Who wouldn’t like to be close to a volcano, to smell it, to touch it, to study it without putting his life in danger? Well, good news! Everybody can do this at the Mud Volcanoes from Buzau County. Even if, scientifically speaking, they are not real volcanoes, they are quite spectacular and naughty, splashing cold mud lava while enriching the area with a prickly scent of sulfur.
The volcanoes are part of a protected area. They can be found on two separated but close plateaus called the Little Mud Volcanoes (Paclele Mici) and The Big Mud Volcanoes (Paclele Mari). These are located in Berca and Scortoasa communes. A long time ago, when the Carpathians were still forming, this region was characterized by intense tectonic activity. Large amounts of natural gasses became prisoners between the large rifts and the huge rock deposits. And on their natural attempt to escape, they formed this bizarre landscape. The gas comes from more than 3000 meters and crosses, successively, a clay and a water sector. So, by the time the gas gets out, the mud is also released, creating small cones in the shape of a volcano. The interesting thing about this phenomenon is that new volcanoes can appear while others disappear, as the gas easily migrates along the underground rock cracks. Also, the hardened mud torrents, the landslides, the heavy rains, and the erosion permanently change the look of this gray alien landscape.
The area didn’t develop too many tourist facilities and taking into account the fragility of such a unique ecosystem, this is rather a good thing. So, just go there and enjoy the lunar landscape on one of the most photographed regions of Romania. This particular place became lately very popular among brides who consider having a “trash the dress” photo session.
Take care to wear sturdy or tightly fastened shoes otherwise, you risk running barefoot. You should also know that the best way of reaching the mud volcanoes is by car. It can take you one hour and a half from Bucharest. For a half day trip, this area can be an inspired option.