Cetățile Rădesei

The fortresses of Rădesa - Aragyásza-Barlang - Medúza-Zug - Radeasa Fortress Cave - Cetatea Rădesei Cave

Useful Information

Location: Natural Park Apuseni, 410346 Padis, Bihor, .
(46.62987, 22.70762)
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave SpeleologyRiver Cave
Light: bring torch
Dimension: L=862 m, VR=44 m.
North Entrance: A=1,239 m.
South entrance: A=1,305 m.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: A. Schmidl (1863): Das Bihargebirge an der Grenze von Ungarn und Siebenbürgen, ed. Verl. Förster und Bartekmus, Wien. Deutsch - German
Gyula Czárán (1903): Kalauz Biharfüredi kirándulásokra, 262 p., Beius. Magyarul - Hungarian
Paul-Erik Damm (2006): Cetățile Rădesei Speomond Nr.11. p.23-26 p.23-26, Clubul de Speologie "Z" Romanian - Limba Română pdf
Address: Cetățile Rădesei.
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.


1863 initial speleological exploration of the region by Adolf Schmidl.
1903 research continued by Gyula Czárán.
1929 research by René Jeannel and Emil Racoviţă.
1950s-1960s research by a team led by M. Bleahu.
1977-1978 explored by the members of the Clubul de Speologie "Z" (Speleology Club "Z") from Oradea.


Cetățile Rădesei (Radeasa Fortress Cave) is a river cave in the almost last stage of its development. It is generally considered to be on the best way to become a gorge. The cave ceiling has already collapsed at numerous locations, and so it will become a series of natural bridges and then finally a gorge. At the moment it is an extremely popular spot for canyoning enthusiasts, and a "show cave" Romanian style, in other words there are trails to the entrances and into the cave, and inside you are on your own. Only drops higher than 2 m are equipped with massive iron chains. As a result visitors generally cross the cave downstream, as it is much easier to lower oneself on a chain than to climb up the chain. Nevertheless, it requires full physical fitness and canyoning experience, We classify this as a cave trekking tour with high physical demand. It is definitely not for children, and you should avoid times of high water and be careful with the weather forecast.

The through cave is located in the upper basin of the Somesul Cald, in the northern part of the Bihor Massif. The spring of the Pârâul Rădeasa river is a few hundred meters up the valley. There is another short cave through which it flows, but this cave is not accessible. Then it flows through the Cetățile Rădesei and after 50 m it unites with the Pârâul Feredeului to form the Someșul Cald river, which flows through Cluj-Napoca.

The cave is surveyed to 862 m long, but the main passage offers about 300 m of canyoning, the numbers differ. The lower entrance is 44 m below the upper entrance. The southern or upper entrance has a 15 m high and 7 m wide oval-shaped entrance, into which the Radeasa stream enters. On the left side is a ledge which offers a comfortable way into the cave. Unfortunately it ends about 20 m inside. Many mountaineers end their visit at this point, because from here you need special equipment, neoprene suit, water-resistant shoes, helmet with headlamp, and gloves. Also, you need clothes to change, a towel, and a plastic bag for the wet clothes. We also recommend water and probably a snack, and a backpack for the stuff. Never go alone and leave a return time. You can return to the upper entrance on an above ground trail, so can leave your equipment at the entrance. Some recommend to return through the cave as the trail across the hill was blocked by dead wood from a storm.