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Cerna Valley Hikes - Domogled Peak

Domogled Peak circuit is an accessible and enjoyable hike that will offer a stunning view over the whole Baile Herculane resort. You will start the track right from Herculane, behind Cerna Hotel, and it will take you on two mountain tops, Domogledul Mic - 1099 meters and Domogledul Mare - 1105 meters and through the fascinating Ferengari Gorge. Domogled is the first important peak of the Mehedinti Mountains and it looks like a giant compared to the surrounding area and resort that is located at only 160 meters altitude.  Because this whole region is so close to Serbia you can guess that there are strong Slavic influences around, for example, the names of some places - Cerna River (Crne - means black) - Domogled - the mountain from  where you can see home.

domogled-peak-hike-view-crucea-alba


Hiking stats


Time: 8 hours
Distance: 10 kilometers
Altitude gain: + / - 1000 meters
Difficulty: easy / medium
Route: ca.gif bg.gif GPS Track

 

Where is this?


Getting to Baile Herculane is pretty easy and the road is really good no matter where you are coming from. To reach Herculane from Timisoara you need to go on road E70 in the direction of Lugoj and Caransebes; note that both towns have ring-roads so no need to go through them. After passing by Mehadia, a small town, you will have to do a left turn in about 5 kilometers in order to enter Baile Herculane over a narrow concrete bridge. The road has good markings and the entrance is hard to miss as the railway station is also there.

 

Entrance fee?


There is no entrance fee for the Domogled - Cerna Valley National Park but if you wish to enter the thermal baths at some resorts you might need to either book a room there or pay the admission to the pool.

 

Let’s start!


The hike starts in the vicinity of Hotel Cerna and the access point is right from road DN67D, that goes around Baile Herculane on its right side. You can see the exact point to enter the Crucea Alba - Domogled hike here, use the Street View to pinpoint the location. On the road, you will see many markings pointing you in the direction of Crucea Alba on the ca.gif track. The first part of the hike is on a wide footpath with many benches on the sides and it will take you approximately 1 hour until reaching Crucea Alba (White Cross).


domogled-peak-hike-curcea-alba
Crucea Alba


Shortly after the great viewpoint over Herculane city, the path splits in two and we will further to the right on the bg.gif marking. From here you leave the forest behind and enter a more rocky landscape that will guide you until reaching the first peak, Domogledul Mic (1099 meters), in roughly 3 hours walking time.

Domogledul Mic Peak

Remain on the bg.gif marking path in the direction of Domogledul Mare Peak and then until the very end.

View from Domogledul Mic towards Domogledul Mare

You will recognize easy the big peak - it has painted directly on the rocks it's name and altitude.

Domogledul Mare Peak

After the final mountaintop, you will start your descent and at some point your footpath will intersect with the ca.gif and pr.gif markings. Continue descending through Ferengari Gorge until reaching the main road, DN67D. Head back to your car on the main road for 2.5 kilometers either on foot or by hitch-hiking a ride.

The descend 

domogled-peak-hike-crucea-alba-view
View point on top of Crucea Alba

Where do I sleep?


There are plenty accommodation options in Herculane, depending on personal budget and preferences, you can choose from. Our favorite spot is the small camping glave next to Dumbrava Motel, roughly 14 kilometers from Baile Herculane. We like this place because it is remote and far away from the busy life of the resort and also it is close to most hiking routes in the area. If you wish for even more intimacy you can cross the footbridge over Cerna River that is located in front of the motel and camp in that glave. Both glaves are owned by a local farmer that sometimes comes to collect approximately 1 euro (5 lei) per person/night for your stay there but he accepts any currency as we found out at some point (we had only euro with us). There are no toilets or bathrooms available in the glaves but for such things you are welcomed to use the facilities at Motel Dumbrava as the owners are really open to this.

We usually eat at the motel as the prices are really decent, a breakfast would be 2-3 euro and a lunch about 4-5 euro but if you have packed food you are welcome to eat it on their outdoor terrace free of charge. If the outdoor sleeping isn’t your thing you can rent a cozy double room at Dumbrava that will cost you 18 euro per night (80 lei) and you will also have access to their indoor swimming pool. From the motel, you have many close destinations and hikes that don't require a car to get to.

 

What do I eat?


It really depends on what you have planned to do and where you are sleeping, but you will find many restaurants in Baile Herculane. If you are sleeping close to or at Dumbrava Motel they are serving food from 8 AM until around 10 PM but if you are hiking in the mountain you will have to pack your own food as there are no chalets in the area.

 

Good to know!


Besides hiking and thermal baths, there are many other activities available in the area like rafting, canoeing, gliding, bouldering and mainly rock climbing. For climbing enthusiasts, Herculane is simply a paradise (because of the limestone rock composition of the mountains) with a lot of tracks scaling from easy to a professional level of difficulty. Most, if not all tracks are in great condition as the guys from Alternative, are constantly taking care of them. There is also a big annual international competition going on here for all levels of climbers that will take place somewhere in September 2015 (current year), the Herculane Climbing Open.

In the glaves close to Motel Dumbrava, you can build a campfire and there is a freshwater spring in the vicinity of the footbridge.

 

Other close destinations?


There are a lot of other destinations you can go to in the close vicinity, but for more info consult this map of the hiking routes in Domogled - Cerna Valley National Park.

domogled-peak-hike-track


domogled-peak-hike-flora


domogled-peak-hike-rocks

domogled-peak-hike-autumn

domogled-peak-hike-cerna-valley

Hope you found the information helpful and accurate, but remember, if you have any questions drop them in a comment below!

domogled-peak-hike-moss-hearth

Cerna Valley Hikes - Domogled Peak Reviewed by Alex on 09:20 Rating: 5

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