The large mountain system of the Carpathian Range begins near Bratislava (Slovakia) and ends at the south-east of Romania. The Carpathian Mountains extend over 1,500 km. They form an arch, which compasses the Middle lowlands from three sides. The width of the Carpathian Mountains is 240 km in north-west, 340 kilometres in the south-west and 100-120 km in the north-east.
Relief. The Carpathians represent a complex system of echelon mountain ranges and ridges separated by lengthwise and cross valleys. Orographically, the Carpathians are divided into the western Carpathians, the eastern Carpathians (which include the Ukrainian Carpathians) and the southern Carpathians. This mountain range also includes the Western Romanian Mountains (adjacent to the northern and the southern Carpathians) and the vast Transylvanian Plateau. Gerlakhovski-Shtit (2,655 m) is the highest summit of the Carpathians, generally dominated by peaks of 800-1,200 m. The Transylvanian Plateau is situated at an altitude of 600-800 m.
Rivers and lakes. The Carpathian Range is one of the main watersheds in Europe. The basins of the rivers Vistula and Odry that cover a large part of the northern slopes of the Carpathian Mountains supply water for the Baltic Sea. Most rivers in the Carpathian Basin belong to the basin of the Danube River, while the rivers flowing on the north-eastern slopes are part of the Dniester. There are very few lakes in the Carpathian Mountains. Most often these are highland lakes found at the bottom of ancient cirques.
Flora and fauna. There are cranberries, bilberries and blackberries growing on the plateau. Most of the Carpathian region covered with coniferous forests and beech woods, with trees such as the oak, the hornbeam, the pine, the alder, the cherry and the walnut tree. Mountain peaks are covered with alpine meadows, where you can find many kinds of plants. The animal life of the region includes such forest animals as the squirrel, the rabbit, the bear, the wolf, the lynx, the deer, the roe deer, the chamois, the wild boar and the wood grouse. To preserve a diversity of natural landscapes, a wide network of nature reserves and parks has been created: Babyagursky, Peninsky (Poland), Tatra (Poland and the Czech Republic), Agtelek (Hungary), Retezat (Romania) and Carpathian (Ukraine).
Climate. The climate in the Carpathian region is temperate, transitional from the maritime to the continental climate. High mountains protect the region from cold northern winds and the humid temperate continental climate of the area is accountable for its warm summers and mild winters. The maximum summer temperature is +40°C, while the minimum winter temperature is -32°C. The precipitation ranges from 642 mm to 1,411 mm.
Tourism. In the Carpathians are popular following types of tourism:
Climbing in the area of Mount Goverla;
Rafting along the Prut, the Cheremoshch and the Stry rivers;
Alpine skiing at the Slavske, Bukovel, Volovets, Podobovets, Vorokhta, Yablunitsa, Krasiya, Tysovets, Sinyak and Dragobrat resorts;
Sightseeing. The major attractions of the Carpathian Mountains include:
The Trans-Carpathian Museum of Architecture and Folk Life, the History Museum in Uzhhorod Castle, the Bohdan Lepky Museum, the Persecuted Church Museum and the Dolina Museum of Local History “Boykovschina”;
Lake Sinevirskoye, one of the most beautiful highland lakes in the Carpathians;
The Narcissus Valley;
Mount Goverla, the highest peak of the Ukrainian Carpathians;
Lake Nesamovite, the highest mountain lake in the Carpathians;