Scarisoara Ice Cave

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This is a fantastic ice cave. The cave was first documented in 1863 by Austrian geographer Arnold Schmidt. Later, Romanian scientist and speleologist Emil Racovita (1868-1947) explored the area between 1921 and 1923. This ice cave is believed to be one of only 10 of this kind in Europe, filled with 7500 cubic meters of ice. The ice dates to the Ice Age when the Apuseni Mountains were covered in glaciers. Opening hours are 10am-4pm Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is about 1.50 euros. Not surprisingly the temperature inside the cave is frigid. In summer it will only reach 1C (34F); in winter it drops to -7C (19F). In other words bring warm clothes.

Furthermore, safety precautions inside the cave are not up to Western standards, and lighting is nonexistent. The keeper has oil/carbon lamps (lampa cu carbid), but a good flashlight is strongly recommended.

To get to the Scarisoara Ice Cave from Beius, head south to Stei. Two kilometers further south, turn left, following the signs for Arieseni and Gârda de Sus. From Gârda de Sus, a rough gravel track leads to the ice cave. The track is impassable by car after 6km, so you must hike the remaining 13km in the Aries Valley.

It’s impossible to access the cave from Scarisoara village.

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