The Hateg Country Dinosaurs Geopark
The Haţeg Country Dinosaurs Geopark is a UNESCO Geopark located in the southwestern part of Transylvania, Hunedoara county, overlapping various villages and towns: Densuş, General Berthelot, Toteşti, Răchitova, Sântămăria-Orlea, Sarmizegetusa, Haţeg, Baru Mare, Sălaşu de Sus, Pui and Râu de Mori.
It can be easily accessed by car or by train from Simeria, Caransebeș and Petroşani. The closest airports are located in Sibiu and Timișoara. Accommodation is to be found in Haţeg, Râu de Mori, Densuș or Sarmizegetusa.
For some of the attractions, reservations should be made ahead of time.
The Geopark headquarters is in Haţeg at 9A Libertăţii street. Opening hours: May 15- September 15 , Wednesday to Friday 10:00-18:00, Saturday 10:00-16:00, or anytime if you make a reservation; September 15 - May 15 only by reservation.
Telephone: 0040254777853; 0040767186133
The Haţeg Country Dinosaurs Geopark is a UNESCO Geopark and it is a unique and remarkable place due to its natural and cultural value. Surrounded by towering mountains, the Land of Hațeg has always been a special region suitable for the development of scientific geological sites. These were the cornerstones of the future Geopark.
The Geopark is known for its biodiversity, but owes its fame to the dinosaur fossils and eggs discovered here. The dinosaur species that had lived here over 70 million years ago, when all that was there was an island surrounded by the ancient Thesys Sea, are unique in the world.
The best well-known local species are Magyarosaurusdacus, Telmatosaurustranssylvanicus, Balaurbondoc and the pterosaurus Hatzegopteryxthambema, one of the largest flying reptiles in history. Its wingspan reached about 14 meters.
In Haţeg you can learn all about dinosaurs and the Balaurul Bondoc (stocky dragon), an endemic dinosaur species, while in Sânpetru at the Dwarf Dinosaurs house, you can find out more about a paleontological site.
In the General Berthelot village, at the House of Science and Art, you can admire dinosaur eggs and scientific reconstructions.
Another attraction of the Geopark is the House of the Volcanoes located in Densuş village. Here you can learn all about the volcanoes that used to exist on the ancient Hațeg Island.
For those who prefer a more human connection, there is the house of traditions in Sânpetru where you can learn about local traditions and handcrafts.
The Geopark recommends four thematic trails that can be covered in one day each, either by car or by bicycle: History and Legends, Nature and Tradition, the Dinosaur Valley, and the Volcanoes Trail. All these combine nature with tradition, geology, history and local legends.
There are also some other natural attractions in the Geopark which are worth your time, such as Tăul fără Fund or Fâneţele cu Narcise, glacial relics. Another wonderful attraction of the Geopark is the Bison reserve from Slivuţ forest.
The Land of Haţeg is also known for its riches of history and culture. Once you arrive here, you must visit the important medieval citadels (Colţ fortress), the museums (The Land of Haţeg Museum), the traditional villages or the monasteries and churches (Sântămăria Orlea, the biggest medieval church in Haţeg).
You cannot say that you’ve been in the Land of Haţeg without visiting Sarmizegetusa and the ruins of the Dacian Roman province Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa!
Did you know?
Magyarosaurusdacus, one of the unique dinosaur species that lived here 70 million years ago, had a height of 3 m and 6-7 m in length.
The Geopark is part of the Haţeg-Retezat Land ecotourism destination, promotes local values, and organizes various educational, awareness-raising and nature conservation activities. The park is the result of a project coordinated by the University of Bucharest.
One of the most interesting initiatives of the Geopark is the volunteering program that created a link between the young people in the community. The program was recognised in 2015 by the ProPark Foundation as being the best volunteering programme from a protected area in Romania.
The volunteers get the chance to become Geopark Ambassadors and to promote it both at national and international level.