Field trips

Sunday, Sep 30th, 9:30 - 17:00

*Important: Place and time for both field trips: 9:15, in front of the main entrance of the Afrodita Resort & Spa. Lunch is included in the field trip fee and will be served at one of the beautiful restaurants on the way, at 13.30.

Field trip 1: Danube Gorges

Băile Herculane - Orșova - Eșelnița - Dubova - Berzasca - Coronini - Băile Herculane (118 km)

We will visit the Danube Gorges - also known as the Iron Gates (Romanian: Porțile de Fier). As the name itself says, the gorges have been carved by the Danube River, the second longest river in Europe. The Danube Gorges are 134 km long, and we will see the most scenic 96 km of them, up-stream Orșova City. Traveling the gorges by bus, we will stop for a few of the many spectacular sightseeing places, to admire breathtaking landscapes, such as the connection between Cazanele Mari Gorge and Cazanele Mici Gorge (kazan means "cauldron"), the most famous sector of the gorges, as it narrows to 150 m and reaches a depth of up to 53 m. The Danube Gorges continuously attract walkers, hikers, cavers and above all - cruisers. By boat, we will have a fabulous trip to Decebal Statue, Tabula Traiana, Mraconia Monastery and Ponicova Cave. After a delicious lunch, especially for fish lovers, we can hike up to the Ciucaru Mic Peak to admire Cazanele Mari Gorge from above, or to the Ciucaru Mare Peak to get a good look over Cazanele Mici Gorge. Your slight hiking effort (one hour to ascend and 40 min to descend) will be rewarded with beauti-ful panorama views! Along the way, we will see lizards and snakes. Beware of Vipera ammodytes, a venomous snake. At the end of our trip, we will stop at Gura cu Muscă Cave to see the breeding habitat of the fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra), the only subtroglophilic species of amphibians from Romania. If we are still in time, on the way back to Băile Herculane we will visit the Center for Hermann Tortoise Captive Breeding, Eşelnița.

Field trip 2: Cerna Valley

Băile Herculane - Arșasca Valley - Baia de Aramă - Natural Bridge from Ponoarele - Zăton closed depression - Baia de Aramă - Drobeta Turnu Severin - Porțile de Fier (Iron Gates) Re-servoir - Orșova - Băile Herculane (170 km)

We will start our trip in Băile Herculane, following the Cerna Valley (26 km) upstream, then the Arșasca Valley up to the Cerna-Motru Pass - a place that offers a great overview of the Mehedinți Plateau. We will continue downwards to Baia de Aramă, following the road to Ponoarele, that hosts several tourist hotspots, such as the Natural Bridge, two caves and the Zăton closed depression, which periodically fills up with water to form a lake. The Zăton Lake, Peștera de la Pod (the Natural Bridge Cave), the Ponoarele Depression and the Bulba Cave are connected in a karst sys-tem with hydrological functioning influenced by the water table. After enjoying, during lunch, the most delicious traditional cuisine in the region, we will return to Baia de Aramă and we will follow the eastern edge of the Mehedinți Plateau towards Drobeta Turnu Severin. Our trip will continue upstream the Danube River, on the road along the Iron Gates Reservoir, towards Orșova, from where we will return to Băile Herculane. On the way, our specialist on spiders will do his best to find and to show you Nesticus cernensis, a troglobiont spider species, and Troglohyphantes herculanum, a troglophilic spider species. Both spider species are endemic for Romania and distributed only on the Cerna Valley.