The Retezat Mountains (Romanian: Munţii Retezat) are one of the highest massifs in Romania, being part of the Southern Carpathians. The highest peak is Peleaga (Vârful Peleaga), at an altitude of 2509 metres. The Retezat Mountains have many glacial lakes, including the largest glacial lake in Romania, Bucura Lake (Lacul Bucura), which covers 8.9 ha and is situated at an altitude of 2030 meters. The area also contains the Retezat National Park, Romania’s first national park. One of the specific features of the Retezat mountains is the wide spread presence of glacier lakes. Approximately 38% of the glacier lakes of Romania are found here, on the bottom of calderas, grouped in lake clusters or isolated, and are one of the biggest tourist attraction of the park. Within the massif limits, there are 58 permanent glacier lakes, between 1700m and 2300m. Some sources mention over 80 lakes, but here are most likely included the temporary ones as well.
Of the approximately 3500 plant species that are found in Romania, over a third (about 1200) can be found here. This is mainly the reason why this area was declared a National park. There are over 90 plant species that are endemic to this area.
Over 185 species of birds, more than half of the species that can be found in Romania, visit the park. Out of these, over 122 species nest here. There are 55 species of mammals within the park range.
There are favorable conditions here for some of Europe’s biggest predators to survive: the gray wolf, the brown bear and the Eurasian lynx; some big herbivores like the chamois, red deer and the roe deer, while small carnivores such as the wildcat and the European otter can also be found here.