HIKING, HIKING in Crișului Repede valley

Şuncuiuş – Batranului cave

drumetie suncuius panorama spre imasul batranului cruce albastra suncuius pestera batranului

Şuncuiuş - Batranului cave

Start / arrival Șuncuiuș / Bătrânului Cave
Route Şuncuiuş – Izbândiş Spring – “Imaşul Bătrânului” karst plateau – Bătrânului Cave
Distance 8 km
Cumulative level difference 316 m+
Estimated travel time 4 hours
Marking traseu cruce albastra
Accessibility  any season
Discover Izbândiș spring, “Imaşul Bătrânului” karst plateau, Bătrânului Cave, 4 small caves and 2 viewpoints

Route description

A “connecting” route, without difficult parts, but with enchanting landscapes. The 8 kilometers of this itinerary marked with a blue cross can be covered in about 4 hours. Tourists must also take into account that, once they reach their destination, they have to make a detour or they can ensure their “exit from the route” by descending to the former “Peştera” chalet, from Vadu Crişului.

The route starts from the center of Şuncuiuş commune. Immediately after crossing the bridge over the Crişul Repede river, we have in front a junction and to its left, a pole with various markings for: hiking, mountain running, cycling. We identify our marking, the blue cross, and start straight ahead, on the asphalt road that leads to the village of Zece Hotare.

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The houses are rarer, the valley is narrowing, the road seems to be lost between the fiorested hills and we see a stream on the left side. It is the water that comes from Izbândiş spring, on the left side of the road, at the foot of a rather steep hill. Above this spectacular „eruption” is the cave of the same name, Izbândiş. It is considered one of the most inaccessible caves of the Pădurea Craiului mountains and, no matter how beautiful it is, it can only be visited by skilled cavers.

Our road continues to climb, following the asphalt road and after a while we reach a branch like a “hairpin”. Here we turn a lot to the right and continue our route on the modernized artery which continues to climb. After a while, the road ends and in front of us we have the tourist path marked with a blue cross, which climbs the mountain. We continue on the path, through the forest, in the opposite direction to the route marked with a red triangle. We are careful not to be tempted by any of the paths we encounter on the right and after crossing a last patch of forest we see, right in front, the junction of three roads. We are in the heart of Pojorata village.

At this point our route separates from the one marked with a red triangle. From the three options, we choose the one that goes to the left, on the modernized road. We keep it ahead, ignoring a branch to the right of the modernized road, and we soon find ourselves at another junction. We have a road that comes from the front and one that turns sharply to the right. This is our route.

We follow the blue cross marking of the path for about 500 meters admiring the landscape filled with sinkholes. We are in the middle of a karst plateau. It is called “Imasul Batranului” The modernized road ends, but we continue on the tourist path. We have to be careful because there are other paths in the area. In short distance from the point where the road became a path, our route turns left. It is one of the few places on this itinerary that requires little attention from tourists. The markings are good and will help us. Soon we meet the blue cross marking and, with it, we have in front a valley with quite steep banks. It is the Valley of the Cave.

We descend and, to the right, at a short distance we can see two towers that look like a medieval castle. The rocks are the portal of Batranului Cave. Here the water of the stream that accompanied us on the last stretch of road is lost underground. You should know that the Peştireu valley comes to the surface again, after about 4 kilometers traveled through the earth, through the Vadu Crişului Cave.

Attention, Batranului Cave is not accessible to tourists without equipment and speleological experience. Imminent risk of injury!

The landscape, of a special picturesqueness, compensates the fact that we cannot descend in the cave that is part adventure caves circuit of Padurea Craiului. So, we can visit it though, but only with the necessary guide and equipment. Herds, sinkholes, lapies, such as the stone blocks of cyclopean roads, traditional houses, compose a landscape that needs to be immortalized.

Keep in mind that you are 4 hours away from the nearest accommodation unit and make sure that you can return safely from where you started or, following the route marked with a blue stripe, you can go down to the Crisului Repede Gorge, at the Pestera chalet or train stop.

Be careful! The chalet is a ruin, in no way a potential refuge or accommodation. It is best to return to Şuncuiuş following the same route you followed to Batranului Cave. Changing perspective, the route will seem completely different.

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