Here you can find the main tourist attractions close to Arieşeni. The stories that can be found here are impressive, some of them have given birth to true legends, passed on from generation to generation.

Casa lui Horea (Horea’s House)

The memorial house can be found at a 30 minute drive from Arieşeni, in the village Fericet, Horea’s place of birth (1731 – 1875). This house is now a museum, that has in front an obelisk built in 1934.
Horea’s story: Vasie Ursu Nicola, known as Horea, was one of the three leaders of the peasant rebellion (side to side with Cloşca and Crişan). Abolishing sclavery was his main goal, that’s why he went to Vienna so that he may ask the emperor for national social rights and freedom for the romanian people, freeing the moţ people from serfage. He served his military duties in Austria, where he learned the German language. He lead a key role in starting the 1784 rebellion, wich began in Curechi and Mestecăniş, and that spread in the west region in Ardeal. The Austrian army has stoped the rising, the people behind it were arested, so Horea was publicly executet, on the 28th of february 1785, at Alba Iulia by Breaking Wheel.
Legend:  near the memorial house there is an old ash tree that is belived to be planted by Horea himself.

Cascada Vârciorog( Vârciorog waterfall)

Can be found NE of the Biharia group of mountains, on the Vârciong valley, affluent to the White River. Situated in the village Vamvuceşti – Arieşeni, at the bottom of Piatra Grăitoare peak, the Vârciorog waterfall is a landscape reservation that stands 15 meters tall.

Situated 5 km from the center of Arieşeni it is accessible also in the winter season when the forest road is not snowed in.
Close by you can find blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, near the waterfall it is possible to make a barbecue, a camp fire or just to sunbathe. The best period to see the waterfall is in the springtime, when the flow of the Vârciorog river has reached its peak. The largest number of visitors is usually during summer and autumn.


The Pătrăhăiţeşti village is one of the most isolated human settings in Apuseni, and is one of the 18 villages that are part of Arieşeni, situated at over 1.200 meters. In the summer time you can reach here by car, on a forest road 5 km away from the main road.
The locals are welcoming, known for their famous huckleberry drink. Thanks to the hundred year old tradition of most of the inhabitants, they have become skilled handymen in creating handcrafted objects from wood and textiles that we usually see in a museum.
Objectives:  Pătrăhăieşti waterfall – that is 14 meters high and is also referred to as the Bucinis waterfall, because of its position on the Bucinis river valley. It is best to see it at springtime, when snow melts and the waterfall is more impressive. During summer, the surroundings are filled with burdock flowers (mini sun flowers).

Pătrăhăieşti museum –is the place where you can purchase handmade objects from wood, made by skilled craftsmen. It is accessible by car.



Ruginoasa Hole (Groapa Ruginoasa)

The enormous cavity is dug by water in red, violet and yellow sand stone, making it a unique phenomenon in our country. It is the result of a powerful erosion proces with a 600 meters diameter and a depth of 100 meters. The erosion is still in process and the hole gets bigger and bigger over the years. For example, 80 years ago – on old maps – the place was marked down as a small gap. The edges are sharp, like razors that point to the center of the hole.
Situated 9 km from Arieşeni after finishing a 50 minute walk off the road (including 10-15 minutes climb), the hole can be admired in its entire splendor. The road is accesible all year round and is marked on the DN75  road.
BE CAREFUL of the hole sides because they are not well consolidated.

Scărişoara Cave (Peştera Scărişoara)

The Scărişoara cave can be found in Gârda de Sus village, it is one of the largest ice caverns in Romania.
There are two ways to get there from Arieşeni: by car untill Gârda de Jos and from there you can climb your way to the glacier. Otherwise, there is a track of 4 hours (red triangle marking) straight from Arieşeni.
The date in which Scărişoara has been discovered is unknown, but it was mentioned for the first time in 1863, when the Austrian geographer Adolt Schmididi made the first observations and the first map of the cave.

Now, Scărişoara is declared one of nature’s monuments and a speleological reserve. Situated at an altitude of 1165 m, it is the largest ice-cave in Romania with a length of 720 m and a depth of 105 m. The cave is renown thank to its glacier aged over 3000 years with a surface of 5500 square meters as well as an ice thickness that is, in some places, over 37 meters.
The interior is made with metal stairs and is illuminated; large groups can arrange for guides. Sala Mare(the big room) and Bisericuţa( the little church) are two parts of the glacier which form the top area that can be visited. Bisericuţa, has ice formations even in springtime. The cave can be visited all year.
Legend:  Şolomăţul that steals girls
Tales from the elders speak of a dragon that lived in the cave; this dragon was called by the natives: şolomăţ. This creature stole one beautiful girl, on New Years Eve or one night before the Girls Fair from Găina Mountain, and hid her in an ice palace that was never seen by anyone.
Another legend tells that behind the calcareous formations called “La brazi” there are two water basins, and whoever gets down on both knees, with his bear head, drinks straight from the water and makes a wish, that person will see his dream come true. The only condition is that he/she does not tell his wish to anyone.

Ordâncuşi Canyon and the Ionele Gate (Cheile Ordâncuşii and Poarta lui Ionele)

Cheile Ordâncuşii is a complex reserve that represents one of the narrowest canyons in Romania (4-6 meters) with a length of 4 km and a breath-taking natural scenery. It is situated 1,5 km from the center of the Gârda de Sus village. In its walls, you can find 70 caves and grottos among which the cave Ionele’s Gate that is a speleological reserve of scientific importance.

Ionele’s Gate can be found in the first sector of the canyon, 10 km from Arieşeni. It stands out with its enormous entrance (it is a must see if not only for this aspect) over 15 m high, with a 60 m gallery. Only the first part of the cave is allowed to tourists, the second one is closed due to a protected bat colony.

To see other Attractions go to the page Trip to Apuseni Mountains.