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A spectacular wild landscape greets you in Rodna Mountains, a land of beauty that surprises you every time. Rich in waterfalls, lakes, mineral water springs and caves, covered by stones that seem painted with bronze; they form a vast imposing citadel full of charm and mystery. For the common tourist, the heights of the massif, reaching the maximum level of 2303 m, can be hard to conquer. But along the trails, picturesque landscapes will reveal themselves, making the traditions from Maramures known to you. Among paths hackneyed by alpinists, the shepherds carry on their customs inherited from their ancestors. In summer, at sunset, among the sounds of bells and the barking of dogs, you will hear endearing oat songs; you can hear them from welcoming places, where you will be asked to stay to serve a meal and listen to mountain stories. In autumn, when the fresh green gets rusty shades, the flocks descend in lowland, and peace settles in.

Every season, the vast grasslands of Rodna Mountains are very generous with tourists. Even during winter, when the snowpack creates difficulties in travelling through trails, you will find places on the mountain shielded from the wind, where you can set your tent. The rest of the year, you can admire the specially rich and diverse flora and fauna. In the spruce forests can be seen footprints of bears and deer and heard woodpeckers. With the mountains in the background, the free and cheerful troops of horses run on the green grasslands, which contrast with the white of the highest crests. We invite you to discover the extreme north of Romania and the genuine mountain scenery, where nature has kept its wild side.

Ineu Peak


Rodna Mountains

Rodna Mountains National Park

Between the waters Somesul Mare, Viseu and Bistrita, warded by the Pietrosul, Ineu, Ineut and Red Peaks, Rodna Mountains will offer you a spectacular representation. The impact of the glaciers is visible even at present through the numerous forms that confer originality to the landscape: glacier lakes, valleys and tors. Across time, 23 smaller or bigger alpine lakes have formed, some of them more well-known due to the nearness to the touristic routes - Big Lala, the most vast and the most beautiful from Rodna Mountains, Small Lala, Stiol, Iezerul Pietrosului and Taurile Buhaiescu, the deepest lake from these mountains.

Buhaiescu Springs, known under the names The Upper Iezer, The Middle Iezer and The Lower Iezer, are positioned in the form of a waterfall, the one from upstream powering up the ones from downstream. Warded on the boggy shores by blocks of rock covered by junipers, the lakes are populated with trout. You reach them by following the route that leads to Iezerul Pietrosul or through the Wine Valley, the Nedei peak and coming down on the crest through Tarnita at the Cross.

Rodna Mountains National Park has several reservations created to protect the alpine flora and fauna. Among these, the scientific reservation Pietrosul Mare shelters rare species such as: edelweiss, sweet pea. Large clumps of juniper are populated by grouse, mountain eagles and marmots, and if you are lucky, in the upper basin of Fountain Valley you can see slender and indefatigable chamois. Here, in Pietroasa Valley, under the peak with the same name, nature has put to shelter one of the most beautiful lakes in the Eastern Carpathians, Iezerul Pietrosului.  Its contour looks like the map of Romania and the clear water reflects the towering crests of the mountain. You can reach the tarn on different routes: the easiest start from Borsa, following Pietroasei Valley to the Turnu-Rosu saddle or on Tisa runlet; a longer road, but novel, starts from Sacel, reaches Taul Muced and cuts through Buhaiescu and Rebei peaks until Pietrosului saddle.

The spectacle of nature at a high altitude can be admired in the reservations Piatra Rea, which is especially protected for the abundance of edelweiss flowers, the Cave and the Intermittent Blue Spring of Iza and Ineu-Lala. Watched by the giant peaks Red (2113 m), Ineut (2222 m) and Ineu (2279 m), Lala appears as an oasis of greenery and quiet at the end of the climb among cliffs and junipers. The immense and blue shine of the lake has a perfect pentagonal shape and it is surrounded by the rare lilac flowers of the rhododendron, which tame the view. On the huge plateau with thick grass you can set your tent to spend the night, because on the mountain there are no accommodation units. The gorgeous place and the atmosphere which is more than often calm, sends away any worry; and at sunrise, the clouds slowly discover the mountains, creating a marvelous  game of shadows and light.

Another wealth of the Rodna Mountains are the caves, the bigget ones being The Blue Spring of Iza, Tausoare Spring, Schneider’s Bath, Zalion’s Trough. Mountaineers will find here everything they want: lakes, waterfalls, grottoes, good places for camping and dry junipers perfect for the night campfire.

Rodna Mountains


Lala Mare Lake


Pietrosul Rodnei

The Legends of Rodna Mountains

Near the touristic resort called Borsa, at the national park’s entrance, in especially picturesque scenery, Rodna Mountains reveal one of the most impressive waterfalls from our country. The Horses’ Cascade is formed of water resulted from the melting of snow and of rain, it gathers in a glacier cirque and from there it falls down in three successive stairs. Located at 1300 m high, the noisy cascade and cliffs from the area represent a great attraction for alpinists. You can get there either from Borsa or by going on a pleasant walk on paths or by chair lift. According to the legends, the name of the cascade comes from something that happened here a long time ago. They say that in the old days the locals kept their troops of horses on the Piatra Rea Mountain from the beginning of spring until late autumn. The only threat was the bear, which used to attack the animals on an open field. One dark night, on a clinking storm, the beast came again to prey on its food. Frightened, the horses galloped towards the valley, but they took the wrong way and they all fell down in the cascade’s ravine. Hence, the mountain, the spring and the cascade bear their name. The landscape is charming, it will make you lose the notion of time; in winter you need special equipment to get here, because the snowpack is very thick and deceptive.

On one tributary of Somesul Mare, at the feet of Suhard Mountains, surrounded by the coolness of fir forests, there is The Fairy’s Meadow, a place that hides many tales. The elders say that the Good Fairy carries the sheep from one mountain to another in order to give more milk. They say that every year, after measuring the sheep, the fairy comes and takes the sheep, and the dogs accompany her without barking. Before dawn, the sheep are brought back; none ever missed. The villagers also say that the fairy doesn’t let people follow her and that often she tried to lure young shepherds with her sweet voice and beauty. Under the foot of Peak Omu flows the Fairy’s Runlet, where they bathe shielded from the looks of human beings. Sometimes they are playful and blow the haystack up to the sky, giving up only when the peasants say the disenchantment.

Another legend of the Rodna Mountains is connected to the Red Spring, situated on the Wine Valley. Under Ineu Peak, it flows discreetly, having its roots in the core of history. They say that during the great invasion from 1241-1242, the Tartars reached right under the eaves of the mountain, passing the stone walls and the moats meant to stem the invasion. Going down the valley with strong hoof beat, they ran into a girl who was tending the sheep and demanded her to show them the way to the citadel. Frightened, the girl obeyed and led the horde on the Wine Valley, where the people from Rodna were ready for battle. Surrounded by adversaries, the Tartars started slaying, and the first blood that was spilled in the runlet that day was of the young girl. The locals say that even nowadays, at night, the quietness of the Red Spring is broken by voices in languages that have not been heard ever before and that the soul of the girl watches over the citadel’s wealth  even today, not discovered by the barbarians.

Rodna Mountains


Rodna Mountains


Lala Mare Lake

Explore Rodna Mountains

They say that the Rodna Mountains are the most challenging mountains in the country and that their uphills are difficult to trek. The beaten tracks don’t by-pass any peaks and create difficulties even for the mountaineers. Despite this, mountain lovers and those who love wild beauty dare to go hiking. You can discover the massif’s objectives either by starting from Setref or Rotunda Cloughs, or from Borsa. Most tourists choose the resort, being the perfect place for a relaxing holiday, in which you can benefit from the air rich in ozone and the mineral springs. For hikers, you need a well-equipped backpack with adequate gear and physical endurance. We recommend you several trails, which mark the main touristic objectives of the massif.

The route Ineu Peak - Saddle with Lake - Taul Lala Mare - Ineut’s Saddle (2 hours). The route is not accessible in winter, and if the weather surprises you on the mountain, 15 minutes away from Lala Mare there is a sheepfold where you can find shelter and the company of shepherds who know many mountain stories.

The route the Mouth of the Fountain - Prislop Clough (4-5 hours). The difference in altitude of about 600 m is done in a continuous climb, which during winter is done on the roadway. In both points several trails intersect, so when you’re going down you can check other objectives as well.

The route The Mouth of the Fountain - The Fountain’s Valley - The Horses’ Spring - The Horses’ Waterfall - Tiol Meadow - Prislop Clough (5-6 hours). During summer the trail is done easily; at the Mouth of the Fountain there is a chalet and a hotel, and along the road you will find three sheepfolds where you may ask for shelter.

The route Borsa - Ulita Pietroasa - The Meteor’s Chalets - Taul Pietrosul - The Saddle Under Pietrosul Mare - The Anticline of Pietrosul Mic - Rebra’s Peak - Buhaiescu Mare Peak (8 hours). The only difficulties are the big level differences. On favourable weather, the trail is accessible for skiers.

The route The Mouth of the Fountain - The Spring’s Bridge - Under The Stiol Peak - Stiol Meadow - Gargalau’s Saddle - Gargalau’s Houses - the former Anies collony - The Big Anies Spring - Anies’ Valley - The Commune Anies (12-14 hours). The circuit is recommended to be covered in two days, providing opportunities for shelter either at sheepfolds or at Gargalau homes. On calm weather skiers can improve their skills on this route.

Rodna Mountains


Rodna Mountains

If you decide to adventure on Rodna Mountains, charge your batteries some time before you start hiking. On the plateau you will find places to rest and serve meals in the middle of the nature. The dreamy panorama will take your breath away and will make you forget quickly about tiredness. As a matter of fact, you energize as soon as you see horses running loose on the meadows, enjoying freedom. With clear and cold waters, the towering crests pierce the sky, the abrupt paths and fresh air; Rodna Mountains fill you with energy and make you promise you will come again to discover their other mysteries.

[An article written by Andreea Bertea]