Facts about the road from Drobeta to Moldova Veche
Location: Romania, Europe
Length: 132 km
Time to arrive: 2h, 10 min
Wide: 2 lane road
Surface quality (out of 5): 4
Highest point: 250 m
Operating times: all year
Romanian national road no via DN6
Route: From Drobeta to Moldova Veche
Description of the road Drobeta to Moldova Veche
Drobeta Turnu Severin is strategically located to act as a transshipment point on the Danube for traffic headed to northwest Romania and to cities such as Craiova. To reach Moldova Veche from here, you have to drive along the Danube River for over 130 km. It is one of the most beautiful stretches, with good asphalt, more than 90%. The other 10% unfortunately is full of unexpected, dangerous holes so you have to pay attention to the road and keep a safe speed.
Nevertheless, it’s a must admire the beauty of nature, because the landscape is amazing and will give you a memory for a lifetime. South and west of Drobeta-Turnu Severin, just below the town of Orşova, the Danube River begins a series of twists and turns between towering rocks that have bedeviled sailors from time immemorial.
This is the place where the greatness of the Carpathians meets the well-known Danube and the combination of water and mountains is truly breathtaking. It’s such a unique place in Europe; it’s the Danube’s most impressive defile, located right next to the Serbian border.
Tourist attraction from the road Drobeta to Moldova Veche
The river, here, narrows to 220 m and reaches a depth of 75 m. There are several tourist attractions such as the fortress of Tricule, most of it flooded, but by far the most impressive landmark is the Iron Gates, two narrow and tall gorges formed by the river of Danube. La Cazane is located, close to Iron Gates. By car, you can follow the indicators from Orsova to Moldova Noua, Ieselnita and Dubova and after 25 km you’ll enter the defile. The road that crosses the defile is bordered on one side by the fast waters of the Danube and on the other side by abrupt hills.
You can check in at one of many pitoresque pensions placed on the shore of the river and then you can start exploring the Cazane. Once you have reached the golf of Marconia you’ll be amazed by the massive stone monument of the king Decebalus, the last kind of Dacia. It is the tallest rock sculpture in Europe (55 m in height). The presence of this statue reminds us the importance of Dacians for the European culture.
In front of Decebal’s Statue, there is Tabula Traiana, a 2000 years old memorial stone, built after the victory of the Roman Empire over Dacia in 105-106. You’ll also see scattered reminders of ancient settlements that were submerged in the 1960s during construction of the Iron Gates Hydroelectric Power Plant, 10km west of Drobeta-Turnu Severin.
One of the most famous of these settlements was the island of Ada Kaleh, a Turkish enclave that had survived into the 20th century but was totally destroyed during construction of the dam. There are two ways to access the park. If you have your own wheels, local Hwy 57 hugs the river for a distance of more than 100km from Orşova to Moldova Nouă. It’s one of Romania’s most dazzling road trips and cuts straight through the heart of the national park.
To find it, you have to follow Hwy E70 from Drobeta-Turnu Severin west in the direction of Timişoara. As you approach Orşova, cross a bridge and bear left on the road sign-posted ‘Orşova Centru’. From here, follow the signs to Hwy 57 ‘Moldova Nouă’.
If you have the time, cross the Serbian border at Portile de Fier I and see the defile from the other part as well. This place is worth the drive no matter how long it takes you to get there.
The road from Drobeta to Moldova Veche, an enjoyable one
The road on the Romanian side was almost deserted, as truck traffic was banned through the heart of the gorges, and surprisingly flat given the terrain. Looking across the river, the road on the Serbian side looked far less inviting, with heavy traffic and an endless series of tunnels.
On our side, despite a landslide that had almost blocked the road in one spot, the pavement was, as mentioned earlier, in good shape. If you are thinking to spend some time visiting the area, you can stop to Steaua Dunarii Pension, the first built in the area of the natural Park Iron Gates that opened for Romanian and foreign tourists.
Steaua Dunarii Pension is situated in a natural, picturesque environment, on the Danube’s bank, on the national road DN 57 (the road Orsova- Svinita-Moldova Noua), 15km far from Orsova.
Driving the road end to end will take over two hours. The road from Drobeta to Moldova Veche is so enjoyable, especially on the tighter sections while still remaining comfortable enough to keep its occupants happy for more than two hours of driving.