Mountain range: Mehedinți (+ Cerna Mountains)
Area: Isverna village, Mehedinți county, Oltenia, Romania
Road access: through Târgu Jiu and Baia de Aramă
Activities: hiking and mountain biking trails (+ splashing in hot springs)
- hike through Mehedinti true 'Crovuri' (impressive)
- picturesque, MTB bike trails
- MTB route through Crovuri (for the most adventurous)
- Corcoaiei Gorges
- Râmnuței / Râmânuței Gorges
- Prisăcinei Gorges
- Cosuștei Gorges
- the thermal baths of Herculane
We spent 6 days in the area:
- a hike on unmarked paths, where we discovered new areas, we reached the top of Poiana Beletina and climbed above Crovul Mare;
- 4 MTB routes, different in terms of distances, level of ascent and landscapes, from forest roads, picturesque to climbing and crossing through creeks;
- Visit to the Corcoaiei Gorges:
- a well deserved bath in thermal waters, at 7 Izvoare, Herculane and in Cerna;
- we located the Râmnuței / Râmânuței Gorges where we want to return with equipment and time to go through them;
- we located the Prisăcinei Gorges, where we also want to return, to go through them;
- not less important, we relaxed in the nature, with a few nights sleeping either beside the fire or in a hammock, outside;
We fully achieved some objectives , others we just located with the idea of future outings. About the whole story in the lines below.
Day 1, MTB route, “behind the house” circuit
I don't even get out of the backyard, on a bike, and something doesn't sound right. I wish it's not something serious and we continue. It doesn't seem to ring anymore. After only 1 km of cycling, the rear wheel hub breakes ... Pfaaaai. The second time I want to go mountain biking in Mehedinți and the second time I have problems with the bike. This is bad luck! I didn't see a way out of the situation, I can't fix it. In addition, there is a front of angry bad clouds, so we take shelter from the rain. Where we are it is raining quietly, 1 km away torrentially!
I run back, on foot, of course the rain catches me and I take Matei's bike (thanks!), But not before I quickly eat some pancakes (pancakes cooked by Lidia) and put 2 in my backpack for Luciana and Ovi who were waiting for me to continue the MTB route. We meet, we enter the route and after a while, on a slight climb, Luciana breaks the chain. Literally :)). Don't say anything more… The funny part is that the chain press is on my bike, which I abandoned, because now I'm with Matei's bike.
What's to do? Logical it would be to go back, but no, we are ambitious. We call Matei =)) We continue the route with an ascent, Luciana on foot, next to the bike because a longer descent comes up, at the end of which the “support and intervention car” (Matei) is waiting for us and we solve the problem.
We have a relaxed pace, not at all sporty, we stop for pictures, the weather it's nice , nice views, but we continue going forward, until we find cherries. For about 30-45 minutes, we were 'hung' with our hands by the cherry branches from which we ate till we could no more. How can you not like the trail ?!
The route continues on forest roads and the best part is at the end, a cool, interesting descent, on a narrow path, a 'single track'. Despite all the challenges, we managed to complete the planed trail. : D
Day 2, hike in Poiana Beletina
I also appreciated this day because we didn't walk too much on marked routes but on older paths known by the locals. We explored a little, discovered nice, interesting areas and of course, the 'Crovuri' part is always nice. In addition to the exploration part, we looked a little critically and anticipated what it would be like to do a bike ride up through Crovuri.
Before retreating, we made a stop at a sheepfold in Beletina and ate a traditional meal, polenta and fresh sheep cheese...
Day 3, Isverna - Crovuri MTB circuit
After the first day I had all kinds of technical problems, the next day, after the hike, Mircea was temporarily left without some of the MTB equipment (backpack, helmet and biking shoes with SPD), Another story… For my bike, Matei helped me with another rear wheel, for Mircea he found a backpack and SPD biking shoes with SPD.
The ascent from Isverna to Beletina is sustained, on a forest road, so you can pedal up. From there we cross the glade and follow the path on an ascent, where we had apush bike and then, after we bypassed Crovul Mare, a super descent followed to Poienile Porcului, from where we crossed Crovul Medved, not before taking a group photo with a view towards the Cerna Valley. We also had to get off the bike and push them again, to get out of Medved, but it was very nice and it worth it. The retreat was on bicycles, only that at one point the road was significantly affected by some work being done in the area and water erosion, so we went down more slowly and carefully.
Another day, another super trail completed!
Day 4, Isverna - Cerna-Vârf MTB circuit
It is a nice mountain biking route, which you enjoy because you have nice areas to go through, suitable for cycling. Partly, the route goes on “Via Transilvănica”, passes through Prejna, Gornovița, and after the Coada Cornetului, from Cerna-Vârf, we also entered through Coșuștei Gorges on a road that was in preparation to be asphalted, by where we could diversify on other routes, but we returned.
Day 5, relaxation & discovery on the Cerna Valley +
A day of exploration and relaxation at the end. Thiswe went with the car to see the Corcoaiei Gorges, withc we wanted to see from some time now and on our way we also identified the Râmânuței Gorges (as they appear on the map). They look interesting and the're on our list for the next time we return to this area. From here we descended on the Cerna Valley, where, before reaching Herculane, we ran to the beginning of the Prisăcinei Gorges, where we also want to return for the whole circuit.
We ended the day at Herculaneum, with a relaxing bath at 7 Springs and returned to Isverna.
Day 6, MTB circuit in the Gornovița area with return through Nadanova
We left quite late in the afternoon and went around exploring other roads and paths through the area. We also had a short area of wbike push, because we tried a road that at one point ends and we didn't want to go back Next, the whole route was on roads and paths apropiate for cross cpontry mountain biking.
The whole Isverna experience was very nice, authentic! The area, although not very well known, not exploited for tourism, is picturesque and allows many activities, from hiking to MTB trails and excursions to visit various objectives, even climbing and canyoning.
p.s .: Because not everyone is interested in stories / texts, I chose to write at the beginning of the article some specifications on the subject, later, our story for thoes days. If you have any other suggestions please, I would appreciate you sending them to me and I will adapt according to the feedback (more detailed, shorter stories, more directions, etc.).