Mehedinţi Plateau Geopark
Mehedinţi Plateau Geopark is located in the southwestern part of Romania in the territory of Mehedinţi County.
It can be accessed through the National Road DN 6 which connects Drobeta-Turnu Severin with Caransebeş.
The park has four information points located in the towns of Siseşti, Ponoarele, Obârşia Cloşani and Cireşu. There are ten official tourist trails in the park. Accommodation can be found in Baia de Aramă, Bala Isverna or Ponoarele.
With Domogled-Cerna Valley National Park as neighbour on the western and northern part, the Mehedinţi Geopark has a variety of remarkable attractions and has one of the most spectacular sceneries available in this part of the country.
The land itself is a fine combination of breathtaking sceneries, special geological formations such as caves and gorges, Dacian and Roman archaeological vestiges, monuments of vernacular architecture and villages in which many traditions and ancient crafts are still being preserved.
The Park has no less than 17 nature reserves like Obârşiei, Izvoarele Coşuştei, Izverna Cave, Camăna, Cornetele Cerboanei or Babei, with many of these being located in the northern part of the geopark. The presence of a dense hydrographic network and limestone has allowed the wonderful karst systems to flourish.
The karst complex from Ponoare is truly remarkable where many formations stand out such as the God’s Bridge, Zătonul Mare and Zătonul Mic lakes, the clints and grikes field, the Ponoare Cave, Bulba Cave or the Topolniţa Epuran karst complex- rightly considered a nature’s monument.
South of Ponoare complex is the wild lilac forest nature reserve which protects the wild lilac. Here is where the celebration of the lilac is held every year, at the beginning of May, when the lilac is blooming.
If the natural wonder of the Geopark attracts so many tourists, then we also need to point out that this territory has been occupied by people ever since Neolithic times.
Baia de Aramă (which translates as “Copper Bath”) can be the starting point to discover the traditional villages and the special churches. The surrounding hills shelter many villages (Brebina, Titerleşti, Gornoviţa, Turtaba or Costeşti) where you will be impressed by the mountain lodges and the hundreds of years old wooden churches.
The monastic ensemble in Topolniţa is one of these gems which will certainly surprise you. In a very picturesque landscape you will discover Cireşu village where tourism started to flourish due to its proximity to the Topolniţa and Epuran caves. Every year in August on the plateau near the entrance of cave, there takes place the Topolniţa Cave Celebration.
Did you know?
In Ponoarele you will find God’s Bridge, the biggest natural bridge in Romania and the second after its size in Europe.
The Mehedinţi Plateau Geopark is a natural protected area of national interest where sub-Mediterranean influences and the presence of limestone contributed to the development of some special and rare plants found in the red book of Romania’s Flora.
The horned-viper and the tortoise are very common in the south-western part of the plateau, both being protected by law.
The European Movement for Action and Initiative Association (Asociaţia Mişcarea pentru Acţiune şi Iniţiativă Europeană– MAIE) has an important role in the conservation of the architecture of this area. Many historical monuments from villages such as Balta, Costesti and Prejna were brought to life by this association through many restoration projects.
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