The 300 million years old Macin Mountains in the south eastern region of Dobrogea are the oldest in Romania, offering tourists plenty of sites, flora and fauna to explore.
The mountains, with an altitude ranging between 7 and 475 meters, registered at Tutuianu Peak, are home to the Macin Mountains National Park. Oak, flowering ash, hornbeam and downy oak forests cover the area, which encompasses over 1,770 plant species standing for almost half of the Romanian flora on only one percent of its surface. It is testimony of the century-old woods that covered the area almost 200 years ago. Out of these, around 63,000 hectares were lost during the 19th century when they were turned into arable land and communal pastures. Between 1950 and 1990 ecological reconstruction works were performed on 1,380 hectares of land to upgrade the state of the fields.
The rich biodiversity of the park, is also visible in the plant species that can be identified here. From the species in the park, 72 are protected as rare or endangered. At the same time, the Macin Mountains are the only site in the world where the endangered plant association between Gymnospermio altaicae – Celtetum glabratae with Celtis glabrata is found.
The cultural-historic objectives of the Macin Mountains include the Paleo-Christian Basilica with a crypt in the Niculitel village, the Curing Fountain in the Pricopan Heights, the Dinogetia Roman-Byzantine fortress, the Noviodunum Roman fortress in the town of Isaccea, the Arrubium Roman fortress in the town of Macin, the Aegyssus Roman fortress in Tulcea, and the Thracian-Getic fortress in the village of Turcoaia. Several churches that are historical monuments can also be found in the area: the Celic Dere monastery, the Cocos monastery built around 1833, and the Saon monastery, built around the same time.
Several tourist trails have been established here, among which the Wine Valley one, which starts in Cerna, goes through Cerna Valley and reaches Hamcearca, and references the vineyards typical of the Dobrogea region.
How to get there:
The Macin Mountains are 235 kilometers away from Bucharest, on the way to Braila after crossing the Danube towards Smardan. The route on Google maps is available here.
Photo source: ecomuntiimacinului.wordpress.com