On the day we planned to visit the Danube’s Cauldrons we didn’t head the alarm and we woke up late. So we arrived a little later than we planned.
As soon as you get to the Rock sculpture of Decebalus there are boats ready to take you to all the touristic objectives. Deciding what driver to spend the next 60 minutes can be a tough choice. Especially that it can change your whole experience through the information he provides, the touristic objectives he takes you to, and the more adventurous or no way in which the boat is headed.
Approximate cost / person: 35 lei (boat rental) + 5-10 lei (fee for Tabula Traiana) + 6 lei (fee for Veterans Grotto)
If you are here in the summertime, the best time to take a boat ride is in the morning. (it isn’t crowded and it will be cooler).
The driver will show you around for about 60 minutes to the following tourist attractions (two of which are for a fee):
Cauldrons are part of the Danube Gorge and have a length of 9 km. On both sides of the river, there are vertical rock walls. The Small Cauldrons are ~ 3 km long. They are located between the Ciucarul Mic Massif (on the Romania side) and the Mali Strbac Massif (Serbia).
The Big Cauldrons are located between the Ciucarul Mare Massif (in Romania) and Veliko Strbac Massif (in Serbia) with a length of ~ 4 km. At the base of the massif Ciucarul Mare there are two caves. You will visit them during the boat ride: Gura Ponicovei and Veterani.
At Veterans Cave you can get only by boat and it is 70 meters above the water. Between the 14th and 17th centuries, the Austrian empire had here a fortress, and the cave could shelter up to 250 soldiers. But the most spectacular legend of the cave is linked to sun rays that enter the cave in the morning through a stone window. The legend says that light falls exactly on the altar where the Dacians sacrificed birds to give them to gods’ as an offer.
Rock sculpture of Decebalus is a bas-relief on the banks of the Danube River, 55m high and 25m wide. Realizing the image that represents the last king of Dacia, took 10 years, finalizing in 2004.
Tabula Traiana is a memorial plaque raised by Emperor Trajan to mark the march and victory of the Roman imperial troops over the Dacian kingdom (105-106).
How else can you visit Danube’s Cauldrons?
The Danube can be admired by a simple car ride. From Drobeta-Turnu Severin to Orsova, the Danube has as its companion the European road E70. And until the river’s entry into the country, DN57 national road.
If you do not mind a little bit of exercise, there are a few tracks that can make your blood flow. We have chosen a trail that can be done in about an hour. And at the end of which you can admire the Danube Cauldrons from the height. The route is an easy one, but the climb in the first half may leave you a bit breathless.
The starting point of the trail is about 5 minutes away by car from Rock sculpture of Decebalus.
Most tourists prefer to just take a boat ride. So you can enjoy the peaceful nature by yourself and the landscapes that await you at the end of the trail.
Ecotourism Trail Ciucaru Mic
Route length: ~ 2km
Time: about 1 hour
Starting point: 1.6 km from Mraconia Monastery