The Banat is a geographical and historical region in Central Europe that is currently divided among three countries: the eastern part lies in western Romania (the counties of Timiș, Caraș-Severin, Arad south of the Mureș, and the western part of Mehedinți); the western part in northeastern Serbia (mostly included in Vojvodina, except for a small part included in Belgrade Region); and a small northern part lies within southeastern Hungary (Csongrád county). The whole Banat is populated by ethnic Romanians, Serbs, Hungarians, Romani, Germans, Ukrainians, Slovaks, Bulgarians, Czechs, Croats, Jews and other ethnicities.
The Romanian Banat is geographically referred to as a part of the Pannonian Basin bordered by the River Danube to the south, the Romania – Hungary border to the west, the River Mureș to the north, and the Southern Carpathian Mountains to the east. Its historical capital is Timișoara, now in Timiș County in Romania.
Timisoara is the main social, economic and cultural centre in the western part of Romania. On the 16 December 1989, in Timișoara started the first of a long a series of mass street protests in what was to become the Romanian Revolution of 1989, a movement that removed the Comunist Regime from power in Romania and leaded to the executions of the dictatorial couple Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu.
For the travelling biker, the Banat region is offering at least 3 great points of interest.
Firstly is to mention the city of Timișoara, considered the informal capital city of the historical region of Banat. The old regime – style Jugendstill buildings, the vibrant pesdestrian area and the rich history and culture of the city , good hotels and werstern-oriented people and attitudes recomand Timisoara as a must see spot on the Romanian map. The city is situated near the west border of the country, and a major (but traffic-clogged) route – E70 up to Lugoj and E 673 further on is connecting the western border with the inner part of Romania – especially to Sibiu and Brasov. On entry to or leaving from Romania trough its south-western corner, Timisoara is a worth – the – while stop.
We can recommend some daytrips on the beautifull and very well paved roads of the Southern Carpathian Mountains. Pictureque scenery, great curved roads and forgotten valleys and villages are offering to any motorcycle rider some fascinating riding days.
The by far the most important motorcycle route is the Danube road. This road is taking the biker trough the notorious Danube Gorge (The Iron Gates of the Danube) sliding and curving on Danube level trough majestic white stonewalls, all along the Romania-Serbia border. The scenery is marvelous, behind every curve you can witness the power of the Danube that carved trough ancient rock like a hot knife trough butter.
The Banat region has much to offer, and should be considered as part of every plans that involve visiting Romania on 2 wheels.