The ecotourism destination Craiului Forest – the land of caves
In July 2022 we explored the Craiului Ecotourism destination for the second time and immersed ourselves in the underground world of caves, which we can find in abundance in this region.
In addition to the beauties on the surface, Bihor county can boast of a vast and rich underground world, here there are dozens of caves, classified as follows:
- Caves arranged and open to any tourist
- Caves intended for speotourism (that is, they can only be seen with a guide), of which we also explored one
- Caves intended exclusively for the study and exploration of professional cavers
In this article we will present you 3 designed caves to visit with children in the ecotourism destination Pădurea Craiului.
It is one of the largest caves in the country and a landmark of the Pădurea Craiului ecotourism destination (it is said to be the largest designed cave in Romania). It has an impressive portal, 16 meters high and 10 meters wide.
Underground you will find a lot of galleries and large halls, with the most diverse formations, which the guides will present to you in detail.
Meziad Cave is a “must-see” of the area. However, being somehow further away from other tourist attractions of the destination, we only managed to see it on our second visit to the area.
- From the parking lot, walk approx. 10-15 minutes, walk that also involves a short climb up some arranged stairs. We traveled this way in full heat and when we arrived at the coolness of the cave it was like a dream.
In any case, know that the caves are only good tourist attractions to explore on a hot day!
- Entrance fees to Meziad Cave: 30 Ron / adults, 15 Ron children (5-14 years)
- Find more details on how to get to the cave here
- Find more details about timetables and rates here
Great Unguru Cave
It is a cave with a short but attractive route to explore. It has a huge portal of 32 meters high, where you will definitely spend good minutes taking pictures.
Specific to this cave are the deposits of chrysite (a rare mineral), visible in the whitish stream that flows on the floor of the cave (we found it quite dry).
The guide was a very cool woman who spoke to us in an engaging, passionate way.
He told us about the prehistoric people who lived in the cave, about the bat colonies that populate the cave, about the Tethys Sea that hundreds of millions of years ago covered the entire region.
As proof that there was once a sea here, the petrified corals on the cave walls remain, which are fascinating to admire.
- To get to the cave you will have to cross a suspension bridge above Crișului Repede. Nothing difficult, you just have to pay extra attention to children.
- Find here the fees for visiting the Unguru Mare Cave and the schedule
The cave with crystals from the Farcu mine
Another very interesting and attractive underground world that you can visit is the Crystal Cave from the Farcu mine, a geode-type cave that is also accessible to children.
It seems that at the Farcu mine there is the only cave with calcite crystals set up in Europe and the second in the world that can be visited! The other would be somewhere around South Africa.
The rest of the caves with calcite crystals in Romania cannot be visited, they are closed and explored only by scientists.
The calcite crystals were preserved due to the constant temperature in the cave. In contact with the outside air, these crystals would no longer exist. For this reason you are not allowed to touch the crystals in the cave, let alone take them out.
Details about the costs and schedule for visiting the Farcu Mine Crystal Cave can be found here.
Where we stayed
We were accommodated at Dolina Village, in a glamping, in a tent. From here we drove to all the caves we visited, the furthest being Meziad (an hour or so drive from the glamping).
Find here more details about this place. You can find other accommodation suggestions in the ecotourism destination Padurea Craiului here.
Our explorations took place as part of an Infotrip organized by Pădurea Craiului, an ecotourism destination managed by the Bihor Center for Protected Areas and Sustainable Development, to whom we thank for the invitation.
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- Education in nature
- Alternative communities and lifestyles
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