Last Updated on: 31st August 2023, 03:16 pm

Hidden in the picturesque Carpathian Mountains near BraÅŸov, Romania lies a fascinating volcanic relic – the Racos Volcano. This extinct volcano offers a glimpse into the fiery geologic past of the Transylvanian highlands.

RacoÈ™ An Old Volcano Nobody Has Heard of for a Long Time

Racos Volcano is situated just 15 km from BraÅŸov in central Romania. It was formed millions of years ago when the Transylvanian Depression was a fiery volcanic landscape.

After its eruption, the volcano lay dormant. Erosion over time shaped the volcanic cone into a rugged caldera.

Today, scientists believe Racos Volcano last saw activity during the Pleistocene era over 10,000 years ago. No eruption has occurred in modern history.

Racos volcano, Romania

Racos volcano, Brasov county, Romania.

Hiking the Extinct Crater of Racos Volcano

For visitors, Racos Volcano is a great off-the-beaten-path day hike near BraÅŸov. The crater walls reveal layers of volcanic rock that geologists find fascinating.

The caldera has steep slopes covered in trees, especially on the north face. A hike to the top rewards you with panoramic views of the surrounding Carpathian scenery.

Within the crater are two small ponds nestled amongst the greenery. Birdwatchers may spot different species fluttering around the tranquil waters.

While not as flashy as an active erupting volcano, Racos still offers a glimpse into Romania’s fiery past. The rocky reminder of ancient volcanism stands stoically amidst the greenery, waiting to be explored.

The Racos Volcano is not the same as the Muddy Volcanoes at Berca, in Buzău. If thatțs what you were looking for, click on the previous link to read my article about the mud volcanoes in Romania.

The Basalt Columns

One of the most fascinating geological features of Racos are its basalt columns. These polygonal columns were formed as the ancient lava cooled and contracted, creating striking pillar-like formations.

The columns resemble an organ pipe structure and can reach up to 15 meters in height. They display the volcano’s inner construction and some of the best examples are found on the northern crater wall.

Emerald Lake

Within the main crater lies a small scenic pond known as Emerald Lake. It earned its name from the striking greenish hue of its waters.

The color comes from the chemical composition of the volcanic rocks over which the water flows. The minerals leach into the pond resulting in its emerald green shimmering appearance.

The pond adds to the scenic landscape and is enveloped by the forested slopes of the crater interior. It’s a perfectly serene spot to pause and admire Racos’ natural beauty.

When to Visit Racos Volcano, the Basalt Columns & the Emerald Lake

Even though Brasov is a famous ski resort, you may want to visit it during summer or fall, in order to enjoy Racos and the surrounding area to the full.

There is an asphalt road from Brasov leading near RacoÈ™, but you also need to do some walking to reach the crater.

Violeta Matei