The Vlădeasa Mountains are the northernmost of the three high central massifs of the Western Transylvanian (Apuseni) Mountains, which belong in the Southwestern Carpathians. Their northern boundary is formed by the Crişul Repede/Sebes-Körös river. The plateau of Padis is considered to be their southern limit, along the following line: the upper reaches of the Crişul Pietros river - Boga - Cuciulat Pass - Rachiţele Valley. In the west, the valley of the Iad/Jád river separates the Vlădeasa Mountains from the low mountains known as Pădurea Craiului/Király-erdő (Royal Forest). On the east, the Vlădeasa Mountains are bounded by the Huedin/Bánffyhunyad Basin, i.e. the watersheds of the Săcueiu and Henţ rivers.
The main ridge of the Vlădeasa massif is about 50km long and resembles a horseshoe along whose axis the Drăgan/Dregán river runs northerly, dividing this massif into two segments. The eastern ridge boasts the highest peak named Vf.Vlădeasa/Vlegyásza or Vigyázó which tops out at 1836m. It is the third highest summit in the Apuseni Mountains. The western ridge is much lower, does not exceed 1500m in elevation and is not often visited by hikers. It rises over the valley of the Iad river and runs SSE, with the following summits: Stâna de Izvor (1339m) - Muncelaşu (1415m) - Piatra Calului/Ló-havas (1463m) - Vf.Muncei/Kis-havas (1411m) - Vf.Poienii/Mező-havas (1625m) - Vf.Bohodei/Istenek-havasa (1654m) - Vf.Fântăna Rece/Hideg-kút (1654m). Past Cornul Munţilor/Szegelet-havas the eastern ridge turns NE towards the summits of Vf.Cârligatele/Horgas-havas (1694m) - Coasta Brăiesei (1692m) - Vf.Briţei/Sík-havas (1759m) - Piatra Tâlharului/Tolvajoskő or Tolvajkő or Tolvajvár (1608m) - Vf.Miclău/Mikó-havas (1640m) - Nimăiasa/Néma-havas (1589m) - Vârfuraşu/Kis-havas (1688m) - Vf.Vlădeasa/Vigyázó (1836m).
The relief of the Vlădeasa Mountains is characterized by broad, gentle, slightly undulating ridges (e.g.Vf.Cârligatele) and vast plateaus, which sport occasional rocky outcrops (e.g. Cetatea Bohodeiului, Golgota), blockfields (e.g. Vf.Buteasa), nival niches, crags (e.g. Piatra Tâlharului) and impressive cliff bands (e.g. Pietrele Albe/Fehér-kövek).
This charming landscape is enriched by multiple caves (e.g. Vârfuraşu) and countless cascades, including the highest waterfall of the Vlădeasa Mountains named Săritoarea Bohodeiului, which is 80m tall.
It is volcanic rocks - andesite, rhyolite and dacite - that predominate in the Vlădeasa massif. Jurassic limestone can be found in isolated places towards the fringe of the mountains, Pietrele Albe/Fehér-kövek (White Cliffs) being a case in point.
The table below lists the highest as well as some other conspicuous summits.
Getting ThereThe nearest airport is at Cluj-Napoca.
Road and train access to the Vlădeasa Mountains is possible from the NW/NE – details are tabulated below.
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Red Tape & Camping
Situated at 1430 m, the Vlădeasa hut is the only one offering accommodation in the mountain zone. But you may pitch your tent almost everywhere, although the main ridge of the Vlădeasa Mountains forms the boundary of the Apuseni Nature Park, in which there are some nature reserves, such as Pietrele Albe, Buteasa, Cârligatele.
Maps & Books
- 1 : 50 000 Vlădeasa Mountains by DIMAP
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