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Attractions

Discover some of the most superb, unexplored scenery in Europe : the lofty peaks of the Carpathian Mountains ; the dense, wild forests of Transylvania; the immense gorges of Zarnesti.

Explore dense pine and beech forests still inhabited by the Carpathian brown bear, wolves, deer, wild boar, and the rare lynx – more than a third of the European populations of large carnivores still roam the Romanian forests.

Watch eagles soar in the mountains and many other bird species, trace secret passages in rambling Transylvanian castles, picnic amid a patchwork of wild flowers, meet farmers who still plough by hand or foresters who are more used to meeting bears than tourists.

Walk, track, hike, climb in the mountains - the dramatic peaks and ridges of Piatra Craiului-, cycle, explore caves, photograph, watch wildlife, ride old steam trains, study wild flowers and plants, stroll in the countryside or you can just relax in the home of a village family and enjoy traditional home cooking, home made wine and plum brandy and country hospitality at its best.

Zarnesti

Situated at the foot of Piatra Craiului, and 30 kms south–west of Brasov, Zarnesti was founded on the ruins of the ancient Roman colony of Zarnizis, and officially became a town in 1951.

Traditional life: people in Zarnesti still work in the old way: horse and carts are used for transport, farmers cut the hay with a scythe, flocks of sheep roam the mountains, guarded by shepherds and dogs against bears and wolves. The old traditions occupy an important role in community life.

Zarnesti is the main gateway to the Piatra Craiului Mountain which is one of Romania’s most spectacular limestone ridges. It extends for about 22 kms from north to south, hosting a high biodiversity of endemic plants and rare birds.

The Romanian Carpathians

5500 bears, 2500 wolves and 1500 lynx have their home in this pristine forest ecosystem – the highest concentration of wolves, bears and lynx in Europe. Five million people live in and around these mountains, and Romania is one of the few countries where large carnivores and people coexist in close proximity.

Piatra Craiului National Park

Piatra Craiului National Park is one of the latest Romanian National Parks financed by the World Bank, the Romanian Government and the Romanian State Forest Administration. This project started in 1999, but conservation in this area dates back to 1938 when a nature reserve of 440 hectares was established. Currently, the Park covers 14800 hectares.

Geography

Brasov county lies on two large morpho-structural units: the Carpathians and the tableland (plateau) of Transylvania. The mountain units, with heights of over 750 m, occupy 40% of the county area, the rest being represented by a part of the Plateau of Transylvania and by the Brasov Depression.
The Piatra Craiului Massif is made up of a structural calcareous ridge, with many pointed crags, towers and peaks(the „La Om” Peak -2238m), with ranges and structural shelves and steep slopes accompanied by debris.

Climate

The temperature differs significantly depending on the altitude. The annual mean temperatures are in the low part of the county between 7.5 – 8.2 °C and lower still on the mountain tops.

Snow

The annual mean duration increases with the altitude: from 70.8 days to 210 days on the high mountain tops.

Packing For The Trip

Luggage: One main piece of baggage and a rucksack for personal care items during the day walks.
Clothing: Pack warm winter clothing. Rainwear may also be needed.
Footwear: Comfortable walking boots.


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