Apuseni Mountains

Bear Cave | Garda de Sus | Meziad Cave | Padis Plateau | Scarisoara Ice Cave | Stana de Vale

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Southwest of Cluj-Napoca, the popular Apuseni Mountains straddle the Transylvania and Crisana regions (making life hell for guidebook writers trying to organize the damn place). The area is dotted with caves and forested trails, with a world of subterranean rivers and a 3500-year-old glacier underground.

Information centers are rumored to be forthcoming, but we’re talking Romania time here. Don’t count on a welcome more involved than a drunk guy with the keys to the cabana. Check out the Padis Tourist Zone web site for some advance details on the plateau and pictures. Dimap’s 1:200,00 Muntii Apuseni is a decent regional map (about 5 euros), with limited trail details. Or click around this site for detailed information on marked hiking trails in the area.

If you’d like a guide, the Apuseni Experience is based in Oradea. They lead full week-long hiking, cultural, caving, and underground rafting trips for about 55 euros per day.

Apuseni has two distinct parts, and therefore two unique ways to get there. Most travelers head straight for the central Padis Plateau – reached from the north or south – to camp or bunk at a cabana and use the Plateau as a staging area for a week’s worth of day trips.

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