Geographically speaking, the Crișul Repede Gorge is the narrow valley between Bologa village and Vadul Crișului commune. It extends for about 48 km in length.
In this sector, the Crișul Repede river flows through the western part of Apuseni Mountains. The gorge separates the Meseșului and Plopișului Mountains (to the north) from the Pădurea Craiului Mountains (to the south).
The most spectacular and most attractive part of the Crișul Repede Gorge is the 3km sector between Șuncuiuș commune and Vadul Crișului commune. Moreover, this sector of the gorge is the most suitable for white-water sports such as rafting, kayaking or canoeing.
Access: from Oradea city (73km on E60 road)> Aleșd > Topa de Criș>Vadul Crișului> Șuncuiuș; from Cluj Napoca city (107km on E60 road)> Huedin> Borod >Bratca> Șuncuiuș
Recommended period – we suggest coming here during spring, when the water flow rate of Crisul Repede is relatively high. In summer, the water level is usually too low for any white-water sports.
General information about the route – usually, the starting point is the Ungurul Mare cave in Șuncuiuș commune. If the water level is high, it is possible to start further upstream, from Bratca commune. Between the Ungurul Mare cave and the exit from Șuncuiuș commune there are three high-difficulty sections on the river.
When entering the Vadul Crișului commune, the river passes through the Pereții Gri (Grey Walls) area where there are cliffs up to 80m high. Further downstream, the river passes by the Vadul Crișului cave where the water that comes out from the cave forms a waterfall.
Recommendations – At least one person in the group should have some rafting experience. It is mandatory to know how to paddle correctly, otherwise, due to the river’s currents, your boat might hit the rocky sides or even tip over.
There are multiple sections on the Crișului Repede river where you have to be particularly careful for your boat not to tip over. In such moments, it is very important each member of the group to be able to act quickly and independently.
Conditions for going rafting, kaiaking or canoeing.
In 1955, the Romanian Academy declared the tourist area of the gorges to be a Scientific Reserve.Currently, this is a Natura 2000 protected area: the ROSCI 0062 Crişul Repede Gorge – Pădurea Craiului Site.
At the moment, the administrator of this protected area (The Center for Protected Areas and Sustainable Development in Bihor County) does not require any fees or approvals for practicing water sports on the Crișul Repede river.
Accommodation – There is a camping site close to the Ungurul Mare Cave. The fee is 6 RON/tent. It is also possible to spend the night at one of the guest houses in the area for about 120 – 150 RON/ night.
Rafting or kayaking on the Crișul Repede river – these sports require special boats: inflatable raft, kayak or canoe. If you do not own such a boat, you can contact one of the water sports companies in the area.
Required gear: besides the boat, you will also need: full neoprene suit, helmet, life jacket. It is desirable to wear shoes that will not hold water, otherwise you might have trouble swimming. It is also recommended to have a throw line and to bring along a waterproof container.
Other activities: in Șuncuiuș area, as well as in Vadul Crișului area, there are many sport climbing and multi-pitch climbing routes. If you prefer caving, you must know that not very far from Șuncuiuș, in Poiana Franturii (Franturii Meadow) is the longest cave in the country – the Vantului Cave (Wind Cave).
Also, on demand, it is possible to set up zip-lines across the Crișul Repede river valley.
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