Nera's Gorges

Nera River springs from the western part of Southern Carpathians, actually from the Semenic Mountains. At the point where Nera River enters Anina Mountains, the water flow has carved out a breathtaking landscape, whose most attractive point is the Nera Gorges; the straits here are extremely spectacular, wild and rather hard to reach. The keys’ surrounding regions make a national park that was founded in 2004 and stretches along an area of about 37,000 hectares.

The Nera Gorges – Beuşniţa Nature Reserve was for the first time protected in 1943. The need was felt to protect the area in terms of landscape, as well as in terms of its biodiversity. At the surface, diversity lies in the Nera Gorges, the biggest of their kind across the country. According to some specialists there are 20 kilometers long, while others describe them as being 22 kilometers long;aAs for the subterranean landscape - caves and other karstic phenomena. And in terms of biodiversity, there are all sorts of species with Mediterranean influence that can only be found in this region.

In terms of landscape, some of Nera Gorges, most admired spots are such crystal-clear water expands such as the Bey’s Eye or the Devil’s Lake, the Beuşniţa and Văioaga waterfalls, as well as tunneled pathways in Sasca Montană.

About one third of Romania’s earth flora can be found in the Park. The fitogeografic analysis shows the predominance of the European elements in a broad sense, 603 species (58.3%), of which 305 Euro-Asian species, 152 European, 124 Central European, 52 circumpolar. It is also noticed in the flora of the park a large number of southern elements: 209 species (about 19%). Endemic species for the Nera Gorges National Park were identified such as the Banat peony (Paeonia maculata), as well as other species, which are Mediterranean and here in the Nera Gorges found a favorable climate due to the heat that can be found on lime stones. Such species are the filbert tree (Corylus colurna), the wig tree (Cotinus coggyria), and many others.

The fauna in the Nera Park is very rich, among rivers, groves and forests. The terrestrial fauna is represented by a number of 313 taxa, 29 endemisms, 45 rare species, out of which 119 species are protected and strictly protected by the Romanian and international law. The Nera river has fish species that can be described as endemic. For instance, here can be found the Aspro Streber, also known as the loach. This kind of fish is a unique case of how the perch can adapt to living in the fast mountain rivers. This species of fish was considered extinct, or on the verge of extinction across the park, but in 2006 several researchers from the Grigore Antipa Museum managed to capture five samples of the species that are now kept at the Museum. Among reptiles, two venomous species stand out, the viper (Vipera ammodytes), and the adder (Vipera berus). We should also mention the Carpathians’ scorpion (Euscorpius carpaticus), which is a real symbol of the Nera Gorges – Beuşniţa National Park, and is even pictured on this protected area’s emblem. The park also has big mammals, such as the wild boar, the bear, the lynx or the wild cat.

Today, tourism is the region's sole source of income, as long as locals and tourists alike respect the rules and boundaries implied by the protected area. Administrators of the Nera Gorges – Beuşniţa National Park are constantly monitoring tourists who enter the area, and step in to take measures in case any of them break park rules. At the entrance, each tourist pays a fee of little over one euro, and is given a leaflet with park rules and a bag for collecting their trash.