A Fairytale Destination: Romania’s Sohodol Gorges (Cheile Sohodolului)
Set in a less touristy part of Romania (i.e. Gorj county, which has lots of treasures in store for tourists), the Sohodol Gorges are a 20-minute drive from Târgu Jiu and they make for a fairytale destination with breathtaking scenery!
It’s the Vulcan Mountains that harbour this hidden holiday treasure, the ravine carved into rock which, no matter where you’re coming from, won’t fall short of impressing you. Particularly in summertime, the area is really crowded with tourists flocking to enjoy the sights, and adrenaline junkies doing rock-climbing or beating the many off-road trails.
Entering the wild gorges you’ll feel as if walking through the surreal setting of a fantasy movie. The locals call this rock formation carved by nature “the Ring”, because it is perfectly round. Just looking down you’ll spot “The Nose” or “Nostrils”, yet another formation where the waters of the Sohodol sculpted their way through solid rock. Here climbers can choose from various tracks graded by difficulty.
As you’re climbing up along the ravine, the scenic view will leave you speechless, with waterfalls, plants and wildlife that can only be seen in few other areas. Take plenty of photos here, and you’re guaranteed to make a stunning impression on even your most fault-finding, pernickety (Facebook) friend! As for the four-wheel drivers out there, you can take to the tens of kilometres of off-road trails which are actually included in one of the main national off-road racing tours.
The Sohodol Gorges are a 5-kilometre long reminder of how wonderfully generous nature has been with us. The whole trip makes for an impressive display of natural beauty, but it is the mountain top, the Pleşa Peak (around 1,450 metres) where real splendour unfolds. If you make it up there, you know you’re lucky: it’s the panoramic point where image beats words…
Well, if you’ve made up your mind to take a trip there, remember to book accommodation in one of the quaint pensions located near the entrance to the Sohodol Gorges.