Buila-Vânturarita National Park is the smallest of Romania’s National Parks, situated in the central-northern part of Vâlcea County in the Capatânii Mountains, a subgroup of the Southern Carpathians. It has a total area of 42 km2 (~16 sq mi) and features mountain peaks, including the two highest, after which it is named – Buila Peak, 1849 m (~6,066 ft) and the Vânturarita Mare Peak, 1885 m (~6,184 ft). There are also forests and caves.
Forested areas comprise oak, beech, European ash, pine, Norway spruce, fir, European yew, Scots pine, linden and birch. Flora include the protected edelweiss, lady’s slipper and rare species of orchids and anemones.
Fauna include the brown bear, deer, gray wolf, lynx and grey squirrel, as well as eight species of bat (including the barbastelle, the lesser mouse-eared and the brown long-eared bats). Bird species include the Western capercaillie, white-crowned wheatear, red kite, red-footed falcon and wallcreeper.
Although the smallest of Romania’s national parks, there are amazing landscapes in its preserved wilderness and unexplored caves for hiking, sight-seeing, camping and landscape photography. There are 19 marked hiking trails of varying lengths and for different abilities. Popular sights include the untouched forests, Bat Cave, Bistrita Gorges and Costesti gorges.
These gorges are also particularly noted for rock climbing, with routes available from learners to even the most experienced climbers.