Anina is located between Cheile Nerei - Beusnita National Park and Semenic - Cheile Carasului National Park, and due to its natural and industrial heritage deserves the status of a geo-park, a much needed status for such an important geological and historical area.
Anina (German: Steierdorf-Anina, Hungarian: Stájerlakanina) is located in the forested mountains of the same name, which represents the extension of the southern mountains of the Western Carpathians. The city is named after the Romanian word for “alder” (anin). The first inhabitants of Anina were the Austrian settlers’ families, who have reached the present territory of the city, founding the colony workers Steierdorf. In 1774, there were brought colonists from Austria, and then a Slovak colony, counting already 300 inhabitants. In January 1945, local Germans are taken to be deported to forced labor in the Soviet Union. It is predominantly a mining town that developed around coal mines. Unfortunately, after 1989, the town recorded a strong economic downturn. In 1952, this place acquires the status of city area, known as Anina. In 1996 the decline of mining begins, the mines being closed one by one.
The road to Anina is passable and in good condition. Route 58 is one of the most beautiful and well maintained roads. Anina town is located at: • about 32 km from the city of Resita, on Route 58; • 33 Km from the city Oravita, on Route 57B; • 34 Km from the city Bozovici, on Route 57B.
Traveling to Anina on that excellent historical rail system is a natural choice. The train to and from Anina runs twice a day, and makes almost 2 hours to destination – Oravita. But worth it, because of the great landscapes that can be seen!
The bus schedule is subject to often changes and information is rarely posted on official sites such as www.autogari.ro . The information below is to give you a rough idea, please contact locals for the most up-to-date bus schedules!!!
From and to Resita: there is one minibus between 08:00 to 15:00 every hour. The minibus leaves in Resita from the bus stop near Plus Supermarket.
From and to Timisoara: Buses leave from Timisoara official bus stop (Autogara)at 11:30 (arrives in Anina around 15:30); 13:30 (arrives in Anina around 17:30); 14:00 (arrives in Anina around 18:00) In Anina buses to Timisoara stop in the bus stops in the Center and the center of Steierdorf village. First bus leaves at 4:30 in the morning (arrives in Timisoara around 8:30); 5:30 (arrives in Timisoara around 9:30); 11:30 (arrives in Timisoara around 15:30) Inside the city there is the local company COSTAS that tours the city every hour.
The city is not so big and thus quite walkable. A fantastic base for touring, a car is required to get around to all the sights and activities. If you have a bicycle, you can get around the city very easily, because the streets make the rides quite comfortable. There is also a bus to Resita, the capital of Caraş-Severin County, in the Banat region, every 1 hour. On mountain routes, the best way to travel is, besides walking, using jeeps or off-road motorcycle/motocross (for those who seek adrenaline!). In terms of administrative and urban planning, the city is organized into four main districts: - Anina - Steierdorf - Bradet district, - New Town neighborhood.
The easiest way to get around Anina is by foot. If you are renting, it is substantially less money to visit the city by walking.
The tourism potential of the area is special. The mountains of Anina are formed 70% of karst rocks and the waters have carved various specific formations such as waterfalls, slopes, caves, gorges. Anina is linked to Oravita city by the oldest mountain railway in the country. Although tourism infrastructure is not up to acceptable standards, nearby there are a number of sites that deserve attention:
• In 2002, in the Pestera Oaselor (Bone Cave) near Anina, were discovered the oldest remains of modern human in Europe, called John of Anina, with around 40,000 years old.
• Marghitas Lake
• Buhui Lake, the first artificial lake in Romania and Anina water supply
• Cheile Minisului (Minis Gorge) with the Bigar Waterfall
The area has great tourism potential; the relief offers the possibility to practice winter sports and hiking. Otherwise, in the city you can find two parks and you can relax in the sound of nature and birds singing. Anyway, there are a few things to do in Anina, but the oldest mountain railway is a prime attraction. Rail tourism can be combined with various tourist attractions in the area. You can make trips to Cheile Carasului (Caras Gorge), Devil's Lake, Cheile Minisului (Minis Gorge), Beusnitei Falls, Cheile Nerei (Nera Gorge).
• The Anina-Oravita railway was the first in Romania, built in 1856, it is still in use today for touristic purposes, and it is one of the most beautiful railways in Europe due to very picturesque landscapes, viaducts and long tunnels.
• Buhui Cave, with a total length of 3217 meters, is one of the largest caves in Banat and in the country, not only impressive in size, but also the wide variety of issues, because of the fossil halls and galleries loaded with concrete. It has a scientific importance due to karst hydrology and bio-speleological problems. Therefore it was proposed in 1969 as a Speleological reserve. The visit of the main gallery can be done only by trained and hardy tourists, led by an experienced caver to explore the cave with water. They should be equipped with long rubber boots, overalls, helmet, means individual lighting, inflatable boat. It's recommended visiting only low water and avoiding pollution of any kind of the underground water course, because the water is drinkable. Visiting time (by foot and boat): a day.
• Caras Springs Reserve is located in Forest Anina, having an area of 578.00 hectares and the maximum altitude of 790 m. Access: DN-Resita-Anina-Steierdorf, and continue on the forest road.
• Take a visit to the Reservation Buhui – Marghitas, a protected area, located in the southwest, holding an area of 979.00 and a maximum altitude of 780m. Gateway: Resita-Anina national road; from Anina, take the road to Maial Cottage, and then go down the road in North-East direction.
• In February of each year takes place Fasang party.
• In 20 and 21 May, Anina days are celebrated, dedicated to the Orthodox cathedral. On this occasion, on the Breuner plateau, it’s organized an outdoor celebration with Romanian folk music. Usually, the artistic program is supported, first by the House of Culture with Anina music bands, followed by a band dedicated to famous folk singers, and closing with one or several bands or performers of the Romanian music charts. Finally there is a fireworks display.
• In June, the festival celebrates the Roman-Catholic church from Steierdorf, the famous KIRCHWEIH. Celebrating Kirchweih is a traditional event, with two distinct sides: a religious side, representing the anniversary of the consecration of the Holy Trinity church and a cultural side, organized by the German Democratic Forum, the City Council and City of Anina. This cultural-religious demonstration is intended to be an expression of cultural identity, language and port for the German minority Steierdorf - Anina. Also, there is the presentation of German folk from other parts of the Banat plain and mountain. Band playing traditional German marches in the area – the event message is the good agreement between the nationalities of the city Anina.
• In October, it takes place the celebration of German Culture Decade in Banat and the Banat brass bands festival. It is a popular event, with concerts and vendors.
In the area there are several small boutiques and shops for daily shopping, but also a market with natural products, vendors being from surrounding villages.
There are several places to eat out that are quite cheap.
• Cafeteria VALLVIP sells products, juice, coffee, tea, cake, sweets, and fast food in restaurant. Located close to DN 58, the restaurant is accessible to both residents of the city and those passing through town. The products are cheap and fresh. And inside the cafeteria you can benefit from wireless Internet connection.
During the summer, Anina is a popular tourist destination.
• Pensiune Muntii Aninei: Pensiune Muntii Aninei is a hotel located 1.5 km from the centre of Anina in Steierdorf. It has a restaurant, gym, sauna, wifi and affordable rooms. It is 11 km from Bigar waterfall and 1.5 km from the station at which the Oravita-Anina train runs.
• The Hostel Erika: The guesthouse is located 4 km from the city, in the heart of the mountains, on the shore of Lake Marghitas. If you come from Resita, a few hundred meters after entering the city, there is an indicator “left to Marghitas”. From there, you go all right, first on a paved road, then on a gravel road. During accommodation, you can walk through the woods around the lake. http://casa-erika.blogspot.com/
Public Point for Acces to Information is a center with Internet access created within the Knowledge Economy Project. It is located in the Cultural House, Sfanta Varvara Street no. 5, and provides different services (burn CD/DVD, scan, Internet access, Xerox, print text and photos, renting space, advisory/technical assistance, courses for computer use etc.). http://reclanina.blogspot.com/
Anina town is located in the central part of the county and is bordered by as follows:
• Southwest - the village Romanian Ciclova;
• South - Great Lapusnicu commune;
• East - Bozovici commune;
• North - West - Ciudanovita commune;
• North - Carasova commune;
• West - with Oravita city.