Romanian Carpathians belong to the Alpino-Carpathian-Himalayan Mountain Chain System, including intercontinental area of EuroAsia. Carpathians begins north of Bratislava and go to the river Timok, in Yugoslavia, as an extension of the Alps.
Wild Carpathia, Romania
Carpathians length have exceeds that of the Alps being divided into 4 groups: Western Carpathians, Forests,Eastern and Southern, extending to the territories of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine and Romania. Romanian Carpathians surround the Transylvanian basin from the north, east, south and west, like a shielding wall, being called “spinal column” of mioritic space.
Making its way through the “heart” of Romania, the Carpathian Mountains have remained one of the last places that have not been adulterated yet in Europe. Along with the Danube and the Black Sea, the mountains represent the specific geographic element for the territorial uniqueness of the Romanian state.
The incredible mountain landscapes, but also the amazing beauty of a land whose time seems to be endless (the shepherds lead their sheep, the horses harnessed to the wagons run slowly and the medieval settlements keep their traditions and customs) turn the Romanian Carpathians into a spectacular open museum, having a special status in the touristic circuit of the country because of the extremely impressive landscapes, glacial valleys, limestone areas., unique and peculiar shapes of the rocks.
The Eastern side of the Carpathians, called ”The Oriental Carpathians”, are remarkable for the multitude of natural passes, such as Brotocea, Prislop, Bicaz, Gutai, Oituz, passes that make the traffic possible on each side of the Carpathian chain.
The Red Lake and The Bicaz Canyon (Cheile Bicazului) are unique and beautiful places in the country. The Bicaz Canyon is part of the National Park “Bicaz Canyon”, which includes actually the following protected areas: The Red Lake, The Bicaz Canyon and The Hasmasu Mare Mountain.
Another branch of the Carpathians situated at the boundary between the Danube Pass and the Somes Valley, The Romanian Western Carpathians are unique through the diversity of the karst phenomena where caves as Bears Cave, Scarisoara Cave and Vantului Cave represent true natural monuments.
The most spectacular Carpathian area is represented by the Southern Carpathians. They are also called “the Romanian Alps”, because they reach high altitudes in Fagaras Mountains (Moldoveanu Peak-2544 m), offering wonderful views and trips in a landscape of a carved glacier. The Transfagarasan road, the most spectacular road in Romania, crosses the mountains and binds Transylvania and Muntenia. The most important tourist attractions are Vidraru Lake and Vidraru Dam, which is one of the greatest in Europe, then Poienari Fortress (built in the time of Vlad Tepes), Balea Glacial Lake and Balea Waterfall.
Also in the Southern Carpathians, in Retezat Mountains is located Retezat National Park which has the status of protected natural area by a national and international interest and in 1979 it was recognized as a Reservation of the Biosphere. With almost 80 lakes, 58 being permanent lakes, Retezat Mountain Mass holds almost 40% of the glacial lakes that exist in Romania. The lakes, fueled by the melted snow from the crests, offer dream-like views.
Retezat National Park was chosen by New 7 Wonders Foundation as a great challenge for becoming one of the seventh natural wonders of the world.
Bucegi Mountains offers a lot of opportunities to make a trip. The highest crest presents panoramic views, meadows with wild flowers and numerous paths and touristic attractions.
Nearby, the Prahova Valley stands as a wonderful touristic objective, incorporating well-known resorts, such as Sinaia, Busteni, Predeal and Poiana Brasov. Peles Castle from Sinaia remains one of the best-preserved royal palaces in Europe, being the summer residence for the first king of Romania, Carol I of Hohenzollern.