Ceahlau National Park

Ceahlău Massif is one of the most renowned mountain ranges of Romania, featuring unreal beauties. Ceahlau Mountain is located in the Eastern Carpathians chain, in Neamt County, in the Moldavia region. Ceahlau Mountain is a national treasure and wonderful mountain whose visitors have the chance to discover the beautiful landscapes of the Neamt County, to hike along the mountains, to visit the monasteries and museums and to meet the beauty of this area. The two most important Ceahlau peaks are Toaca (1904 m altitude) and Ocolaşul Mare (1907 m altitude). Izvorul Muntelui Lake that surrounds the mountain at the east and north together with Durau Resort contributes to the impressive image of the Ceahlau Massif. The Ceahlau mountain is accessible in any time of the year and depending on the season offers different landscapes. Summer attracts the highest number of tourists on the Ceahlau mountain and nothing compares to a sunrise on the mountain top. Surrounded by watercourses and dam lakes, Ceahlau Mountain, the Olympus of Romania, displays an incredible concentration of flora – over 2,000 flower species, and wildlife. Fossil limestone, the rock formations Dochia, Cusma Dorobantului, and the Duruitoarea waterfall are just some of the main attractions in the park. The Ceahlau National Park is bounded to the east by the Bistrita River and Lake Bicaz, and to the south by the Bicaz River. Some of the most exciting Romanian legends refer to the strange stone shapes spread around the peaks in the park. The Dochia rock formations are said to represent a mean old woman (“baba”) who came on Ceahlau to feed her sheep. Deceived by the sunny days of early spring, she took off, one by one, all her nine-sheepskin waistcoats. When the frost came, it turned both her and her animals into ice, which over the years transformed into the stones we see now.

Over 90 species of birds can be seen in the Ceahlau National Park. The capercaillie (Tetrao urogalus), the biggest among the birds in the park, can be seen in Piciorul Schiop and Poiana Maicilor, during the mating period in April. With a little luck you can also spot in the same area: the three clawed woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus) a glacial relict, and the wall creeper (Tichodorma muraria). The raven (Corvus corax) usually builds its nest in the high areas of the Ceahlau mountain. Among the rare birds nesting in the Ceahlau park are the cliff butterfly (a bird that could be found also in Cheile Sugaului and in Cheile Bicazului), the aquila (Aquila chrysaeltus) and the mountain cock (cocosul de munte). The Ceahlau park is also home to the black goat (Rupicapra rupicapra), which has been colonized here, the lynx (Lynx lynx), the wolf (Canis lupus), the fox (Canis vulpes), the brown bear (Ursus arctos) and the pine marten (Martes martes). The elk (Cervus elaphus var. carpathicus) – monument of nature and the most valuable species of Ceahlau – can be admired in: Izvorul Alb, Poiana Maicilor, and Izvoarele Bistrei Mari.

Natural attractions of the Ceahlau Mountains : the rock formations Dochia and Cusma Dorobantului, Duruitoarea waterfall (Cascada Duruitoarea), The Ocolasul Plateau, with the Great Ocolasul Peak – the highest peak in the Ceahlau Mountains – and the Toaca Peak, as well as the Bicaz Gorge – one of the most frequented tourist attractions in Romania.