Peştera Vadu Crişului

Peştera de la Vadu-Crisului - Révi barlang - Zichy-barlang - Vizesébarlang - Peştera lui Zichy - Peștera de la Cascadă - Peştera Vad

Useful Information

Location: Comuna Vadu Crișului, județul Bihor.
In the Mountains of Paddurea Craiului. From the parking 20 m walk to the cave along Cascada Vadu Crişului (waterfall).
(46.96185866378482, 22.511004186042356)
Open: All year Wed-Sun, Hol 9-17.
Last entry 16.
Fee: Adults RON 10, Children RON 5, Students RON 5, Seniors RON 5.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave SpeleologyRiver Cave Cretacious Barremein Limestone.
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=1,510 m, A=305 m asl.
Guided tours: L=680 m, D=30-45 min. Min=10, Max=25.
Photography: not allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Corneliu et al. (1966): Aperçu Biospéologique sur la Grotte Vadu-Crisului, Monts Padurea Craiului (Transylvanie, Roumanie). Trav. Inst. Spéol "Émile Racovitza" t XXXV p 115-142, Bucarest Romanian - Limba Română
M Bleahu et al (1976): Pesteri din Romania. 415 pp Romanian - Limba Română
C Pleasa (1996): Defileul Crisului Repede. Ghid "Interare turistice" Ed Meridiane, 35 pp Romanian - Limba Română
Iosif Viehmann et al (1964): Peştera de la Vadu-Crisului. Lucr. Inst. Speol "Emil Racovita" t 3 49-81 Romanian - Limba Română
Address: Peştera Vadu Crişului, Muzeul Ţării Crişurilor, Parcul Traian nr.1, cod.410033 Oradea, jud. Bihor, Tel: +40-259-479-918, Fax: +40-259-479-918. E-mail:
Guide Géczi Mihály, Tel: +40-744-512-926.
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.


10-NOV-1903 discovered by Czaran Gyula, Karl Handl and Veress Istvan.
1905 opened to the public.
1907 first map published by the railway surveyor Monoky Gyula.
1969 redeveloped by the Oradea museum with metal and concrete stairs and bridges and electrified.
2004 cave refurbished and new light system.


Peştera Vadu Crişului (Vadu Crişului cave) is named after nearby Vadu Crișului commune. Between Vadu Crișului and Șuncuiuș the Crisul Repede river forms a limestone valley with numerous caves, which is protected by the Parcul National Defileul Crisului Repede. The show cave is located right in the middle. There is no road through the valley, you have to park your car at one end of the valley and walk to the cave, which is about 2 km from Șuncuiuș and 1.6 km from Vadu Crişului. Alternatively you can use the train, which follows the valley and stops in the middle of the valley at the station Halta Peştera. The show cave is across the river and 5 minutes walk into a side valley.

The cave was discovered by blasting the rock, but not during quarry works. There was a suspicion by Karl Handl, that there was a cave above the Vadu Crisului waterfall. He was employed at the technical service of the railway and a nature lover. He had seen the resurgence emerging from a cave, and he was able to provide dynamite from the railroad. He informed the father of tourism in the Apuseni Mountains, Czárán Gyula. Czárán Gyula, Karl Handl and Veress István blasted the rock on 10-NOV-1903 and actually discovered the cave. Count Odon Zichy, who owned the property with the cave, ordered the construction of wooden bridges and stairs. In 1905 the cave was opened to the public, advertised as the most beautiful cave in Europe.

The cave river forms a 6 m high waterfall 40 m from the entrance. Stalactites and stalagmites of various shapes and sizes can be seen along the entire length of the cave. But the cave is also famous for numerous endemic species which were collected by numerous biospeologists, among them Emil Racoviţă. Also 27,000 years old bones of cave bears (Ursus spelaeus) were discovered.

The cave was managed by the Oradea Museum, who redeveloped the cave in 1969 and replaced the rotting wood with metal and concrete stairs and bridges. The cave was also electrified, and was the second Romanian cave with electric light. Today the cave is managed by the Muzeul Ţării Crişurilor (Criș Country Museum), which completely refurbished the cave in 2004. The trails and railings were refurbished, and a modern light system installed.

If you visit the cave it is actually quite impressive to walk the full length of the valley and visit the various small caves, karst springs and waterfalls. There is Peștera cu apă, Peștera Devențului I, II and III, Peștera Caprei, Peștera Roșie, and Peștera Fugarilor. The trails and caves are signposted, the undeveloped caves are open and free.

Situated in the gorge of the River Crisul Repede and about 2.5 km from the hamlet of Vadu-Crisului, in the Department of Bihor, it was commercialised by a local tourist group soon after its discovery in 1903. It has been known by various names: Révi barlang, Zichy-barlang, Vizesébarlang, Peştera lui Zichy, Peştera Vad etc. The cave is famous for its cave life and has been visited by many biospeleologists: Benno Wolf, Pierre Alfred Chappuis, René Jeannel and Emil Racoviţă amongst others.

Marked at the entrance by a fine waterfall which tumbles into the River Crisul Repede (a tributary of the Tisza, Danube basin), Peştera de la Vadu-Crisului can be found at an altitude of 305.6 m. It is formed in the Barremein Limestone and has been explored for 1 km. It is composed of a principal gallery, with a stream for 800 m of its length. The cave is decorated throughout with some fine speleothems.

Text by Tony Oldham (2001). With kind permission.