The majority of the Romanian landscape is taken up by the stunning Carpathian Mountains, which is the second largest mountain range in Europe!
These mountains, also known as the Transylvanian Alps, form the natural border between the three historical regions: Transylvania, Wallachia and Moldova. With rugged peaks, rolling hills, serene lakes and lush forests, Romania’s landscape is beautiful, diverse, and perfect for hiking.
If you’re interested in exploring the high peaks and many mountainous trails of Romania, then have a look through this guide of some of the best hiking spots in Romania.
1. The Bucegi Mountains
The Bucegi Mountains are the perfect place to experience the stunning landscapes that Romania has to offer. Mount Omu is the highest peak of the Bucegi Mountains, at 2505 meters, and is covered in snow for most of the year, however, you can find beautiful wildflowers blossoming on the other areas of the mountains during spring.
These mountain trails are very popular with tourists as there are plenty of gorgeous trails that are suitable for everyone.
From scenic day hikes to longer, multi-day treks, the Bucegi Mountains have numerous trails to choose from. So whether you’re an experienced hiker or just starting out, you can find a trail to suit your needs and fitness level.
One of the most popular hiking trails in the Bucegi Mountains is the trail to the Urlatoarea Waterfall. This is a very easy adventure to start off with and is perfect for beginner hikers. The trail can be done in about an hour but it’s recommended to take it slow and take in the beautiful scenery along the way.
The waterfall thunders down from a height of 15 meters and can be heard well before it’s seen. You can enjoy this beautiful, scenic hike with your family and spend some time admiring the views in the area.
2. Făgăraș Mountains
The Făgăraș Mountains are the highest peaks of the Southern Carpathian Mountains in Romania. Moldoveanu Peak is the highest point, at 2544 meters, and is a more challenging climb that experienced hikers would enjoy.
The Făgăraș Mountains are the perfect spot for avid hikers and have multiple, stunning trails to explore. With waterfalls and lakes, there are plenty of beautiful sights to see. You can take on the challenging hikes to the peaks, or wander along the trails.
The weather can be unpredictable on the mountains so be sure to stick to the marked paths and check the weather forecast before you head out.
Bâlea Lake is a must-see landmark in the Făgăraș Mountains and is another very popular spot for tourists. This natural wonder sits at 2034 meters high in the Făgăraș Mountains.
You can enjoy hiking, skiing, sightseeing, cycling or ice climbing around the area. The hiking trail around the lake is a moderate level of difficulty and has several beautiful sights to see, including the lake, the Bâlea Waterfall, Lady’s Lake and Lady’s Valley.
3. Retezat Mountains
Trek through the Retezat Mountains and see the many glacial lakes dotted around the rugged land. This is one of the most scenic places in Romania where you can enjoy hiking along several trails.
The Retezat National Park is also situated here so take some time to explore the area and see some wildlife, including wolves, deer, bears and lynxes. The Retezat Mountains have picturesque trails that are suitable for beginners and perfect for day hikes.
One of the top trails starts from Bucura Lake, which is the largest glacial lake in the country covering about 9 hectares. From this beautiful spot, there’s a trail that takes you past seven more peaceful lakes that make for excellent photographic opportunities.
4. Apuseni Mountains
The Apuseni Mountains is the perfect place to go exploring through caves and seeing some spectacular views. The landscape around the mountains is truly exquisite, with rolling green forests and dramatic peaks.
There are over 400 caves in these mountains, including the Peștera Urșilor, or Bears’ Cave, which was where over 140 cave bear skeletons were found. The skeletons are still on display, which makes this a very unique and interesting place to visit.
Another incredible cave to see is the Scărișoara Cave, which contains a 3500 year old glacier and is considered one of Romania’s natural wonders.
5. Piatra Craiului Mountains
There are multiple hiking trails around the Piatra Craiului Mountains where you can find the most stunning views, charming mountain villages and brilliant sunsets.
Explore the rugged peaks and look out over the spectacular landscape that is lit up by the sun. There are countless incredible photographic opportunities as you look out over the land from the mountain trails.
If you’re up for an adventure, then it’s definitely worth checking out the Zârneștilor Keys, a striking, 2 kilometer long passage through rock. There are also plenty of mountain villages where you can try some of Romania’s traditional food.
Hiking Romania FAQ
1. What is the best hiking trail in Romania?
Romania is home to many stunning hiking trails, and the “best” one can vary depending on individual preferences. Some popular hiking trails in Romania include the Transfagarasan Highway, various trails in Retezat Mountains National Park, and trails in the Piatra Craiului National Park.
2. What is the best month to hike in Romania?
The best month to hike in Romania can also depend on personal preferences and the hiking trail you choose. Generally, the best time to hike in Romania is from May to October, when the weather is pleasant and the trails are accessible. However, it’s important to note that the weather in the mountains can be unpredictable, so it’s always a good idea to check the forecast before heading out and to be prepared for changing conditions.
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I really enjoyed reading your article and the beautiful pictures. I am planning a trip to Romania and the five described mountains all seem very attractive. But I was thinking if you could help me narrow it down to just one or two spots? I am travelling with my wife and three year old son (who will be sitting in a carrier backpack). Since the carrier backpack doesn't have too much space, we are looking for places to hike where we can find food and toilets. We only have one week, and would prefer to have a base where there is a tenting camp site, toilets, and food, from where we can do single or two-days hikes. Thanks for any advices and best wishes.
Hi Rikki, I recommend checking out the Bucegi Mountains. These are not far from Bucharest or the town of Brasov. The mountains are also close to Bran Castle, famous for the Dracula story. There are quite a few day tours and things to do in the area, along with campsites etc. Lonely Plant have a good article on the mountains: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/romania/bucegi-mountains
Hello! I'm considering going to Romania this year, to go trekking and visit some castles/towns. What time of year do you advise?
Thank you, from Portugal 🙂
Hi Ines, Late March through to end of October is a great time to go. The middle of Summer (July/August) can be quite hot.
Thanks for your nice overview. How is it with camping overnight during my treck? Is this allowed? Especially in the Bucegi Mountains, since they appear easy to reach via public transport
Hi Florian, I’m not 100% sure if camping is allowed outside the designated camping sites.