PLACES WHERE YOU GIVE YOUR HAND WITH NATURE
If you dream of breathtaking sights, come to the Anina Mountains, on the shores of the Buhui and Marghitaş lakes. Here you can shake hands with nature either at the end of the day, after a trip to Oraviţa – Anina or to Almăj Country or at the end of the week when you wish to escape from everyday stress in the middle of nature.
The Anina Mountains are located west of the Semenic Mountains, separated by the Bârzava Valley to the North and the Poneasca Valley to the south. They are also called the Caraş Mountains, because from all the great rivers of Banat, Caras is the only one that springs from the Anina Mountains, in the Carneala area, at an altitude of 600 m .
The Anina Mountains have been ” well known for the natural richness theyhave been comprising for a long time, and lately they have started to be more and more sought for the natural beauties they reveal at every step.” [Sencu V., 1978].
The Anina Mountains are made of limestone deeply cut by the rivers Caraş, Bârzava, Miniş, Nera, Poneasca and Buhui, and their tributaries, “which have dug a real labyrinth of dunes (called ponoare in the local idiom), gorges, caves, deep valleys, steep rock corners, shapes of fantastic animals, etc., making this mountain range one of the most picturesque in the country. “[Bizera M., 1971].
The Nera Gorges (22 km long) resulted from the clash between the waters and the limestone, being the longest and the most spectacular gorge in Romania, the wild Gorges of Caras (19 km long), with its stony corals and meanders through which the sparkling river passes, the Minis Gorges (14 km) alternating wide and narrow passages, and the beautiful Gârlişte Gorges (9 km) and Buhui Gorges (8 km).
The calcium carbonate shaped the dream world of the caves of Comarnic, Popovăţ and Buhui, crossed by underground rivers.
The height of the Anina Mountains is small, with only a few peaks over 1000 m. The highest is the Leordis Peak (1 161 m).
You need to get to the town of Anina, the starting point on the beautiful and spectacular routes through the Anina Mountains, of which we propose you to take the routes to Lake Buhui, the Caraş Spring and Mărghitaş Lake.
Lake Buhui. It is a wonderful place where nature has surpassed itself in beauty: a place of retreat and meditation, an oasis of greenery and tranquillity. Lake Buhui is the first reservoir in Romania built on limestone. It was set up along the Buhui River for Anina’s water supply.
In 1884, a small underground lake was set up by damming the course of the river at the exit of the Buhui cave. Then, between the years 1907-1908, the current dam was built in the upstream of the underground lake, being 60 m long and 4 m wide. Buhui Lake is situated at an altitude of 640 m and has a maximum depth of 12 m. It stretches over a distance of 1 km and has an area of almost 10 ha, collecting water in a volume of 500 thousand m³.
It is worth seeing it because you can recharge both your body and soul in these places with beneficial energy and you always come back with great pleasure.
The hiking trail route is: Anina (railway station) –Maial- Buhui Lake- 6 km, in 1.5 hours.
In order to get to the lake, use the hiking trail from Anina to Bozovici, turning to the left at the Sigismund district in the town, near the cemetery, on Buhui Street. After 3 km of walking on the paved road in the centre of Anina, you reach the Maial Glade, once a camping site and a picnic area where the Miner’s Day used to be organised. The distance of 1 km from the intersection to Maial is covered in 15 minutes on foot. There are several forest roads from Maial. Take the right side of the paved road to Buhui Lake from here and descend gently through the thick forest of mixed beech trees and conifers. After 3 km (45 min), you reach the tail of the lake. Further away, the trail follows the left bank of the lake to the dam, where the road branches out: the left branch leads to Buhui Forestry Cabin on the lake shore, and the left branch goes along the river downstream to Buhui Cave.
We pass the dam and go to Buhui Chalet, where we rest on the white wooden gazebo’s benches, framed harmoniously in the landscape of the surrounding water and forest. The waters of the lake have little greenish sparks in the rays of the sun. Sitting on the dock, try to unravel the mystery of the lake’s beauty – one of the most beautiful in Mountainous Banat – “which charms the eyes slipping its branches through the banks with rich vegetation, with soft light, with meadows and beech and fir forest.” [Terchilă M., 2009].
Nature lovers can find accommodation at the cabin, and grace to Nicu Şuşara, the area guide, the short stay can turn into an unforgettable vacation. You can take easy walks around the lake to immortalize in quiet and breathing clean air “the beauty of the lake reflecting the vegetation from the welcoming banks and the thick forest that surrounds it.” [Negrea S., Black, A., 2004].
Nicu takes you for a hiking day to the Buhui Cave, the Caraş Spring, and places you have never dreamed before of visiting.
Those who are not active hikers, but like to be cosy, can lie in the sun on the pontoon and fish with the fishing rod. Clear waters are rich in fish and you can fish especially chub, carp and rarely native trout.
When the sun sets and darkness envelops this place, Nicu prepares the wood for a campfire around which tourists gather for reminiscing and telling the adventures of the day. They are singing and dancing, drinking boiled wine or hot tea to give a unique taste to grilled meals.
We are going to tell you a little secret, maybe you will not believe it, but it’s true. Attracted by the smell of barbeques and the light of the campfire, the tourists will have a red-furred guest from the forest too, namely the fox. The “hen – eater,” as people in Banat villages calls him, usually comes close to the fire and people and is not at all shy. Sometimes he’s eating from the tourist’s hand. Come to Buhui Lake and discover these little secrets giving charm and colour to your holiday days.
Only 3 km from Buhui Lake you can find the longest cave in Banat, the Buhui Cave, a true monument of nature. Through it the Buhui River has the longest underground water track that is 3217 m.
From Buhui Cabin, you can continue the trip till the Caraş spring.
The hiking route is: Buhui Lake– Carneala Forestry Service – Caraş spring – 4,8 km, 1 hour and 45 min.
In order to reach one of the most splendid springs in Romania, and namely the Caraş Spring, you have to start on the forest road that continues from Buhui Lake to the east. After a climb with switchbacks through the beech and fir forest, crossing the watershed, you reach the Carneala Forestry Cabin after 3.5 km (a walk of 1 hour and 15 minutes), located in the middle of the migthy, quiet and dark forest. After a halt stop there, accompanied by a ranger or a native, we will continue the journey for another 1.3 km until the big aperture of the Carneala Cave, at an altitude of 812 m, having a visible glacier on it until early summer. Here, the “guide” will show us the concealed path descending abruptly through the thick forest, to the Caraş Spring.
The Caraş Spring. It is unique due to its debit. After coming out strongly from the limestone cliffs, the water is flowing with a high debit over the pile of leaves fallen from the beech forest, leaves that have become” petrified” and formed successively natural travertine dams with small basins through which the river is flowing down as if coming down some stairs. The closer we come to the spring, the louder we hear the sound of the water, and soon it becomes like a thunder. Near the spring, we are at a 650 m altitude, on the banks of the Caraş River, a karst river with a high flow at the springs, in a wild and picturesque landscape at the same time. The beech forest forms a true green alley along the crystal clear water on its way to the valley.
“Going round the Caraş spring, the tall trunks of the beech trees barely leave the light of the sun pass and shine on the water mirror of the newly born river.” [Meila M., 2008].
It is the place where the passerby’s eyes, unable to run freely in the distance because of the trees, are attracted by the water-stone plays. These plays, every time they’re watched, look different. From the Caraş spring, it goes down to Ceresnaia Glade and from here, after 1 km, you reach “The Flag’s Road”, on the embankment of the former forest railway built between Anina and Resita, on a distance of 33 km.
The hiking trail is: Anina (train station) – Mărghitaş Lake – 6 km, 1.5 hours
From Anina’s centre, you go towards Resita, climbing the serpentines to the town’s belvedere point. From there, at the “Mărghitaş” indicator you have to take the right, first on a paved road, then on a gravel road to Mărghitaş Glade (4 km), situated near Mărghitaş Lake. This reservoir, very romantic and picturesque, is distinct from Buhui Lake both through the trees guarding it, which in this case are not beech trees, but a compact hornbeam forest, as well as the shape and size of the lake. Mărghitaş Lake is also located on the Buhui River, at an altitude of 545 m, and has the shape of an arrow extending over a length of 400 m, with a surface of 4 ha and a water volume of 200 thousand m³. It was formed behind the 7m high concrete dam, 30m long and 1.5m wide. In summer you can take a boat trip on the lake and in winter you can skate on it. Erika Guesthouse offers besides the unique meals and accommodation services, the possibility of riding from spring to autumn and to use a horse-pulled sleigh for a trip during the winter.
Hiking and caving lovers can also take trips to the nearby caves.