TOURISM OPPORTUNITIES IN THE NATURAL PARK LUNCA MUREŞULUI

The Natural Park Lunca Mureşului is one of the most important protected areas in the western part of Romania, both with respect to the area it covers (17.000 ha) and especially to the unique landscape, with complex ecosystems, lush vegetation and an extremely rich biodiversity. The more than 200 species of birds that transit or nest in the area are the symbol of the Park and the presence of this rich avifauna led to its designation as a RAMSAR site, Wet Area of International Importance, respectively.

The tourism infrastructure was accomplished through a Phare funded project.

Ceala Visiting Center, situated in the close vicinity of Arad City. The Visiting Center is a tourist information point. It has 13 rooms, most of them double, with TV-set, unlimited access to internet and own bathroom. The Park Administration plans to turn the Ceala Visiting Center into a Regional Center for Ecological Education.  In the summer are organized ecological education camps for students in close cooperation with the secondary schools and the high schools from the area.

Info-points, at Pecica and Cenad.

Wooden observatories for bird and animal watch.

Other facilities: canoe boats, off-road cars and a minivan, terrain bikes, binoculars.

Eco-tours

Rowing down the River Mures in the canoe and admiring the meadow landscape. Along the river, the bent willows form true tunnels crossed by the tourists, on the smooth waves of the river Mures, along the  islands covered with rich vegetation and the fine sand beaches.  Due to the high number of species of birds it is likely that you should be accompanied in your journey by these wonderful creatures. Tours are organized from Arad to Pecica (approx. 35 km on water), for groups of maximum 10 tourists accompanied by a guide, take 3-4 hours. On arrival, lunch can be served in a very pleasant place and atmosphere, at a restaurant close to the mooring place. Tourists are taken back to Arad by minivan.

On the watch.   For birdwatching is the wooden observer „Andras Libus” named after a very dedicated local biologist, built on the Bezdin Pond which is  surrounded by a rush-bed where many birds come for a rest.  The guide provides the tourists with binoculars or telescopes and information on the spotted birds. Large mammals can be watched from an observatory located in the woods of the natural Reservation Prundul Mare, near the path where big mammals pass. The construction is closed and has a good thermal insulation for use during wintertime. It can also be warmed up by means of a gas oven. After a „watch” of about an hour, it is likely that tourists see some deer or boars.

Bike rides inside the massive wood on the marked biking routes: the Ceala Route and the Bodrog Route. The first has an almost circular shape and crosses the deep wood; one can see, among other attractions, the thickest tree, the Turkish Fortress, the cypress arboretum. The second tour has a length of about 25 km and follows the river Mures. Bikes can be rented from the Ceala Visiting Center.

Visiting the monasteries. Inside the protected area there are two very old monasteries which stand as important tourism attractions: Hodoş-Bodrog Monastery and Bezdin Monastery. The Hodoş-Bodrog Monastery is the oldest monastic settlement in Romania, with an uninterrupted monachal life, and was recorded in a diploma signed by King Bella III, in 1177. The Bezdin Monastery is one of the few Serb Orthodox monasteries in Romania that has been preserved dating back to 1539.  Visiting these two monasteries can be a tour in itself or can be associated to the other tours shown above.