Hidden gems of Romania: Nera Gorge-Beușnița National Park

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Far away from Bucharest, almost at the Serbian border and just shy of the Danube there is an almost Mediterranean-like microclimate unique to Nera Gorge National Park. Add in the easy trails and beautiful surroundings and it becomes a sure bet for at least a weekend trip. 

Visit Nera Gorge: Walk the Gorge

The most popular way to visit the park is by walking up the Nera river. It is an easy 8-9 hour trail that takes you through the entire protected area, passing by crystal clear lakes and tunnels carved in stone, with an actual crossing of the river at one point. 

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This road showcases the entire flora and fauna in the park and is a must see. Also not to miss is the beautiful Devil’s Lake (Lacul Dracului), a former subterranean lake that got to see light a few decades ago when the cave ceiling fell down. 

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Visit Nera Gorge: Lakes & Waterfalls

An alternate route is to go North once you enter the park. Not even an hour in you will reach Bey’s Eye Lake (Ochiul Beiului). A lake so blue and clear you won’t believe it’s real and that magically never freezes over. It sounds almost out of a fairytale but there is a scientific explanation. The lake is constantly refilled by a nearby spring, hence it does not freeze in winter. And the color comes from the carbon dioxide and limestone on the bottom, which allow you to see the smallest of details. 

 - Outdoor Activities in Romania

 - Outdoor Activities in Romania

Another half an hour on the trail and you reach Cascada Beușnița, 15 meters high and covered in green moss, make sure you set aside at least 15 minutes for pictures. 

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Visit Nera Gorge: History & Culture

Sasca Montană is the most common entry point to the Park and it is also worthy of a stop. A former mining town, it is a weird mix of abandoned houses and tourists running around. Check out the museum, the Green House (a new eco project just outside of town) and the 1751 Roman-Catholic church.

Visit Nera Gorge: Bigăr Waterfall

One of Romania’s natural wonders, Bigăr waterfall was formed over thousands of years of calcium deposits that was gradually covered by a thick rug of green moss. This mushroom-shaped block of limestone dressed in green is suspended over a small pond and water flows evenly all over it. 

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Extras

Since you’re already in the area don’t miss the Iron Gates in Drobeta Turnu Severin. A gorge on the mighty Danube that’s part of the Romanian-Serbian border and puts on quite the show. 

If you are a sports enthusiast, visit in spring or fall and you can river raft on the Nera.

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