Top Natural Parks in Transylvania
From the rugged peaks, glacial lakes and outstanding landscapes of The Retezat National Park to the protected wildlife and pristine area of the Rodnei Mountains National Park, Transylvania has been blessed with some outstanding natural areas. Many national parks have been established to protect the natural landscape and wildlife of the country, and some of them are nothing short of spectacular. Let’s take a look at some of the best national parks of Transylvania.
Apuseni Natural Park
Located in western Romania, the Apuseni Mountains Natural Park was established to protect the area’s outstanding karst relief and its endangered fauna and flora. The Padis Plateau is the central attraction of this picturesque Romania national park, thanks to its rugged beauty and many unique geological formations. The Focul Viu Cave hides the largest underground glacier in the country, while the spectacular limestone formations of Cetatile Ponorului offer some great opportunities for exploration and sightseeing.
Retezat National Park
The first of all national parks of Romania, the Retezat National Park was declared a Biosphere Reserve in 1975. Situated in the western range of the Southern Carpathians, the park’s relief was shaped by tectonic and glacial forces that left behind a beautiful landscape dotted with over 100 small glacial lakes that locals call “the blue eyes of Retezat”. The wildlife is just as rich – the Retezat National Park is covered by some of the largest patches of unspoiled primeval forests in Europe.
Rodna Mountains Biosphere Reserve
In northern Romania, spanning territory of two distinct ethnographic territories – Maramures and Bistrita – the Rodna Biosphere Reserve is rich in wildlife, with over 1100 species of plants and many valuable animal species, including the Carpathian stag, bear, boar, marmot, wolf, and chamois. The highest massif of the park, the 2303 meters Pietrosu, bears the marks of the last glacial period and several picturesque lakes formed in the cirques left by the melting glaciers. Try booking a horseback tour of the park from Beclean – you won’t regret it.
Bucegi National Park
One of the most visited Romanian national park was established to protect the scenic Bucegi Massif. The symbols of the park are the Sphinx and the Babele (The Old Women), bizarre rock formations carved over millennia by wind and rain, but there are many other attractions scattered through this 32,000 hectares park. Fourteen areas of the park have been designated nature reserves in order to preserve unique and valuable flora, wildlife, and geological features. The Bucegi National Park shelters over 3,500 species of animals and 4,500 species of plants, including the iconic edelweiss.
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