Peștera Hoților

Pestera Hotilor - Cave of the Thieves - Grota Haiducilor - Outlaws Grotto

Useful Information

Location: Băile Herculane.
On the DJ608D road.
(44.896503, 22.428396)
Open: All year daily.
Fee: Adults RON 5.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: bring torch
Dimension: L=143 m.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Peștera Hoților, Băile Herculane.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1820 oldest signature in the cave.


Peștera Hoților is an archaeological excavation site. The huge shelter with two entrance portals is located at Băile Herculane behind the Hotel Roman. A long stone staircase leads up to the cave. The portal is gated by an iron bar gate, but as it is not very big, it is possible to see most of the cave from the portal. The cave has been inhabited since the Middle Paleolithic era, numerous remains were excavated from the cave. Also, Roman vessels and coins were discovered. Since the early 19th century visitors left their names and the date of the visit, some of them are quite elaborate. While such graffiti are today despised and discouraged, the historic ones from the 19th century are of historical value.

The cave is rather popular because of the tourism to Băile Herculane, many people staying at the spa also visit the cave once. The village is a spa town with hot springs with sulfur, chlorine, sodium, calcium, magnesium and other minerals, as well as negatively ionized air. It became popular during the Austro-Hungarian empire, many buildings like the railway station, hotels, spa, and casino are from this era. Until World War I this area belonged to Hungary. Before World War II the spa was still a popular destination for Western Europeans. During the Communist era, mass tourism facilities were built, such as the 12-storied concrete hotel Roman. Workers and retirees spent their state-allotted vacation vouchers here. After 1989 the visitors changed, younger people came, and privately owned pensions and hotels appeared.

The cave is today still offered as a sight by the local tourist bureau. There are open hours and a warden who opens the gate and charges a small fee for the visit. The cave has a level floor but no other development, it's just a huge shelter. If you want to have a look into the darker corners, bring your own torch. The cave walls are full of grafiti, but while the modern ones are despised, the ones from the 19th century are quite interesting. Actually, they did not know "tags", they wrote the date and their name. Be aware that there might be very low visitation, and according to reviews on the internet, the warden tends to not show up on such days.

If you follow the trail further uphill, you will reach the Grota cu Aburi. Its another huge shelter, though a little smaller. It has no gate and is thus always accessible. The huge portal offers a great view of the valley.