Home to geological wonders like ‘The Iron Gates’, glacial lakes, rivers, gorges, national parks and other notable geological monuments, this European mountain range is nature’s very own masterpiece that leaves each and every one of its visitors wide-eyed in awe.
The Carpathian Mountain range stretches across Central and Eastern Europe, forming a crescent for about 932 miles, covering an area of 73,359 square miles.
This mountain range extends across seven countries, namely, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, Serbia, and Romania which takes the lion’s share.
After the Alps, it is the second most extensive mountain chain in Europe and is divided into three major sections – the Eastern, the Southern and the Western Carpathians.
The Eastern Carpathians
It runs through southeastern Poland, eastern Slovakia, Ukraine and Romania, and is the longest chain of mountains out of the three. It encompasses several national parks which can be explored via hiking, on a bicycle or on foot.
The Bicaz Gorges offer some of the most steepest and challenging rock climbing routes in the country.
The Southern Carpathians
Also known as the Transylvanian Alps, it stretches across Romania and Serbia. This mountain range has got a lot in store for hardcore hikers, rock climbers and mountain bikers.
Retezat National Park is the rockiest group of mountains in the Southern Carpathians and is an excellent ground for rock climbing, hiking and mountaineering.
The Western Carpathians
This range runs through Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary and is characterized by the lowest elevation mountains of the Romanian Carpathian.
It is home to numerous tiny and hospitable villages in the valleys of Romania and Ukraine, caves, karst formations and breathtaking national parks like the Nera Gorge-Beușnița and the Semenic-Caraș Gorge.
Tatras is a chain of the tallest mountains within the Carpathian, the highest peaks soaring higher than 2,600 meters. This range is located on the border of Slovakia and Poland.
Gerlachovský štít aka Gerlach is the highest peak in the High Tatras range of Slovakia. Its elevation is 2,655 meters (8,711 ft) high.
The vegetation of the Carpathians includes around 1350 species - rhododendron, green alder, pine, maple, oak, honeysuckle, willow and juniper being the most commonly found.
The mountains, especially the Romanian Carpathians, flaunt a rich wildlife that includes wolves, chamois, rare lynx, brown bears, deers, foxes, butterflies and several species of beetle.
Cities Near the Carpathian Mountains
Kraków and Zakopane in Poland, Brașov, Sibiu and Maramureș County in Romania, Bratislava and Košice in Slovakia and Uzhhorod in Ukraine are some of most beautiful cities worth visiting while one is exploring the Carpathians.
Cable Car Tour
If you are not big on hiking or rock climbing, you can explore the mountains and gawk at its vastness and scenic beauty by taking a cable car tour at one of the many ski resorts in the Carpathian Mountains.