Marvel, history, nature and architecture, this is what you can expect from this day trip from Sibiu.
Turda Salt Mine is a unique tourist attraction. Some 120 meters below ground, an underground amusement park and a veritable history museum of salt mining
were open a few years ago, in the belly of a former salt mine. The old mine, which dates from the 17th century, was once used as everything from a cheese cave
to a World War II bomb shelter.
The innovative look of this massive amusement park seems like something out of a science fiction movie. It has attractions like an amphitheatre, an underground lake that may be explored with paddles and rowboats, a ferris wheel, spa treatment rooms with natural aerosols, mini-golf or table tennis. One can find there the original installation used to lift the salt blocks from the bottom of the mines, or the echos room, a space where the sound can reverberate up to 20 times.
Optional visits: Midway from Sibiu to Turda is Alba Iulia, a city that can fulfil the passion for the history of any tourist: from antiquity to the 20th century, important pages of Romanian history book were written in Alba Iulia. And if history is not your main interest, there is still a lot to see there: from a medieval gothic Cathedral to the colourful Orthodox Cathedral, built in Neo-Romanian style, all of these inside the gem - the Vauban fortification from the Habsburg occupation of Transylvania, the imposing Alba Carolina Citadel.
Half an hour from Turda salt mine lies Cluj-Napoca, the largest city of Transylvania, a university centre and one of the most dynamic towns in Romania. We can have a walking tour in the historical quarter of Cluj, to learn more about the history of the city and admire its exquisite architecture.
Not that much interested in cities? On the way back to Sibiu from Turda, we can make a short detour to have a one hour walk in one of the most beautiful canyons of Romania: Turda Gorges. Some 170 million years ago, the water from the Hasdate creek started to cut in a limestone massive the gorges we can see today. The result was an impressive canyon, of 2 kilometres in length and with walls reaching 200 metres.
Not far from Turda Gorges is the village of Rimetea, located in a picturesque natural setting at the foot of the Apuseni Mountains. Inhabited by a Hungarian speaking population, the village used to be a prosperous siderugical town centuries ago. Today, the main source of revenue is farming and agrotourism, the only reminiscence from that period being the beautiful houses of the former blacksmiths and iron merchants, carefully restored with the help of an NGO from Cluj-Napoca.
For the wine lovers, we can add to this trip a wine tasting session at one of Transylvanian wine producers from Alba, Apold or Aiud wineyards. We will learn more about the Transylvanian "terroir" and about the local types of grapes which found on the Transylvanian soil a perfect place to develop their character.
NOTE: We can add only one or two optional visits besides Turda Salt mine, due to the lack of time. Please tell us what you would like to see, so we can tailor a custom day trip for you.
Driving distances and timings:
1. Turda Salt Mine
2. Alba Carolina Fortress
4. Turda Gorges
5. Rimetea Village
6. Transylvanian wine tasting