Since the Roman times, the fame of the gold from Apuseni Mountains used to be the most important attraction.
Later on, until our times, the colour of the gold has been transformed into the green of the forests and meadows that cover the mountains, the blue of the rivers with wonderful waterfalls and lakes, the white of the limestone that formed one of the most important karst phenomena in Europe, and the red-orange of the mysterious and romantic sunsets that give the name of these mountains, Apuseni Mountains – The Sunset Mountains. Besides the natural beauty, there is a special perfume of this landscape, given by the unique local culture, which preserves the true values of the past and faces with dignity the challenges of the present.
Due to these reasons, the area was declared a natural park, and all those who are looking for adventure, mystery, legends, beautiful landscapes and pure nature, with an unique taste of the local cuisine, are welcome here as special guests.
Here one can find the largest forested karst area in Romania with numerous caves, some of them of great scientific and/or tourist importance. The exokarst includes forms like Padiş - Cetăţile Ponorului and Coiba Mare closed basin, one of the largest in Europe, chaotic dolines plateaus (Lumea pierdută/ the Lost World, Barsa Pit), large karst depressions (Bălileasa), blind valleys and gorges. The endokarst includes over 1500 caves and potholes with particular characteristics, some of which stand out: the V5 pothole (-645 m, record of depth in Romania), the Valea Rea Cave (21 km long and one of the top 10 most important cavities in the world from the mineralogic point of view), the first 3 largest underground glaciers in Romania (Scărişoara Ice Cave, Borţig Pothole and Focul Viu/the Living Fire Ice Cave), the Hodobana Cave (the most labirynthycal cave in Romania), the Tăuz karst spring (the deepest submerged cave in the country) or the Zgurăşti Cave (containing the largest underground lake).
Also, some of Romania’s most beautiful caves are located in the park area: Piatra Altarului, Humpleu, Micula, Pojarul Poliţei, or the Bears’ Cave which is equipped for visitors at international standards). In the karst plateaus one can observe thermal and vegetation inversions, that also generate the famous “Padiş fog”.
Different activities can be practiced in the park area, in summer and winter, like hiking, biking, caving, canyoning, rock climbing, rafting and kayaking on rapids, horse riding, alpine and touring skiing.