The Carpathian Mountains are one of the wildest and largest ranges of mountains in Europe; due to its location within Central and Eastern Europe it is not as well known in the UK and other Western European countries, however its wildlife is far more intact than many other mountain ranges. Indeed while it is less well known for those in western Europe, the long drive or flight can be well worth it.
If you’re interested in seeing truly wild landscapes, the long drive is well worth the effort.
50% of the range lies within Romania, however the great arc of the Carpathian mountains also includes 17% in Slovakia and 10% in both Poland and Ukraine. It also includes small portions of the range in the Czech Republic, Serbia and Hungary. Perhaps as a result of so much of this range lying in its country, Romania is home to a big portion of the continents remaining large predators (15% of Europe’s wolves, 35% of the bears and 20% of the lynx).
Roaming any of the Carpathian mountains can be a rewarding experience. We will list some of the highlights lower down the page, however, any part of it will give you a feel of being away from the bustle of modern life.
There are likely to be interesting animals to watch out for, throughout this mountain range. Unfortunately, due to humans destructive behavior some animals range is less than it would be naturally. This is particularly true of the predators, and in this instance the highlighted areas at the bottom of the page should help you choose a location to stay with a wealth of local wildlife. European Bison were also eradicated though a recent Romanian reintroduction effort seems so far to be going well.
Visiting these countries as a tourist can be complex, as much of the infrastructure is young. They certainly are places to stay and and plenty of infrastructure in place, however road surfaces can be terrible. Furthermore once you reach countries like Romania progress can be slow, as there are very few motorways, and roads tend to pass straight through the middle of villages, lowering speed limits to just 40 kilometres an hour. However once you get there, you are met with a view incredibly similar to what you would have seen centuries ago, with vast ancient woodlands and and farms with haystacks and often cut by hand. When we have visited my family have always driven all the way, which is very possible; it is also unfortunately the case that if camping, it is hard to take all your equipment with you on the plane.
Over time, I hope to build up a significant network of places to stay – though in the early days I will be reliant on other more established networks. The reason to want to build a network on this website is simple: people travelling for wildlife often have different priorities for where they stay. While of course these people want to be comfortable and safe, for many of these people they are happy to put up with less creature comforts in order to see the wilderness that is on offer.
Below is a clickable map of the Carpathians, with each click leading to a different page. I will also be building a sightings board. Now, as with other sightings boards it may take time for the sightings boards to gather significant numbers of sightings, though merely adding your own sightings can help you map out where the wildlife feels safest during your holiday.