caving trip  

 on demand for minimum 6 persons, a customized program for smaller groups is possible

'mont milch' in the Lespezilor cave

bat in the Lespezilor cave

The Alunului cave

The caving program is especially made for people who want to explore and discover the richness of Romania’s caves. Romania has an enormous variety of caves (over 12.000!) and by exploring the caves of the Apuseni Mountains, we will only touch the top of the iceberg. Depending on the success of the program further explorations will be made the following years. Caving in Romania is not visiting nicely prepared tourist caves but visiting them as the first explorers have seen them. That means that you’ll have to climb, use ropes, to crawl and to creep to see the splendid beauty of them. 
You don’t need experience for the proposed program, but a good physical condition is required, you shouldn't have claustrophobia and you shouldn’t be scared to get dirty. The initial program is not a special easy program but it can be customized if there is demand from the whole group. The guiding will be done by experienced guides. The guides have followed intensive training  and won’t take any risks by guiding you in the caves. Due to some weather circumstances -heavy rainfall- some caves may have difficulties to be explored. We’ll try to give you in those cases a similar program, or we might change the order of the program.
The guides are also very well aware of the ecologic importance of the underground world, and won’t allow any damage or environmental obstruction in and around the caves. During your fascinating trip they will give you a treasure of information about the karst system and the specific caves. They stay the whole program with you and will be happy to help you with all your questions.

Accommodation: You sleep in comfortable hotel rooms in the settlement Doda Pilii, near the caves. 

 

Highlights of the trip

You visit 7 caves under which the biggest in volume in the country. 
You visit as well active as fossil caves. 
During your trip you will see about all possible speothems or formations. You'll see underground rivers and waterfalls. You
learn to use the ropes and other special caving techniques. The guides have 15 years experience and are active members of caving clubs. In their free time they further explore caves, map them and spend a lot of time underground. They know about everything related to caves and like to share their passion with you. 

 

THE PROGRAM

Day 1:
Arrival and transfer to Doda Pilii where you sleep in hotelrooms.

Day 2:                                                                                                           Visit of the Lespezilor cave. The cave is part of a complex system. The part we'll visit is fantastic decorated with 'montmilch'. 
Transfer to the Virtop Poiana where we stay for 3 nights.
We visit first the Onceasa Dragon Cave.
the cave is just 310 m long, but interesting to visit, especially because the cave is considered a graveyard for the since long disappeared cave bear. There are many interesting stalactites and stalagmites and other speo-thems in the Galeria Nordica and in the Galeria Domnului. 
After that we visit the Virtop Glacier Cave:  It is a small cave, only 165m long but has the 3rd biggest volume of ice of the country.  The Glacier cave Virtop has a 35m high iceblock.

Day 3:
Instruction day. We teach you rope techniques and safety procedures for caving.
The instructions take place on a special prepared cliff close to the camp ground where everybody will have training in descending, climbing and horizontal movement with ropes. Nobody should have acrophobia (height fear) or claustrophobia.

Day 4:
Exploration of the Humpleu Cave.
There are 37km fully explored and drawn on maps, the rest of the cave is almost completely explored but not put on a map yet. It is certainly the most voluminous cave of Romania, with 12 enormous rooms, each exceeding 100m. The biggest room lies on the upper level of the subterranean river that corresponds with the Poienita Cave and is 530 m long, 111m wide and 35m high. The cave has Romania’s largest underground river, 5.6km long with 38 duck-unders. The cave further contains all possible speothems. One day won't be enough to see it all, but you will have a good idea of what the Humpleu Cave offers.

Day 5:
Transfer to the Onceasa Poiana 
We visit the entrance of the Ponorului Cave (to difficult to enter the cave) and the Avenul cu Vaca.
The Avenul cu Vaca is in fact the same subterranean system as the the Cerbul Cave (next day).
You descend the Aven 37m (total till down is about 150m) We descend till the room with snow. You turn back via the path along one of the walls of the dolina.

Day 6:
Visit of the Cerbul Cave. Cerbul Cave, named after a fossiled stag, is a cave with 5,2 km of galleries. The entrance is by a vertical aven of 7m and you arrive at a narrow place from where you enter a gallery with all kind of formations. The gallery has several meanders. The big gallery is 7-10m wide and 10m high, 1.5km long. In this gallery is a waterfall, all kind of formations, coralites, helectites. 

Day 7:
Visit of the Alunului Cave and the Coltului Cave. (in case of high water we divert to the Ceata cave)
The Alunului Cave is a big karstic system (4,8km). We visit a part of it (about 1,5km). We enter the cave by the active gallery with small entrance and climb to the fossil part of the cave. We enter a gallery of 5 to 7m wide and 10-15m high gallery where we see all kind of erosions and where we see also the subterranean river. The gallery is nice decorated with all kind of speothems as stalagmites, stalactites and helectites. We descend further in the active gallery where we see a drainhole and the specially nice eroded gray –pink riverbed 
Coltului cave is a big cave (1,8km) with a strong air current in the beginning. The entrance is very small (1x1m). The gallery widens fast and there a vertical descent of 15m. After that you enter a room.  The room descends to a gallery with clusterites. At the end of the room there are a lot of spectacular underground waterfalls and they make an enormous fascinating noise. You have to go along the falls to enter a 40m high gallery.

 

Day 8:

End of program and transfer to Cluj Napoca

 

Price: 1 week program (7 nights)

845 Euro in full board pro person, includes: guiding, transfers, use of all equipment. 
Minimum 6 persons, maximum 12.

How to get there: (for links to airliners etc, click here)

Direct flights from London Luton, Paris-Beauvais and Dortmund to Cluj Napoca with Wizz Air. We arrange further transport.

There are also direct flights between Paris-Beauvais or Rome and Cluj Napoca. (Blue Air)

Lufthansa operates a direct flight between Munchen and Cluj Napoca.

Or:

Flights to Budapest (regular airlines and low-cost) and train to Huedin: there are trains departing the airport Ferihegy at 08.43 (arrival Huedin at 15.47) and 13.43 (arrival Huedin at 20.39) Train connections: see at http://www.mav-start.hu/english/index.php  

(The trains depart at new trainstation at airport terminal 1 and you have to change trains in Szolnok, time between trains is somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes)

(we arrange further transfer from Huedin)

Back to Budapest: train leaving Huedin at 07.16 arrives at 12.16 and train leaving Huedin 11.24 arrives 16.16 at the airport

Back to Cluj Napoca: there are hourly trains between Huedin and Cluj Napoca.