Ciucas Mountains: Breathtaking Views in the Land of Karst

Diana Condrea
Diana Condrea
Diana is a tourism consultant, tour guide, travel writer and amateur photographer. You can find Diana on LinkedIn

If you’d like to go hiking in Romania, check our adventure tours

Explore the amazing karst relief of Ciucas Mountains, the best alternative if you’re planning easy and fun family hikes in Romania. Located between the Eastern and Southern Carpathians, Ciucas Mountains are taller than the nearby mountains, reaching a maximum altitude of 1,954 meters on Ciucas Peak, having nonetheless hiking trails you can easily do even if you’re a beginner.

Ciucas Mountains

Ciucas Mountains

Unique karst formations that make Ciucas special

Bordered by Teleajenului and Tarlungului Valleys, these mountains are best-known for the unusual and iconic karst formations that made them one of the most popular hiking destinations in the region. The most impressive of these geological attractions are Tigaile Mari and Tigaile Mici, Turnul lui Goliat (Goliat’s Tower), Babele la Sfat (Old Women Talking), Mana Dracului (Devil’s Hand). All these tall cliffs, weirdly shaped over time by winds and precipitation, are located in the northern part of the plateau, close to the highest peak.

Carpathians

Hikers on Ciucas Peak

Rare wildlife in Ciucas Mountains

Many wildlife species live in the area of Ciucas Mountains, from large carnivore species like bears, lynx, wolves to the agile chamois and deer. Bird species like the Finch, the Nightingale, the Blackbird, or the Golden Eagle nest in this area. Wild horses are also a common sight but do your best not to scare or bother them.

Ciucas Mountains

Shepherd, Ciucas Mountains

Hiking along its trails, you’ll also come across a variety of wildflowers like the Primrose, the Easter Flower, the Bluebell, the Spring Gentian, the Field Pansy, or the Edelweiss. You’ll cross dense beech, ash, and birch forests before reaching the higher altitudes of the dark spruce forests.

Hiking trails for everyone

You can choose from 12 hiking trails depending on the season, your free time, and your departing point. Most trails start from a local mountain resort, Cheia, easily reached from Bucharest or Brasov. If you depart early morning, a full summer day should be enough even with kids to reach the highest peak and come back before dark. Still, you can also spend the night halfway up in the mountain chalet Ciucas.

Check Muntii Nostrii for detailed hiking trails.

ciucas mountain

Ciucas Mountains in winter

The perfect option for beginner hikers or families looking to have a fun day on mountain trails, Ciucas Mountains are definitely one of the most beautiful and spectacular parts of the Carpathian range. Popular, but not nearly as crowded as Bucegi Mountains, breathtaking without being exhausting, Ciucas offers the ultimate carefree hike in the Carpathians.

Travel tips

Always check the weather before you start your hike.

Buy a detailed hiking map, while the trails are not difficult, getting lost is no fun in the mountains.

For the most scenic views of the karst formations, plan to catch the sunset or the sunrise on the top.

Discover the hiking routes from the Carpathians with this great guidebook The Mountains of Romania.

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