Southwest of Cluj-Napoca, the Apuseni Mountains are sheer drama. Beneath silhouettes of mountains lie thatches of conifer forest, while sinkholes and grottoes are secreted away in the karst plateaus. Some 760 sq km here are protected as the Apuseni Nature Park, best accessed from Oradea. Meanwhile the Padiş Plateau is the park’s central point, and a popular outdoor excursion from Cluj.