Romania Photo of the Day by Dreamstime: Danube Gorge
The Romania Photo of the Day created in partnership with stock photo provider Dreamstime aims to highlight the best of Romania. From stunning landscapes and popular tourist destinations and landmarks to people, traditions, and food, this series helps you discover Romania one photo at a time. This week, we put the focus on the Danube Delta and Danube landscapes.
The Danube Gorge, the main portion of which is known as the Cauldrons of the Danube, is one of the most picturesque parts of the great river, formed in the place where the Danube passes through the Carpathian Mountains, on the border between Romania and Serbia. (Photo source - click on the number to get to the original file: 42750123 / Romania © Slasta20 | Dreamstime.com)
The Danube Gorge is part of the Iron Gates Natural Park, a place of outstanding natural beauty which includes the gorge and the southern peaks of the Banat Mountains, Locvei, and Almăjului, as well as part of the Mehedinți Mountains and Plateau.
According to Agerpres, the park is considered to be one of the lushest and most biodiverse in Europe, its rich flora covering the vertical limestone surfaces that guard the waters of the river.
The Iron Gates Natural Park is home to numerous endemic and rare species of plants and is one of the richest and most valuable collections of plants in the country, the number of species determined to date representing 49.9% of the total species known in Romania’s flora - about 3,500 species.
Amongst the plants, live a number of protected animal species, from amphibians and reptiles such as the salamander (Salamandra salamandra), newt (Lissotriton vulgaris), tree frog (Hyla arborea), burrowing frog (Pelobates fuscus), water turtle (Emys orbicularis), and the glass snake (Anguis fragilis), to mammals such as the bear (Ursus arctos), wolf (Canis lupus), lynx (Lynx lynx), European badger (Meles meles), red deer (Cervus elaphus), and wild boar (Sus scrofa).
Along the Danube Gorge, there are a number of interesting tourist destinations to visit. Some of the attractions include:
Among the exceptional places that can only be visited by boat, the Veterans Cave is truly unique, as it is one of the most impressive caves in Romania - its main feature being the opening in its ceiling through which the sun's rays pass at certain times of the day. The cave dates back to prehistoric times and was once considered a sanctuary of the Dacian god Zalmoxis. There are many legends about this small cave, including some that claim a treasure is hidden here.
The Panorama from Ciucaru Mic
Between Ciucaru Mic and Ciucaru Mare stretches the Dubova Bay, and the trail offers unique views over the Gorge. The entrance to the tourist trail is marked a few km from the Mraconia Monastery, being a relatively easy route, with a steep climb of about 30 minutes, followed by a gentle walk of another 20 minutes through the forest, finally reaching the ridge, from where the unforgettable panorama of the Danube Gorge opens up.
An imposing fortress with ten tall towers rising from the top of a cliff, the old Golubac Fortress dates back to medieval times and was developed in several stages. The fortress has had a tumultuous past, always being disputed between European powers, and is famous for having withstood over 120 attacks throughout history.
Also, says infinitravel.ro, in addition to these attractions, travelers have at their disposal a multitude of well-organized and signposted ecotouristic trails, most of them reaching places of an almost unreal beauty, with unforgettable views over the Danube gorge and the nearby mountains.