Trips Nature Lovers Can Take in Romania
In love with nature? Theese are just a few places you should check out if in Romania
Nature in Romania is truly unique! The mix of mountains (28%), plateaus (42%) and plains (30%) makes this country a great destination whether you like to hike or just take an easy walk in nature. Romania is considered one of the most bio-geographically diverse country in Europe, with places where man has never set foot, countless travel attractions, all of these combined with great weather! No matter what you choose to visit in Romania: its wild, dense forests, the mountains covered by a blanket of snow, or the amazing Danube Delta, you are guaranteed to have an enjoyable and one-in-a-lifetime experience.
Pelicans take off in Danube Delta, credits: Ocskay Bence/Bigstock.com
Romania boasts an impressive range of wildlife habitats which makes it the perfect location for a variety of bird communities. One of them is the remarkable Danube Delta. As the River divides in three channels – Chilia, Sulina, and St. Gheorghe, it forms a landscape of floating islands, narrow canals flanked by willows and lianas, and lakes full of fish. The Danube Delta provides nesting sites and stopover habitat for a wide variety of migrating and breeding birds, many of which are categorized as threatened. Once you get in the Delta, you will understand that not in vain it is often described as birds’ paradise. Being one of the biggest wetlands in the world and an UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site, this is definitely a must-see destination for bird-watching, fishing amateurs and nature lovers!
Statue of Decebalus, Danube Gorges, credits: Pojornicu Stelian/Bigstock.com
The Danube Gorges or Danube Cauldrons, formed from the Great and the Small Cauldrons, represent the place where Danube has its narrowest, but also its most astonishing part, separating Romania from Serbia. Although Danube Gorges stretch over only 9 km of the Iron Gates Natural Park, this place is packed with attractions that can be easily accessed by car, on foot, or by boat. True adventurers who would like to detach completely from the chaos of day-to-day life and fully enjoy nature can opt for camping in the area, although some really cool pensions offer brilliant views and a bit more comfort. While being here, one should not miss such attractions like the rock sculpture of Decebalus – the tallest rock relief in Europe, Tabula Traiana – a 2000-year-old monument raised by the emperor Trajan, Ponicova Cave – one of the largest cave in this area of Romania, and other. Theese are all accesible on water, so don’t miss out on a boat ride through the Cauldrons!
Transfagarasan Road leading to Balea Lake, credits: Drawen/Bigstock.com
The Transfagarasan hides so much more behind the amazing driving experience, connecting the south of Romania with Transylvania, going straight through the massive Carpathians through five tunnels. The road that takes you among clouds uncovers breathtaking hikes, unique destinations and a history that has to do with the communist regime. Transfagarasan will take you in a trip 90 km long with ups and downs, reaching the highest point at 2,042 meters altitude. While travelling along the road, several monuments can be admired. One of them is the Meeting Gate – raised to commemorate the effort of the soldiers and engineers who worked hard to build Transfagarasan. Another one is the Engineers’ Gate – built in the memory of those who lost their lives in this project. During your journey, don’t hesitate to stop at the Vidraru Lake – a major dam, 14 km long, which has a special platform for bungee jumping for the brave ones. Balea Lake is perfect to visit in winter, when you can admire here the remarkable Ice Hotel.
Cetatile Ponorului Cave, Apuseni Mountains, credits: pellinni/Bigstock.com
In the southwest of Cluj-Napoca, the Apuseni Mountains lay, hiding a true cavers’ paradise, with one of the most interesting cave fauna in Romania. Traces of 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. Sculptured mountain ridges, mysterious underground rivers, and delicate cave decorations will certainly keep your photo camera busy! The Apuseni Motzi villages may be the best place to visit for the ones who want to find peace of mind. You may hear here the sounds of the famous “bucium”, or “Alps horn”, used for generations in the Apuseni Mountains. Among the numerous caves that are nicely prepared to be visited by tourists are the Scarisoara Glacier – sheltering the second largest underground glacier on the continent, but also the Bears’ Cave – with stalactites that are estimated to be 22,000 years old.
Turda Salt Mine, credits: RossHelen/Bigstock.com
Turda Salt Mine (Salina Turda) is probably one of the most important and interesting places to see in Transylvania. Although it was dug in the Middle Ages for salt mining, it has changed its purpose over time, becoming one of “the coolest underground places in the world”, as the “Business Insider” considers. Among the touristic attractions that are worth to be visited are: the Iosif mine – called also the “Echoes Room” due to its powerful sound of echo; the Crivac room – which contains a rudimentary installation for lifting salt rocks on the surface, the only of its kind in Romania; the Terezia mine – a giant conical mine with a cascade of salt, an underground lake, and stalactites; but also the Gizela mine and the Rudolf mine. A panoramic elevator offers to tourists an overview of the whole UFO-shaped mine.
Traditionaly dressed women playing tulnic near the Sphinx, credits: Photosebia/Bigstock.com
Like a natural massive fortress, the Bucegi Mountains spread over about 300 square km in the east side of the Meridional Carpathians. This range of mountains is full of fairy-tale places and hosts some of the most beautiful legends from the Romanian folklore. It is believed that the Bucegi are charmed, emitting a very powerful energy, this is the place where the worlds meet and people can charge up with energy and heal miraculously. However, one thing is true for sure: Bucegi Mountains can make you forget about everything when you see its natural attractions. While traveling in the mountains, a nature lover cannot miss the spectacular figures such as the Sphinx and Babele – rocks turned by wind and rain into real works of art. The “Urlatoarea” waterfall provides a picturesque scene. The 15-meter high waterfall crashes with a deafening noise, creating a veil of mist in a rainbow palette of colors. The most adventurous and the most prepared nature lovers can climb the Omu peak - 2505 meters high, the 11th highest point in Romania.
Traditional windmills at ASTRA Museum, credits: igabriela/Bigstock.com
If you have chosen to explore the surroundings of the city of Sibiu then head to the south, where you’ll soon discover the ASTRA National Museum Complex - the most important ethno-museum institution in Romania. The pearl of the museum is considered to be the ASTRA Museum of Traditional Folk Civilization, known also as the Open Air Museum. This museum unit spreads across a 90 ha area, including an area of 40 ha covered by the permanent exhibition, making it the largest air ethnographic exhibition in Europe! Currently, the museum has over 400 monuments of folk architecture, as well as an impressive collection of heritage objects. Mills, wooden churches, homesteads, you can see all of them in the Open Air Museum! Moreover, it hosts numerous traditional events all year round such as festivals, fairs, workshops, religious ceremonies, and many more.
As you can see, Romania is capable to offer ultimate adventures if you are a nature lover. So, don’t waste time anymore and start exploring Romania!