2 mil BP-3300BC-Stone Age Europe Romania Natural attractions

The mystery of the peat bog in the Carpathian Mountains: Tinovul Mohos and its fascinating story

Tinovul Mohos Peat Bog
A unique pearl in the European landscape, Tinovul Mohos reveals itself as a hidden treasure in the heart of a volcanic crater, where a lake has emerged from the mystery of the earth. Hidden beneath layers of volcanic ash, these deep, crystalline waters hold the secret of an ancient explosion. Through the fascinating darkness of its areas, mysterious legends are interwoven, turning Tinovul Mohos into a place where time seems to have kept its secrets in an eternal dance between reality and myth.

Tourist Information

TypeNatural, Reserve, Swamp, Peatland, Tinov
Age40 000 years old (last eruption)
Opening hours/TicketsThe tour of the Mohos peat bog can be done on an organized tour with a guide.
Summer and autumn
Autumn: 10, 12, 14 and 16
Summer: 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 
Ticket: 2 E / person, parking 2-3 E /car
LocationHarghita, Romania, Europe


What is Tinovul?

Tinovul is a unique habitat, a marsh, an area where underground water reaches the surface, and a specific flora is formed, mostly mosses. The soil thickness exceeds 1 m and is still active.

Once you enter this kingdom of nature, you will be captivated by its magical charm. The guide will take you on the wooden bridge through the wonderful landscape of the peatland, revealing to you the colorful stories and mysteries of this special habitat. Each step will reveal a new surprise, a new life form ingeniously adapting to this unique environment.

Where is Tinovul Mohoș?

Tinovul Mohoș is located 55 km from Miercurea-Ciuc, 48 km from Sfântu Gheorghe and 33 km from Târgu Secuiesc, and 10 km from Băile Balvanyos.

The tour of the Tinovul Mohoș peat bog can be done in an organized tour with a guide. You can find information about the program at the information point, located next to the road.

How were Tinovul Mohoș and Lake Sfânta Ana formed?

Lake Sfânta Ana and Tinovul Mohoș are considered unique in Europe. These natural wonders are formed in two craters in the Ciomatu massif, the extreme southern extension of the volcanic chain of the Harghita Mountains. The first to erupt was the crater with the tin, later it calmed down, and a lake formed in it. Somewhat later the crater next to it also erupted and the thrown ash mostly reached the already formed lake and favored the development of peat moss. At the moment only a few meshes remain of the original water sheen.

Are there carnivorous and hallucinogenic plants in Tinov?

The entire ecosystem of Tinovu Mohoș has led to the appearance of some unique poisonous plants in Romania, such as hallucinogenic ones (crazy) or carnivorous ones (dew of the sky, considered the queen of the peat bog and Drosera). A carnivorous plant consumes 50 insects per season. We can also find field reed, cottonwood, wicker, 20 species of peat moss, Scots pine, dwarf birch, and downy birch. The fauna of Tinov is represented by reptiles, different species of birds, but also amphibians, wolves, and bears.

The two water holes communicate under the peat carpet and the water is unfavorable for life, being very acidic.

The thickness of the peat layer is 10-20 m.

Unlike Sfânta Ana which is a closed lake (no drain), Mohoșul is drained to the east by a stream that pierces the crater rim.

What mysterious legends does Lake Saint Ana have?

Lake Sfânta Ana is one of the most famous volcanic lakes in Romania, located in Harghita County. Over time, several legends and stories have circulated about this picturesque lake. Although these captions may vary depending on the source, here are some of them:

  • Ana’s legend: A girl named Ana was going to become the wife of a young man she did not love because her parents forced her to marry in order to get her hands on the young man’s fortune, which was quite unsophisticated. On the evening of the wedding, the bride ran away and threw herself into this lake, her lifeless body has not been found even to this day. Because of this, the lake is named after that girl. Every year, on the patron saint of St. Ana, the lake is sanctified.
  • The Legend of St. Anne and Old Men’s Girl: According to this legend, St. Anne would be a young and beautiful woman who fell in love with the son of an old man. However, their love was forbidden, and Saint Anne began to cry so much that her tears filled a volcanic crater, thus forming Lake Saint Anne.
  • The legend of the two tyrant brothers: According to another legend, once upon a time, two tyrants who were brothers lived in these places. One ruled a fortress on the nearby Puciosul peak, the other a fortress located on the site of the current lake. The master of the fortress on Puciosul had a wonderful carriage, a fact that aroused the envy of his brother, who promised that the next day he would come to visit with an even more beautiful carriage. To win the remnant, the tyrant has eight of the most beautiful girls in the area harnessed to his chariot. The cart being very heavy, they could not pull it, which unleashed the master’s anger, who began to whip them. One of the girls, named Ana, cursed the master. The girl’s curse was immediately fulfilled: a terrible storm broke out, with lightning and thunder, earthquakes, and the fortress, together with its tyrant, went down in flames. In the place of the fortress, a blue and quiet lake was formed, called by the residents of the area Lacul Sfânta Ana.
  • Legend of the Hunter: According to this legend, an ordinary hunter entered the forest surrounding the lake and met a mysterious woman. It appeared to him in various forms and lured him into the depths of the lake, where the hunter disappeared without a trace. It is said that you can still hear his cries on clear summer nights.
  • Legend of the Witch’s Curse: According to this legend, in ancient times, an evil witch lived in the area and placed a curse on the lake. It is said that anyone who dares to swim in the lake or desecrate its waters will be punished by the witch’s curse.
  • Legend of the Monk: Another story says that a hermit monk settled by the lake and spent years in prayer and meditation. The lake would have formed in the place where the monk made a last act of prayer before he died. This place would thus have become a holy and mystical place.
  • The Traveler’s Legend: According to this legend, a lost traveler was guided to safety by a bright light from the depths of the lake. It is said that this light was his spiritual guide or even Saint Anne herself, protecting him in times of need.
Mohos Peat Bog
Mohos Peat Bog
Mohos Peat Bog
Mohos Peat Bog

About the author


I am Catalina, and my passion for travel, mysteries, legends and archaeology drives me to explore the world and uncover its hidden wonders.