World's Greatest Places 2021
The Fagaras Mountains are a section of the Southern Carpathian Mountains in Romania.
Courtesy Dan Dinu
July 20, 2021 6:35 AM EDT

Formerly endangered by the illegal clear-cutting of forests and excessive hunting, Southern Carpathia’s magical Fagaras Mountains are now center stage of efforts in Romania toward establishing a new national park. Nearly 3 million saplings have already been planted on reclaimed land, and animal populations are increasing too, with the reintroduction of bison in 2020. Foundation Conservation Carpathia is partnering with Steppes Travel and the European Nature Trust to run trips in the region, where a percentage of the proceeds from each booking gets poured back into rewilding and restoration projects. Combining stays in remote wildlife hides with nights at the family-run Amfiteatrul eco-resort, guests are invited here to experience the “Yellowstone of Europe.” August 2021 will also see the return of Fagaras Fest: a celebration of the area’s natural heritage, culture and biodiversity. —Hannah Foster-Roe

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