“The place where BBC filmed the documentary Wild Carpathia.”


The Arieş River Valley and Trascău Mountains (Apuseni mountain range)


  • The Aries River Valley
  • Bedeleului rocks
  • Sipote waterfall
  • “Vânătările Ponorului” waterfall
  • The picturesque wooden huts unique in Romania


The ‘Arieş’ River (the River of Gold) ribbons its way for over 160 kilometers, carving one of the most picturesque valleys in Transylvania. Prepare to admire the waterfalls, gorges, meadows and communities living in hamlets forgotten by time.

One of the most notorious tourist attractions on the Arieş Valley is the Huda lui Papară cave, with its gigantic entrance portal, 40 meters (130 feet) tall. The cave’s largest chamber, the ‘Chamber of Wonders’ (Sala Minunilor) is 50 meters tall and 80 meters wide. Huda lui Papară hosts the largest bat colony in Romania (over 84.000 bats of 9 different species). The cave is crossed by an underground river, 2 kilometers long, it being the longest cave in the Trascău Mountains. The ‘Vânătările Ponorului’ waterfall, also a beautiful site, is where the river enters the cave, another place.

This nature reserve of great importance, on the upper valley of the river Aries, surrounded by ancient forests and mountains, is the doorstep to the Ţara Moţilor (the Land of the Motz), a beautiful rustic region and an important mining region, rich in gold, silver and uranium.

Just imagine, here lays the largest gold deposit on the continent, although these resources were exploited for more than two millennia (since Dacian reign), and have attracted the Roman Empire’s invasion.

Transportation: We will leave from Cluj-Napoca, and return to the city by private car or minibus (depending on the size of the group)

Recommended group size: 1 to 8 people

Flexibility: The tour is flexible and can be altered on the spot, depending on the group request, weather condition, and your physical training.


  • Type: Hiking and cultural sightseeing
  • Recommended gear: Hiking boots/rain coat/small backpack/hiking poles/water bootle/food for the trail
  • Difficulty: Easy – (3 – 3.5 h hiking 300 m level difference ascending and 300 m descending)
  • Distance from Cluj-Napoca: 1.5 hours drive