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Maramures :::

Lying in the northernmost part of Romania at the border with Ukraine, Maramures is made up of four zones called “lands”, each with its distinct historical evolution: Maramures Land, Chioaru Land, Lapus Land and Baia Mare Land. Maramures is the region where ancient traditions, the folk costumes and old art are preserved like nowhere else in Romania. Maramures virtually is a vast museum in open air. Here, more particularly in the Maramures Land, people still use home appliances and implements that otherwise can be seen only in museums. That is why the village is the primordial element of tourism in Maramures. The tourists attending one of the folk celebrations such as Tanjaua of Hoteni (around 10th of May), Hora of Prislop (around 15th of August), Sambra Oilor or a day of a patron of one of the most important churches will be impressed by the spirit, light and colour discharged by the folk customs, art and costumes. The wooden churches are true folk art masterpieces. One comes across them in almost all Maramures villages being even landmarks on a world plane: the tallest wooden building in Europe used to be, until not long ago, the church of the nunnery in Barsana – 62 m high, being topped by the church of monastery from Sapanta – 72 m high. The oldest wooden church – 1364 – is to be found in Ieud (restored several times). The carved gates need no special introduction as they have for a long time now been the symbol of Maramures. They can be admired in the villages along the valleys of Iza, Mara or Cosau. The same stand valid for the folk costumes. One point should nonetheless be made, namely that many locals wear them every day, not only on Sundays as in other parts of the country. Among the gems of Maramures “The Merry Cemetery” holds a special place. It is unique in the world and is located in the village Sapanta which also excells in other specific handicrafts: wool bed spreads, towels, small purses and other. Ocna Sugatag spa stands out through its hot or cold salty baths and the lake formed when the salt mine collapsed. To those fond of mountaineering the Rodna Mountains reveal unique landscapes, a rich flora and fauna, including the Pietrosul Rodnei Natural Reserve protected by law since 1932. Unique is also the Vaser Valley opening from Viseu de Sus. Along approximately 50 km, a narrow-track train driven by a steam locomotive take tourists to a wild valley with waterfalls and tunnels. Sighetu Marmatiei is an important tourist and cultural centre. Worth mentioning is the Ethnography and Folk Art Museum, with an outdoor section: The Village Museum. An already famous Festival of Winter Folk Customs and Traditions is hosted by Sighet every year at 27th of December. Also here one may visit the former prison now called “Memorial to Arrested Thought” and arranged as museum.

Apuseni :::

The valley of the river Aries, the longest river of the Western Carpathians is one of the most interesting tourist zones of Romania. The routes includes the biggest fossil glacier (Scarisoara), natural reserves (the basalt columns of Detunata, the Hills ith snails, thee Vidolm Resrve, etc.). The relief is dominated by mountains standing out through the beauty of the landscape. The fame of the Apuseni Mountains relies mostly on the plastic landscape which harmoniously blends the gentle lines of flat areas with steep slopes. The Aries basin comprises several natural reserves such as: The Larch Forest at Vidolm, The Hill with Snails, Detunata Goala and Detunata Flocoasa, Scarisoara karst complex, The Vulcan Mount. The variety and picturesqueness of the zone, the specific folk traditions and customs among which the renowned Maidens’ Fair on the Gaina Mount – held around 20 July – also attract tourists, be they Romanian or foreign. Pestera Ursilor (The Bears’ Cave) is another unique tourist attraction in Europe. It was discovered in 1975 and it has been declared a natural monument. It is 1500 m long and lies near Sudrigiu. Vast meadows and volcanic cupolas, unique phenomena in Romania and even in Europe, greet the tourists at Cheile Turzii (Turda Gorges) and Cheile Turenilor.

Marginimea Sibiului :::

Mountains with coniferousand deciduous forests, hills with grasslands and orchards, fields, clear rivers, saltwater andfreshwatert lakes, all these things are natural gifts blessing this county situated in the south of Transylvania.The variety of the relief and the temperate climate contribute to maintaining snow in the mountains for five-six months a year and favour winter sports. Marginimea Sibiului makes up an universe af an unique charm. It is made up of more than 18 settlements lying at the foot of the Cibin Mountains. Other tourist attraction may be the Museum of Traditional Folk Civilisation from Sibiu.

Bran-Moeciu :::

Bran is the cradle of the Romanian rural tourism. It has a population of over 5500 inhabitants, most of them graziers, even many of them work in industry. Bran is a community defying the idea of town. It is a settlement with smart villas and interior designs, ready for guests at any time. The famous Dracula’s castle, the source of the most fascinating legends in the world, can be found there. High on a huge rock, merciless guard at the border between Wallachia and Transylvania, Bran Castle is an architectural monument of priceless historical and cultural value. Inside the castle there is an important history and medieval art museum. Since 1377-1382 when it was built, Dracula’s Castle has been the witness of some very important events for the history of those parts. Yet the surroundings are as impressive as Bran itself. Starting from Bran, one can reach the Bucegi Mountains or Piatra Craiului Massif. Moieciu de Sus it is an important starting point towards the western steep slopes of the Bucegi Mountains, towards the Bangaleasa Valley or Plaiul Plesii. The inhabitants of Moieciu are wonderful hosts for the tourists resting there for a couple of days or just passing by. Another famous village is Fundata. Situated at 1100 m altitude, it is surrounded by the Bucegi, Piatra Craiului and Leaota Mountains. Piatra Craiului Massif it is the most spectacular mountain in the Romanian Carpathians, a natural reserve since 1938, a national park since 1990. It has a length of 25 km and a maximum height of 2238. The west mountainside is the only place where the Carnation of Piatra Craiului (natural monument) grows. The Bears’ Cave (850 m), Dambovicioarei Cave and the Bats Cave (1950 m) make the landscape seem wilder, together with Plaiului Gorges and Prapastiile Zarnestilor Gorges.

Harghita :::

Situated approximately in the central part of Romania, Harghita county is one of the most attractive tourist zones of the country. In the landscape of Harghita county a special place of tourist interest is the glade of daffodils with an area of 30 hectares. The tourist potential of this county is completed by the only European lake situated in a volcanic crater – Lake Sf. Ana; the biggest natural dam in Romania – Lake Red, as well as by the lake situated at the highest altitude, 1750 m – Lake Iezer. The variety of the rocks the soil is made of favoured the creation of karst formations such as grottoes or caves. Among them worth mentioning are: the Sugau Cave, The Bears’ Grotto, the Ice Cave and the Meresti Cave. The Bicaz Gorges are the most impressive gorges in Romania, with steep slopes that challenge mountain climbers render this place unique in the Romanian tourism.

Bucovina :::

Bucovina county is a cradle of ancient civilization, where history intertwines with legend. It is situated in the north-east of Romania. A great number of tourist attraction can be found on a relatively small area. One may practice here winter and summer sports, hunting and fishing. At the same time it is an excellent place for a peaceful holiday. The Suceava Mountains offer natural sites of great variety and attractiveness. The chains of monuments with exterior paintings are prominent among the vestiges admirably integrated with the landscape. UNESCO included them among the world art masterpieces:

   -The Humor Monastery - 1530
   -The Voronet Monastery – 1488 – was built by Stephan the Great. It is the most valuable painted church of Bucovina and it has an unusual freshness due to the famous “Blue of Voronet”
   -The Moldovita Monastery – 1532
   -The Sucevita Monastery – 1582
   -The Putna Monastery – 1469 – teh tomb of Stephan the Great is in this monastery. One may also see here an important museum of medieval art
   -The Dragomirna Monastery - 1609

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