Tarcu-Godeanu-Cernei-Mehedinți Mts.

Tarcu-Godeanu-Cernei-Mehedinți Mts.

This tour is addressed to tourists that like to travel off the beaten path as the mountains it covers are quite underdeveloped from a touristic point of view (very few marked trails, long distance to access ways). Although there are not many tourists here, the ridges are densely populated by herds of sheep and in Godeanu Mts. even chamois. The altitudes in Țarcu and Godeanu Mts. often exceed 2000 meters (2200 meters in some peaks in Godeanu Mts.) which allowed for the formation, in the last glacial age, of a typical glacial landscape (glacial circuses, valleys, lakes). However, their ridge is easy to walk on as their peaks are mostly rounded with easy slopes to climb on and descend. The mountain ranges to the south (Cernei and Mehedinți) are separated by a fault line on which the Cerna river flows currently. Here the landscape changes dramatically as huge limestone slabs take the place of the local crystalline schists and granites from Tarcu and Godeanu Mts. Huge bluffs guard the Cerna valley on both sides with deep wild gorges where small tributaries managed to break the limestone barrier. In these southern ranges we will also find some of the most isolated settlements in Romania (some of them can only by accessed by foot) in the lower reaches of the Cernei Mts.

Day 1: Poiana Marului (640 m)
On the first day you will be transferred to the small village of Poiana Mărului, which translates as Apple's Meadow. Here you can take a walk to see the Poiana Mărului reservoir lake over which we will have some beautiful views from the trail we'll be trekking the next day.

Day 2: Poiana Marului (640 m) - Păltinețu Peak (1469 m) - Bloju Peak (2162 m) - Pietrii Peak (2192 m) - Bistra Peak (1953 m) - Netiș Lake (1945 m)
The trail takes us upstream on the Bistra Mărului valley for a few kilometers before starting the climb to Păltinețu Peak (1469 m) on a densely forested ridge. The trail winds up through the beech forest until about 1400-1500 meters of altitude from where spruce trees start taking over. Not long after reaching 1600 meters of altitude we come out in the alpine meadows. From here on up to Bloju Peak (2162 m) we will get some superb views over Muntele Mic peak (1802 m), Nedeia ridge and Poiana Mărului lake. Once on the main ridge the horizon expands all around us encompassing a wide range of mountains (Retezat, Godeanu, Țarcu-Căleanu-Baicu, Muntele Mic). From here we can also go on a short hike to Pietrii peak (2192 m), the highest in these mountains, and Bistra peak (2153 m) from which we can admire Bistra lake, the largest glacial lake in Țarcu Mts. For the night we will camp on the shores of Netiș lake, the most beautiful in these mountains in our opinion.

Day 3: Netiș Lake (1945 m) - Custurii Peak (2093 m)- Iepei Pass (1727 m) - Baicu Peak (2123 m) - Nedeia Peak (2150 m) - Șcheiului Pass (1886 m) - Prislop Peak (1961 m) - Capu Prislopului Peak (1839 m) - Iezer Lake (1700 m)
The day starts with a short climb to Custurii Peak (2093 m) followed by the descent to Iepei pass (1727 m), the next segment of our trek covers the entirety of Baicu Massif's main ridge passing the two main peaks (Baicu - 2123 m and Nedeia - 2150 m) until Șcheiului pass (1886 m). From Șuculețului pass (1909 m) we leave the main ridge and turn south on the secondary Prislop ridge that connects the Țarcu and Godeanu Mts. After passing some smaller peaks (Prislop - 1961 m, Capu Prislopului - 1839 m) we reach the first peaks in Godeanu Mts. (Ciocănașu - 1929 m and Șincu - 1922 m). On our left Râu Șes meanders its way northwards through a wide meadow on which we will camp, close to one of the few lakes on the ridge of the Godeanu Mts., Iezer lake (1770 m).

Day 4: Iezer Lake (1700 m) - Tucila Peak (2102 m) - Godeanu Peak (2229 m) - Moraru Peak (2279 m) - Scărița Peak (2159 m) - Gugu Peak (2292 m) - Gugu Lake (2010 m) - Moraru Pass (2087 m) - Scărișoara Peak (2191 m) - Iezer Lake (1700 m)
Our third day in the mountains takes us to the most important peaks and glacial lakes in the Godeanu Mts. We start by hiking up the left bank of the Râu Șes river to Tucila Peak (2102 m) followed by Godeanu Peak (2229 m). In the glacial circuses to the north and south of the ridge we can glimpse some small glacial lakes, Godeanu lake being the largest of them, on the south-eastern side of Godeanu peak. We move on along the ridge on an east-northeast heading to Moraru Peak (2279 m) where we leave the main ridge and head north on a high secondary ridge that will take us to the highest point of our entire trip, Gugu peak (2291 m). From here we descend to Gugu lake, beautifully located in a small suspended glacial circus on the eastern slopes of Gugu peak, and then to the Mitu stream valley floor which we will be following upstream to its springs close to Moraru pass where we will rejoin the main ridge. A bit further to the east we reach Scărișoara peak (2191 m) from which there is a great view over Scărișoara lake (1986 m), the largest glacial lake in Godeanu Mts. On the way back to our camp we will stop by a sheepfold where we can buy some locally produced cheese to replenish our supplies.

Day 5: Iezer Lake (1700 m) - Olanelor Peak (1990 m) - Dobrii Peak (1928 m) - Bandiolu Peak (1805 m) - Boldoveni Peak (1799 m) - Vlașcu Mic Peak (1733 m) - Iuții Peak (1582 m) - Arjana Peak (1512 m) - Poiana Lungă (920 m) - Dobraia (840 m)
Our trail for the day covers the main ridge of Cernei Mts. in almost its entirety. For about 30 km the ridge descends slowly on a south-west bearing between Olanele Peak (1990 m) to Prislop Pass (1270 m). Although long, the trail is easy going as it descends continuously, the only climb being at the end of the day from Prilop Pass to Arjana Peak (1511 m). From along the ridge we have a broad view all around us: Godeanu and Țarcu Mts. to the north, Mehedinți Mts. to the east and the forested hills of the Semenic Mts. to the west. At the end of the day we will camp in one of the many meadows in Dobraia, a small hamlet in the lower reaches of Cernei Mts.

Day 6: Dobraia (840 m) - Prisăcina (800 m) - Ineleț (740 m) - Țăsnei Gorges - Băile Herculane (168 m)
The beginning of the day takes us through the isolated hamlets of Dobraia, Prisăcina, Ineleț and Scărișoara. The novelty of the trail that takes us through meadows full of flowers, among isolated houses spread among the hills gives a feeling of peace and security after the days spent on the high alpine ridges. After a few hours we arrive at the road in the valley where we'll get transferred by car to Băile Herculane. However on the way we will be making one more short stop to visit the beautiful Tăsnei Gorges.

Day 7: Crovurile Mehedinților
Crovurile Mehedinților are a unique place in Romania, a series of deep limestone depressions situated on the main ridge of the Mehedinți Mts. They span over a distance of about 4 km with a width between 100 and 500 meters and a depth varying from 200 to 300 meters. Our way up to the Crovuri is one of the least used trails in these mountains as it is not marked, but has the advantage of being the shortest and one of the most spectacular ways in. We will be using small backpacks so the day will be an easy one with many special places on the way, from the huge limestone depressions to craggy cliffs and herds of horses in the high meadows.

Day 8: Farewell
Photo sharing sessions and plans for future visits.

Click here to view photo album

The proposed tour is made up so that you may see most of the attractions in the southwestern part of the Romanian Carpathians, however it cat be modified in order to accommodate your needs in case you have more or less time at your disposal.

Tour Pricing:
Prices start with 675 EUR/pers. and they have a 25 EUR/pers. discount for group bookings (for example if you book for 2 persons the price will be 650 EUR/pers.; if you book for 5 persons the pricewill be 575 EUR/pers. etc.)

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The tour price includes return airport transfer ( from Timisoara, Oradea, Sibiu and Cluj-Napoca) to the tour location, any National Park fees required, one night accommodation in Poiana Mărului, two nights accomodation in Băile Herculane, and guiding fees. For Budapest and Belgrade airport transfers 20 EUR/pers. return transfer is charged extra. Tents are also provided for the nights spent on the ridge without any extra fees. The price does not include flights, visas and travel insurance.