The traditional houses in Roșia

If you ever dreamt of relaxing in a piece of heaven on Romanian soil, surrounded by nature, just like at grandma’s house, this place is what you’re looking for. Up on top of a hill in Runcuri hamlet, belonging to Roșia village in Bihor country, these traditional houses have been restored by a person who is in love with this area. Spending a few days here will get you the peace of mind you were looking for and you’ll disconnect from the daily stress.

tree swing

We came here because some friends of ours recommended the place. They are also in love with this area from the heart of the Apuseni Mountains. It’s has extremely varied land forms, predominated by karst. Along the millions of years that have passed the underground of this karst has been transformed into a Schweitzer. There are thousands of caves, and underground rivers forming a complex underground system that has yet to be fully discovered.

Each year cavers from Europe come to this area to discover new caves, new entries or new underground galleries. This place hosts over 3000 caves which vary in size: from small tiny ones, to huge ones. Some of them have been properly  set up for tourists and open to the public. At the end of the article we will recommend you a few caves near these traditional houses.
The traditional houses ensemble in Roșia has been revived by Viorel Lascu who managed to save them from collapse and introduce them in the Romanian ecotourist circuit. That’s the whole idea behind this place: ecotourism and responsibility towards nature. This type of tourism is not addressed to the masses but to those who value nature and understand that by destroying it people will suffer on the long term. It also means a responsibility towards the local community which must develop and prosper by using what nature has to offer responsibly. We are really excited that this type of tourism is catching on in Romania and there are people financially supporting the effort. We will promote these efforts and make them known.
Brief  useful information:

Getting there: tarmac until the final portion when you go up hill. Last 200 meters is a narrow gravel road where you must be more carefull, but it is accessible with any car.
Pricing: 40-50 RON/person/day (depends in which of the houses you want to stay)
Facilities: spacious dinning room, fully equipped kitchen, a perfect place for a campfire and a brilliant view
Nearby tourist attractions: Meziad Cave (~ 30 km), Farcu crystal cave (~ 20 km), Bears cave (~ 50 km), Padiș plateau (~ 70 km), Stâna de Vale (~ 50 km)

Star House

As I was saying, you have the liberty to choose from 3 available houses and a barn to sleep in. We stayed in the biggest house, Casa Tradițională, which has a capacity of 15 people. You have a large dinning room and everything you need in the kitchen. You don’t need anything from home but you must make your own food. It is clean and because the walls are thick dirt walls during the summer it is cool and during the winter it is warm inside. Natural air conditioning 🙂 You don’t sleep in beds but on mattresses. Don’t panic, it’s really cool and the mattresses are thick and wide. You’ll sleep extremely comfortable.

Casa Tradițională (left), Star House (right)
Casa Tradițională & the barn

I’m sure some of you wished you slept at least once in hay. This is what Romanian children did at their grandparents in the countryside. It’s a cool experience and you have the opportunity of doing this here. You can try it! 🙂

Casa Tradițională (left) & the place you can sleep in hay (right)
cavers boots

After we inspected all the rooms in the house we started working on the grill outside. Well, not everyone contributed to be fair. Along with us came two friends but they came by bicycle from Arad, that’s 150 km away. We came by car. They were the ones who told us about this place and we were so absorbed by the beauty of this place that they ended up doing all the work after they came 150 km by bike :)) I still feel bad about it even today.

I was too busy taking pictures and I completely forgot about the grill job. After a delicious dinner in the middle of these houses out in the yard it’s kind of hard not to get used to this state of mind. No to mention that the picture was complete when of our friends put Pink Floyd in the speakers and suddenly everything came together. It was perfect! One of those Zen moments.

Start house at sunset
Casa Tradițională (left), Start house (center) & the barn (right)
sunset over the hay roof of the Star house

Everything culminated at sunset because at that moment the panorama was stunning. Being here on the hill top which was bathing in the worm sunset light really felt like another dimension. The sunset light go through the ears of wheat cultivated down in the valley and highlights the land forms. You can only savour and you will never forget it.

Apus prin prispa Case de la Stele

After so many Zen moments together with relaxing the body and the mind, time came for some exploring. This area is particularly suitable for mountain bikes and we brought them here. Our first route was crossing all the hills in the area, a circuit. It’s not so difficult but there are no signposts so it’s easy to get lots. We recorded the track and you can see it and download it from below.

Then we did a shorter route and it was full of adrenaline since it was only going down hill. It was really fun. It’s 9 km long. We averaged 30 km/h and the top speed was 59 km/h 🙂 This route is really nice also because you’re going through Albioara Gorge which are pretty spectacular.

If you’re not mountain biking fans you can go at the two caves close by: Meziad cave and Farcu Crystals cave. Unfortunately we were only able to visit Meziad. This cave was modernised in 2012. It’s completely illuminated and very safe for tourists. Tourists can visit 1542 meters of this cave. It has huge caverns, 20 to 30 meters wide and 15 to 20 meters high.

Meziad cave. The entrance.
Meziad cave. The entrance.
giant stalagmite
Meziad cave – huge caverns
Meziad cave
Meziad cave – the Sphinx
Meziad cave
Meziad cave
Meziad cave
Meziad cave – huge openings
Meziad cave
Meziad cave

Tourists who want to visit Meziad Cave are accompanied by a guide who will tell you all the information you need to know about this wonderful cave. There are bat colonies here but they are friendly to tourists 🙂 The ticket costs 15 RON and children tickets cost 10 RON. Don’t forget that caves have a steady temperature of 9 – 11 degrees so it’s pretty cold here. You might want to have a jacket with you.

The Apuseni mountains are very special and have a special place in our hearts. We love Apuseni! 🙂

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