Calimani National Park

Călimani National Park covers a surface of 24,041 ha and makes most grandiose volcanic complex of the Romanian Carpathians, between the two Romanian provinces, Moldavia and Transylvania in northern Romania. The Călimani National Park spreads over four counties of Romania: Bistrita-Năsăud, Suceava, Mures and Harghita. Călimani National Park plays an important role with respect to the conservation of Romania’s wildlife and mountain ecosystems. Visitors of the Calimani National Park enjoy in variety of outdoor activities – hiking, mountain biking, equestrian tours, cross country skiing, bird watching, photo hunting, backpacking, paragliding. There are several hiking tracks in the Călimani Mountains, some with a high difficulty levels, but there are also paths which feature a low difficulty level and are suited for all visitors. Massive eruptive rocks and craters of old volcanoes in the Calimani National Park (Parcul National Calimani) are spawned over breathtaking landscapes, matched by the presence of large areas of natural ecosystems and the abundance of Swiss stone pine and juniper trees. The Calimani Mountains feature the highest massif in the Romanian volcanic chain, the Pietrosu Peak – Pietrosul Călimanilor (2103 m), but there are also other formations more than 2000 m height, like Retitis, Călimani Izvor, Călimani Cerbuc. The natural erosion process in the Calimani volcanic plateau has led to the formation of the unusual shaped volcanic karst of 12 Apostles (Cei 12 Apostoli), Red Stones (Pietrele Rosii) and Nefertiti geological reserves. The legend says that the 12 Apostoli rock statues used to be a place of worship and rituals in the times of the ancient Dacians….at an altitude of 1770 m in an area of maximum visibility, which dominates the valleys of Negrişoara (Little Black) and Neagra (Black River), tributary to the Dorna river.

For those interested in botany, Calimani National Park makes it possible to observe 774 species of plants, many of them marked as rare: alpine leek (Allium victorialis), narcissus anemone (Anemone narcissifolia), and mountains soldanella (Soldanella Montana). In juniper tree forests or on soils of volcanic nature, the rose bay (Rhododendron myrtifolium) is frequently encountered. Calimani National Park is home to several endangered species, such as: the bear (Ursus arctos), the elk (cervus elaphus), the wild boar (sus scrofa), the roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), the wolf (Canis lupus), the tree marten (Martes martes) and the lynx (Lynx lynx). The cedar forest and juniper trees area on the western slope of the Calimani Mountain is home to the black grouse (Tetrao tetrix), a very rare species in Romania.

Natural attractions of the Calimani National Park : Iezerul Calimani Natural Reservation preserving the natural elements of vegetation and featuring the beautiful Iezer Lake bordered with dwarf pine and alpine roses, 12 Apostles, Red Stone, and Nefertiti geological reserves, Tihu Waterfall – located at the confluence of Tihu and Paraul Umed brooks, Retitis Peak – from the top, there are magnificent views of Ceahlau Mountain and the distant Fagaras Mountains on clear days.