7 reasons to visit Macin National Park. Easy day-hikes in Romania’s Oldest Mountains
The Macin Mountains in Romania are not tall, but nevertheless spectacular, perfect for a one or two-day family hike.
1. Amazing scenery
The Macin Mountains rise over 300 meters from the surrounding flat plains. This makes them spectacular and accessible at the same time.
They are not part of the Carpathians range. The Macin Mountains are twice as old as the Carpathians. The erosion they endured over the ages has shrunk them to the dwarf mountains they are today.
The highest peak in the Macin Mountains is Varful Tutuiatu (467 m).
2. Kid friendly hiking trails
With so many flowers, interesting rock formations and breathtaking (but safe) ridges, visiting the Macin National Park makes a perfect family adventure.
Hiking in the Macin Mountains is easy and pleasant. The trails are not very steep, just perfect if you’re looking for a slightly vigorous, but not completely strenuous walk in nature.
The fastest way to get to Varful Tutuiatu is from the village of Greci. It is an easy 2-hour hike to the top.
One of the most spectacular trails in the Macin Mountains is the Pricopan Heights trail that will take you on a beautiful walk on the Creasta Pricopanului ridge.
3. Sunny weather
The weather in the Macin Mountains is much warmer and dryer than the other parts of Romania.
While the highest peaks in the Carpathians may still be covered in snow, it will already be summer in Macin. It doesn’t rain much either.
The best time to visit the Macin National Park is from the beginning of April to middle of June and then from the end of August to late autumn, otherwise it may be too hot for you during the day (except for the winter months, of course).
4. Wild peonies, roses, butterflies and tortoises
A great way to discover the rich vegetation is by hiking on the Cozluk trail. The best time to visit is in May, when the wild peonies, roses and many other flowers are in full bloom.
You will meet a lot of friendly butterflies and other interesting insects.
If you go hiking in the morning, changes are you will spot the spur-thighed tortoise (Testudo graeca ibera). It lives around 100 years and is one of the many protected species in the Macin National Park.
The Macin National Park is home to many protected species of plants and and animals, so, in order to protect the nature, please:
- do not leave the marked trails
- do not peak any flowers
- do not make loud noises
- do not play with the tortoises
5. Macin are the oldest mountains in Romania
The Macin mountains are not part of the Carpathians range. They have formed around 100 million years before the Carpathians, in the Late Paleozoic (250 million years ago).
The rise of the Macin Mountains was the result of the two gigantic continents of Euramerica (Laurussia) and Gondwana colliding and forming the supercontinent of Pangaea. Isn’t that impressive?
This moutain-building event is known as the Variscan or Hercynian orogeny.
It is thought that the Macin Mountains were over 3000 meters high, but they were eroded over the millions of years until they were reduced to their current size.
6. The Macin Mountains are perfect for trail running
With a beautiful scenery and with not very steep trails, the Macin mountains are great for improving your uphills runs.
There is a trail running race in the Macin Mountains that takes place every year at the begging of May.
7. Camping is allowed at the foot of the Macin Mountains
You are allowed to set your tent at the start of the Pricopan Heights and Cozluk trails.
This means you can get an early start and enjoy an amazing sunrise from the top.
It can be considered wild camping, since there aren’t any facilities except some portable toilets or latrines.
The best hiking trails in the Macin National Park
Now, if we convinced you that hiking in the Macin National Park is definitely something you should do while visiting Romania, here are the best hiking trails in the Macin Mountains:
1. Hike to Varful Tutuiatu – the highest peak in the Macin Mountains
2. The Cozluk trail – wild roses and peonies in May
3. The Pricopan heights – spectacular walk on the Culmea Pricopanului ridge
4. Trail running in the Macin Mountains – Tutuiatu, Toaca, Negoiu and Piatra Mare peaks