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Visit Domogled - Valea Cernei National Park

Cerna Valley is one of those places you will fall in love with in the very first moment you put your feet on the ground! Come and meet this gorgeous national park Romania has to offer!

Even though we recommend visiting this amazing park during Spring, when the rivers and waterfalls are full of energy or Autumn, when all the trees and plants have a mix of amber, green and yellow color, you will certainly enjoy it in the Summer or Winter months as well. This is the kind of park that will surprise you on every step you take. The Domogled - Valea Cernei National Park is a paradise for rock climbing, hiking, rafting, balneotherapy and many more, just continue reading to get a feeling of what you can do here.

Cerna Valley

Best road to Domogled - Valea Cernei


  • Even though I do not consider myself an expert I could talk a lot about Cerna Valley because it is a region quite dear to me which I’ve hiked and explored intensively. Even though most people come here for the spa treatments (the baths in Herculane date from the time of the Roman occupation around the year 106) the area has a lot more to offer.

Munţii Cernei (Cerna Mountains)

  • Arjana Peak - 1511 m, this "tiny" and isolated mountain top offers a truly impressive hiking trail.
  • The Amazing World of the Cerna Valley hamlets, a total of 80 isolated households, forgotten in the mists of time with no real road or electricity connection.
  • One of the most spectacular waterfalls in Romania, Vânturătoarea is little known but of an amazing beauty.
  • Corcoaiei Gorge, the legend says it was formed when the brave Iovan Iorgovan hit the rocks behind which the mighty dragon was hiding with his sword - the legend continues on the peak of Piatra Iorgovanului (Iorgovan’s Stone) in the Retezatul Mic Mountains, the final resting place of the hero. 
  • Another impressive landmark is the Prisăcinei Gorge, an exciting 1 day hike.
  • Lacul Valea lui Iovan (Iovan’s Lake), Lacul Prisaca (Prisaca Lake) - excellent bike paths.
  • Grota Haiducilor (Outlaw’s Cavern), located at a distance of  fifteen minutes from the Roman Hotel

Munţii Mehedinţi (Mehedinţi Mountains)

  • At the start and end of the mountain range there are two peaks that simply welcome and surprise tourists, Vârful lui Stan (Stan’s Peak) and Vârful Domogled (Domogled Peak).
  • The spectacular Cheile Ţăsnei (Ţăsnei Gorge) - with its Moara Dracilor (Devil’s Mill) - and the Cheile Ferengari (Ferengari Gorge).
  • Crovuri, these land formations represent sort of a circular or oblong tableland developed on loess by compaction. A very unique and peaceful place, a must see in Valea Cernei.

Good to know

  • Road: The road from Băile Herculane or Baia de Aramă is paved but not of an exceptional quality, it will get you where you want to go, don’t expect a smooth trip but it's accessible for any type of car.
  • Tax: No entrance fee.
  • Accommodation: Most of the places to stay can be found in Băile Herculane where you can find a lot of diversity and prices depending on preference. If you have hiking in mind we recommend one of the following two options that are close to many trails and around 12 km from Băile Herculane: Dumbrava Motel or by tent in one of the clearings close to the Motel. The location is great for most tracks and has the advantage of being somewhat remote and away from the hustle of the resort.
  • Campfire: You can build a campfire in the (private) campsite mentioned above.
  • Water sources: Herculane is a paradise of thermal baths and springs of all kinds. We can find  several kinds of drinkable water, but I prefer water to be odorless, colorless and tasteless. As such I recommend the permanent water spring (by the road) located right after the Seven Springs thermal baths or the small spring across of the Motel Dumbrava.

Stuff to do

  • Cerna Valley is a small paradise for rock climbing enthusiasts or professionals, the tracks are always in top shape. In May, every year, you can take part in the HCO (Herculane Climbing Open), one of the biggest international climbing competition that takes place in Romania.
  • Also in May, there is a big Yoga gathering here, already famous around the world.
  • A lot of hiking trails, you could go to Herculane a full year and still you might not have seen everything.
  • Great bicycle routes.
  • Balneotherapy, Herculane was one of Romania’s pearls that was internationally recognized since Roman times, coveted by the great royal families of Europe but, unfortunately, the resort has long been (and still is) forgotten by the authorities. It still operates but not at the former standards.
  • A little bit of rafting, canyoning and caving here and there.
  • To get an idea of some of the hikes available in this area please consult this map.

Average temperatures

  • The annual average temperature is around 10-12°C even if we are in a mountain region. On the peaks of the Godeanu Mountains, the annual average temperature goes down to around 0°C. For the current weather report please check YR on Băile Herculane.

 If you have been in this park let us know what you most liked, what would you recommend or  simply what was your adventure there. Just drop a comment below!

Happy trails!

Arjana Peak
Crovul Mare
Valea lui Iovan Lake
Stan's Peak
Vanturatoarea Waterfall
Visit Domogled - Valea Cernei National Park Reviewed by Alex on 12:22 Rating: 5


  1. And how about wildlife during the hikes?? Are there any bears in the park?

    1. Hey Milorad,

      Even if Romania, generally, has a big population of bears, in this particular park there were no reports of bears so far, making it a rather safe place for tourists. What you can encounter though, are wild boars (never seen one but saw marks on the ground) and quite a lot of snakes (vipers) - so mind your step while enjoying nature!


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