Apuseni Mountains

Apuseni Mountains are situated in the western part of Transylvania, closing the Carpathian arch to the west.

Their heights do not exceed 1900 m, but the diversity of landscape, with gorges, caves, cascades and other natural phenomenon make them a very attractive tourist destination.

Apuseni Mountains are formed from 7 separate units: Bihor and Vladeasa in the center, Padurea Craiului on the north-west, Gilau on the north-east, Trascau on the east, Metaliferi on the south-east, Zarandului on the south-west and Codru Moma on the west.

They are bordered by the Transylvanian plateau to the east and north, by the Western Plain to the west, by Poiana Rusca Mountains to the south-west and by Hunedoara depression to the south.

The geology of Apuseni Mountains is a complex mosaic of rocks containing crystalline slate, sandstone, conglomerates, limestone, basalt and granite. The largest deposit of gold, extracted since Dacian times, is also to be found here.

The highest peak is Cucurbata Mare (1849m), on Bihor Mountains. In the Apuseni Mountains we find the biggest karst phenomenon from Europe, Cetatile Ponorului and the most important glacier from south-eastern Europe, at Scarisoara Cave. Here we can also find the longest cave in Romania, Pestera Vantului (45 km) and the most attractive ravines system, Groapa Ruginoasa.

Flora is very rich and varied, with many rare and endemic species. On the lower level we find vast areas of oak forests followed by mixed deciduous forests and spruce forests. Without big heights, we cannot find the characteristic alpine floor but there are vast areas of pastures and wild berries fields.

In the Apuseni forests we find a large number of wild animals like brown bears, deer, wild boars, foxes, mountain cocks, eagles and other birds.