Romania is considered the wildest part of Europe and the Carpathian Mountains landscape is a big part of that. For many tourists that seek out an active journey, hiking in these areas is an extremely rewarding experience.
And the breathtaking landscapes are not the only reason. The Carpathian Mountains cover over 900 km of Romania, in an arch shape that nests the Transylvania region. They are covered in a vast area of unfragmented forest that makes it ideal for hiking trips that last for several days.
To sightsee and enjoy this great destination in just two days we recommend the Transfagarasan Road and the Medieval City of Sibiu Tour. You’ll get to see the main attractions and have a professional guide with you.
The Carpathian Mountains Range
As the mountain range crosses a big part of Romania’s area, it is divided into 3 main groups, according to their geographical position:
- the Eastern,
- the Southern,
- the Western.
Each group has a unique outline as they are developed on different types of rocks: glacial, karstic, structural, and volcanic. This makes the Carpathian Mountains a great hiking destination, as you will see a larger variety of vegetation and animals.
The good network of mountain huts is also a reason to consider trekking in this area. You’ll find great hot food on top of high mountains in these cabins as well as mountain rescue teams near them. They are usually the best places to set your tent overnight as well.
Depending on your fitness level, hiking and climbing experience you can choose a lot of different trails. You can even alternate in your adventure with a few different activities like:
- horseback riding
- mountain biking
- photo safaris
- wildlife watching
Exploring the Carpathian Mountains you will also visit remote rural villages that still keep alive Romanian traditions and the lifestyle. Further on we want to you know some of the main areas you should visit in your hiking adventure.
Getting Ready for Hiking in the Carpathian Mountains
Before coming to Romania and exploring this hiking dreamland take time to plan your trip accordingly. Make sure you decide whether you want to sleep in tents or plan on booking rooms at different cabins.
It’s also important to pack all your equipment so you are prepared. Especially if you plan on trying the more difficult trails.
We also encourage you to install the Muntii Noștrii App, available on Android and iOS. It will offer you maps for all the trails, as well as in-depth details for all of them, which include:
- estimated time
- peak altitude
- best seasons.
It’s also good to have the phone number or app from the SALVAMONT, the Romanian mountain rescue public service in case of emergencies.
If you need more help in planning a private tour of Romania or Bucharest don’t hesitate to call us at +40 735 525 710. You can even send us a message on Whatsapp.
The Bucegi Mountains
Some of the most important monuments you can hike to in the Bucegi area are the Sphinx and Babele (Old Ladies). Incredible rock formations have been carved by the wind. The landmarks are formed out of granite stone. There are numerous folklore myths about them that make them worth the hike.
One of the highest peaks in the Bucegi Mountains is the Omu peak (2505 m). The sight from the top is not the only reason for taking the path up the mountain. There are numerous unique plant species and animals you can spot on your way. This includes the Carpathian goats and the Edelweiss flowers.
The Caraiman Cross is also a destination you cannot miss. It entered the Guinness Book of Records as the highest moment in the world (39.30 meters). It was built between 1926-1928, as a moment for the heroes that died in the Second World War.
It is located in the Prahova Valley. The walk takes about an hour if you take the time to enjoy the landscape. At the top, you’ll feel you are walking on clouds as they will pass right next to you.
The Mountain Roads: Transfăgărășan and Transalpina
Besides being a great road to drive on, the Transfăgărășan is also great for hiking. There are numerous landmarks you can see while hiking the Carpathian Mountains in this area.
Depending on where you will start your journey you should stop at:
- Bâlea Waterfall
- Bâlea Lake
- Peak Vânătoarea lui Buteanu
- Vidraru Dam
- Poenari Citadel
Bâlea Lake is at the top of the Transfăgărășan road. Near it, there is a cabin you can take some time to rest at and have a hot meal. In most mornings the Lake is covered by heavy clouds that can be confused with fog at this high altitude.
But walking through the clouds here might be a bit cold so make sure you have a jacket at hand.
The waterfall is found 8 km further north from the Lake. But as the winding road is going down the hill it allows you the opportunity to enjoy the landscape even more.
The path to the Vânătoarea lui Buteanu Peak is a great alternative that strays from the Transfăgărășan main road. In this section, the driving road goes into a tunnel through the mountain. Visiting the peak will get you straight on the other side of the mountains making the whole hike enjoyable.
The Poenari citadel is a small fortress but with an incredible view. It is a location where Vlad the Impaler hid for a few years from enemy forces. It is not easy to see from the road below but it gives a great vantage point. Take into account that the citadel is not always open and it has 1480 steps you have to climb.
A giant dam with an incredible landscape and the Prometheus statue is what you’ll find at the Vidraru dam. Its construction started in 1961 and during that time, the river had to be diverted in a gallery with a diameter of 5.2 meters.
The dam was filled to capacity in 1965 which created the Vidraru Lake. Back then the dam was the fifth in size in Europe and it remains to this day, the largest in Romania.
Not far from the Transfăgărășan road there is the Transalpina road. At its highest point, the road reaches 2145 meters (Urdele Step). Most hiking trails in the area take you towards the Parâng massif and you’ll find lots of great lakes on the way.
Some of the landmarks in the area include:
- Parângul Mare Peak
- Parângul Mic Peak
- Mija Lake
- Roșiile Lake
- Câlcescu Lake
- Setea Mare Peak
- Setea Mica Peak
- Gâlcescu Lake
- Vidal Lake
- Pencu Lake
Seven Ladders Canyon
This will be an incredible hiking experience. It is located in the Piatra Mare Massif of the Eastern Part of the Romanian Carpathian. Just a short distance from Brașov or Predeal.
The limestone carved canyon is 160 meters long with different levels of altitude. They vary from 58 meters to 948 meters. The canyon got his name from the 7 ladders the travelers need to pass through. Their distance varying from 2.5 to 15 meters.
The river that carved the stone still flows and it creates incredible waterfalls that stream right next to the steps, creating an unforgettable experience. This landmark is a great destination for your summer trip as well as your winter ones.
Just keep in mind that in the cold season the steps might be more slippery because of the frozen water.
The Mud Volcanoes
The curious nature of these landmarks is the fact that the soil seems to boil. The natural gases found at thousands of meters below ground push the water and clay mixture to the surface.
After the surface hardens it is similar to the moon landscape. These are the reasons why numerous tourists from around the world come to see them. They can be found in two separate areas at Paclele Mici and Paclele Mari, only a few kilometers away from each other.
We suggest you have rubber shoes when visiting these areas to not muddy up your car.
The real advantage is that they are only 150 km from the capital. This means that if you are visiting Bucharest, you can easily spend one day to see this miracle of nature.
For planning private tours in Bucharest and across Romania don’t hesitate to contact us.
The Wildest Part of Europe
The Romanian part of the Carpathian Mountains has many intriguing destinations for hikers, nature lovers and family vacations. The breathtaking landscape of the mountains hides different locations with very unique views even from what you can find just a few kilometers away.
It would be a missed opportunity not to visit. We can make this dream come through with our large variety of shared and private tours.
You could book the Transfagarasan Road and the Medieval City of Sibiu – 2 days tour, and see these landscapes with your own eyes as soon as next week.