Hiking in the heart of Apuseni mountains


On Padis karst plateau, the heart of Apuseni Nature Park, hikers begin each day with a fresh approach to life, getting ready for a new challenge, while campers proudly display their hammocks for what promises to be another lazy day in the shade. At Cornel’s “terrace”, everybody greets each other with a familiar ‘Neata!’ (‘Mornin!’). La ‘belle vie’ of Padis, that wonderful, natural pace of life, surrounds the foggy glades. We invite you to experience it with us, from the greatness of Cetatile Ponorului karst phenomena to the textured karst relief of Sesul Padis. Walk through the labyrinth of the Lost World Plateau and explore the story of the water that creates it. Pair a bottle of ice-cold beer with a Romanian sausage grilled on the campfire, along with some baked potatoes, in the sound of a guitar played by one of the regular visitors of the area: the simple pleasures of life!


Start/end: Oradea or Cluj-Napoca (options to pick you up/drop you at Timisoara or Budapest airports are available too).
Trip length: 7 days/6 nights
Activity level: moderate
Group size : min 2 – max.8
Price: from 457 euro/pers. to 841 euro/pers.(lowest is per person for group of 8, highest is per person for a group of 2)


Don’t see a date that fits your schedule? Don’t see a date that fits your schedule? Have a group of friends and the willing to make this trip a custom one? Contact us, let us know your ideas and wishes and we’ll come back to you with a confirmation.

Beyond hiking: easy caving, traditional way of life, mountain culture.

Availability for 2019

• 13-Apr-19
• 20-Apr-19
• 27-Apr-19
• 04-May-19
• 11-May-19
• 18-May-19
• 25-May-19
• 01-Jun-19
• 08-Jun-19
• 15-Jun-19
• 22-Jun-19
• 29-Jun-19
• 06-Jul-19
• 13-Jul-19
• 20-Jul-19
• 27-Jul-19
• 03-Aug-19
• 10-Aug-19
• 17-Aug-19
• 24-Aug-19
• 07-Sep-19
• 14-Sep-19
• 21-Sep-19
• 28-Sep-19
• 05-Oct-19

Cetatile Ponorului mountain cabin​

Padis area | Bihor Mountains The cabin, recently restored is the only place in the area to offer a comfortable accommodation and is situated close to most of the important natural highlights from Padis area. It has rooms with 2-4-6 beds (can host up to 60 persons) with shared or en suite bathrooms, a large dinning room and all facilities such as electricity, running cold and hot water, central heating. It also has a large terrace with nice wooden benches and tables and a place for barbeque and camp fire.

Aici punem descrierea pozei

Day 1 & 2

Padis karst plateau Take a warm-up hike to Caput Cave, for a first contact with the karst landscape. Hike to Padis karst plateau through Glavoi Glade and Balileasa Glade. Discover more about how a karst system works following an interpretive trail.

Day 3 & 4

Lumea Pierduta karst plateau & Cetatile Ponorului karst phenomena Discover the wilderness of the Lumea Pierduta (Lost World) karst plateau. Visit the entrances of three potholes (Avenul Negru, Gemanata si Acoperit), gates of a huge underground network of active galleries.Explore the Ponor Glade and Ponor karst spring and admire the wonderful landscape. Hike to Cetatile Ponorului (Fortress of Ponor), the most impressive karst phenomena in Eastern Europe.

Day 5 & 6

Galbena Gorges, Focul Viu ice cave & Groapa de la Barsa Dedicate your day to hike to the impressive Galbena Valley and Gorges. Admire on the way the spectacular Bortig Pothole with its 35 m diameter entrance and a large block of permanent ice at the basis (the second largest in the country). Adventure in a narrow canyon, formed by the Galbena Valley and enjoy the beautiful landscape: waterfalls, the Galbena karst spring, vertical walls. Visit the Focul Viu (Living Fire) ice cave and admire the amazing light reflected by the ice at noon. Hike to Galbena Rock which offers a panoramic view upon the southern part of Apuseni Mountains. Let the trail take you to the wilderness of the Groapa de la Barsa (Barsa Pit) and its interesting karst phenomena.

Day 7

Departure After breakfast you will be transferred by car to the airport. Good bye!

The price includes:

  • local transportation by car including transfer from and back to airport
  • 3 meals per day (starting with lunch on first day and ending with breakfast on departure day).
  • Accommodation 6 nights in mountain cabin ranked with 3***(daisies according to Romanian legislation for rural tourism); rooms have 2, 3, 4 beds with ensuite orshared bathrooms. More information about the mountain cabin in which you’ll stay can be found at: http://www.padis.ro/
  • guidance and all expenses related with the guide
  • guidance and all expenses related with the guide – English speaking
  • costs related to trip preparation
  • the knowledge, support, and camaraderie of experienced guides
  • The price does not include:

    Personal drinks and refreshments, insurance, souvenirs and personal items purchased during the trip, lodging before and after the trip, gratuities for Apuseni Experience guides, other personal costs.
    Note: We are always open to our customer’s demands and needs. Therefore, the itinerary described above can be adjusted accordingly in what regards the period and the activities included. Please contact us for more details.

    'My experience with these great people can be summed up in four words; "out of this world". They organised a personalised week-long trip comprising two caving trips, including the longest cave in Romania, Wind Cave, three and half days climbing in the best climbing area in Romania - Turzii Gorge, and one and half days walking in Padis, a wilderness of forested kaust mountains at the centre of the Apuseni Mountains. For me the following memories will remain forever. The people, Apuseni Experience staff were really friendly, with fantastic language skills and great at their craft, be it climbing, caving or leading walks. The countryside, its remoteness and wildness- I just love forested mountainsides with hidden caves, especially the Live Fire Cave with its permanent glacier in the entrance. Finally, the wildlife, screaming swifts flying in the Turzii Gorge, the chamois in the distance at Ponor and the wildflower meadows in Padis, I have never seen so many different types of orchids. It was a great experience, ranking with the best of my many worldwide adventures and one that I would love to repeat. Go on and try it. Romania is changing quickly, the danger is it will lose its character and becomes another European clone. See it now and go with Apuseni Experience, you will have a fabulous time.'
    Steve Marriott,
    Eco-Adventure Sports Newsletter Editor, UK