The Madei or Măzii’s Keys, as the locals call it, is a protected area of national interest in the south-eastern part of the Metaliferi Mountains. It is one of the most sought after area in the Hunedoara county for sport climbing.

The Balșei Valley, thermophilic pants and Jurassic limestone

The area, covering 10 hectares, is considered to be a mixed natural reserve. The Balşei Valley dug in the limestone of Mada’s splendid Keys, covered by flowers, which is filled with humming insects and birds during summer. The area is appreciated precisely for its landscape, floristic value, for the endemic thermophile plants and its speleological value, given by the Jurassic limestones.

Thermal water and canyoning

There are 45 kilometres between Deva and Madei’s Keys and only 25 from Orastie. If you’re interested in canyoning, once you arrive in the area you can visit the Cibului Keys, Băciei Keys, Glodului Keys and Ardeului Keys. Are you at Geoagiu to enjoy the thermal water pools? The trip could be completed with sports climbing and alpinism sessions, which are organized on both Madei and Cib Keys. The route is the same as the one towards Geoagiu-Băi. However, you will have to turn right at the fork that leads to the resort on the left road. From this point on, there are around 10 kilometres left, half of which is a paved road leading to the center of the village of Mada. ???(am sarit peste propozitia asta) Anyone who wants to climb here, must know that the walls are arranged to have lots of alveoli and cracks. The limestone has adhesion and the routes are equipped with studs and sockets.

A wild place, less busy

The Madei Keys have a total length of 2.4 kilometres and appearead as a result of the crossing between the western Jurassic limestone slope of Pleşei Mari (712 metres) by the fast waters of Balşei Valley. On the left slope of the keys there is the Dosu peak, which reaches a height of almost 700 metres. Climbing it is definitely worth it, as its “roof” will offer one of the most beautiful sceneries and views over the mountains. The Keys were delcared a nature reserve in 1979. In recent years, tourists from the heighbouring counties have been increasingly searching for new, less-traveled wild places.

A charming sprind in the land of snakes

Tourists arriving here can camp at the foothills at the base of the stone hills (overhangs). Those who managed to climb several hunder metres up, will discover a spring of ice-cold water which is said to

never freeze during the winter. The locals say it provides mineral water. If you decide to venture forth, you must be careful as biologists have reported the presesnce of horned vipers. Therefore, it is good to have special sticks for mountaineers that can help you to support yourself and check the weeds to prevent an unexpected attack.

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