Romania: Turda Salt Caves and Gorge

DSC_0208A salt mine with a theme park inside? There was no way I could turn this down. So, a few months ago, I headed to Turda, a town that’s about an hour outside Cluj-Napoca to have a look at Salina Turda. It’s basically a salt mine museum with some interesting things to do inside!

Getting from Cluj to Turda is pretty easy – the route I chose was the Alis Grup bus which leaves from Piața Mihai Viteazul almost every half hour and costs around 7 RON. It takes around an hour, and once you arrive in Turda, any taxi driver will be willing to drive you to Salina Turda. Alternatively, you can walk, but be warned that there are two entrances, which you can see on this map. The one that appears to be in a park was a pretty long and remote walk, while the second one is apparently in the centre of the town.

DSC_0197It’s 20 RON (around £4) to enter, but I was a little disappointed to realise that everything else you might want to do in there costs extra – rowing, the ferris wheel, table tennis, bowling, minigolf – these are all things you can do inside the caves, if you want to! I didn’t actually do any of these things in the end, as it was a bank holiday and the queues to get on the rowing boats was massive. Still, it’s very interesting just to see what’s going on, and you can also learn about the history of the mine… plus being in salt caves is supposed to be good for you (as long as you don’t stay longer than 3 hours, or something).

 

Next to the “new” entrance (I think, the one in the park on the map) there’s also a restaurant just across the road. It was nice and the prices were a little expensive, but I remember being quite impressed with the duck! They also called a taxi for us because we weren’t sure how to get back to the centre.

A little further than Turda itself is Cheile Turzii, or Turda Gorge. Unfortunately I’m not sure how you can get there without a good friend with a car, but there’s a walk (around 2-3 hours all together) through the gorge and back that’s really pretty:

Some things to be aware of, though, are that there will be times when you’re walking along a piece of rock around a foot wide and holding on to a chain attached to a mountainside to keep you from falling. There are other times where you’ll practically have to slide down a 2 foot drop that’s slippery from water. So – wear good shoes, and also be prepared for this bridge:

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Still, it’s a nice walk, and when you reach the other side you’ll be able to relax on the grass and enjoy the view. Probably a very cool place to go camping, too!

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