Vălișoara Gorges, also known as Aiud Gorges are located in the Eastern side of Trascău Mountains from Romania and composes a natural botanical and geological reservation which is protected by nature, situated on just 14km away from Aiud, 35km away from Turda and 65km away from Cluj Napoca.
The beauty of the Vălișoara Gorges are monopolizing a surface of 20ha which is home for some cool places highly saturated with historical events but also to some rare plants that are completing the landscape just perfect.
The altitude of the gorges is not even close to one thousand meters but that is not an obstacle for discovering a bunch of cool places or even have some fun while flying with the paragliding. The highest altitude is 779m and the minimum, 425m.
The peak you see in the picture is called Coltul Bogza and it represents just one out of the 4 sharp edges that appeared when the earth's crust eroded. What makes those high stone walls be more special than any others, is that they are very straight which offers an advantage for the alpinists, but they also hide a lot of caves which are being home for rare species of bats and invertebrates. The other lower peak that lies at the base of Coltul Bogza, is known as Coltul Vilii.
The list is completed by the last 2 peaks, the one from the left called Coltul Cetatii and the one from the center, Doltul Diacului. All 4 majestic walls where naturally formed and they are surrounding one of the main attractions from this place, known as Castelul Templul Cavalerilor (EN: The Temple of the Knights Castle).
The castle represents a book full of history, which starts with its origins when it used to be a customs checkpoint of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Later on, the castle begins blooming becoming one of the most known barracks for the Romanian soldiers and the mountain hunters, but also a strategic defence point and a camp of training.
Unfortunately, The Temple of the Knights Castle has become ruins after World War II, but the medieval aspect was kept when it was renovated. More than that, after almost 700 years since it was created, the castle was bought by a medic from Brasov which turned the building into a restaurant and hotel. In this way, the castle can be more than just a touristic attraction, but also a memorable place where to spend a night or two while exploring the surroundings.
The interior of the castle is pretty decent, nothing too luxurious. The main reason is that the owner of the castle wanted to keep it simple and as close to how it used to be on its origins, so both the hotel and the restaurant are a great place for those which are not having too many claims and are visiting Vălișoara Gorges and the castle, for the beauty which are surrounding them, and to get rid of the daily routines.
Actually, in 2013, Castelul Templul Cavalerilor earned the best title at the National Tourism Fair for the value brought to the natural, medieval and rural framework.
To get to both of these awesome places, but also to even more touristic attractions from there, you have two routes:
If you come from the southern side of Romania, the access is through Aiud, and after 14km driven/walked, you will reach the beginning of the gorges.
If you come from the north, the access is through Buru, another rural and modest town, which crosses the Arieș Valley.
Vălișoara Gorges are just 2km long and they are making the connection between the two little towns.
An important aspect is that if you want to opt for the public transport, there are daily rides only from, and to Aiud.
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