BUTA RAVINE – RETEZAT MOUNTAIN

Buta ravine is situated in the south part of Retezat mountain, at the exit of Câmpu Lui Neag town from the Jiu Valley, in Hunedoara county – it is a place that the local tourists know little about, but is highly appreciated by those from the western countries, for the virgin aspect of the land.
Carved out of calcareous sediments (from the Jurassic period), the ravine represents a sequence of sinuous meanders, with steep walls that have in some places 100 m in height – perfect for climbing enthusiasts.
Another attraction is the extensive network of dry and active caves, natural dams and impressive waterfalls that flow through the gutters made by Buta (the water that flows from Retezat mountains) which, over the years has dug profoundly into the rock forming the spectacular ravines.
There are also tourist trails that start from the Buta Ravine. Most of this are recommended for practicing only in the summer season:

  • Buta Ravine – Bucura Lake (walking time 9 to 10 hours)
  • Buta Ravine – Piatra Iorgovanului Summit (walking time 7 to 9 hours)
  • Buta Ravine – Stânca (belvedere point)
  • Fâneţe (walking time 30-45 minutes)

The ski slope is at an altitude of 1000 m, where there is a center of equipment rental. The white season lasts from December until March.
For the visitors who come from the south of the country, after following the Jiu canyon, they have to turn left at the first intersection. They would have to drive through all of the cities Aninoasa, Vulcan, Lupeni and Uricani and then through the villages Valea de Brazi and Câmpu lui Neag – they will encounter an indicator to the right for Buta Ravine.
This road leads to the entrance of the Ravine being practicable through the whole year. For the visitors who come from Deva, they would have to pass through Petroşani from north to south and then they will enter the intersection that leads straight to Lupeni.
Then they would follow the route described above. When the works at the 66A road will be complete, the ravine can be followed all the way to Băile Herculane.

JIU CANYON NATIONAL PARK

It is a protected area of national interest corresponding to the second category of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), situated in the southwest of the country, on the Gorj and Hunedoara district territories.
In the park area is located the Lainici Monastery, an Orthodox monastery built in 1817. The place of worship is dedicated to the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The protected area is situated in the extreme southern part of Hunedoara county (on the administrative territory of Aninoasa, Petroşani and Vulcan cities) and in the northern part of  Gorj county (on the territory of Bumbeşti-Jiu and Schela) being crossed by the national road DN 66 that connects the city of Deva with Filiaşi town.

The National Park was declared a protected area in 2005 by the Government Decision no. 1581 from 8 December (regarding the regime of natural protected areas, the conservation of natural habitats, wild flora and fauna, approved with amendments and completions by Law no. 462/2001) and has a total area of 11.127 hectares.

The National Park lies in the west of the Southern Carpathians, between Vâlcan Mountains (from Retezat Godeanu mountain group) at west and Parâng Mountains (from Parâng-Şureanu-Lotrului mountain group) at the east; along the river Jiu, between the confluence of the East Jiu river with the West Jiu river and the confluence with the valley of  Sadu, representing a mountainous area (with rocky walls, calcareous declivities, peaks, ravine, waterfalls, slopes, mountain meadows and forests), this area includes natural reserves: the Sphinx of Lainici (a megalithic geological formation in the form of a sphinx) Rafailă Roks (protected area of geological and scenic interest, on its territory there are more rocky formations composed of metamorphic rocks of a schistose structure with chloritoid insertions).

The natural area has several types of habitats (Dacian beech forests (Symphyto-Fagion), Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior (Alno-Padion, Alnion incanae, Salicion albae), Forests of Tilio-Acerion on steep versants, declivities and ravines, Forests of oak and hornbeam of Galio-Carpinetum type, Beech forests  of Luzulo-Fagetum type, beech forests of Asperulo-Fagetum type, Illyrian oak and hornbeam Forest (Erythronio-Carpiniori), acidofile Forest of Picea Abies from the mountainous region (Vaccinio-Piceetea), forest fringe communities of tall hygrophilic grass all over the plains level to the  mountain and alpine level, petrifying springs with travertine formations (Cratoneurion), woody vegetation with Salix eleagnos along the mountain rivers, woody vegetation Myricaria Germanic along mountain rivers and herbaceous vegetation from mountain rivers shores) harboring a diverse range of flora and fauna of the Southern Carpathian.

Over 80% of the park is covered by forests of beech (Fagus sylvatica) and domast (Quercus petraea) in association with hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) or ash (Fraxinus). The herbaceous layer of the flora is composed of over 550 cormophyte species and over 140 tallophytes (species with a single thallus, propagated by spores). The fauna is well represented by mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish and insects.

The National Park overlaps the site of community importance – the Jiu Valley Canyon (site SCI), at its denominating base are several species of fauna and flora listed in first Annex of the European Council Directive 92/43 /EC of 21 May 1992 (on the conservation of natural habitats and wild fauna and flora); including seven species of mammals: the brown bear (Ursus arctos), the lynx (Lynx lynx), the european otter (Lutra Lutra), the greater horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum), the greater mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis), the lesser mouse-eared bat (Myotis blythii) and the common bent-wing bat (Miniopterus schreibersi); two amphibians: the yellowed-belly toad (Bombina variegata) and the northern crested newt (Triturus cristatus); four species of fish: the mediterranean barbel (Barbus meridionalis), the European bullhead (Cottus gobio), the ray-fined fish (Sabanejewia aurata) and the Danubian gudgeon (Gobio uranoscopus) and eight species of invertebrates: the hermit beetle (Osmoderma Eremita), the ground beetle (Rhysodes sulcatus), the stag beetle (Lucanus cervus), the great capricorn beetle  (Cerambyx cerdo), (Morimus funereus), the Rosalia longicorn (Rosalia alpina), the beetle (Cucujus cinnaberinus) and the stone crayfish (Austropotamobius torrentium).

Other species of animals (mammals, reptiles and amphibians) reported in the area of the site: the chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra), the red deer (Cervus elaphus), the European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), the wildcat (Felis silvestris), the European pine  marten (Martes martes), the edible dormouse (Myoxus glis), the hazel dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius),  the smooth snake (Coronella Austrian), the Aesculapian snake (Elaphe longissima), the sand lizard (Lacerta agilis), the European green lizard (Lacerta viridis), the dice snake (Natrix tessellata), the common wall lizard (Podarcis muralis), the slow worm (Anguis fragilis), the common frog (Rana temporaria), the agile frog (Rana dalmatina), the common toad (Bufo bufo), the alpine newt (Triturus alpestris) and the fire salamander  (Salamandra salamander).

At the grass level vegetates a plant (located on the same annex of the European Council Directive – 92/43 / EEC) of the Tozzia carpathica species, popularly known as the neck grass.