The Parajd Salt Region is situated in Székelyföld/Seklerland/Tinutul Secuiesc in a valley at the foot of the Eastern Carpathians. Its name comes from the salt left behind by the sea that had occupied the area in some 20 million years ago. Today, it is the centre of Transylvanian salt mining. The region is well worth visiting, as apart from the salt mine, bath and salt lake – which alone would make this special place an unforgettable holiday destination – you can also experience strong, well-preserved folk traditions through the wonderful handicrafts of Korond – enjoy the beauty of nature and peacefulness at the Lake Zetelaka – visit the Csorgókő Waterfall or choose from the various hiking trails in the surrounding mountains.
Parajd Salt Mine & Salt Bath
The Parajd Salt Mine, stretching over 1200m in diameter and rooting from an astonishing 2.7km deep, is one of Europe’s biggest salt reserves. Hundreds of thousands people come here every year to take advantage of the medicinal effects of the salty air, or just to relax and enjoy the various facilities the mine has to offer. Upon arrival at the surface entrance, visitors are taken by bus through a 1250m-long tunnel 120m deep down into the main visiting chamber of the mine. Salt exploitation is carried out at even deeper levels, the deepest one being 280m below entrance level. In the visitors’ base, which is beautifully illuminated throughout, you can find various amusement facilities such as an adventure park, playgrounds, a 3D cinema, a naturist drugstore, coffee shop, restaurant and even a chapel. The wine chamber located 100m below ground-level is also a curiosity with its 525 wine specialities from 6 different countries. You can even participate in wine tastings. The average temperature in the mine is 16 Celsius degrees. And, what’s better, after this truly unique underground experience, than to float and relax in the salty waters of the Parajd Salt Bath situated just 200m off the mine main entrance.
There are two other, lesser known, points of interests here – the Parajd Salt Hill, which is situated right above the salt mine and the Salt Canyon, a protected geological nature reserve, located in the south-western part of the Salt Hill. There is a designated tourist path for exploring the area and maps of the Salt Hill can be purchased at the entrance of the Canyon.
Szováta/Sovata – Bear Lake
Szováta, this nearby holiday resort town, situated just some 8km from Parajd, is home to the Bear Lake, the largest helio-thermal lake in the world, formed due to underground karst developments in 1875. The lake is located in a beautiful landscape surrounded by parks and forests, and is highly recommended for the treatment of infertility, locomotor and neurological diseases. There are other salt lakes worth visiting in the neighbourhood as well, such as the Nut, Black, Red & Green Lakes, their famous mud baths also having well-known therapeutic effects.
Apart from the lakes, Sovata has much more to offer – you can take a ride on the “Gőzös”/”Mocanita” nature railway, a steam train travelling through magnificent mountain landscapes offering a delightful journey through a picturesque region at the foot of the Görgényi/Gurghiu Mountains – have a family fun at the adventure park located near the town centre in scenic surroundings or – go on a town-sightseeing tour on board of the minitrain.
The village of traditional Sekler handicrafts. You can experience the wonderful Sekler traditions first-hand by taking a deep-knowledge horse carriage tour in Korond visiting unique pottery, weaver and clay sculpting workshops and the local village museum, which is a must for all art and culture lovers. It is also possible to rent mountain or trekking bikes here and discover the beautiful countryside around Korond by cycling or you can choose from the different hiking trails as well. Don’t miss visiting the Snail Hill, a 643m high hill on the northern part of Korond, a unique geological reserve rich in aragonite and calcite crystals.
Situated near a village of the same name in the Ivó/Izvoare Wildlife Park, it is a spectacular reservoir lake surrounded by green hills with crisp mountain air. It is a perfect place for relaxation, swimming, fishing or kayaking in summer and skating in winter. The Ivó Wildlife Park itself, situated right at the foot of the Carpathians, is a 320ha park nestled among rolling hills and river valleys. With the exception of minimal fencing and access roads, the natural landscape, flora and fauna of the Park are left undisturbed connecting people with pure nature. It is also possible to take a horse-riding tour of the Wildlife Park.
Jesus’s Heart Lookout Tower
Nearby Farkaslaka/Wolfsdorf/Lupeni is also worth visiting. The impressive stainless steel Jesus sculpture functioning as a Lookout Tower is situated at the 958m high Gordon Hilltop.
Situated near Székelyvarság/Varsag, this stunning waterfall deep inside the forest is one of the most significant nature sights in the area. Tumbling down from 6-7 metres, it is a wonderful two-toned waterfall, which upper part, due to the special cracks in the rock, also can be (and highly recommended to be) explored.