One of the smaller massifs in Romania, the Apuseni Mountains are a heaven for geologists and cave enthusiasts. It boasts over 400 caves with incredible features and endless galleries carved by nature over thousands of years.
It is also home to communities that have lived here for centuries with signs of life dating back millennia ago. It is a land with its own strong traditions and character, another perfect example of the Romanian saying that “Eternity was born in the countryside”.
Visit Apuseni: Hiking in Apuseni Mountains
With peaks averaging about 1000m height (highest one standing little over 1800) it is still a beloved hiking destination thanks to the amazing views and amazing rock formations and waterfalls along the trails. Cheile Turzii, Pasul Vârtop, Pietrele Mărunte Peak to name just a few – easy going trails with spectacular nature from beginning to end.
If you’re not so keen on getting to the top then choose any of the trails that pass by Vârciorog, Pișoaia or Șipote waterfalls – this is especially a good advice during summer time where temperatures can soar quite high at midday and a water cascade is a welcomed break in any trip.
Visit Apuseni: Speleology heaven
It takes weeks to visit every nook and cranny the mountains have to offer but there are three that you absolutely cannot miss.
- Bear Cave, discovered accidentally in 1975 it is now the most famous cave in Romania.
- Scărișoara Glacier Cave with its main hall that’s over 108 meters long by 78 meters wide.
- Vârtop Ice Cave features the oldest traces of Neanderthals in Romania and a 1600 sqm ice block.
Honourable mentions to Ponorului, Meziad and Huda lui Papară cave, all spectacular in their own way.
Visit Apuseni: Historical landmarks
Roșia Montană is the oldest attested city in Romania and recently the center of a huge fracking scandal that led to its inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage site in 2021. Right next to it you will find the eerie Geamăna sunken village, flooded by ore from the mining exploitation close by.
Since then nature has slowly reclaimed its territories back and the sights are unique.
Visit Apuseni: Leisure & Good fun
Cluj Napoca is the gateway city into the Apuseni Natural Park. It is one of the biggest cities in Romania that has grown incredibly over the last decade. Home to two international music festivals and a budding culinary scene, it is well worth spending a night or two.
Close to Cluj and a great idea for a day break is Tarnița Lake, offering endless entertainment options. From fishing to water sports like kayak or standup paddle boarding, boat rides, swimming or just lounging in one of the many restaurants on its shores.
Visit Apuseni: How to get there
The great news is the International Airport in Cluj has regular daily flights to and from France, Germany, Spain, Italy and The UK. So getting there is easy and very affordable.