Maramures county holds an important part of the romanian traditional civilization, with an original and strong rural culture that hardly can be found in Europe nowadays.

In this picturesque county, in the north of Romania, the wooden churches mingle so much with the surrounding landscape that they seem to be planted, not constructed. Eight of these monasteries are included in the UNESCO site list due to their original design, interior paintings and the long resistance in time.

In Săpânţa village, the funny epitaphs carved on the blue graves tombstones, offers the local’s perspective about death, while the colorful dresses of women speaks about their positive view of life. Is what, probably, it makes Maramures so special, a place to inspire yourself…

Period

The tour can start any day of the week.

Trip style

adventure/ eco-tourism/ rural culture/ nature

Day 1: TIMIȘOARA – ORADEA – SĂPÂNȚA – VALEA STEJARULUI (410 km)

Our journey in the magic land of Maramureș will last three whole days.

We’ll be leaving Timișoara in the morning, around 08.00 and the first stop will be in Oradea, one of the most beautiful cities in România. Here we’ll visit The Moon Church, the Greek-Catholic Episcopal palace and some other secession and art-nouveau buildings, line the Apollo Palace or the Black Eagle Palace.

After this walking tour, we’ll have lunch in one of the city center restaurants, while continuing to enjoy the wonderful view of the historical center of this city.

Further on, the itinerary continues with the Merry Cemetery of Săpânța, where we’ll arrive in the late afternoon. The sunset over the cemetery’s church and the colorful blue tombstones with funny and original epitaphs, is wonderful. We’ll make also a visit the Săpânța Peri Monastery, only a few km away from the village, where we’ll find this monastery – the tallest wood building in Europe. The current church is a reconstruction of the old Peri Church, which now exists in Ukraine. Soon after the sunset, we’ll arrive to the final destination of the day – the village of Valea Stejarului (Valley of the Oak), where we’ll spend the night in this peaceful place with wonderful hosts. We’ll have a shot of Horinca – compliments of our hosts – and we’ll have dinner on the porch.

Day 2. VALEA STEJARULUI – BÂRSANA – POIENILE IZEI (40 km)

Day two starts with a visit in Vadu Izei – the village’s whirlpool – where Mihai will show us this local natural washing machine, that villagers still use.

Our trip will continue with the monastery of Bârsana – 20 km south-east of Sighetul-Marmației –  a remarkable traditional building , with beautiful handmade decorated oak walls and doors. This church represents the connection between man and nature and it’s very well integrated in the wonderful landscape. In the afternoon we’ll arrive to our housing for the next two days, where our host will wait for us with a live singing performance given by the local scouts.

After a short nap, later in the afternoon, we’ll make a short hike to the village of Botiza, on a track that passes some very nice valleys. This village is another beautiful magic land, that is throwing you in another time.

In the evening, we’ll have some more drinks before falling into a deep rewarding sleep.

Day 3. POIENILE IZEI – IEUD – CASCADA CAILOR and back

On this day we’ll visit the Ethnographic Museum of Ieud, the wooden church of Ieud and The Romanian Village Woman Museum of Dragomirești, all this on our way to the Horses Waterfall, which we’ll visit after a several hours hike. We’ll be back in Pienile Izei by nightfall, for our last night in Maramureș.

Day 4. POIENILE IZEI – PLOPIȘ – ȘURDEȘTI – TURDA – RIMETEA – TIMIȘOARA

On our last day, before stepping out of this magic land, we’ll be visiting some more wooden churches that are part of the Unesco Heritage – Plopiș and Șurdești (we’ll take a 20 minutes walk between these two, passing on a wooden bridge near the two village’s locals yards). Real architectural monuments, the wooden churches are the best example for the wooden craftsmanship and artistry of Maramureș. They reflect the importance that religion had in people’s life, being the living proof of hundreds of years old customs and traditions, that are still kept nowadays. Therefore we cannot leave without visiting them!

On the way home, we’ll take a route that passes through Transylvania, where we’ll stop at the salt mine Salina Turda and the colorful village Rimetea, the place where they say the sun rises two times – once in the morning and the second time at noon, after the Piatra Secuiului (Rock of the Szeklers). We’ll have lunch at Conacul Secuiesc and we’ll leave home, where we’ll arrive in the evening.

Our trip in Maramureș  is now over.

Garlic Trips Tours are made for friendly people, with common sense and love for adventure. Therefore, we reserve the right to select those who will take part in our trips.   

For booking or for more details, please contact us on ovidiusbalaj@gmail.com.

Route

Timișoara – Oradea  – Săpânța – Valea Stejarului – Bârsana – Pienile Izei – Ieud – Cascada Cailor – Plopiș – Șurdești – Turda – Rimetea

Participants

8 – 12 persons

The tour can be held for fewer people, on condition of covering the minimal organizing expenses.

Physical training

Normal

Price

The price varies depending on the number of participants

The price includes

Accommodation with breakfast included;

Tourism agency guiding;

Standard entrance tickets for the visiting sites mentioned in this itinerary;

Guided tour at the visiting sites.

Price doesn't include

Transport and transfers between sites (will be made with personal cars);

Medical insurance;

Meals and drinks, other that the ones provided in this itinerary;

Optional services;

Personal expenses.

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