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In the Trascău Mountains, the authentic mountain scenery and the rustic atmosphere, specific to the villages in the Apuseni, harmoniously combine and create an idyllic natural environment, perfect for adventure and relaxation. The high regions dominated by smooth hills and rich forests closely follow the low regions, with bright glades and hay stacks. Even if it doesn’t impress with defying heights, the massif charms you with the complexity of the karst relief, with sinuous declivities and thatch-roofed houses. The TrascÓ‘u Mountains reveal incredibly picturesque sceneries, of a bright green in summer and rubiginous in autumn. Along the trails you will not only discover numerous gorges and caves, cold springs and clear pans, but also the simple lifestyle of the moÅ£i (Romanians living in the Apuseni mountains), in tune with nature.

Trascau Mountains

Discover the Beauties of the Trascău Mountains

Situated along the Mureş Couloir, the Trascău Mountains are a subunit of the Metaliferi Mountains, delimited by wide valleys. At the feet of the mountain you will find oak forests, which are gradually replaced by beech and pine trees as the altitude grows. On the versants, the meadows are decorated with delicate flowers, among which irises, Carthusian pinks and edelweiss flowers. On the Arieş Valley there is the Larch Forest at Vidolm, a natural larch reservation and in the central area of the massif you will find the Daffodil Glades at Tecşeşi, a protected area beautified by white delicate flowers. The fauna consists of foxes, does, deer and birds with charming chirpings: woodpeckers, nightingales, larks, blackbirds, wallcreepers.

The wilderness of the sceneries in the TrascÓ‘u Mountains reveals itself around the numerous gorges dug in stone. Starting from TeiuÅŸ, at the foot of the mountain you will find the RâmeÅ£ului Gorges, a complex natural reservation formed in Jurassic limestone. A route starting from the RâmeÅ£ Monastery traverses the gorges; the canyon can also be crossed on a portion set up with cables, then by the river, up to the portal. Another variant is Bârna Caprelor, a suspended pathway above water, offering spectacular sceneries over the surroundings. At the entrance in the gorges there is a camping area where you can set up your tent to fully enjoy the beauty of the area. The vertical walls, sometimes menacing, other times tranquil and the cold brook accompanying you along the way create the sensation of a unique adventure.

Szekely Rock


Trascau Mountains


Rametului Gorges

The trail takes the traveler along the Geogeului Gorges, animated by small white cascades whose noise breaks the perfect silence of the place. In the valley you will see Cheia village, with its scattered houses, while straight forward you will see another commune – BrÓ‘deÅŸti, luring you with its pastures and with the smell of freshly cut hay. After traversing Valea Poienii (The Glade’s Valley) where you’ve admired the beautiful waterfalls running along the rocks, the panorama opens over VânÓ‘tara doline and Huda lui Papara, the longest cave in the TrascÓ‘u Mountains. In the interior you will admire the spectacle of the Fan Waterfall (Cascada Evantai), immense stalactites of unique shapes and the limestone wall suggestively called the Stone Heart. The grotto is traversed by a long river running up to SÓ‘lciua village, where it flows into the ArieÅŸ.

From the ArieÅŸ Valley, a route takes you to other treasures in the massif that you don’t have to miss. One of them is The Dragons’ Gate (Poarta Zmeilor) situated on the limestone plateau of the Bedeleu, an immense stone arcade marking the entrance into the cave bearing the same name. It is considered the oldest cavern in the TrascÓ‘u Mountains and it is adorned with very fragile formations of stalactites and stalagmites. It is said that once, there was a dragons’ castle here. The dragons would come down to the villages quite rarely, but especially during the round-dance festivities, and they would take the appearance of humans. They would dance with the most beautiful girls, then kidnap them and take them to the mountains. When the villagers found out about the dragons’ mischievous habits, they tore down the castle and burned the surrounding forests. What was left of the palace was the imposing gate, presently reminding of this legend.  

Trascau Mountains


Huda lui Papara


Dragons Gate

From Râmetea, an increasingly abrupt trail climbs up to the genuine stone world of the massif. Surrounded by white rocks, it soon makes way for the enchanting view of the Trascău Crags (Coltii TrascÓ‘ului) and the Szekely Rock (Piatra Secuiului). The abrupt walls, with no vegetation but with sharp crests and debris cones, offer a unique view over the villages in the valley. From a height of 1129 meters, Râmetea, ColÅ£eÅŸti and Izvoarele seem like an overlapping of alleyways, scattered households and colorful fields. The tiny threads of water sparkle in the sun, tracing long silver lines across the green of the fields.

At the foot of the Big Mountain (Muntele Mare) you will find BÓ‘iÅŸoara commune, from where you can head to the Ocoliseului, Runcului and Pociovalistei Gorges. Close to them there is the ScăriÅ£a-Belioara Geobotanical Reservation, an area made of mountain peaks shaped like steeples, like Piatra Belii and Coltul Bleantului along with very many small caves: The Red Cave (Pestera Rosie), Filip’s Cave (Pestera lui Filip), The Bottomless Cave (Pestera fara fund), The Monk’s Cave (Pestera Calugarului), etc. The fairytale-like view is given by the ivory rocky walls and by the rich forests which are home to rare plant species, among which gentians, sweet peas, martagon lilies, mountain avenses. The sceneries, especially those opening over belvedere points are relaxing; nature’s splendid creation deserves a layover here in order to be admired.

Szekely Rock


Scarita Belioara


Scarita Belioara

During your hikes in the Trascău Mountains you will also discover other valuable attractions: Ighiel Lake, surrounded by a stately beech forest reflected in the clear water, Ursoi Glade, surprising due to its heart shaped contour amidst the oak trees, the VăliÅŸoarei Gorges, the AmpoiÅ£ei Rocks. The access points to the massif are the following cities: Turda, Aiud, Baia de ArieÅŸ and villages: RâmeÅ£, Ponor, Sălciua, Râmetea, BăiÅŸoara, Iara. At the foot of the mountain, but also at the altitude you will find numerous places offering accommodation, be it chalets, board and lodgings or hotels, along with the houses of the very welcoming locals. If you travel the trails of the TrascÓ‘u looking for adventure, you can set camp on the shore of the lakes or in the villages dotted about the hills, thus enjoying the gentle sunlight of the first rays. Thrill-seekers can practice rock climbing in the Turenilor, Intregaldelor and Fenesului Gorges, on the TrascÓ‘u Crags or the western slope of the Bedeleu massif.

In order to admire the authentic beauties of the TrascÓ‘u Mountains, we recommend a few routes marking the main tourist attractions:

Râmetea - Coltii Trascaului (Trascau Crags) - GuÅŸteagului Valley - Coltesti Route (4-4½ hrs.)

Aiudului Glade - Răchiş Defile - Podeni - Trascau Crags - Coltesti Route (5-6 hrs.)

Întregalde Chalet - Geoagiului Hill - Pravului Gorge - RâmeÅ£ Gorges - RâmeÅ£ Chalet Route (6hrs.)

Åžard train station - Burcedea Vinoasa - Piatra CrivÓ‘Å£ului - SfredelaÅŸu Peak - Întregalde Chalet Route (6-7 hrs, difficult during wintertime)

SÓ‘lciua - Morilor Valley - La Åžipote Glade - the western abrupt of the Bedeleu - The Dragons’ Gate Cave (Poarta Zmeilor) - Bedeleu Plateau - Bedeleu Spring - Valea Pietrelor Gorge - Izvoarele - Valisoara - Aiudului Gorge Route (7-7½ hrs., inaccessible during winter).

Trascau Mountains




Ramet Monastery

Village Life in the Trascău Mountains

On the smooth hills of the TrascÓ‘u Mountains you can see villages dotted about, some climbing up to the crest of the massif, others gathered at the feet of the mountain, in the smooth valleys. Rîmetea commune is representative for the architecture and traditions in the Apuseni and its fame goes back to Roman times, when it was known for the exploitation of iron deposits. During the Middle Ages, the Székelys in the Aranyos seat occupied this area, building a strong stone fortress here. In time, Rîmetea also became a prosperous fair, but once modern smitheries appeared, the locals stopped the mining. Presently, this village is one of the most picturesque tourist destinations in Å¢ara MoÅ£ilor.

Rîmetea is one of the few monument-villages in Romania, standing out with its white houses with green windows. The oldest house in the village dates back to 1668 and, just like the other buildings, it reflects the neoclassical style. The locals want to preserve the charm of the village, so in Rîmetea nothing is tore down, but rebuilt according to the initial architecture. In the village you can visit the Ethnographic Museum, where mining or household tools are displayed, along with painted pieces of furniture and traditional costumes. Although the village seems frozen in time, it still attracts tourists, especially those passionate about leisure flights. Rîmetea charms you with its rustic atmosphere and its houses with immaculate appearance and high wooden gates. You can find out stories about Transylvanian noblemen by talking to the locals and feast with traditional foods, prepared after ancient recipes.

Close by, you will find the Coltesti Fortress (Trascăului Fortress), out of which only two towers and some pieces of wall are left.  It was built by the villagers in Rîmetea and Coltesti on a limestone abrupt place and given to the Thoroczkay noble family. Although now in ruins, the fortification still maintains that mysterious medieval air as it dominates the surroundings. The panorama is fascinating, opening over Coltii Trascăului (the Trascău Crags).



Coltesti Fortress

In the villages of the Trascău Mountains, life follows its natural course, far from the crowded and agitated cities. On the emerald valleys and hills, you will see scattered houses, with high thatched roofs, golden haystacks, sheepfolds with welcoming shepherds and horses set free to gallop at their heart’s desire. Throughout time, the moÅ£i population lessened, but the typical rural atmosphere still lingers on the crests of the massif. The Trascău is enchanting with its wild sceneries, rich forests and abrupt rocks among which silver lines of water slide. The glades abounding in flowers, the secret caves, the colors of the sunset or the perfect quietness of the heights creates the perfect setting for a relaxing holiday at the heart of nature.

[An article written by Andreea Bertea]