a little luck you can also spot in the same area: the three clawed wod-pecker (Picoides tridactylus) a glacial relict, and the wall creeper (Tichodorma muraria). The raven (Corvus corax) usually builds its nest in the high areas of the mountain. 

Among the rare birds nesting in the park are the cliff butterfly (a bird that could be found also in Cheile Sugaului and in Cheile Bicazului), the aquila (Aquila chrysaeltus) and the mountain cock (cocosul de munte).

The park is also home to the black goat (Rupicapra rupicapra), which has been colonized here, the lynx (Lynx lynx), the wolf (Canis lupus), the fox (Canis vulpes), the brown bear (Ursus arctos) and the pine marten (Martes martes). The elk (Cervus elaphus var. carpathicus) - monument of nature and the most valuable species of Ceahlau - can be admired in: Izvorul Alb, Poiana Maicilor, and Izvoarele Bistrei Mari.

Nearby Attractions

PARK ESSENTIALS

Main access points

Neagra, Tasca, Izvorul Alb, Izvorul Muntelui, Ceahlau village, Grinties village,
Durau resort

How to get here

» By air

Nearest airports located in:

» By car

National road DN15 Piatra Neamt – Toplita

» By train

Nearby train stations: Bicaz

Train schedules: To check the latest train schedules for domestic routes please visit the website of the Romanian Railways: www.cfrcalatori.ro
The site has complete information about domestic train schedules and fares.
Note: For departures from/to Bucharest please select Bucuresti Nord.

Accommodation

  • Camping areas (near Cabana Dochia)
  • Mountain chalets (Cabana Izvorul Muntelui; Cabana Fantanele;
    Cabana Dochia)

Tourist info

Ceahlau National Park Administration
Telephone: (233) 256.600
Email: pnc@ceahlaupark.ro
Web: www.ceahlaupark.ro/index.html (Romanian only)

information

PIATRA CRAIULUI NATIONAL PARK

Park Highlights
» Fast facts
» Natural attractions
» Flora and Fauna
» Nearby Attractions

Park Essentials
» Main access points
» How to get here
» Accommodation
» Tourist info
 

Fast Facts

Location Southern Carpathians (Arges and Brasov counties)
Size 91,000 acres  
Best known for The most spectacular ridge in the Carpathian Mountains. The backdrop scenes filmed here for the movie Cold Mountain
Natural features Caves, Meadows, Rocky steep walls, Spruce forests
Activities Caving, Hiking, Horseback riding, Horse carriage / sled strolls, Rock climbing, Wildlife and bird watching

Park Highlights

Piatra Craiului- Pestera VillagePiatra Craiului Natural Park features the longest and highest limestone ridge in the country (over 15 miles long and 6560 ft. high). Bordered by glacial lakes, the ridge is regarded as one of the most beautiful sights in the Carpathians. The two-day north–south ridge trail is both challenging and rewarding. Starting at either Plaiul Foii in the northwest or Curmatura in the northeast, hikers climb up to the ridge along the narrow spine of the range. The descent at the southern end leads into a karst landscape of deep gorges and pitted slopes where water penetrating the rock has carved a series of caves.

The traditional villages of Magura, Pestera, Ciocanu, Sirnea, make for interesting starting points for the routes on the eastern slope and for getting in touch with the traditional Romanian way of life.

Natural attractions

  • Zarnesti Gorges
  • Dambovicioara Cave

Flora and Fauna

Sheltering one of the largest biodiversity of wildlife in the country, the national park is home to about 300 fungi species, 220 lichen species, 100 different mosses, and 1100 species of superior plants (a third of the number of all plant species found in Romania). On the high cliffs there are chamois, wild boar, red and roe deer, pine martens and red squirrels. Some 270 butterflies species, 110 birds species, 17 bats species, many large carnivores (wolfs, brown bears, lynx) can be observed in the park. The gorges are a good place to see wallcreepers and alpine swifts, three-toed and white-backed woodpeckers and Ural owls in the forested areas.

Nearby Attractions

PARK ESSENTIALS

Main access points

  • Bran
  • Cheia
  • Dambovicioara
  • Magura
  • Moeciu
  • Pestera
  • Podu Dambovitei
  • Satic
  • Sirnea
  • Zarnesti

How to get here

» By air

Nearest airports located in:

» By car

Zarnesti, located 18 miles southwest of Brasov and accessible both by road and by railway, is the most important town for access to the northern part of the ridge. From Zarnesti, a 6-mile road makes the connection with Plaiul Foii; a forest road starts from the southwestern part of town, going through Prapastiile, Valea Cheii and Valea Vladasca.

The villages of Magura, Pestera, Ciocanu and Sirnea are starting points for hiking routes on the eastern slope. Podu Dambovitei is the point of approach from the south. From here, the national road DN 73 branches off to the road on Valea Dambovitei through Saticu de Jos and Saticu de Sus, from which several hiking routes lead to the western slope of the Southern Ridge.

» By train

Nearby railway stations: Zarnesti

Train schedules: To check the latest train schedules for domestic routes please visit the website of the Romanian Railways: www.cfrcalatori.ro
The site has complete information about domestic train schedules and fares.
Note: For departures from/to Bucharest please select Bucuresti Nord.

Accommodation

  • Camping areas
  • Mountain chalets
  • Tourist pensions in the villages located within the park (Pestera and Magura) and in the surrounding communities (Zarnesti, Moeciu, Sirnea, Ciocanu, Podul Dambovitei, Dambovicioara and Satic)

Tourist info

Piatra Craiului National Park Administration
Tel: (268) 223.165
Email: office@pcrai.ro
Web: www.pcrai.ro/index_en.html 

information

RETEZAT NATIONAL PARK

Park Highlights
» Fast facts
» Natural attractions
» Flora and Fauna
» Nearby Attractions

Park Essentials
» Main access points
» How to get here
» Accommodation
» Tourist info
 

Fast Facts

Location Southern Carpathians (Hunedoara county)
Size 94,000 acres
Best known for - Its more than 80 glacial lakes, including the
largest – Bucura (8.8 ha./22 acres), and the
deepest - Zanoaga (29 m/92ft) in the country
- The highest number (over 20) of mountain peaks over 2,000m/6,560 ft. in Romania
- Being the oldest Romanian national park - established in 1935
Natural features Alpine and sub-alpine meadows, Deep ravines and ice-scoured parable synclines, Dwarf-pine formations, Glacial lakes
Activities Camping, Cross country skiing, Hiking / walking / trekking, Mountain biking, Rock climbing, Wildlife and bird watching

Park Highlights

Retezat National ParkHiking in Retezat National Park you may well lose your breath, not from the climb, but from the breathtaking views of nature at her wildest. Peaks of differing heights, many topping the 8,028 ft. mark (such as Peleaga Peak), provide hikers with plenty of challenges. Travelers willing to tackle them will have their efforts well rewarded.

Local communities and cultural sights from around the park area add a special value to that of the landscape and the biodiversity inside the park.  The people in the villages of Salasu de Sus, Rau de Mori and Campu lui Neag preserve to this day the traditional lifestyle of the area.

Natural attractions

Over one third of the Romanian flora can be found in the Retezat Mountains. High meadows create a haven for rare alpine flora. Long, steep slopes are covered with different types of forest, especially beech, spruce and fir. At the sub-alpine level, slopes shaped by ice are often protected by dwarf pine. The forest line reaches 6,080 ft. with some Spruce adapted to the harsh climate.

More than one quarter of the mountain range is above the 5760 ft. altitude where timberline and glaciers have created terraced valleys that end in magnificent glacial bays, lakes and waterfalls. Extraordinary passes, gorges, cavernous limestone caves and sinkholes can be found on the South-Eastern part of the mountain range, in the limestone area of the Retezatul Mic (the Small Retezat).

Flora and Fauna

Wildlife enthusiasts will find here many species of animals, including chamois, red and roe deer, wild boar, bear, wolf, and fox, and may come across lynx tracks. Otters find themselves at home in the park’s rivers. Chaffinch, song thrush, ring ouzel, red-breasted flycatcher, chiffchaff, nutcracker and the rare golden eagle, leaser spotted eagle, eagle owl, pigmy owl, crag martin, scarlet rosefinch, three toed woodpecker, horned lark are among the 120 nesting bird species of Retezat.

Retezat National Park was included in the Important Bird Areas Network. Butterflies are abundant in Retezat, in number and species, and specialists designated two Prime Butterfly Areas here.

Nearby Attractions

PARK ESSENTIALS

Main access points

North

  • Carnic
  • Rausor
  • Gura Apei

South

  • Buta
  • Cheile Butii
  • Campusel

How to get here

» By air

Nearest airports located in:

» By bus

For the Northern park entrances there are mini buses from Ohaba de sub Piatră to Carnic in the summer time.

For the Southern park entrances there are regular mini buses from Petrosani to Buta and Cheile Butii and from Lupeni to Campu lui Neag.

» By car

National road DN66 / E79 (Hateg – Targu Jiu) to Santamarie Orla
and then 686D to Raul Mare
National road DN66 / E79 (Hateg – Targu Jiu) to Petrosani
then DN66A from Vulcan to Campusel

» By train

For the Northern park entrances:

  • Baru
  • Ohaba de sub Piatra.
  • Pui
  • Rusor
  • Subcetate (near Hateg)

For the Southern park entrances:

  • Petrosani
  • Lupeni

Train schedules: To check the latest train schedules for domestic routes please visit the website of the Romanian Railways: www.cfrcalatori.ro
The site has complete information about domestic train schedules and fares.
Note: For departures from/to Bucharest please select Bucuresti Nord.

Accommodation

For a list of available accommodations nearby Retezat National Park please check our Sky Team

Accommodations Guide (please enter Retezat Park under “Location”).

Tourist info

Retezat National Park Administration
Email: office@retezat.ro
Web: www.retezat.ro

information