A Summer Vacation Option for Sun-Hating Vampires

Atlas Obscura
Your Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders
July 17 2014 12:19 PM

Turda Salt Mine, for Summer Fun Without the Sun

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If you adore the leisure activities of summer but can't bear to spend time in the bright light and hot sun, there is an obvious solution: head to a Transylvanian salt mine to play minigolf and ride paddle boats.

Excavated by hand and machine over hundreds of years, Turda Salt Mine in Romania is now a subterranean fairground-cum-health-spa. After operating as a mine from the Roman Empire until 1932, Salina Turda closed for 60 years, reopening to the public in 1992.

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The current attractions in the 260-by-130-foot space include a Ferris wheel, biliard tables, a minigolf course, ping pong, a bowling alley, and an underground lake with paddle boats. A 180-seat amphitheater hosts th occasional concert. To offset the darkness, bright lights hang vertically on strings from the 160-foot ceiling, illuminating dripping stalactites with a blue-tinged glow.

The temperature at Turda is a steady 53 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, with around 80 percent humidity. The conditions are perfect for sun haters—like the traditional residents of Transylvania—but also optimum for halotherapy, an alternative health treatment in which people with respiratory problems spend time in humid, salt-infused air.


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