Currently, in Valcea County, at national level, according to Law no. 5/2000, there are 30 protected natural areas, of which a national park (Cozia National Park), 18 natural reservations with a total area of 609.35 ha, and 11 nature (speleological) monuments with a total area of 2.65 ha.
In addition to these, there are the new protected natural areas instituted under the Government Decision 2151/2004, Buila-Vanturarita National Park, with a total area of 4186 ha, Strejesti Lake – Special Avifauna Protection Area of 2378 ha, belonging to Olt County and Valcea County, and the Concretion Museum natural reservation with a total area of 1.1 ha instituted under the Government Decision no. 1581.2005. No protected natural areas were declared at county level.
Cozia National Park was declared under Order no. 776-2007 a site of community importance, as integral part of Natura 2000 Ecological Network.
Thus, the main natural resources from the city and its immediate surroundings with tourist exploitation potential are represented by:
Cozia Mountains ‐ group of mountains located in the south-west side of Fagaras Mountains, with special picturesque relief (steep slopes, indented crests, towers, small cave excavations, anthropomorphic shapes, like: “Sfinxul Coziei”, “Ciobanasul”, “Haiducul”, “Ursul”, “Faraonul” etc.). The maximum altitude is of 1660 m (Cozia peak).
Olt Defile ‐ an integral part of the park is a corridor opened for the birds in their migration to Europe (hirundo rupestris).
Olt River ‐ downstream from the confluence with Cibin River, Olt River builds, on approximately 40 km (between Turnu Rosu and Calimanesti), one of the largest and most spectacular defile from the Romanian Carpathians, transversally penetrating, from north to south, the Southern Carpathians.
Carpathian Mountains – they spread from Calimanesti to Vaideeni, having the greatest heights on the western side of Narutiu Massif (1,550 m in Carligele Olanestilor). From this geographical knot, numerous short and sloping mountain abutments start towards north, and towards Olt River, tops with the aspect of edges pointed by the following peaks: Sturii ‐ 1,380 m, Foarfeca ‐ 857 m, Plaiul Lotrisorului ‐ 876 m, Varful Olanestilor ‐ 1,416 m, Dosul Pamantului ‐ 1,219 m, Fruntea lui Dat ‐ 1,179 m.
The pyramids from Stancioiului Valley (Ramnicu Valcea). Also known as Piramidele de Pamant (Earth Pyramids), the geological reservation extends on 12 ha.