Vârghișului Gorges, a hot spot of Har-Cov counties

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Vârghiș Gorges and the caves in the gorges form a protected area of ​​national interest that corresponds to the category of mixed nature reserve.

The nature reserve is located at the southern border of Harghita County with Covasna County, in the northern part of the Perșani Mountains and is crossed by the Vârghiș Valley, which springs from the Harghita Mountains (Eastern Carpathians).

The nature reserve, which was declared a protected area in March 2000, covers an area of ​​800 hectares.

The protected area represents a narrowing sector made in Jurassic limestone by the Vârghiș River, with spectacular exocarst and endocarst phenomena. There are several caves on the slopes adjacent to the river, the best known being the Orban Balazs Cave. The Vârgișului Gorges Reservation and the caves in the gorges overlap with the Natura 2000 site – Vârghișului Gorges.

The limestone gorges dug by the Vârghiș brook in the Quaternary period represent the most spectacular natural miracle, the most important landscape value of the Szeklerland, after the Bicaz Gorges. This enthralling spot is a destination of the outer and inner side of the limestone massif of about 150 million years.

The Vârghiș brook, flowing from the Harghita Mădăraș massif, cut the limestone vertebra hidden in depth, giving rise to limestone ridges 40-50 m high, as high as the sky, and steep, on the two sides of the valley. Inside, more than a hundred smaller or larger caves have been formed, most of which have served as shelters for prehistoric people.

The resonance of the underground stream, hidden deep and still undiscovered, is truly fascinating, the lost path and the reappearance of the eruption providing a stunning view, as well as the relatively intact flora and fauna, along with some man-made remains.

The access is made on a modernized road from the direction of Vârghis commune, Covasna county (11 km), or on a paved road, coming from Merești from Harghita county (7 km). The whole area is a nature reserve, supervised by the Speo-Tourist and Nature Protection Association “Lost World” based in Baraolt.

Mountain hikers can enjoy a Via Ferrata here.

What else to see while around

  • Merești Unitarian Church,historical monument dating back in 1789
  • Vârghis Wooden Chruch, historical monument dating back in 1807
  • Peasant household in Vârghiș village built in 1783 (house, barn, gate, fountain)
  • Merești Dacian Fortress
  • Homoroadelor Hills
  • Bodocului Mountains
  • The Daffodils Meadow in Vlahita, a flower natural reserve
  • Tinovul Luci, a protected natural area (oligotrophic swamp) nestling rare peatland plants, including a species that eats insects, Drosera rotundifolia, also known as the Dew of Heaven.

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