Ponor Fortress


Fortress of Ponor is located on the Padiş Plateau which is part of Apuseni Natural Park. You can access the area from the Arieşeni village, following the road to the Cobleş village and then following the red triangle mark or from Padiş following the blue dot mark. The surface, as well as the underground gallery all the way to Camp Hall, can be visited with rubber boots and different means of lighting. Further access is strictly permitted to caving experts.


Fortress of Ponor, also considered the “Everest of Romanian speleology”, is a grand and complex karstic area. Its name derives from the fortress-like appearance due to the natural erosion of the water. The famous Romanian speleologist Emil Racoviţă was among the first ones to explore this nature’s wonder which was discovered in 1886. Due to its beauty and complexity the Fortress of Ponor remains an important attraction for the speleologists, but also for the lovers of karst formations. The 2 km long cave’s main gallery is crossed by a big underground river which has many waterfalls and rapids. The entire area of Padiş Plateau is covered by many spectacular karst landforms like Galbenei Gorges, Focul Viu Glacier, Yellow Stone, Borţig Aven etc.

Did you know?

With its 70 meters in height, the portal of Fortress of Ponor is the highest in Europe.

Conservation facts

Proclaimed a nature reserve ever since 1952 and afterwards a nature’s monument, the fortress of Ponor is presently in the custody of the Romanian Academy.