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Oltet Valley and Polovragi Monastery in Romania

One of the most inciting and charming trips in the county of Gorj of southwestern Romania can be experienced along the idyllic Oltet Valley, north of the Polovragi village. The valley that separates two mountain ranges encloses unbelievable treasures, uniquely beautiful landscapes that remain imprinted into your soul. The Oltet River usually flows peacefully, following an open valley for the most part, except a small region before it exits the mountains. That is where the Oltet Gorges appear, a unique and wild place with the river cutting a path through the mountains along millions of years. The narrowest canyon in Europe is somewhat claustrophobic at times, with the rocks closing in over the river and the road, transforming the trip into an adventure. Still in the canyon, a large entrance leads to the mysterious cave of Polovragi, with its fascinating legends. Guarding over the gate between the mountains, the beautiful and peaceful monastery of Polovragi is a place of silent meditation and awe.

The Oltet Valley truly is a magical place, its landscapes changing with the seasons and offering unique sensations of atonement facing the natural splendor of the world.

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The gorges of Oltet Valley River have been created along a narrow limestone region between two mountain ranges, right where it leaves the mountains behind. Although only less than two kilometers long, these unbelievable gorges are truly spectacular and wild, with a wealth of unique geological and biodiversity features. Their special character comes from the narrow canyon formed between the mountains, with a gap of only four to five meters, the minimum being under a meter which makes it the narrowest canyon in Europe. Along the gorges, there are also small waterfalls, underground flooded tunnels and cave entrances, the most important being the Polovragi Cave. The gorges of Oltet are a protected natural area, with hundreds of rare species of plants and wildlife.

The Polovragi Cave offers its visitors a mesmerizing journey into the depths of Earth, but also into its fascinating myths and legends. It is believed that the cave was once the home of Zamolxis, the supreme god of the Dacians, ancestors of today Romanians. The Oltet River has created this unique labyrinth of galleries and tunnels on multiple levels, most inaccessible to visitors and some still hidden. Nature has created here an extraordinary universe of cave formations and spectacular elements. A short but intense visit, exploring the cave of Polovragi offers a multitude of discoveries and sensations, from the incredible geological characteristics to the legends and even some supernatural phenomena.

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On the spectacular backdrop of the Oltet Canyon, the shining silhouette of the Polovragi Monastery creates a stunning image. The monastery witnesses the peaceful passing of seasons in the mountains behind for centuries, a sort of refuge for travelers in search of true belief. The monastery of Polovragi dates back to the beginning of the sixteenth century, with multiple changes and additions along the years. There are two churches inside the walls of the monastery with nun cells and other buildings scattered through its flowery courtyards. The paintings of both churches are extremely rich and interesting. There is also a small museum with old valuable religious books and icons.

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Accommodation near Oltet Valley in Romania

Caterina’s Mansion 3*

9.9 Rating from 59 Reviews!

One of the most beautiful accommodation options in Polovragi, it offers pleasant rooms with all amenities, a kitchen, a large garden with playground and outdoor swimming pool!

Miraj Guesthouse 3*

9.7 Rating from 55 Reviews!

Located inside an enchanting garden in the village of Polovragi, this guesthouse features nice rooms with private bathrooms, a kitchen, a lounge area and a playground!

Maria Guesthouse 3*

9.7 Rating from 48 Reviews!

This excellent guesthouse is located in Polovragi, within walking distance from the Olteț Valley area. It features comfortable rooms with bathroom and kitchen, shared lounge and garden!

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