Wolf Watching Romania | Wildlife

Ideal for wolf watching Romania is quite a dreamland for wildlife lovers. The Eurasian wolf, also known as Canis Lupus, is a protected animal in Romania. There is an estimated number of 5800 wolves living in the Romanian Carpathians, according to the forestry administration. People used to hunt wolves in large numbers during the 20th century and continue to do it. Despite this human habit, the wolf population remained substantial over the years. Actually, Romania is hosting more than 2500 wolves in its forests. International large carnivores research programs have been focusing on preserving the Romanian wolf.

wolf watching Romania wolf hunter
Romanian wolf hunter via retrieverman.net

Wolf Watching Romania | Welcome to a Wildlife Experience

The experience of tracking and observing wildlife in Romania is made possible by teams of professional guides who organize tours. They also took part in conservation projects and are more than willing to share with you the wonders of ecotourism. The brown bear population receives the same mindfulness. Here you can find the best place for bear watching in Romania.

This tour guides you to the fantastic land of Vrancea county in Romania. Up and down the Vrancea Mountains of the Eastern Carpathians you can walk on the tracks of wolfs, bears and wild cats. You can also observe them in their natural habitat from wood shelters.

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Romanian wolves in Suceava county

Here is another tour, in the Transylvanian forest this time. This one is for travelers with a fitness condition, for there are four days spent in this adventure. To increase the chance of seeing wild wolves the tour is available during late autumn and winter. Wolves avoid exposure to humans, but for wolf watching Romania has the best spots. There are visits to local historical places included in the experience, such as Bran Castle and Peleș Castle.

If you want a chance to stay at a local guesthouse in Zărnești and taste the local cuisine along with home-made plum brandy, then this tour is for you. Small groups of people mean you can enjoy it with your family or close friends like a six-day adventure.

Wolves and People | Wolf Watching

Romanian wildlife spreads across the Carpathian Mountains, the Subcarpathian hills and of course in the Danube Delta. Wolves are among the animals that populate forests, and a lot of Romanian tales and legends include them as well.

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Romanian wolf

In 2016 Romania had banned trophy hunting of wolves, bears, lynxes and wild cats. We encourage wolf watching for they are shy animals that rarely attack humans. In fact, they fear them, and they are cautious with new territories.

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Wolf in Bear Sanctuary

The city of Zarnești in Romania host a lot of tourists and travelers who seek bear watching and wolf watching. The bear sanctuary called Libearty Sanctuary is also home to a population of wolves that live far in the woods, with very few approaches to fences. Both children and adults can catch a glimpse of the friendship between wolves and bears at Libearty Sanctuary. It is definitely among the fun things to do in Romania.

When To See Bears in Romania

When to see bears in Romania is probably the first question that pops up in your mind if you are an animal lover or an adventurous traveler. Usually, the season when bears come out of their winter dens is between mid-March and late October. Summer is the time when bears are most active. We recommend organized tours in the Carpathian forest with best chances of viewing and admiring bears between the half of May and the beginning of September. In Transylvania, Zărnești and Brașov cities are the areas most looked for in bear watching. Depending on what time of the year is your visit programmed, you may be able to see the bears surrounded by their little cubs.

when to see bears in Romania Humphrey
Humphrey the bear, a Disney character 

Bear watching in Romania won’t be anything similar to running into a circus animal, for the Carpathian Ursus Arctos is no caricature. Although we think it is fun and adventurous to watch bears in their habitat, children have to prepare for such a task and follow adults. Bears in Brașov and Harghita have been popular for their interaction with the human settlers in the area. For shepherds and bears, it has been a matter of coexistence for hundreds of years.

When To See Bears in Romania | A list of tours

First on our list is Absolute Carpathian, a certified tour operator from Zărnești, Romania. Experts in tracking and observing wildlife, they were part of the Carpathian Large Carnivore Project for four years.

when to see bears in Romania bear family
A bear family | Photo by Zolt Babos

The second one we recommend is a tour that starts in central Brașov with a meeting point at the History Museum in Piața Sfatului. The trip is at sunset. You will be joined by a forest ranger who will bring you one of the many custom designed bear hides.

With our third choice, you can easily book a bear watching short trip for 3 to 4 hours. The tour’s guide is a Romanian wildlife researcher with an experience of over 15 years in the Carpathian Mountains. The National Forest Authority operates the bear observation hideout.

The fourth on our list and the most endearing is an 8-day trekking tour in Transylvania,  Romania. It includes a visit to Bran Castle, hiking to Piatra Craiului National Park, and of course, bear watching as one of the best activities in this area. They say from June to August is when to see bears in Romania.

Fifth and last but not least, is this wildlife experience that offers not only bear watching but also the lynx, wolves, the red deer, and the wild boar.

when to see bears in Romania young bear
A young bear | Photo by Zoltan Gergely Nagy

Conservation projects are essential for ensuring the long-term survival of brown bears in Romania. That is why bear-watching tours also raise awareness on the issue, besides being a fun thing to do.

Spectacular Road Trips Romania | Top 5

Of all the spectacular road trips Romania has to offer, these are for those who travel by car and like to enjoy magnificent sceneries and zigzags across mountains, on lake shores, and along rivers. When it comes to road trips, there is a lot on display. It is worth making plans for road trips in Romania and Kiara has found five of them for you to choose and cruise through.

1.Transfăgărășan

The most popular road of all is the one that connects two historic regions, Transylvania and Wallachia. Sibiu and Pitești cities are thus brought together by this road. There are a lot of attractions on Transfăgărășan: Bâlea, a glacial lake and its Ice Hotel, Bâlea Waterfall. Also, Vidraru Lake and Dam, Poenari Castle, Engineers Gate Monument, and Curtea de Argeș Monastery are other memorable diversions. It is the second highest road in Romania and, according to Top Gear Romania Road experience from 2009, the best in the world. 
Moreover, this spectacular road looks like a race track from above. It snakes across the highest mountain chain in the country, the Făgăraș Mountains. Not to mention, it is lovely to drive through its five tunnels during the open season, from July to November.

spectacular road trips Romania Transfagarasan
Transfăgărășan by Radu Bogza
spectacular road trips Romania Vidraru Lake
View of Vidraru Dam

2. Transalpina

Being above the clouds in a car is no ordinary thing to do. In Romania, on the highest road in the country, one can make this dream come true. Transalpina reaches an altitude of 2145m above the sea level. King’s Road or Transalpina was reconstructed by the year 1938. King Carol II and his family inaugurated it with a road trip. With a length of 148 km, the highway renders numerous captivating spots. Near Novaci city, where the road begins, a legend-preserving cave and a 500 years old monastery, both called Polovragi, are waiting for your arrival 15 km away. A unique site on this exciting road trip is the Rânca Adventure Park, another fantastic target for kids and adults.

spectacular road trips Romania Transalpina
Transalpina by Makidun @Shuttershock
spectacular road trips Romania Polovragi
View of the Eastern Tower of Polovragi Monastery
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Adventure Park in Rânca

3. Trans-Semenic

Almost four years ago, of all the spectacular road trips Romania had to offer, this one was a mountain road opened for enthusiastic drivers and locals. For those who needed a shortcut from Valiug and Gărâna to another road called Slatina-Timiș, the 36 km highway made a fantastic difference. Trans-Semenic goes through the Caraș-Severin forest. Sometime in July, every year, Gărâna Jazz Festival, a family-friendly festival, makes the road seem even more irresistible. Kiara recommends a stop by the Bigăr Waterfall for its beauty and magic.

spectacular road trips Romania Trans-Semenic
Trans-Semenic via Munții Carpați
spectacular road trips Romania Bigar
Bigăr Waterfall

4. Spectacular road trips Romania | The Danube Gorge

On the side of the Danube Gorge, there is a road that takes you on an unforgettable adventure. This way is also known as DN 75. You are probably wondering why the Danube Gorge is so spectacular. We will tell you that the Danube river narrows its stream to 230 m for about 9 km on its course. This narrowing also makes it faster, and it gives the impression that the water is boiling. Thus the Danube Gorge has two places called the Danube Boilers. Visiting the Veterani Cave and the Ponicova Cave are great ways to spend time on the road.

spectacular road trips Romania Danube
Source: www.cartitaplimbareata.ro
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Decebal Statue Danube Romania

5. The Bicaz Canyon

What better way to visit The Bicaz Canyon and the Red Lake located in the middle of a beautiful road than to follow that road? Many tourists visit these beautiful wonders of nature, especially during the warm seasons. Therefore this spectacular road trip may very well start on both sides of the Inner Eastern Carpathians: either from Brașov and Miercurea Ciuc via Gheorghieni, either from Piatra Neamț in Moldova.

spectacular road trips Romania The Bicaz Canyon
The Bicaz Canyon by Zoltan Nyaradi via Flickr
spectacular road trips Romania the red lake
The Red Lake via Flickr

For at least one of these spectacular road trips Romania is a must if you choose to travel through Europe with your car or just rent one. We hope you dare to visit magical places in the Carpathian Mountains.

Spiral Temple Adventure

So, dear friend, I invite you to pack your bags. We are about to go on the Spiral Temple Adventure together. Yes, you heard me right. It’s an old magical temple, carved in a cave. You won’t find much information about it on the Internet, but trust me, we are talking about thousands of years of history.

Spiral Temple Adventure cave

It’s a sunny Sunday morning, and we reach the place by car. Near the old cave, the Weirds Monastery awaits. As we exit our vehicle, we hear the priest singing. Consequently, the villagers gather inside and outside the church. They are all singing.

What an enchanting place this is! With birds singing, a lot of trees,🌳 wooden fences, a church and even a sacred cave. Also, there is a blessed refreshing water spring the adventurous traveler can try. Let’s try it! ♒

As we enter the temple, we arrive in the first chamber. Looking up, we can notice the stone is carved into a spiral form. The light goes down into the temple in circles through the spiral. It’s pure light.

I close my eyes and make a wish. Since here there is a custom to make wishes in sacred places or fountains, why not? 🌠

Spiral Temple Adventure | A History

We found out from the monks. This temple has different names like “The Temple of Destiny,” “The Temple of Wishes.” Once a spiritual crossing point at the border with The Austro-Hungarian Empire, The Șinca Veche Rupestral Monastery, in Brașov county, is an astonishing creation.

It is thought to have originated 7000 years ago. Some say it was carved in stone. And that would be an astonishing work. Different other galleries and chambers have disappeared over this extended period. It was discovered in 1742, according to some historical sources. Fortunately, the spiral of light in the temple and the altars used by monks inside are accessible for visitors like us too.

The Spiral Temple is a place where different people from all over the country come to address their wishes and prayers to God. By chance, we get to watch them write down names and wishes on pieces of paper and then stick them on the walls. The atmosphere is very spiritual here at the Destiny Temple or Mănăstirea Ursitelor as Romanians call it.

Then I notice a woman is praying to my left. She put her hands on the cold stone marked with an unknown sign, something like an hourglass. We all want to stay in the circle of light that comes from the spiral behind us. I wait my turn silently…⏳

The second chamber is a darker room. It has a hall, and the light from the spiral comes here too, but more powerful and in smaller circles of light. It’s a chamber of silence. I close my eyes and remain in the bright spot. One can feel how time stops.  My experience was incredibly close to hearing all the uttered prayers the cave encapsulated for hundreds of yearsIt feels magical and pure. 

A Spiritual Adventure at the Destiny Temple

Subsequently, my daughter joins me into the dark room, and she starts to run in circles around the circle of light formed inside the chamber. It’s a kind of tribal dance. We look stunned at her movements. It is such a profound moment. ♣

Into the third chamber, we are not allowed to enter. It is the darkest one. We can look into it, but the light is not helping us. If we make pictures, it is better. It has an altar within it.

The signs of Yin and Yang and the Star of David are present in the Altar. The Yin & Yang symbol is inside the Star of David.

A picture of a man is near these symbols. Don’t we know how old this picture is? Who is the man? But we notice that he is standing with his back to these symbols.

It is a place of acceptance. Admittedly we all have Yin and Yang inside us. We all have light and dark, feminine and masculine, good and bad. We are one. These are just faces of the same thing. 

I take a deep breath. The air is wet and sacred. I love this place ♠. True Spiral Temple Adventure, indeed.

Other symbols | The Spiral Temple Adventure continues

Then, I said to myself that I should keep up with my journey. As I step outside the temple, the mind starts to create questions and seek answers.

Why is this symbol of Yin and Yang here? Why is the Start of David here? And most important. Why is the Yin and Yang symbol inside the Star of David?

These are not common symbols in the local tradition. Who is the man drawn? Why is the stone of the temple so different than the other rocks around this place? Nothing is written around.

Some old stories mention something about a nearby Dacian settlement. No other clues.

I stopped to drink some cold water from the water spring in the vicinity. The water came so refreshing me. Finally, I take this moment with me and continue my journey. See you there!

You can make your wish, have good thoughts and then embark on a trip to Romania to experience a Spiral Temple adventure.

For more Kiara Yew Adventures follow our Top Destinations.