It’s no secret that autumn is our favourite season because of the abundance of warm colours which create a beautiful spectacle in Romania’s dense forests. It’s the perfect season to go hiking in the mountains since the weather is stable and it’s not so hot as it is during the summer.
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Our trip in the Cozia Mountains will forever stay in our memory as the most beautiful and spectacular autumn trip we did.
However, Vadu Crișului has something special about it: it’s friendly, magical and less difficult than Cozia 😊
Brief useful information:
Date: October 2016
Day 1: Left Side Circuit + Vadu Crișului Cave
Distance: 6 km (w/o turning back on the railway)
Duration: 5 h (w/o turning back on the railway)
Day 2: Right Side Circuit
Distance: 3.4 km (w/o turning back on the railway)
Duration: 3 ore (w/o turning back on the railway)
There are 2 main hiking trails in Vadu Crișului: the Left Side Circuit and the Right Side Circuit.
These trails take you up the mountain above the Crișul Repede Gorges where you’ll have a spectacular panorama with the winding river beneath you!
You can reach Vadu Crișului very easily from the DN 1/ E 60 highway linking Oradea with Cluj Napoca. There are several guest houses here or you can also try the ones in the nearby Șuncuiuș village.
+The Left Side Circuit
The first day in this wonderful place was not too great due to the weather. Rain, fog and low clouds made us hide in our guest house until noon.
At some point we decided to confront the elements and head out on the trail hoping that we could save the day and get to some nice panorama spots.
After you cross the bridge over the Crișul Repede river (image below) you’ll enter the beautifully coloured forest. It’s a nice way to make things sweeter since we know we have quite a bit to climb today.
After about 20 minutes of flat trails in the spectacular forest and along the river, our trails heads straight up to the right.
It’s quite steep and the mud isn’t making it any easier. We struggled to catch some grip on the slippery surface.
The climb took its toll and we kind of hated it due to the damn mud. We had to be extra careful not to slip and thus we were pretty slow going up until the top. We caught our breaths in a cave, one of the many you can find here.
We continue the climb, this time with less mud and more rocks and as we get higher we start seeing the first panoramas of the beautiful Crișul Repede Gorges seen from above. It’s this area’s trademark: the winding river and railway and the stunning autumn forests on each side.
We stop to admire this beautiful view although the weather is playing with us. Even the bad weather can’t ruin this sight though. It’s a sight full of emotions.
We continue climbing for a bit and then we reach the top of the mountain which is basically flat. It’s like a walk in a very beautiful city park 😊
Despite the not-so-cheerful weather the forest had some nice visual surprises in store for us. Several times the fog descended into the forest and it created a magical sight considering the warm saturated colours of the leaves.
The trail then starts to slowly descend to the left and finally reaches the banks of the Crișul Repede river and immediately after that we reach the Vadu Crișului Cave and the bridge over the river which links to the railway.
We recommend you visit the Vadu Crișului Cave since it’s very beautiful! You can purchase tickets at the entrance and then you can enter a very active cave where water roars through and which some times causes some touristic routes to be closed.
The water which runs through the cave goes directly in the Crișul Repede river and forms a very beautiful waterfall, Vadu Crișului Waterfall, about 10 meters high.
The Left Side Circuit
The next day the weather is perfect. A warm autumn’s sun wakes us up in the morning and this is the sign that tells us that today’s hike is going to be awesome 😊
We walk along the railway until we get to the gym in Vadu Crișului and start hiking on the trail signposted withthat can be found behind the building.
You’ll have a steep hike for about 5 – 10 minutes.
We continue with a light walk in this stunning forest! Look for yourselves at the warm colours which bathe in the sun’s light. This is the reason we love autumn hikes especially.
The first panorama point (of the many offered by this route) is minutes away from the end of the steep climb. We can see the route we did the previous day which quickly gets lost in the dense forest as soon as it gets further away from the river and the railway 😊
One of the panorama points is situated exactly where the Vadu Crișului Via Ferrata ends. Yes, there is a via ferrata here as well for those who have the right equipment and are not afraid of heights.
This is probably one of the best panorama spots in the area since you can clearly see the magical image of the Crișul Repede Gorges in all its glory!
This is a postcard sight!😋
The trail continues though the beautiful forest and from time to time we turn to the right, to the edge of the mountain in order to see the spectacular image of the gorges and the maze of warm colours that define it.
This route, on the right side of the gorges, is easier that the one on the left side. Much of it feels like an easy walk in the park to be honest 😊
Another spectacular panorama point is in a spot called Peretele Zânelor (The Wall of the Fairy Tales, images below).
Here you can climb on this rock and be surrounded by the abyss beneath you. You’re almost directly over the river and the railway.
Before climbing down, the mountain offers us one last stunning panorama!
This time we can see the Vadu Crișului Waterfall and the bridge linking the train station and the Vadu Crișului Cave from very high up!
You’ll reach this panorama point as soon as the trail heads to the right and starts to descend.
It’s a splendid image from here! 😊
The descent is pretty steep. It’s also kind of slippery due to the rain the previous days. We reach the railway by the side of the river with great care and no hurry. We then turn right to head back to Vadu Crișului.
It’s a long way down the railway until our guesthouse so we took this opportunity to admire the beautiful nature in autumn from the base of the gorges as well. And it’s pretty nice from here, as you can see in the images below 😊
We hope that we’ve made you crave for an adventure here in Vadu Crișului, in the Apuseni Mountains and our advice is to experience this wonderful place in autumn.
Happy autumn everybody! 😊
Our routes on the map:
The Left Side Circuit (+)
The Right Side Circuit ()