Retezat National Park
Retezat National Park is between Transylvania and Oltenia in Romania Hunedoara. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful parks in Romania, and probably even Europe. It covers an area of 380sqkm, and around it another 710 sqkm of protected area. In total there are more than 100 glacier lakes. The maximum height it about 2500m, the Peleaga hight. There are also numerous restricted areas with untouched forest.
Flora and fauna
A third of all plant species from Romania can be found here, and about 130 of them are endangered in Europe. There are also animals like wolves, bears, Lynx, Wildcats, otters, badgers etc.
Accessing from the north is possible through the village of Nucşoara, where you will find a Visitors centre. Information can be found and permits and maps purchased. Leaving the village, the road (DJ 667A, blue stripe) takes you to the cabana Cârnic-Cascadǎ, a good accommodation (cabin). Coming by car, you will have to leave it there as driving is impossible past this point. Parking at the cabana is possible for a fee; yet by carrying on about 200 meters, at the very end of the driveable road, you will find a large open place to park a car for free (there is a large wooden information sign about the Park there).
From that point onwards, one has to walk up to the cabana Pietrele, in the Park, a good point to start long hikes or day walks. A popular access point is Carnic, just after the village of Salasu de sus, near the train station Ohaba de sub Piatra. From Ohaba de sub Piatra there is a guy with a mini van that takes people from the train station to the entrance of the park at Carnic.
A fee of 10 RON per adult is requested to enter the park, this will grant you a pass valid for 7 days. It can be purchased at the Park visitor centre in Nucsoara.
The most popular way to get around is by foot. There are also routes for bikes and the like. Traveling by Jeep or ATV is not allowed and you will have to pay a fine of about 500 Euros if you don't respect this.
You can buy milk and maybe cheese from the cow and shepherds who are in the mountain. They don't speak a word of English, but 5 Lei for 1 Liter of milk is normal. You can also try with cigarettes. Expect to be charged more because you are a foreigner.
You will have to eat the food you take with you. In the small villages around the park you will have a hard time finding food to take with you. You can also eat at a hut for abou 3 Euro a meal
There are refuges, where you can usually stay, especially in the winter. However it can get quite crowded in the summer and you need a reservation.
There are also big huts, like the one at Pietrele (2h from Carnic). Here you can also drink and eat for fair prices (2-3 Euro a meal and 1 Euro a drink). Here it is also good to make a reservation in summer. Do not expect comfort or to be treated like a customer. The prices for lodging are about 5 Euro/person/night, but the rooms are usually for at least 5 people. There is no clear policy about lodging or occupying a room so you will probably have to negotiate with the staff who don't speak a word of English. Maybe another traveler can help you translate, as the travelers are very friendly.
There are camping areas where you are allowed to camp. However do not expect too much, as these area are usually just a place with a sign that says "loc de campare", which means camping area. Usually there are no facilities like toilets, fences etc.
You are not allowed to make a fire, unless you make it in a special fire place. The use of a stove for cooking is allowed though.
Usually you do not have to pay for camping.