Oldest Underground Glacier at Scarisoara Ice Cave in the Apuseni

Scarisoara Ice Cave is located in the Apuseni Natural Park of Romania, in the centre-west part of the country and houses the largest underground glacier in Europe and second largest in the world.  It is considered a show cave and one of the natural wonders of Romania and because it houses an underground glacier it has also been described as a glacier cave.

Scarisoara glacier cave’s age

Hidden deep in the forests of the Apuseni Mountains, this giant ice block is one of the oldest on the Planet.

Scarisoara Glacier Cave

Radiocarbon dating indicated that the glaciers at Scarisoara are at least 10,500 years old, making them the oldest cave glaciers on Earth outside of the polar zones.

The ice samples extracted from the Scarisoara Cave Glacier in Transylvania offer new evidence of how the weather and the winter climate in Europe have fluctuated over the last 10,000 years, a period known as Holocene.

Scientists are excited about the ice nuclei extracted from the glacier possibly providing important information about climate change over the past 10,000 years, during the Holocene period. Researchers say the discovery could reveal how the climate in the North Atlantic region has changed.

Just have a look at the mirificent surroundings and a glimpse inside the cave itself. You shouldn’t need more to be convinced this is place you SHOULD include on your “must visit” map:

Opening times

The Scarisoara glacier cave is open for visiting most of the year, except some periods in winter when the access would be much to difficult.

Visiting hours: Mon-Sat: 10 am – 6 pm; Sun: 10 am – 5 pm.

For a more spectacular view, try to visit the cave between May-June the period when ice formations are significantly larger than in late summer/autumn.

Make sure you take warm cloth with you, the temperature, even in summer, does not exceed 0°C!