Can this site use your data to personalize useful ads for you?

Our advertising partners will collect data and use cookies for ad personalization and measurement. Otherwise, your data will not influence ads. This site uses cookies to deliver our services. Please see our License Agreement and Privacy Policy (Terms of Use) and Disclosure and Cookie Policy. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand these policies. You can change this setting later on the Disclosure page.

   

 
The Wordy Explorers
   

facebook share
twitter share
pinterest share
flipboard share

Follow


What to Expect during a Visit to a Romanian Salt Mine

What to Expect during a Visit to a Romanian Salt Mine


By avatar  Stacy
Posted On 10/23/2019 17:15:58
Trip Date 08/21/2019  

Destinations | Romania | Bucharest | Salina Ocnelle Mari | Romanian Salt Mines | Ocnele Mari Beach Resort | What to Do in South Central Romania | Fun for Kids in Romania



We spent six nights in Mihaesti, a city in the Romanian countryside about two hours northwest of Bucharest. During our stay with the family of Scott's sister-in-law, we had an opportunity to take a day trip to Salina Ocnele Mari. Unlike the other pre-planned destinations that we visited while in the country, exploring the Romanian salt mine was a last minute addition to our itinerary. The day trip came about upon the recommendation of one of Julia's relatives who even had time available to accompany us on the journey.

I did absolutely no research about the salt mine and therefore had no idea what to expect during our day. All that I was told was that I should be prepared for cooler temperatures so I should dress accordingly and bring a jacket. Looking back, I believe that I anticipated we would spend part of our day touring a working salt mine. I'm truly glad that I did not spend time doing my usual research. As it turned out, the visit was nothing like I expected yet ended up being a very welcome surprise.

If you are planning to spend time in Romania, you may be searching for what to do in south central Romania. Depending on the time of year of your visit, you might enjoy a break from either the warm summer or cold winter temperatures. If you are traveling with young ones, you might want to find something that adults will enjoy that will also be fun for kids in Romania.

At just over two hours from Bucharest, a visit to Salina Ocnele Mari combined with a stop at Ocnelle Mari Beach Resort can be a great family friendly day trip. There are several other salt mines open for tourists within the country. If your plan has you in a different part of Romania, this article will give you an introduction on what you'll experience at other similar venues.



The Mining of Salt

Salt has always been essential for life. It helps to prevent dehydration and is also used as a preservative and for seasoning. While salt has been mined since ancient times, the process for extracting salt from underground caves has changed. Until the more modern invention of machinery, humans were responsible for this very dangerous task.

There are a number of operational salt mines remaining in Romania. Some are still active in the mining business, and others operate as either treatment centers or museums today. According to archaeological discoveries of clay and ceramic jugs, cups and a fountain, the mining at Salina Ocnele Mari dates back to ancient times.

The active mining and extraction of salt using machinery was very important for the area economy beginning in 1954. Following a 1991 collapse, mining at Ocnele Mari was permanently stopped. In the 35+ years, millions of tons of salt were removed from the underground mine.


Salina Ocnelle Mari

Salina Ocnelle Mari

Did you know that, in ancient Roman times, soldiers were paid in salt? "Sal" is the root of the word "salary" commonly used in current times to describe one's pay.



Arriving at Salina Ocnele Mari

Open daily from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Salina Ocnele Mari is located in south central Romania. Those arriving via car will find a fairly large paved lot with free parking spaces.

After exiting your car, make your way to the queue to pay your entrance fee (cash only). During our visit, the weekday fee of 20 RON (22 RON on weekends) equaled just under $5.50 USD per person.

Getting inside the mine from this point requires a ten minute bus ride. Don't be surprised if the next ride headed to the mines is an older model beat up bus looking as if it is in need of some repairs! After driving around the factory, the short ride takes passengers (some sitting and others standing) across some rather bumpy terrain and through an underground tunnel.


Bus Transportation to the Salt Mine Entrance

Bus Transportation to the Salt Mine Entrance

If your visit is during the warm summer months, upon disembarking the bus, you'll immediately notice some differences. Rather than the 70 plus degree outdoor summer temperatures that we experienced, the salt mine temperature always ranges from 55 - 60 degrees (13 - 15 degrees Celsius).



In addition to the climate, it's not nearly as bright inside as it is outside - especially on a sunny summer day. It takes a few minutes to adjust to the dim lighting in the huge cave which covers over 100,000 square feet. No matter whether you look up, look down or look all around, you can't miss the salt covered walls, ceilings and floors. Although they do "sparkle", the mostly black, gray and white patterns inside the mine make for some dark quarters.


Inside Salina Ocnele Mari

Inside Salina Ocnele Mari

Salt Patterns on the Walls Inside Salina Ocnele Mari

Salt Patterns on the Walls Inside Salina Ocnele Mari

Ceiling and Floor of Salina Ocnele Mari

Ceiling and Floor of Salina Ocnele Mari

What to Expect Once Inside Salina Ocnele Mari

As previously mentioned, I was really glad that I did not know what to expect during our visit to Salina Ocnele Mari. If you enjoy surprises, consider not reading or looking at the pictures in this section! If you will be traveling with children, you might want to include a surprise visit to a salt mine in your vacation plans. Just remember to bring a jacket and dress for the temperature.



Once you get accustomed to the temperature and the dim lighting, it's time to explore! As you pass through the entranceway and begin walking around the salt mine, you may start to feel as if you are in an underground city. You'll notice corridors of varying lengths that have some similarities to city streets. The various passageways lead to rooms - much like buildings or businesses within a city.


Wandering through Salina Ocnele Mari

Wandering through Salina Ocnele Mari

As you wander around the underground complex, you will soon realize that there are a variety of things to do inside the amazing "city". For those interested in learning more about the salt mine, there's a museum inside. If you are a shopper, there are some stores where you can search for gifts, souvenirs and more. If you find that you are hungry or thirsty during your visit, there's a restaurant where you can grab a bite to eat or drink.


Restaurant in Salina Ocnele Mari

Restaurant in Salina Ocnele Mari

There's not too many cities without a place to pray, and this one is no exception. Believe it or not, the church inside of Salina Ocnele Mari is the largest underground church in the entire country of Romania.


Entering Romania's Largest Underground Church

Entering Romania's Largest Underground Church

The Altar at Salina Ocnele Mari's Church

The Altar at Salina Ocnele Mari's Church

Of course, there is more to a city than eating, shopping and worshipping. Those visiting as well as those living in any city need places to exercise and other fun things to do - for the kids and for the adults. As you walk through the maze of rooms making up Salina Ocnele Mari, you can't imagine how many different (fun) things you will find to occupy your time! Starting with the youngest visitors, there is a salt box (aka sandbox) with both toys as well as some playground equipment.


Salina Ocnele Mari's Salt Box

Salina Ocnele Mari's Salt Box

There's room after room - each housing a different activity. Those who are more athletically inclined will find rooms devoted to sports that will get your heart pumping. For the young as well as the young at heart, there are a number of trampolines ensuring some aerobic exercise. There's a place where you can practice kicking a soccer ball into a goal. There are courts where you can play basketball, tennis and volleyball. And, with the constant temperatures, you won't be drenched with sweat as quickly as if you were playing outdoors on a hot summer day or freezing outside in the winter!


Salina Ocnele Mari Basketball Court

Salina Ocnele Mari Basketball Court

Tennis, Anyone?

Tennis, Anyone?

If you prefer to challenge someone to a game which involves a little less physical activity, how about air hockey or ping pong?


Ping Pong Tables inside Salina Ocnele Mari

Ping Pong Tables inside Salina Ocnele Mari

Or how about some games that challenge your mind? With rooms filled with billiard tables, chess and backgammon, Salina Ocnele Mari has you covered!


How About a Game of Pool?

How About a Game of Pool?

While some of the activities are included in the price of admission, others come with an additional fee. Many are "rented" by the quarter, half or full hour. For example, the fee for the go carts was 10 RON (less than $3.00 USD) per 15 minutes.


Going for a Drive!

Going for a Drive!

There's a number of individual and double bench swings all around - for both adults and youngsters. You'll find plenty of tables and chairs where you can have a friendly conversation, take a break or just relax while the kids are having fun. If the young ones are old enough to spend some time on their own, the grown-ups may even want to visit one of the bars or the wine cellar for an adult beverage!


Enjoy a Glass of Wine at Salina Ocnele Mara's Wine Cellar

Enjoy a Glass of Wine at Salina Ocnele Mara's Wine Cellar

For the tourist less interested in things to do, and more interested in things to see, there's plenty of photo opportunities all around! From shots of those enjoying their visit, to the various decorative items inside, there will surely be some memories to capture.


Make a Wish!

Make a Wish!

Whatever your interests, you'll probably find something to do to enjoy your time during a visit to one of Romania's salt mines!



Health Benefits of a Salt Mine Visit

There is apparently more to visiting a salt mine than just having some fun. While too much salt can have negative health consequences, some salt is necessary for the human body to properly function. For people suffering from various diseases, there may be some health benefits from a visit to a salt mine.

While inside a salt mine, the saline aerosols that are inhaled might help with treatment of breathing disorders including asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and other respiratory infections and lung diseases. Certain allergies could potentially improve and rashes or infections might clear up more quickly. Some people have reportedly also experienced relief from joint issues.

As with all medical concerns, it is always best to consult with a health professional to learn about the potential affects for your particular situation. It is important to inquire about both the positive and negative impacts from inhaling saline aerosols. Your doctor should also be able to provide insight regarding the duration and frequency recommended for visiting salt mines.



Ocnele Mari Beach Resort and Strand

Although we didn't have time to take a dip, the Ocnele Mari Beach Resort is less than ten minutes away by car from Salina Ocnele Mari. During the hot summer months, the resort is popular with both locals and tourists. With a large salt water pool, sandy beach area, umbrellas and loungers, both children and adults seemed to be enjoying the resort.


Ocnele Mari Beach Resort

Ocnele Mari Beach Resort

Optional spa services are also available for resort guests. Many spa goers select mud and/or salt-water treatments - both believed to cure common ailments. Visitors will also find concessions plus market shopping perfect for souvenir purchases and more.


Ocnele Mari Strand and Market

Ocnele Mari Strand and Market

For those hoping to overnight in the area, there are a number of hotels with a variety of price ranges.



Road Trip through Romania's Transylvania Region

Check back soon for a three night itinerary perfect for a journey through Romania's Transylvania Region by car. 4 Day Road Trip Exploring the best of Romania's Transylvania Region will include a recommended driving route, great cities for overnight stays and of course, photos of historical sites along the way.

Romanian Salt Mines

If you have had the opportunity to visit one or more of Romania's salt mines, which did you visit and what did you think about it?




Weather:79F Clear


What to Expect during a Visit to a Romanian Salt Mine






Related Posts   None

Other Recent Posts  










Created On 10/22/2019 21:08:14  
Updated On 10/22/2019 22:15:58
Scheduled On 10/22/2019 22:15:58
Posted On 10/23/2019 17:15:58
Last Editor Stacy
Location  Salina Ocnele Mari, Ocnele Mari, Valcea, Romania
LinkId  SalinaOcneleMari
StoryId  1571792894932





Comments    









  blog theme  
About WE
Contact WE
Follow WE
License
Privacy Policy
Disclosure Policy
facebook share
twitter share
pinterest share
flipboard share
 

(C) Copyright, SNS Web Ventures, LLC, DBA Are We There Yet, 2019
The Wordy Explorers