Retezat Mountains are one of the highest massifs in Romania, being part of the Southern Carpathians.
Containing more than 60 peaks over 7,500 feet and over 100 crystal clear deep glacier lakes, the Retezat Mountains are some of the most beautiful in the Carpathians and include Romania's first national park. Retezat National Park is a natural reserve area covering more than 275 sq mi., including 4.500 square acres in a strictly protected scientific reserve area called "Gemenele".
The highest peak is Peleaga (Vârful Peleaga), at an altitude of 2509 metres. The name derives from the name of the mountains and retezat means in Romanian "cut off", alluding to their shape. Other important peaks are Păpuşa (Varful Păpuşa) and Retezat Peak (Vârful Retezat).
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 metres.
The area shelters one of Europe's last remaining, unaffected natural primary forest and the largest single area of pristine mixed forest. Wolves, brown bear, wild boar, lynx, wildcat, chamois, roe and red deer, as well as small carnivore species such as badger and otter populate the area. In 1979 the Man and Biosphere Program of UNESCO included the park in the international network of biosphere reserves.