Valea Sighiştelului

Useful Information

Location: Sighistel.
(46.525459, 22.556513)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: GorgeGorge SpeleologyKarst Cave KarstIntermittent Spring
Light: n/a, bring torch for caves
Dimension: Peștera Corbasca: L=300 m, VR=40 m, A=500 m asl. (46.5335064, 22.5732625)
Peştera Răsuflătoarea Blidarului: L=268 m, VR=12 m, A=430 m asl, T=9 °C. (46.5342367, 22.5805911)
Peștera Drăcoaia: L=1,963 m, VR=112 m, A=470 m asl. (46.5334857, 22.5837119)
Peștera Măgura: L=1,885 m, A=550 m asl. (46.5316481, 22.5943521)
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Valea Sighiştelului.
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.



Valea Sighiştelului (Sighistel Valley) is a narrow canyon in a karst area, with steep limestone walls, sections which are only 2 m wide and at least 15 m deep, and even several large semi-wild caves. Despite being a popular hiking tour and numerous entries on Google Maps, the valley actually has no marked trail. People simply walk in the river bed and try to avoid the deep parts. Probably gum boots are better than trekking shoes for this walk. And you should definitely go during low water, in late summer.

But lets begin at the beginning. As often in Romania, its quite tricky to even get there. The road E79 is a normal road, and Ștei is a nice town, in the southern outskirts road 75 turns east, signposted Turda and Campeni. Still a normal paved dual-lane road. After about 6 km in Câmpani, a village which is actually built along the road, a single lane paved road turns off on the left to Sighiştel. And now the infrastructure degrades very fast. The single lane paved road ends at the village, the main road through the village is gravel and sometimes quite narrow. The village which is built on both sides of the river is connected by bridges which seem too fragile for a car. It's necessary to cross the river twice to finally reach the end of the gravel road and a campground, which is actually just a meadow with some apple trees.

The walk through the 5 km long gorge is not really difficult. There is no well-marked trail, but the valley is popular and there are dirt tracks created by the visitors, which are often destroyed by the next flood of Sighistel brook. Dirt tracks on the side lead to several small caves of different size and difficulty. Take a helmet with headlamp with you and be careful. Although being popular, if you have an accident, it might take quite long until someone finds you. Despite the lack of development for the trail, the gorge is very well documented on the internet. All accessible caves have numerous detailed descriptions, though most are in Romanian.