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Caving in Romania: Under the Hills with a Local Cave Explorer ⛰️🏕️

Hosted by

Razvan

Guided trip
WHY ROMANIA? Romania is an underrated travel destination, a vast playground for adventurers and home to some of Europe's last virgin forests. Steeped in mysteries, myths, and legends, with castles perched on the ridges of the Carpathian Mountains, it is a perfect place to reconnect with nature. For those who enjoy caving—or want to try it for the first time—Romania boasts over 13,000 caves, many of which are of spectacular size and beauty. WHICH CAVES WILL WE EXPLORE? Our main adventure will be exploring a cave with over 4 km of passages in the Mehedinti Plateau. This is not a show cave; there are no stairs, elevators, pathways, or lights. We will explore the cave as an independent team, carrying our gear, provisions, and light sources. We will also explore Balta and Podului Caves and visit the entrance to Topolnita Cave, one of the largest cave portals in Romania. If we have enough time, we can also check out some of the other numerous smaller caves in the area. IS IT DIFFICULT? I have chosen caves that do not require technical gear or skills, with no vertical passages. If you can hike 5-10 km, then you can do this. There will be some scrambling over boulders, mud, knee-deep water, and moderately tight spaces (only if you desire to tackle them). Moderate fitness is required. WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THE PRICE? Transportation from Craiova 🚗: I will pick you up from the airport, train station, long-distance bus station, or hotel, and transport you to the caves and back in my personal car. Advice and support: Guidance on how to get to Romania/Craiova and other possible locations to visit while in Romania. Accommodation in tents ⛺️: Each person will have a separate tent. Helmets for cave exploration ⛑️: To ensure you don’t bump your head. Expertise: As an outdoor enthusiast and professional cave explorer, I’ll guide you through the caves and share stories along the way. Introductory training in spelunking: Learn the basics of caving and possibly discover a new passion.

WHY JOIN MY TRIP AND WHO AM I? You can call me Raz. I am an archaeologist and university lecturer, former Chief Experience Officer at G Adventures and certified local tour guide. As an adventurer and cave explorer I have visited, mapped, and explored hundreds of caves worldwide. I've cycled and run thousands of kilometers across the deserts of China and climbed 6,000-meter peaks in the Qilian and Kunlun Mountains. I know the locations of caves you won’t find on any maps, and I can introduce you to the magical world of the underground, providing training on the basics of spelunking.

ACCOMMODATION! ⛺️ We will be wild camping, sleeping in tents near the cave entrance. Be prepared for no bathrooms (you must be comfortable with forest toileting), no beds, and no kitchen. There will be no electricity 🪫except for some power banks I’ll bring along (I encourage you to bring yours too). Internet and mobile coverage are patchy, so prepare for an off-the-grid adventure. Each person will have their own tent and sleeping mat (which I will provide); you must bring your own sleeping bag. I will send you a comprehensive list of required or recommended gear. The campsite is very close to the cave entrance, so we don’t have to carry our camping gear over long distances. FOOD! 🍱 There are no restaurants near the caves, but we can grab snacks from small shops in nearby villages. It's advisable to buy our food in a supermarket in Craiova and prepare it over a campfire. SO, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! Join me on a one-of-a-kind adventure in Romania ⛰️🏕️. If you have any questions or need clarification, feel free to send me a message and I’ll reply as soon as possible. FINAL NOTES *It takes 2-3 hours to drive to the Mehedinti Geopark from Craiova, so we should start early on Saturday morning. **It is preferable you arrive in Craiova on Friday evening. I can help you find accommodation, and we can meet up for a drink to discuss our trip and do our grocery shopping. ***We will return to Craiova late on Sunday evening. ****My German and Italian are rusty but good enough for some fun attempts at communication. Any questions about the trip? You can let me know in the Q&A section!

What's included?
Transportation
Tents
Caving helmets
Sleeping mats
Introductory training to caving
Professional caving expertise
Your Booking includes free protection from Trip cancellations.
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Passionate outdoorsman and cave explorer, keen traveler with a strong desire to understand ancient and contemporary cultures.

You can chat with Razvan once you reserve your spot.
Trip Itinerary
1

Craiova

Day 1
Please arrive in Craiova on Friday afternoon/evening so that we can start our trip early in the morning on Saturday. I can pick you up from the airport, train/bus station on Friday (if it's after 17:00. We can also meet to to do grocery shopping, and for a drink to discuss our plans for the trip.
2

Balta

Day 1-2
We park our car near the village of Balta in the Mehedinti Geopark. We will go to Balta cave where I will give you an introduction to caving: techniques, history, gear used, and I will answer all your questions about cave exploration. After lunch we prepare our gear and head for Curecea cave entrance. It will takes us 3-4 hours to explore the cave. Prepare to be amazed by the power of nature. Water has sculpted fantastic shapes and tunnels while trying to find its way through the mountain. After we emerge from the cave we could spend a few more hours exploring the hills and the nearby villages. In the evening we set up our tents, chat around the campfire, and sleep under a spectacular night sky enjoying our "billion stars hotel". (Foto 2 credits: Liana Marin)
3

Peștera Topolnița

Day 2
Sunday morning, after breakfast, we can explore a few other smaller caves in the area. We then pack our camp and drive to Topolnita to see one of the most majestic cave entrances in Romania. (Foto 2 credits: Sima Constantin)
4

Craiova

Day 2
Late in the afternoon it's time to drive back to Craiova. If you want to spend some time in Craiova you can take a stroll around the city center, visit the Romanescu Park, the Art Museum with its wonderful collection of Brancusi sculptures, or the History Museum. In the evening it's time to say goodbye.
Trip Summary
Accommodation
Other
2 days trip
Craiova, Balta & 2 more
Transportation
Car
What's excluded?
Flight & Visa
Travel insurance
Personal expenses
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