Story of the Horses Waterfall – the highest waterfall in Romania

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highest waterfall in Romania

Are you planning trips for visiting beautiful places across Romania? Here’s a waterfall you probably didn’t know about: The Horses Waterfall. This waterfall annually attracts tens of thousands of tourists fascinated by this wonder of nature.

In this article you will learn about:

  • The story of the Horses Waterfall, highest waterfall in Romania
  • Location where you can find it
  • Accommodation in the area
  • Other tourist attractions nearby

Horses Waterfall is the waterfall located at the highest altitude in Romania, at an altitude of 1,300 meters, and the waterfall is 90 meters long?

The story of the Horses Waterfall

There are many legends about the formation of this waterfall. But the best known and most impressive is the one related to the rich pastures, which were the favorite places of the locals for grazing their horses and sheep during the summer.

According to this legend, Mount Piatra Rea, due to its wide pastures, was the favorite place of the locals to graze horse studs from spring to autumn. The problem, however, was the presence of wild animals. Horse studs were often stalked by bears. However, they did not have the courage to approach because of the open space in which the horses grazed.

So the bear usually tried to corner the horses over the precipices at the current Horses Falls. This would have been the only place from which the horses had no space to flee, and so the only escape was to throw themselves into the abyss.

One rainy night, a bear came to attack the horses farm. Frightened by the lightning and the unexpected attack of the bear, the whole stud fled on its way, straight to the precipice. Some of them escaped, but a lot of horses fell into the abyss of the waterfall, the bear having a rich meal of about 15 horses, according to the locals.

Not only did the waterfall receive this name, but the whole area received names related to this event: Meadow of the Horses, located right above the Horses Waterfall, Mount of the Horses, The Horses Bridge, which refers to the glacial circus, and the Horses Spring, referring to the valley on which the waterfall was formed.

The water that comes from the melting snow and the rains gathers in a glacial circus and from there it starts in the valley, on the steep slope of the Piatra Rea Reservation, forming the waterfall.

The flow of the waterfall varies significantly, depending on the rains and the melting of the snow on the slope.


The Horses Waterfall is located near the tourist resort of Borșa, which is in the north of Romania, in the NE of the Rodna Mountains.

The rain water that gathers in a glacial circus drains over a steep limestone called the “Horses Bridge”.
Access to the highest waterfall in Romania is not very easy, but for experienced hikers it will be a relatively easy route.

There are two ways to access the Horses Waterfall:

  • on the tourist route of a maximum of an hour and a half walk, for lovers of hiking or climbing,
  • or taking the chairlift for a part of the road, (for about 15 minutes) + another 15 minutes walk for the rest of the way.

If you go up with the chairlift, from the top of the slope you go down to the waterfall on a path for about half an hour walk.

You can also take the car from the center of Borșa resort, and drive on a forest road marked with a red triangle for approximately 5 km, then you have to walk to the waterfall, but the route is not difficult.

Read also: 3 Special nature attractions in Romania you must visit


Most accommodation facilities can be found in Borșa resort, 30 km from the Horses Waterfall. You can also lodge in Vatra Dornei, or in Câmpulung Moldovenesc. In Borșa you will find many guest houses, hotels or chalets for any budget.

Other attractions nearby

Other tourist attractions you can enjoy here are:

  • The cave of the outlaw Buftiuc: here it is said that the outlaws hid their treasures that they stole from the rich people.
  • Pietrosul Rodnei: hiking route on the highest peak in the Eastern Carpathian Mountains.
  • Lake Știol: glacial lake from which the river Bistrița springs
  • Ski slopes: if you get here in the winter, the ski slopes in Borșa are a huge attraction for winter sports lovers.
  • Mineral water springs: famous for treating stomach ailments and more.

The Rodna Mountains are part of the northern group of the Eastern Carpathians, and are the highest and most difficult to cross in the Eastern Carpathian range. The relief is typical alpine, consisting of lofty ridges, elongated peaks, glacial circuses and valleys drained by rapid watercourses, which form numerous rapids and waterfalls.

Hence the reason why the highest waterfall in Romania is in this area.

Are you planning for a hike in the area, which will also pass by the Horses Waterfall? Here are some routes you might like:

  • Rodna Mountains: From Borșa Fântâna, to Piatra Rea Reservation and the Horses Waterfall
  • Rodna Mountains National Park: Horses Waterfall – Podu Cailor – Cimpoiasa Valley – Borșa Fântâna
  • Rodna Mountains (Borșa): At the Horses Watarfall, Știol Saddle and Zănoaga Cailor

If you want to see the Horses Waterfall in all its splendor, we recommend you to try during spring or autumn, when the rains are more abundant and the water flow will be richer.

Picture of Iulia Serban

Iulia Serban

Travel guide and advisor

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