The cave is at a distance of 113 km from Alba Iulia and can be easily accessed by car from Gârda de Sus village, following 2,5 kilometers on the forest road that starts from the center of the village. The road is narrow, so you need to pay attention for cars coming from the opposite direction.
There is a bit of a climb to get to the entrance, but it is worth the effort because now you are close to get under Transylvania's skin. For a small entrance fee you can dive into the belly of the mountain and explore.
The cave was discovered in 1857 and was explored for the first time by a team of speleologists in 1921. The last segment is inaccessible, being closed to protect the bat colony living here. The cave is shelter for one of the biggest colony of long-winged bats in Europe. But don't panic! Although we are in Transylvania, sometimes a bat is just a bat. If you’re asking yourself how the cave took its name, Ionele was a Romanian outlaw hiding inside the cave to escape the authorities. He managed to evade them for long time until he was betrayed by friends and executed in the end.
The main gallery is crossed by an underground river, that's why in the rainy seasons the cave can be flooded. The access path could be sometimes wet and quite slippery, so be careful and put on suitable footwear.
After visiting the cave, near the exit, you can buy a souvenir or maybe some local products. And if you want to explore the area a bit more, you can enjoy along the way the beautiful landscape which is completed by dozens of waterfalls.