The Southern Carpathians

-Wild, remote and filled with adventure-

Home to amazing wildlife including wolves, bear and Eurasian lynx this great destination offers hiking, biking and wildlife watching for the nature loving enthusiasts. After many years, these Romanian mountains are now home to one of Europe's only free roaming bison populations.

Explore the area

Along the southern end of Romania's arcing Carpathian Mountains, some of the continent's largest wilderness landscapes are the perfect setting for a true European safari, boasting diverse wildlife, memorable experiences and the chance to connect with nature. Rugged mountain chains, mixed forest and beautiful rivers provide a magnificent playground for intrepid travellers.

Plopu Valley – near the village of Armenis – represents the border between wild nature and the cultivated lands of local communities. Plopu is frequented by bears in search of the spring harvest, as well as bison grazing in the meadows. 

Track free-roaming bison and other wildlife with a local guide, before spending each night sitting around the campfire listing to ancient ales and legends.

Now a rewilding stronghold, this area has seen over 100 bison returned to the wild – free to roam the Țarcu Mountains. If wildlife tracking isn’t the only activity on your wish list, the area also has great hiking, mountain biking and photographic opportunities.

Local communities have developed small tourism offerings over the last few years, and now these are flourishing. Every guest travelling to the region helps these small community businesses and directly supports rewilding.

Rewilding efforts

Bringing bison back: The European bison (or wisent) disappeared from Romania about 200 years ago. Since 2013, Rewilding Europe and WWF Romania have been working together in the Southern Carpathians rewilding area to reintroduce this iconic species. The first two bison releases took place in 2014 and 2015. The total number of bison in the area, taking into account deaths and births, was 30 by the end of 2017.

Growing community-based enterprises; The economic focus of rewilding efforts in the Tarçu Mountains involves supporting local enterprises and the development of a nature-based economy, with jobs and revenue connected to wild nature.

Supporting future nature entrepreneurs; In and around the Southern Carpathians rewilding area the ongoing bison reintroduction is already having a significant economic and social impact. A refurbished visitor centre in Armeniş now educates people on bison ecology and trophic chains and sells locally produced handicrafts and souvenirs. A refurbished wilderness cabin near Armeniş opened in 2017, with another cabin, two wildlife hides and a larger “hillock retreat” in the village of Plopu all in progress.

Read more about our work in the Southern Carpathians here