I heard about the mud volcanoes in Buzau, Romania, since I was a little girl. As you can get there either with a tour or by car, I didn’t manage to see them until this year. We decided to spend the Easter Day discovering the Mud Volcanoes, Buzau, Romania, a geological and botanical reservation and we had a great time!
Discovering the Mud Volcanoes, Buzau, Romania, a geological and botanical reservation
The mud volcanoes are located near Berca and Scortoasa localities in Buzau county. Like I said, you can easily get there by car – we used Waze for the road, but you can also use a map. When you are getting close, you’ll see that there are road signs pointing you in the right direction, which makes it all even easier.
Facts about mud volcanoes
First discovered in 1867 by H. Cognard, a Frenchman who was looking for petroleum, these volcanoes are not your typical ones.
They erupt, constantly!
But they are NOT dangerous!
In fact, the mud volcanoes are small, the craters are up to 6 m high. They make some bubbles which are fun to see, but definitely not dangerous.
Discovering the Mud Volcanoes, Buzau, Romania, a geological and botanical reservation – tips, interesting facts, and recommendations from a local.
Here are some other facts about mud volcanoes.
How are the eruptions created? There are oil fields hundreds of metres deep. These generate gases that mix with water and soil until they reach the surface. When they reach that surface, is like a volcano: a small eruption of that mix.
The entire area – 60 acres – is protected by law.
The landscape is eerie – as the hills in the area are formed of these eruptions of mud.
You should also know that this is not only a geological reservation but also a biological one. And there is there are some rare plants that you can see here. In fact, as you enter the Big Volcano Reservation, you’ll see, on your right side, a panel with all the flowers and trees that you can notice in the area.
There are two areas you can visit – Big Mud Volcanoes Reservation and Little Mud Volcanoes Reservation (these have constant flow of mud eruptions, like small rivers).
Choose the big reservation – as there are bigger cones to see and the landscape is more impressive here. The road indicators point you to this area as well.
Tips for visiting the mud volcanoes in Buzau, Romania
Here are our best tips for visiting the mud volcanoes in Buzau, Romania.
While you may see people with dogs there, that’s forbidden. There’s actually a sign saying that it’s forbidden to go with your dog on the mud volcanoes, but some people ignore it.
In fact, the content of the eruption – that mix of gas, mud, water, and soil – is a bit radioactive. You ARE SAFE! Meaning it’s not life threatening, but you should not touch the mud – hand / feet -, therefore, your animal should not walk on hill and recent erupted mud. Again, you may see some people who put their hands in that recent erupted mud, but it is not save and it it’s not recommended. In fact, if you look at the panel with the signs showing you what’s allowed and what isn’t while visiting this reservation, you’ll know exactly what you can and cannot do, for your own safety.
You are forbidden to eat or smoke while visiting the mud volcanoes.
Prepare cash – for the admission ticket. The prices are REALLY small – it’s 5 lei for an adult (that 1,2 euro/USD…).
If you travel by car, you’ll see that when you get there, there is a paid parking. While this also has an affordable price per hour, if you go a bit further, a few hundred metres, then you reach the free parking.
There are even accommodation options here. There is a guest house and they even let you stay with your pet. However, I do recommend you to book your room in advance, as there are many people visiting the area during the touristic season.
There is also a restaurant serving good food, locally made. Almost all the ingredients are from their backyard, and the food is tasty. We went there twice, once with some friends from the US and once with our son, and we tried different dishes each time. We liked all the food that we eat here. Our son, who is 6 and has his food preferences, loved the food as well. The restaurant also has affordable prices so no worries there either.
When visiting the mud volcanoes Romania, people usually start with the big crater that you can see as you enter the reservation. As that is of course the biggest and the most impressive one, is only natural to want to see it. My tip is however to admire the landscape as you climb, because it’s a special one. On your left side you’ll see how the hill is constantly created by the mud eruptions.
After you admire the eruptions from this big crater, move along and see other small mod volcanoes and cones.
Notice how the mod erupts from the earth and starts building, layer-by-layer, the hill. It is quite impressive.
You can also take a walk on these hills. I should mention that the climb is accessible to anyone, meaning if you are not in a wheelchair, you can climb up to see the big crater and all the other mud volcanoes without a problem even if you are not a professional climber or hiker, as is my case.
You should also take a lot of photos because you’ll discover that the landscape is beautiful and impressive in its own way.
Another thing that I would recommend is, as always when it comes to packing, to have some preferred snacks and water for the road. There are some gas stations along the way where you can stop and buy something, but if you already have something in the car it, shortens the length of the road trip and it allows you to be able to drink whenever you like.
I have to say that the first time we went to the mud volcanoes Buzau was in March, on a cloudy day and not during the tourism season. It was a bit cold outside but it it didn’t rain that day until we left. It rained a bit later during the evening. It also didn’t rain for a few days prior to our visit which is actually quite important to know.
If you want to make the most of your visit here, try to go to the mud volcanoes when you know from checking the weather that it didn’t rain for at least a couple of days, nor it will rain when you are planning on visiting this reservation. If you go when it’s raining or after it rained a lot, then everything will be muddy and you will not be able to enjoy the experience as much.
As we’ve visited the mud volcanoes off season and in a rather cold day, we were able to be among the few people who were there. So the place was not crowded. But when we went to visit on Easter Day, even though we thought not many people would have this idea, as Easter is a day to spend with your family, we discovered that we were not the only ones deciding to take a road trip on Easter Day. So it was crowded. There were also some tourists from other countries who came here by bus. But I have to be honest and confess that we had no issue in being able to see the cones and admire the eruptions and see the mud or take good pictures. We just had to wait a bit in line.
I would also recommend it to be careful when visiting during summer when the outside temperatures are above 35 degrees. You should have a cap for your head and if you plan on staying and walking the heels applying some sunscreen wouldn’t hurt either.
Visiting the Mud Volcanoes in Buzau, Romania is a great one-day trip from Bucharest. There are not many such volcanoes in Europe, so if you are in Romania and close to this area, try to see them.