Transylvania is maybe not the first region that comes to mind when you think about cave diving. However, in certain areas there are plenty of caves, both dry and wet. These caves have been quite well preserved and unexplored due to the remote locations and the difficulty of getting access.
One of these places is Izbucul Tăuz, a blue-green eye of water on the bottom of an dazzling cliff. Izbucul Tăuz (Tăuz karst spring) is a spring with intermittent activity that works on the principle of the siphon and it was declared natural monument of national interest. You get there through Gârda de Sus village, following Gârda Seacă valley where you’ll find an amazing landscape with a waterfall and then the karst spring surrounded by mountain walls.
Situated next to a high wall of limestone which seems to rise to the sky, the water that entered about 2.5 km away inside the mountain through Coiba Mică (Small Coiba) cave and the huge portal of Coiba Mare (Big Coiba) cave, is finally coming to light through Izbucul Tăuz. Coiba Mare is the cave with the largest entrance in Romania (74 meters large and 47 meters high) and it opens with a big hall of 30-40 meters high and 80 meters wide. Then turns into a big tunnel. This tunnel goes for 700 meters before ending in a location known as the Death Lake which earns its name due to the large number of logs floating on its surface. The Death Lake still today remains an insurmountable obstacle even for experienced divers.
As said before, at the base of a tall and almost vertical rockface, the water that penetrated almost 2.5 km upstream through the Coiba Mare cave system is finally exiting the mountain by the Tăuz karst spring. It is the deepest underwater cave known in Romania, the current explorations extending it at 424 meters in length and 85 meters in depth. The explorations were conducted from 1982 to this day by teams from Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic, Finland and Poland.
This is one of the places where Bear Grylls came in 2009 when he visited Romania. Reaching the edge of the cliffs below which the karst spring is located, he jumped into the water. Legends also say this is a magical area where in the old days fairies used to swim. Because of its remarkable beauty, Izbucul Tăuz is a very interesting place for both speleologists and tourists. That’s why we hope you will respond to our invitation properly by visiting this wonder of nature.
Photo: Cosmin Stan