The Mureș is a 789-kilometre-long (490 mi) river in Eastern Europe. Its drainage basin covers an area of 30,332 km2 (11,711 sq mi). It originates in the Hășmașu Mare Range in the Eastern Carpathian Mountains, Romania, rising close to the headwaters of the river Olt, and joins the Tisza at Szeged in southeastern Hungary. In Romania, its length is 761 km (473 mi) and its basin size is 27,890 km2 (10,770 sq mi).The Mureș River flows through the Romanian counties Harghita, Mureș, Alba, Hunedoara, Arad and Timiș, and the Hungarian county Csongrád. The largest cities on the Mureș/Maros are Târgu Mureș, Alba Iulia, Deva and Arad in Romania, and Makó in Hungary. The Hungarian reaches of the Mureș/Maros are 73 km (45 mi) long as the state border. Some 28.5 km2 (11.0 sq mi) on the northern side of the river are protected as part of the Körös-Maros National Park. The Maros Floodplain Protected Area consists of gallery forests, floodplain meadows and 0.6 km2 (0.23 sq mi) of forest reserve near Szeged. Salt used to be traded in medieval times on the river on large rafts.