There is no exaggeration in saying that Apuseni mountains are a complete holiday destination. It is undoubtedly the perfect choice both for those searching relaxation and for those driven by adventure. Located in the west of the country, part of the Western Carpathians, Apuseni Mountains offer incredible sceneries due to its diverse petrographic structure. Made up of a mosaic of rocks, dominated especially by limestone, the landscape was for millenniums carved by water so, today, we can enjoy hundreds of caves and a multitude of romantic waterfalls, amazing lakes, breathtaking gorges, steep rock walls along with green meadows full of wildflowers and traditional fairy-tale like villages.
The wonders of Apuseni Mountains
Coming in the Apuseni Mountains you’ll have the opportunity to admire the greatness of the underground world. The Bear’s Cave, named like that due to the multitude of cave bear fossils, is probably one of the most beautiful caves in Romania. The cave’s speleothems designs are so diverse that creates the illusion of a fantastic world. The Charmed Palaces, the Dwarf’s House and the Water Lily Lake are just a few of the amazing things you will see inside. Scarisoara and Vartop Ice Caves are also two destinations that you mustn’t miss. Scarisoara shelters the biggest underground glacier from Romania while Vartop is famous because here were discovered some Neanderthalian petrified footprints. But let’s not forget Topolnita Cave which is spectacular if you visit it by boat.
Ordancusa Gorge is perfect for a half day walking. Even if the gorge is only 2.5 km long, the area is home to approximately 70 caves of different shapes and sizes. Poarta lui Ionele Cave is probably the most visited, greeting the tourists with a miniature waterfall.
A unique attraction is the lake Izbucul Tauz with waters coming up from underground flooded caves. Its depth exceeds 80 meters and can be explored only with special equipment as the water is cold and the bottom is connected with the galleries beneath. More accessible is Tarnita Lake were you can enjoy a wonderful afternoon fishing, waterskiing or boating.
Ramet Gorges are definitely a must see once you arrived in Apuseni mountains especially if you are in search of some adrenaline. The wild beauty of this protected area is breathtaking and crossing it will be quite an adventure. Steel stairs pinned in the rocky walls, suspended cables, narrow paths, slippery rocks will be the key-words of the hike. Be ready to get wet as conquering the entire gorge will require some water crossing which, in some places, can reach up to 2 meters deep.
No way are you leaving Apuseni Mountains without admiring some of the amazing waterfalls. Vidra Waterfall is very accessible and very charming, having 18 meters high and a width of 25 which creates the illusion of a huge silk curtain. The Bridal Veil is also spectacular having a height of 30 meters and in winter, when it freezes, the fall becomes the ice climbers’ paradise.
The best moment of the year when you can see live some of the local traditions is July when the Maidens’ Fair on Mount Gaina takes place. Originally a marriage fair, where young men came to choose their future wives, now the fair is a celebration of the local traditions. This holiday always starts with the sound of the ancient music instrument called “tulnic” and is a great opportunity to hear folk music and to admire traditional costumes.
And these are only some suggestions of what Apuseni had prepared for all of you as the list is far much larger. With so many things to do and to see it’s almost impossible not to be charmed forever by this unique place.