Just wondering if anyone has any opinions, advice or insight into the Romanian vs Serbian side between these two points? I am reading conflicting advice - some say the Serbian side is hillier and the traffic is worse and that there are some long, dark, potholed tunnels, others say the Serbian side is better,but don't explain exactly why. Bikeline guidebook seems to show the Romanian sign being generally flatter if somewhat longer.
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They tell me the Romanian side is prettier to look at, so you get a better view from the Serbian side. Also the Romanian side has worse problems with farm dogs, allegedly. But they might be biased...
We have brought lights and high-viz jackets for the tunnels.
Doing them in a couple of days time so will update this afterwards.
we did the Romanian side in the end, although a local warmshowers host insisted on giving us a lift between Drobeta-Turnu Severin and Orsova, about 30km, a very busy, narrow stretch of international highway that did look pretty unpleasant. There is also a daily train (at least) in the late morning between those towns that doesn't officially take bikes, but would probably be alright if you hopped on quick!
After Orsova it was reasonably quiet for the first 25km or so, then very quiet, on very good roads, mostly flat and zero tunnels. The Serbian road across the water looked a lot hillier, lots of tunnels and much more traffic, though still fairly quiet.
On balance, we are happy we took the Romanian side, though the section between Drobeta and Orsova is fairly unpleasant (if you had to do it!) - there looks like a pretty quiet detour you can do, but it's a big climb.
Last year I cycled this route in the other direction, from Socol via Moldova Veche and Orsova to Portile de Fier I. See google maps for the exact location of the towns. It is the Romanian side along the Danube. The route is quiet to very quiet, only the part from Orsova to Portile de Fier I (the dam in the Danube, with crossing to Serbia) is a busy stretch of international transport route. But this said, especially the lorries really tried to be careful with a fully loaded cyclist. The views on the whole route (but especially on this part) are magnificant. On this stretch, there are several parking places where you can stop, have rest and enjoy the view. I was prepared that this part (Orsova to Portile de Fier) would be very difficult (I did it by car 3 years before). Surely it was not easy, but it was not as difficult as I expected. It is do-able. The rest of the route (Socol to Orsova) is flat or quite flat with only one real hill to climb just before Orsova (and steeply going down into Orsova). Roads are quite good to good and traffic is low. The only drawback is that between Moldova Veche and Orsova you will hardly find any facilities (shops, cafe / restaurant). There are few villages, and they are really poor and bad looking.
The views over the Danube and to the Serbian side are great, especially the last approx. 30 km before Orsova. The Serbian side looks much more hilly and indeed with some tunnels. I planned to do part of the Serbian side as well, but did not manage due to a lack of time and some problems with accommodation.
Hope this helps somebody.
P.s.: this was part of a big trip from Praha (Czech Republic) to Istanbul (Turkey) which I did last year between middle of April and middle of June. Anybody interested in more information can write me.
EV 6 heading west has many tunnels but Number 19 is the worst.
A serioulsy large pothole that is going to get someone.
Very nice ride though but take plenty supplies as shops are few. The Romanian looks like a lot more traffic