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Romania has thousands of lakes and many of them are travel destinations for those of you who enjoy nature, tranquility and plenty of fresh air. We’ve made a top 10 list of the most beautiful lakes in Romania to inspire you in your next travel across the country, including the glacial lakes of Retezat National Park, the blue lakes of Cheile Nerei and the largest artificial and natural dam lakes in Romania.
The blue lake from Cheile Nerei-Beusnita National Park is one of the main attractions of this protected area. Only 284 meters large, but crystal clear blue, this lake gives you the impression of being somewhere else completely. The lake, supplied by an underground karst spring, never changes its color and never freezes.
It’s only three meters deep and so transparent that you’ll see at least one of the lucky trouts who get to swim in its waters. The lake is only half an hour from the waterfalls Beusnitei, another major natural attraction of this national park.
Location: Cheile Nerei-Beusnita National Park, Caras-Severin County. Access: easy walk from Podu Bei
Bucura is the largest glacial lake in the country, 8.8 hectares, and a symbol of Retezat National Park. Located at an altitude of 2,041 meters, Bucura offers one of the best views from the whole range of the Carpathian Mountains. Surrounded by abrupt peaks, reflected on its clear surface, and by smaller glacial lakes, Bucura is one of the most beautiful camping sites from Romania.
Camping here will also give you an easier access to the highest peaks of Retezat, Peleaga (2,509 meters), Papusa (2,508 meters), Retezat (2,482 meters), Bucura I (2,433 meters), Bucura II (2,372 meters) or to the deepest glacial lake from Romania, Zanoaga (27 meters). You’re also a short distance from smaller glacial lakes like Lia, Ana, Viorica and Florica.
Location: Retezat National Park, Hunedoara County. Access: hiking trail from Poiana Pelegii (around 2 hours) or from Pietrele Hut (around 7 hours). Poiana Pelegii is reachable by car from Hateg on DJ 685 to Rotunda Chalet and then by foot.
Izvorul Muntelui or Bicaz is the biggest artificial lake in Romania and is without a doubt one of the most impressive in the country. Located in a panoramic scenery, in the nearby of Bicaz Gorges Natural Park, the lake is seen even from the top of the nearby Ceahlau Mountain.
Also known as the ‘sea from the mountains’ because of its location, the lake is situated on the superior course of the Bistrita River and supplies the hydroelectric power plant Bicaz-Stejaru. The dimensions of this artificial dam are considerable, with 435 meters in length and 127 meters in height, being one of the most important constructions of this type from Romania. The dam was built by the communist regime, and the workforce was sadly supplied by political prisoners, the so-called ‘enemies of the state’.
Location: Bicaz, Neamt County. Access: DN15 road from Piatra Neamt
Cuejdel is the biggest natural dam lake in Romania and Europe. Located in Stanisoarei Mountains, just 25 km from Piatra Neamt, this like has almost 150 hectares, surrounded by pine forests populated by iconic species like the brown bear and the deer.
Photo by Visit Neamt
The lake appeared as the result of successive landslides starting from 1978. This natural dam blocked the entire valley of the Cuejdel River in the early ’90s, after several earthquakes and a period of heavy rains. The volume of Cuejdel Lake, also known as the Lake of the Cross due to its shape, is around one million cube meters and is continuously increasing.
Location: Garcine, Neamt County. Access: The lake can be reached on foot or by car. If you decide to go on foot, and we strongly recommend it, it’s just a short hike from Cuejdel village.
A one of a kind lake in Romania, formed through the collapse of a cave ceiling, this lake should be on anyone’s list of amazing places to see in a lifetime. Located like Ochiul Beiului, in Cheile Nerei-Beusnita National Park, Devil’s Lake is, however, a more off the beaten track attraction.
This turquoise lake, once an underground cave lake, got its name from a local legend of a devil jumping into the lake and eventually drowning after losing a bet with a shepherd.
Location: Cheile Nerei-Beusnita National Park, Caras-Severin County. Access: hiking from Poiana Logor or Podu Bei
This is one of the best-known natural attractions from the Eastern Carpathians. Thousands of people come to see this 11 hectares lake every year, to enjoy the scenery and paddling through the many tree trunks that rise from the water. Formed in the first part of the 19th century, this natural dam lake is located in the valley of the Bicaz River, very close to Ceahlau Mountain and Bicaz Gorges.
The lake is surrounded by three mountains and is the starting point of several easy hiking trails. It’s maybe best to visit during spring or autumn as summers tend to be overcrowded in the area.
Location: Bicaz Gorges, Harghita County. Access: DN12C from Gheorgieni
The scenery of Capra Lake is one of the most rewarding moments after a hike in the high-altitude Fagaras Mountains. This spectacular glacial lake lies 2,241 meters high, on the southern slope of the mountain and its beauty makes it a great camping spot and a must of Fagaras hikes.
With a maximum depth of 11 meters, Capra is considered to be one of the most beautiful glacial lakes in Romania. It offers stunning views of the peaks Buda, Raiosu, Museteica and it’s easy to reach, on average 50 minutes, from the popular Balea Lake (2,037 meters).
Location: Fagaras Mountains, Sibiu County. Access: hiking from Balea Lake, reachable by car on Transfagarasan
A hike to Gales Lake (1,990 meters) is one of the best ways to uncover Retezat National Park where more than one-third of Romania’s glacial lakes are found. Located on a scenic trail that will take you above 2,000 meters, Gales Lake is a representative image for the spectacular nature of the Carpathian Mountains.
Location: Retezat National Park, Hunedoara County. Access: hiking from Pietrele Hut, reachable from Hateg on DN 66 and then 667A from Ohaba de sub Piatra
Taul Tapului is perhaps the most beautiful lake from the many Retezat National Park has, an area also known as the ‘land with blue eyes’. Located under the Closed Gates (Portile Inchise) at 2,070 meters altitude, Taul Tapului has around 2.3 hectares and a maximum depth of six meters.
You’ll recognize it as soon as you’ll see its small green island rising one meter above the water, formed by rock avalanches from the nearby slope.
Location: Retezat National Park, Hunedoara County. Access: a short detour from Gales Lake
Located in the south of the Danube Delta, with a surface of 415 square kilometers, Razim is the biggest lake in Romania. Once a golf of the Black Sea, known as Halmyris in the Antiquity, Razim was formed over a period of 1,000 years as the result of constant alluvial deposits from the Danube and a change in coastal currents.
The damming actions from the communist period closed completely the last communication points with the Black Sea and Razim became an immense freshwater lake supplied by the Danube River through the channel of Sfantu Gheorghe. You can stay in the traditional fishermen villages from its shores, eat delicious fish dishes and explore the ruins of the Greek-Roman fortress from Jurilovca.
These are 10 of the most beautiful lakes in Romania, but you’ll discover more in your travels across Romania.