Peştera Scarisoara

Ghetarul de la Scarisoara - Scarisoara Ice Cave

Useful Information

Location: In the south of Bihor Mountains (Apuseni Mountains). Alba county. 150 km (asphalted road) southwest of Cluj Napoca. From N 75 (Dr. Petru Groza-Turda Rd.) turn north in Garda village, 6 km country road. (horse sledge in winter time)
Open: All year Tue-Sun 10-16.
Fee: Adults EUR 1.50.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave Speleologyice cave.
Light: carbide lamps
Dimension: L=705 m, VR=105 m, A=1,165 m asl., T=0 °C.
Entrance shaft: W=60 m, D=48 m.
Ice content: area=5550 m², V=40000-55000m³, depending on season.
Guided tours: L=150 m, VR=50 m, D=40 min.
Bibliography: Gh. Racovita, B.P. Onac (2000): Scarisoara Glacier Cave, Carpatica Publ. House, 2000, Cluj Napoca, 973-98752-1-1.
Address: E-mail: contact
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.


1861 discovered.
1863 first documented by Austrian geographer Arnold Schmidt.
1947 first exploration.


The entrance to Peştera Scarisoara is a shaft, 48 m deep and 60m wide. The hall at the ground of this abyss is filled with ice all year round. The reason for this strange situation is the height of the cave, where the winters are rather cold, and the form of the entrance: like refrigerators in supermarkets, the caves stores the low temerature, as the cold air is heavier than the warm air outside.

A stair of steep wooden and iron steps spiralles around the shaft until it reaches the bottom. This first chamber is already filled with ice. But the most impressive ice structures are found in the second chamber of the cave. With 100.000m³ it is said to be the second largest ice cave in the world. Comparable are only the ShowcaveEisriesenwelt and the ShowcaveDachstein-Rieseneishöhle. Impressive are the spectacular six meters high ice stalagmites.

The cave is very cold, the paths are very difficult to go. It is essential to use warm clothes and good shoes. The cave is not suitable for people with health problems. There is no electric light but the warden provides carbide lamps.