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Romania's National Parks and Natural Wonders

Discover Romania’s beautiful national parks and natural reservations, find out information about the place, how to get here, where to stay, what to do and many more! 

Valea Cernei - Domogled National Park
Before starting our virtual hike and meeting the wonders let’s start with some general facts about Romania. The country is situated in S-E Europe and has borders with Hungary (W), Ukraine (N), Republic of Moldova (E), Bulgaria (S) and Serbia (S). So you localized it. Good! Now if you are on the map you can probably notice that Romania has an even distribution of its landscape more precise, with 31% - mountains, 33% hills and 36% plains. Except that, we also have a mighty wonderful delta (Danube Delta), one of the largest undisturbed natural forests of Europe (covering 27% of the country's surface) and also opening to the Black Sea. So basically, there is no way you can ever get bored of this country, there is no way to say it’s not my type because you really have it all! 

The climate in Romania is mild temperate-continental with four seasons. Average lows are around 0°C in the winter and average highs of 28°C in the summer and keep in mind that more than half of the year you can get clear, sunny weather. In the mountains, you can expect temperatures of -20°C in the winter depending on altitude and range but also 20°C or even more in the summer. I strongly recommend consulting the local weather forecast before planning and attending a trip.

Because there is no other better place to hike then in the mountains, let me tell you about our mountains here in Romania. The Carpathian (Carpati in Romanian) mountain range arches for more than 1000 km in the center of the country and is divided into 3 main groups: 

  • East: Carpatii Orientali - more than 30% of all forests are here plenty of thermal water springs and mineral deposits. 
  • South: Carpatii Meridionali - include the highest peaks of over 2500 m altitude and more than 150 glacial lakes. You would be amazed of what you can find here.
  • West: Carpatii Occidentali - the smallest of the ranges and densely settled - many remote villages with traditional lifestyles. 

For the moment, let’s just get familiar with the places, position on the map and further we will cover the details about each place in several future articles. As we will go on and add the article you will be able to access via hyperlinks detailed information, pictures and good to know things about some or maybe all of the parks. All of the National Parks, mountains or places we will discuss in the following articles have been covered by us on foot on more than one occasion. Each article that will follow keeps the same structure providing information about: the best and most accessible road to it, camping/accommodation, water sources, things to do there and average temperatures in the park. 

So let’s begin our virtual journey with Romania’s National Parks. 

  1. Parcul Național Semenic-Cheile Caraşului 
  2. Parcul Național Cheile Nerei 
  3. Parcul Național Valea Cernei - Domogled
  4. Parcul Național Retezat
  5. Parcul Național Buila-Vânturăriţa
  6. Parcul Național Călimani
  7. Parcul Național Ceahlău
  8. Parcul Național Cheile Bicazului Hăşmaş
  9. Parcul Național Cozia
  10. Parcul Național Defileul Jiului
  11. Parcul Național Munţii Măcinului
  12. Parcul Național Munţii Rodnei
  13. Parcul Național Piatra Craiului

Except national parks you can also find amazing places in Romania’s 16 Natural Parks: Cefa (1), Comana (2), Defileul Mureşului Superior (3), Dumbrava Sibiului (4), Grădiştea Muncelului Cioclovina (5), Ţara Haţegului (Dinosaur Geopark) (6), Lunca Joasă a Prutului Superior (7), Balta Mică a Brăilei (8), Lunca Mureşului (9), Putna-Vrancea (10) and Vânători-Neamţ (11). And among these the most beautiful ones are: 
  • Parcul Natural Apuseni (12)
  • Parcul Natural Bucegi (13)
  • Parcul Natural Cindrel (14)
  • Parcul Natural Porţile de Fier (15)
  • Parcul Natural Munţii Maramureş (16)

And the list could continue as Romania has over 900 reservations and protected natural areas but I do believe it would take you a lifetime to discover every little corner of Romania’s beauty.

We simply love them all, as such trying to create a Top List would be futile at our end. Maybe, after you read the articles, you can better decide what is best of interest for you and where you plan to go. If something you are interested in is not covered but it's related to this topic, you can always drop a question in the comments section below and we will try get back to you as soon as possible! 

Retezat National Park

Retezat National Park

Retezat National Park

Tarcu Mountains

Tarcu Mountains

Tarcu Mountains - Photo by Iulian Gangal

Sunset over amazing alpine sea - Tarcu Mountains

Glaicar lake Ochiul Beiului - Cheile Nerei National Park

Vaioaga Waterfall - Cheile Nerei National Park

Cerna village - Valea Cernei National Park

Mehedinti Mountains - Valea Cernei National Park

Cernei Mountains - Valea Cernei National Park

Alpine road - Semenic National Park

Carstic plateou - Apuseni National Park

Balea Lake - one of the most beautiful places in Romania

Negoiu Peak, Fagaras Mountains, the second highest mountain peak in Romania

Romania's National Parks and Natural Wonders Reviewed by Karina on 16:36 Rating: 5


  1. Awesome page. Thanks for all the input, to give so manny information.

    1. Thank you, Roman Bale, we are more than happy you found the right info and you also enjoyed our blog. Be welcomed to ask any questions if you need more info, we would be glad to answer them!

      All the best,
      Karina & Alex :)

  2. Hello, I would like to go hiking in Romania with a few friends for a week. We are experienced hikers and like it as remote as possible. We will bring all our own gear and food. Which areas would you recommend for us?


    1. Hi Willem,

      First of all it depends on the what part of the year you plan to go hiking as during winter time some tracks are closed or present a high risk of avalanches (depending on the snow level). Other than this here are some suggestions:

      01. Retezat National Park - one of my favorite mountain regions in Romania. Here you can establish a base camp at Bucura Lake and do daily hikes on all surrounding mountain peaks. I estimate you will have enough stuff to do here for about 4-5 days (Retezat Peak, Peleaga Peak, Papusa Peak, etc ). Do note that there are wild bears in the area, as it is with all of Romania, so some caution is advised. Personally in all my hikes I have never met one but still it might be a good idea to hang your food in a tree during night.

      02. Fagaras Mountains ridge. For this you will need a weeks time and you will mainly stay on the mountain ridge. Your start point is Balea Lake on the Transfagarasan Road and you will go on many peaks like Negoiu, Serbota, Ciortea, Capul Surului (and others) and you will descend to Sebeșul de Sus and finally Sebeș Olt town. If needed there are some mountain huts in the area you can sleep at (Cab. Negoiu, Cab. Barcaciu). Here is an interactive map with the markings and objectives:

      03. Tarcu Mountains - Retezat Mountains. This is another long track you can do on the mountain ridge. You start at Saua Jigoria - Cuntu Hut - Tarcu Peak - Nedeia Peak - Saua Iepii (these are in Tarcu Mountains) and then continue to the Retezat Mountains going in the direction of Zanoaga Lake - Bucura Lake. From here you can do all objectives marked at point 01.

      Observations: You will have to pack all food with you are mostly you will have no options to resupply. Also plan your trip while also consulting the weather forecast (for example Retezat is renowned for the short,2 hours long, lightning storms that during the summer months can be frequent).

      If you have more questions please let us know and we would be happy to help.

      Hope you will have a great time in Romania!

      Happy trails,
      Alex and Karina

  3. Hello Alex and Karina,
    This is really a useful webpage!
    Me and a friend of mine, would like to do a trekking of 3 days in the Retezat National Park.
    Could you recommend a preferable route? a place to get started? we bring our own tent. is it a good idea to camp along the track, or should we try to book a sleeping place in a hut?

    Thanks a lot,

    Sim (Belgium)

  4. Alex and Karina,

    I will plan to come explore your beautiful mountains in the future - they look amazing! I am wondering - is there any way to hike the entire range, say if I had a few months? Might there be a trail system going through each park so one could start in the south and go north-east and north? You may have heard of the Pacific Crest trail in western USA...i wonder if there might be a trail like that. By the way you are both welcome to stay with me if you are ever in Oregon - you should come here and explore our ranges! You would love them : )

    1. Hi there,

      Unfortunately there is no such trail. The best you could do is to hike each National Park at a time and move from one to the other. It si probbaly more advisable this way as you need to descend from time to time to resupply.

      All the best and have a great adventure,
      Alex and Karina


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