We are in Bihor, where the mountains hide world’s second largest ice cave. The county’s numerous hidden treasures attract each year tourists from all over the world. Some come to relax at the Baile Felix thermal spa, others visit the Apuseni Mountains with their amazing sceneries and over 400 caves.
From all these caves, the most famous and also the one that attracts the largest number of visitors each year, is the Bears’ Cave (Pestera Ursilor).
If you think the name is just a metaphor, think again. Cave bears (Ursus spelaeus) visited these catacombs over 15.000 years ago. Their skeletons were discovered in 1975 when the cave was explored for the first time by an amateur speleologists group who called themselves “Speodava”.
The cave was first time opened to the public in 1986, after being modernized with paved sidewalks and electricity. Although not impressive in size, the cave has amazing formations of stalagmite and stalactite, as well as a lot of like marks and fossils of cave bear.
If you remember from your visit in the ice cave, Romanians give always creative names to the galleries of the caves, and the Bears’ Cave is no exception. You’ll be entering the cave through an entrance situated at 482 altitude and visit in oreder The Bears Gallery, the Emil Racovita Gallery and the Candles Gallery and exit through the Olds’ Council.
The cave is almost 1 km long, but open to tourists are passages that together sum 488 m. The rest 521 are closed to the public and treaded as scientific reservation.
Although a short distance, the visit will take about 45 minutes. Unlike other caves where you are free to explore everything at your own risk, the Bears’ Cave will always have a guide to show you around. Temperature in the cave is +10°C (constant the whole year). You can visit the cave any day (except Mondays) from 10 to 17.