Piatra Craiului

Piatra Craiului is one of the most picturesque mountains in Romania, being an important area for hiking and climbing.

The massif is situated in the south-eastern part of Transylvania, orientated north – south and is part of the Southern Carpathians. It is bordered by Dambovita valley to the west, by Barsa River to the north - west and Curmatura Foii valley separates it from Fagaras Mountains. In the east the Rucar-Bran pass makes the border with Bucegi and Leoata mountains and their southern end is in Podu Dambovitei valley.

Piatra Craiului is a limestone massif with a crystalline basis. Over the crystalline layer there are sedimentary rocks, limestone and few conglomerates.

The narrow and saw-like ridge, about 22 km long, extends between Podu Damboviţei and Zărnesti. It is naturally divided into three subunits: Piatra Mică (in the north), Piatra Craiului (the main ridge) and Pietricica (in the south). The maximum height is reached in the central part (Piscul Baciului Peak, 2238 m), both ends being under 1900 m high.

Flora consists in beech and mixed forests on the lower level, spruce on the mid level and dwarf pine, junipers and blue berries in the upper level. The limestone walls offer protection for Edelweiss and some endemic species.

Fauna is represented by foxes, deer, brown bears, wolfs, wild cats, chamois, as well as mountain cocks and eagles.

The massif is protected, being a National Park, with an increasing population of brown bears. During the summer large crowds of tourists arrive, driven here by the fabulous landscape, and some by the passion for highs.