Natural wonders in Transylvania

author: Raluca Tirnovean
date: October 24, 2016

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Between conquering the Transylvanian castles and climbing the imposing Carpathians, make sure you stop to admire some of these natural wonders.

1. Scarita Belioara Natural Reserve

The hiking paths in Scarita Belioara Natural Reserve take their walkers on a wonderful journey through nature. They twist and turn through wide plateaus covered with flower carpets, through sudden abysses, thick woods and secret caves. Tall peaks shaped as spires watch over the unbelievable natural wonders that can be seen here. Plants that were thought to have disappeared along with the dinosaurs, unique butterflies and countless protected species live here, in this absolute paradise. The hiking tour of Scarita Belioara Natural Reserve is one of the most beautiful in Transylvania.

2. Turda Gorges

The magnificent cliffs of the Turda Gorges shelter a wonderful wilderness within. The paths go through abrupt abysses, under stone arches, through hidden caves up to the top where they end with a breathtaking view. Rare plants, wild animals and birds wander through the gorges, and so do hikers and climbers who come here to live the Transylvanian adventure.

3. Retezat Natural Reserve

In our always progressing world there is a small paradise that has remained untouched: The Retezat National Park. Great, imposing peaks shield a natural heaven with glacier lakes, virgin forests, wild animals and countless rare plants.

The glacier lakes

For the sky mirroring in the 80 lakes that are found here, the Park is said to have 80 blue eyes. Of these, over 50 are glacier lakes with Lake Bucura being the widest, not only in Retezat, but in the whole country. It is 9 ha wide and even if it’s located at 2000 m altitude, the hike to Lake Bucura is an accessible one.

The virgin forests

Most of the last virgin forests in Europe are here, in the Carpathians. Out of the over 200000 ha of untouched forests, few of them are here in Retezat National Park. They are protected by law, and they shelter countless wild animals that live free in their natural habitat.

Animals and plants

In the thick woods that cover the majestic mountains in Retezat, wild animals such as the European Brown Bear, the lynx, the boar, the wolf, the chamois or the deer wander undisturbed. In the wide meadows, you may find rare, protected plants. There are 90 species that can only be seen here, in the Retezat Natural Reserve.

4. Ramet Gorges

The hike through the Ramet Gorges is spectacular. As the Geoagiu River rushes down, grandiose abrupt walls border it, setting up a stunning landscape. The path goes through the chilly woods before it enters the clear rushing waters and takes you to the stunning gorges. The oddly-shaped rocks, naturally formed arches, the unique sights, and the clean alpine air are the reward for the hikers who follow this route. As you exit the gorges, you arrive in the deserted village of Cheia, an authentic traditional museum. From there on, you’re just a short drive or an adventurous hike away from the Raven’s Nest.

5. The Natural Fortress of Ponor

The Fortress of Ponor is a grandiose natural monument with majestic stone walls, portals, and caves. A genuine limestone phenomenon, it is composed of 3 large circles of stone you can explore closely. The grandiose walls, the trees that seem drawn on the cliffs and the abrupt abysses create a stunning mountaineer landscape.

6. The Bears’ Cave

A natural masterpiece, the Bears’ Cave is unique both in Transylvania and in Europe. Stalactites and stalagmites cover its walls and its galleries are purely spectacular. The cave’s importance, however, is given by its archeological great value. Here, the bones of 140 Cave-bears – a species extinct for over 27,500 years – were found in the Bones’ Gallery.

7. The Scarisoara Cave

This natural monument is over 3500 years old and hosts Romania’s biggest underground glacier. Each of its rooms has something particular and all of them are truly spectacular. While The Church Room is distinguished by its unique collection of stalagmites and stalactites, the Great Reservation Room is archeologically important, for the Rupicabra skeleton that was found here. We have included all these destinations and many others on our private trips and tours. Wherever you choose to travel in Transylvania, our hosts at Raven’s Nest will be happy to guide you.

Which of these natural wonders you would like to discover in Transylvania?

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