The Ceahlau Massif

The Ceahlau Massif is one of the most notorious mountains of Romania with 19,523 acres / 7,742 ha. It is part of the Bistrita Mountains range of the Eastern Carpathians division, in Neamt County, in the Moldavia region.

The two most important peaks are Toaca (1904 m altitude) and Ocolasul Mare (1907 m altitude). It is bounded to the east by the Bistrita River and Lake Bicaz, to the south by the Bicaz River. From the south, the main access point is the village of Izvorul Muntelui, located 12 km north from the town of Bicaz. To the north, Mount Ceahlau is also accessible from Durau.

There are many legends about the Ceahlau Massif and speculations regarding its possible reverence for the ancient Dacians; as a consequence it is often called “The Romanian Olympus.” Ceahlau was considered to be the sacred mountain of Zalmoxis, the ancient deity of the Dacians.

Ceahlau National Park shelters a large variety of flora and fauna; some of the species are endemic or rarely seen elsewhere in Romania. Here you cand find edelweiss or “floare de colt” a protected species in Romania since 1933.

Fossil limestone, the rock formations Dochia, Cusma Dorobantului, and the Duruitoarea waterfall are just some of the main attractions in the park.

Mount Ceahlau is a popular hiking destination in Romania. There are seven main marked trails built for hikers and tourists. There are entering fees for visiting Ceahlau National Park, and fines for non respecting park’s regulations. The park is monitored by local rangers and there is also a mountain rescue service (Salvamont). There are ski slopes located at Durau. Camping is permitted only in a few designated places: in Durau, near Dochia Chalet and in Izvorul Muntelui.

Source: wikipedia.org

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