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Apuseni Natural Park
Apuseni Natural Park represents a region of concentrated natural beauties more characterised by the karstic relief than anywhere in Romania: caves, gorges, straits and karstic plateaus. These mountains special magic is given by their increased humanisation and the peoples way of life is very connected to the nature here. Easy to access, excellent for ski and riding in sleighs hauled by dogs during the winter, and for travelling, cycling, climbing or speleotourism during the other seasons, the Apuseni Natural Park is the ideal location to spend a holiday together with friends or family.

   Touristic areas / sites
   Sighistel-Chiscau Area

   Sighistelului Valley shelters over 160 caves on 15 km2 only, the most famous being Magura and Coliboaia Caves where you definitely need proper equipment and source of light; Magura Cave is one of the most beautiful caves in Apuseni Mountains, being the biggest in the karstic complex from Sighistel. It is a fossile cave, beautifully “decorated” with stalagmites, stalactites, columns and openings and it is relatively easy to access; Coliboaia Cave is an horizontal cave, with a single galery of 750 m length and a small entrance of triangular shape; Chiscau Area shelters the most beautiful cave in the country, “Pestera Ursilor – The Bears Cave”, touristically arranged at international standards. Also, on Craiasa Valley, one can find the Micula Cave and Fagului Cave with beautiful calcite crystals. These two caves are accessible only to experienced speleogists because they require technical knowledge and specific equipment.

   Padis Area
   It is the main touristic area of Apuseni Mountains, containing the majority of the touristic sites:
    • Padis Plateau
is a plain of 1250 - 1280 m which looks like a depression surrounded by higher peaks, the most interesting karstic phenomenon being the slopes;
    • Poiana Ponor
is one the few tipical poljes in our mountains. The most remarkable thing here is the system of losing water in the riverbed, through narrow orifices, covered by fine sand. In bigger waters, the strainers cannot drain the full quantity of water which accumulates itself forming an impressive lake;
    • The Lost World Basin
is a perfectly isolated plateau from the surrounding areas, bordered by Ursului river and Sec River which have their spring in the vicinity and uinite themselves downstream, forming two arcs. It has some remarkable karstic phenomena, such as the three precipices: Gemanata Precipice, Negru Precipice and Acoperit Precipice;
    • Cetatile Ponorului, are definetely the most remarkable karstic formation, not only in Apuseni Mountains, but in the whole country. They are composed of three big rock basins, located in a 300 m deep huge wooden depression, and which at the upper part has a diameter of more than 1 km. The first rock basin is the actual end of the valley and the side western wall is penetrated by a portal of more than 70 m in height and which provides acces to the second basin. The third basin, which is the biggest, is completely separate from the previous and has at the bottom part an opening through which one can enter in a cave of 1.5 km, with numerous halls and 14 underground lakes; Barsa Pit is an oval shaped depression with the big axis of 2 km and the small axis of 1 km.
    • In the Barsa Pit there are many karstic forms very interesting due to their variety (a very big slope which has collapsed, another with a natural bridge, a small hung up lake and a number of 11 caves). In In general, the Barsa Pit is a small karstic world, where all the karstic processes are present in the most typical shapes;     • Focul Viu Cave located on the partition line between the Barsa Pit and Galbenei Valley, is the third biggest underground glacier in our country. The cave floor is formed by a massive block of ice with stalagmites and ice columns. We suggest to visit it around noon when the sun breaks in through the funnel in the ceiling, making the stalagmites to sparkle magically;
    • Galbenei Valley begins suddenly at the bottom of a vertical wall of limestone, of hundreds of meters high where can be found the Galbenei Spring, a small lake of 4 - 5 m in diameter. Izbucul Galbenei Valley is deeply cut in the limestone massif, thus creating one of the most magnificent gorges in the Carpathians. Hundreds of meters of steeps, natural arcades, caves withentrances in the middle of the walls and the waters tumultuous flow with waterfalls and a few underground tunnels give this region an unequalled aspect of wilderness.

   Vartop Area
   Vartop Area, located on the partition line between the Rivers Basin and the Aries Basin is well-known especially for its winter sports facilities. There is a ski slope here and at the moment other slopes are under construction. The area is developing and has recently been named a holiday camp. The area has quite a touristic potential, with most favourable conditions for trips, bicycle tourism, paragliding and speleology during the summer and in winter one can have wonderful trips, alpine ski, ice climbing, riding in sleighs hauled by dogs, etc. Also from here one can visit Groapa Ruginoasa, (the Rusty Pit) a spectacular phenomenon of natural erosion, Cascada Varciorog (the Varciorog Waterfall) with a height of 15 m falling down in one leap and digging a huge hole at its bottom, Cucurbata Mare Peak (Bihor Peak) the highest peak in Bihor Mountains, 1849 m, which offers spectacular views.
Touristic directions / routes
   The „Undergroung waters way” route – the karstic interpretation in Padis area
   The big attraction of Apuseni Mounatins are the karstic forms, covering the whole range of them, with fields of ditches and dolines, karstic plateaus and deep gorges, and especially caves. You will see all these and will be carried away on the spectacular route of the waters in the limestone massif.
Estimated time of crossing: 2 days.
   Attractions: Cetatile Ponorului, Poiana Ponor, Pietrele Galbenei, Cheile and Izbucul Galbenei, Poiana Florilor, Ghetarul Focul Viu, Avenul Bortig.
Recommended season: June - September.
Guiding and other services: Apuseni Experience, Bihor Mountain Rescuers Association.
Difficulty degree: medium, recommended for those in good shape.

   „Extrem” route in Apuseni – practicing mountain sports
   It is a programme conceived for the brave and adventurers ones, in absolute safety. The programme can be adapted to the needs of the participants and their physical condition.
Estimated time of crossing: 3 days.
Attractions: Crisul Pietros, Pietrele Bulzului, Pestera Neagra, Cheile Galbenei.
Recommended season: July - August.
Guiding and other services: Apuseni Experience, Bihor Mountain Rescuers Association.
Difficulty degree: high, requires a good physical condition and technical aptitudes.

For touristic information and service contracting please visit:
www.apuseniexperience.ro
www.parcapuseni.ro
www.salvamontbihor.3x.ro
www.padis.info

     
     
 
     

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