Today we are going to the southeast of Romania, to Mehedinti, a tourist area whose fame has gone international a long time ago
Today we are going to the southeast of Romania, a tourist area whose fame has gone international a long time ago. In Mehedinti County you can visit caves, climb mountains, go rafting, horse riding, or cycling. Also, the Orsova – Cazanele Mari is the route where you can admire the most beautiful landscapes created by the Danube in Romania, and many historical sites.
This is a county of special natural beauty, which the authorities are trying to make the most of, according to Aladin Georgescu, president of Mehedinti County Council:
“Boat trips on the Danube, mountain treks, and even fishing, these are all attractive activities for tourists, and I will start with the most important tourist area in Mehedinti, the Danube Gorges. This has become more and more popular lately. If at first it was mostly a weekend destination, last week, the hotels and B&Bs were full all summer season long. The scenery is relaxing, and fills with energy all our visitors. Then we have the rocky hills. We also have the Iron Gates Nature Park, the second largest in Romania. Here we have the Yellow Tulip of the Gorges, a protected species, which blooms early in May and can be found on the steep sides of Ciucarul Mare, which oversees the gorges of the Danube. I want to point out that this flower can only be seen from the river, by boat.”
The caves, monasteries, and the availability of the B&B hosts to fill your schedule with special trips will ensure a dreamy vacation at the Danube Gorges. Here is Aladin Georgescu:
“During a vacation at the Danube Gorges you can visit Ponicova Cave, a spectacular cave with galleries that link one to another, and also Veteran Cave, which was inhabited as far back as 4,000 years ago. They are definitely worth visiting. Also, a boat trip on the Danube offers the possibility of seeing the great Iron Gates Dam, and also the Cauldrons of the Danube, where the river splits the mountains. And now for the most visited tourist objective in the Danube Gorges: Decebal's face sculpted in the living rock. This is the tallest sculpture in rock in Romania, and second tallest in Europe, a tourist objective that we have set up special illumination for, together with Mehedinti County Council and in collaboration with the Regional Road and Bridge Regional Department of Timisoara County. We did the same with the bridge in Mraconia Gulf, at the foot of the sculpture.”
Another objective is Topolnita Cave, in Ciresul commune. It is the second longest cave in Romania, and 16th in the world. It is 24.5 km long, of which only 11 have been explored. The cave is a nature monument, and can be visited only one day a year in summer, for a few hours, on the eponymous celebration day. But let us continue our journey with Aladin Georgescu, president of Mehedinti County Council, who takes us to the seat of the county:
“In the municipality of Drobeta Turnu Severin we have the Iron Gates Regional Museum, the most important cultural institution in our county. It is on the bank of the Danube, near the old ruins of Drobeta castrum, close to the foot of Trajan Bridge, built by Apollodorus of Damascus, between 103-105 AD, in order for Roman legions to e able to cross the Danube to conquer Dacia. The foot of the bridge is the last vestige of the most impressive cross-river construction ever built by the Roman Empire. A model that recreates the bridge, very well made, can be seen at the Iron Gates Regional Museum. Since we were talking about the many historic and cultural objectives that can be visited in Drobeta Turnu Severin, I would like to mention the Castle of the Arts, the theater, the medieval fortification, which were all modernized with help from European funding institutions, which also contributed to the Iron Gates Regional Museum.”
If you were wondering where you can find the only practicable natural bridge in Europe, you should know that you can find it in Mehedinti County. The so-called God's Bridge is 13 meters tall, and 9 meters wide.
“In the mountainous area, we have God's Bridge, the biggest natural bridge in Romania, and second biggest in Europe, but it is also the only practicable one. Also in the northern area of the county, we have Ponoarele Cave, and the lilac forest, a botanical reservation, stretching over 20 ha, where we have, every year in early May, the Lilac Festival. The objectives in the city of Drobeta Turnu Severin and in the north of our county can be visited using the Via Transilvanica trail, 100 km long, starting from the city, traversing seven other localities. We have a few special mountain trails, offered by the Mehedinti Plateau Geopark. We eagerly await all who want to spend a great vacation in our county, because we promote quality tourism, with plenty of historical and cultural objectives. More over, this year we have been complying with rules for the pandemic, and there will be no danger for any tourist in terms of healthcare.”
Tourists who want to discover traditions and crafts and want to buy locally crafted artifacts should head to Sisesti. It is the only locality in the county that preserves the local pottery tradition. Even though it hearkens back to the Dacian period, the artisans in Sisesti have managed to preserve the techniques. Also in the mountains, at Ponoarele, the traditions and traditional garb are invaluable. Women still make traditional clothing by hand. The famous peasant blouses from Ponoarele are distinctive for the area, and are true jewels of tradition.