ROSCI0062 Defileul Crisului Repede – Padurea Craiului Natura 2000 site has an area of 38,813 ha and is located in the North-West Region of Romania. 99% of its surface is in Bihor county and 1% in the province of Cluj.
The site is a declared protected area in order to preserve the landscape and the ecological and cultural diversity, Administratively, the surface is included in Auşeu, Aştileu, Bulz, Bratca, Căbeşti, Curăţele, Dobreşti, Lugăşu de Jos, Măgeşti, Pomezeu, Remetea, Şuncuiuş, Ţeţchea, Vadu Crişului, Vârciorog communes, and Alesd and Beius towns. The site includes categories of private, state-owned land, protected areas of national and local interest.
Here you can find:
- the longest cave in Romania: The Wind Cave (over 47 km long);
- the longest underground stream in Romania: Tinoasa – Ciur Izbuc Cave – Ciur Ponor Cave – Topliţa de Rosia spring;
- traditional farming practices: mowing, plowing, small-scale farming,
- interesting plant associations: Iris sybirica (glacial relict), Calluna vulgaris, flowers belonging to the mountain floor (Arnica montana);
- diverse and well preserved cave fauna;
- lakes and rivers for recreation and fishing;
- a slightly altered forest landscaped on a karst relief with valleys, karst valleys;
- artisans crafting in ceramics, woodwork, glazed eggs, glass painting, secular water mills still in operation, original architectural design;
- one of the largest network of tourist caves in Romania (including the caves: Vadu Crisului, Unguru Mare, Meziad);
- traces of living prehistoric man in caves;
- Gorgeous gorges and gorges crossed by roads or railways (Cheile Albioarei, Vadu Crisului – Borod) or accessible only to hikers (Cheile Cutii, Şteazelor Valley, Vida Gorges, etc.);
- welcoming hosts, guest houses or traditional households with food and beverages;
- hiking trails, cycling and horseback riding, some arranged as thematic trails (flora, fauna, karst).