The Carpathians. Mountains of wild fun.

The Carpathian Mountains form a huge arc that covers 31 percent of Romania's territory. And that amounts to miles upon miles of raw beauty, pristine scenery and unique fauna and flora. Besides many natural wonders, the Romanian Carpathians are also famous for some one-of-a-kind settlements. Hidden mountain villages and medieval cities wait to be discovered. Plus, there are so many exciting adventures to choose from. The nature enthusiasts can go on various trips, including hiking, biking, 4x4 explorations, wildlife watching and even horseback riding. And in the winter, the avid skier can have extreme fun in modern mountain resorts, such as Poiana Brasov and Sinaia.

Untamed national beauties.

Carpathian wild beauties are kept safe by many national and natural parks. The most impressive are Apuseni, Calimani, Ceahlau, Retezat and Piatra Craiului. These parks are responsible not only for protecting many rare species of animals and plants, but also for keeping alive local customs, traditional crafts, and regional architecture.

The diversity of landscapes, vegetation and wildlife is truly exceptional. Scenic grasslands, subterranean caves, spectacular gorges, volcanic lakes, huge river networks. And these are just a few examples that astonish millions of tourists every year. What's more, the lucky traveler can spot endangered animals and plants, such as brown bear, lynx, European bison, chamois, imperial eagle, east Carpathian lilac and Carpathian bellflower.

Plenty of wild things to do.

The Carpathians offer countless alternatives for exciting outdoor experiences. Tourists can enjoy an easy walk through charming alpine meadows or hike around glacial lakes. There are also countless special biking trails and unique opportunities for horseback riding. Not to mention the possibility of studying endangered flora or tracking golden eagles and other rare birds.

All kinds of adventures are available. For example, tourists can visit Scarisoara ice cave in the Apuseni Nature Park. It's 153 ft deep and features huge ice stalagmites. Horse riding is offered in the Calimani National Park, which is famous for uncanny volcanic silhouettes and the largest volcanic crater in the Carpathians. The more adventurous tourists can experience extreme rafting on Crisul Repede and Bistrita rivers. Or trek Retezat, the rockiest mountain massif in Romania, and home to more than 80 glacial lakes and over 300 flower species.

Defying time: people and places.

Some unique medieval cities and traditional Romanian and Saxon communities are located in or near the Carpathians Mountains. The most notable cities are Sibiu and Brasov. They retained most of the past medieval charm and attract every year large numbers of tourists interested in cultural sightseeing. For those who want to get up close and personal with the natural way of living, Saxon villages - such as Viscri - present the perfect opportunity. By interacting with the friendly locals, the traveler can experience first hand ancient crafts, customs and delicious organic food.