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Old crafts and traditions of Romania’s rural Maramures region

Easter Traditions and mass in Maramures

$3350 Double / $4000 Single

Have a desire to dig deeper into Europe and go off the beaten tourist path? Enjoy villages and cultural interactions with locals? We have the destination for you! Our Romania tour is ready to launch, and it will take you to visit old-world Europe in leisurely paced, hands-on, small group experience.

Step back in time to this mysterious land. Travel around the country’s heartland of Maramures where local traditions live untouched and dinners turn into feasts. Traverse through villages frozen in time and experience the traditions of rural life, handicrafts and folk music. Visit the magnificent painted monasteries of Bucovina, known as the Sistine chapel of the East. Dine with the locals, distill Romanian brandy and learn the old recipes of the Romanian kitchen. Get a taste of the medieval in historic Transylvanian cities while hunting down clues to the real Dracula in castles and atmospheric citadels.

We have enjoyed our small groups so much that we will continue to keep numbers low and personal attention high. This tour will have a maximum of 12, likely fewer depending on the group make-up.

Tour leader will be George, our fantastic Romanian colleague.

Day One

Overnight: Cluj

Welcome to Romania

Transfer from airport to hotel. Walking tour around Cluj, a bustling university city that is also the capital of the Transylvania region. A sign of things to come, our ‘welcome dinner’ is more like a welcome feast. Hearty portions are the order of the day here in Romania!

Day Two

Overnight: Maramures region

Rural Life in Maramures

Travel north to the rural fairytale that is the Maramures region. Maramures means “country of the wood” and you’ll marvel at the skilled craftsmanship of the towering wooden churches and elaborate carvings on gates and houses in all the small villages that we visit. Life here still gives glimpse to the past few centuries and you will see folks still dressed in traditional clothing. Visit the village of Surdesti with its impressive oak church with a spire that reaches a height of 72m – second highest wooden church in Europe. Visit to Merry Cemetery, that owes its name to the carved and decorated wooden gravestones with colorful and often humorous epitaphs.

Days Three and Four

Overnights: Maramures region

Cooking Traditions and Village Life

Visit to idyllic village of Breb for an outdoor cooking class where local ladies will teach you traditional recipes. There’s no shortage of food, wine, spirits and laughter. Afternoon to explore more off the beaten spots. See how locals use water pools as a washing machines, try some local honeys, check out the work of a wood carver and find out which villages have the most photogenic ‘Babas’. A lively dinner at a local’s home with music, song and dancing.

 

Easter Sunday will be spent taking in the festivities, feasts and music during the celebration of this important holiday in the villages of Maramures

Day Five

Overnight: Bucovina region

Convents and Monasteries

Visit impressive wooden convent in Maramures before heading to the Bucovina region over the Prislop Pass, a scenic road in the Northern Carpathians. Visit to one of the four ‘painted monasteries’ of this region, the Voroneț Monastery. Unlike normal monasteries and churches, these have their exterior walls adorned with traditional Orthodox frescoes painted in Byzantine style from the 16th century. Dinner at our pension.

Day Six

Overnight: Bucovina region

Steam train ride and folk artist

Visit to the Modovita painted monastery before embarking on a steam train ride for a few hours around the bucolic Bucovina region with lunch included. Visit to artist who is renowned for her work making hand-painted and colourful Easter eggs.

Day Seven

Overnight: Sighisoara

Vlad The Impaler and Dracula stories

Travel from Bucovina into Transylvania. Check into hotel in Sighişoara, the only medieval citadel in the world that is still inhabited. Tour around its atmospheric and well-preserved walled old quarter. Tour includes the 210 foot high Clock Tower, the Venetian House, the Stag House and the Dracula house – the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler..

Day Eight

Overnight: Sighisoara

Transylvanian wines and fortified churches

We start our day exploring a string of small Saxon towns with citadels and fortified churches such as Biertan and Richis, both UNESCO world heritage sites. Make sure to ask Alexandra, our Romanian guide, about the ‘marital prison’ which kept the divorce rate quite low here. Visit with a young Transylvanian couple and try their wines and enjoy a home cooked lunch.

Day Nine

Overnight: Brasov

Introduction to Saxon city of Brasov

Depart Sighisoara and visit the impressive 13th century Rasnov fortress that withstood attacks by the invading Ottoman army. Check into Transylvania’s essential city of Brasov. City one of the best preserved historical centres in Romania. and became an important craft centre for the German Saxons in the 14th-18th centuries. Take a guided tour of the city takes us to the Council Square, Black Church, Rope St (narrowest street in Europe) and the Defense Walls.

Day Ten

Overnight: Brasov

Shop & Chill in Brasov or Hiking in Carpathians

Full day at leisure in Brasov to explore, go to museum, hit the amazing jewellery stores or take the cable car up to Tâmpa mountain with its Hollywood-esque BRASOV sign. Optional excursion for a pretty nature walk in a deep and narrow limestone canyon called Zarnesti gorge where parts of the Nicole Kidman movie Cold Mountain were filmed.

Day Eleven

Overnight: Bucharest

Peles Castle and Romania’s Capital

Depart Brasov and travel to Bucharest. On the way we stop at in the town of Sinaia, nestled at the foot of the Bucegi Mountains. Visit to the stunning Peles Castle, a masterpiece of German new-Renaissance architecture built by King Charles I. Continue on to Bucharest, Romania’s capital. Walking tour followed by our farewell dinner.

Day Twelve


Tour is over after breakfast and your guide will be available to assist with departures.

Tour Dates: May 2-13, 2024

Price: $3350 (Air not included). Single Supplement is $650. We welcome singles and if you do not have a travel partner, please sign up for a single spot. In the event that a roommate is found, your booking can be changed to a double before final payment is due.

A non-refundable deposit of $600 is due at booking.

Tour price includes 11 nights’ accommodation in clean, comfortable, and centrally located hotels, all breakfasts, 5 dinners, 4 lunches, wine tasting and other sights listed in itinerary, transportation within the tour, tips and taxes.

Tour begins at 4 pm in Cluj, Romania. Airport, Cluj (CLJ).

Tour ends in Bucharest, Romania. Airport, Bucharest (BUH). We can arrange transfers for an additional fee.

Please email questions to info@adventureswithsarah.net

Terms and Conditions – Adventures with Sarah

Inquire about this tour

I have been visiting friends and showing them my photos from the Piemonte tour. I was telling them how great it was to become immersed in this area and see things you would not normally have the opportunity to do or know about. Having a caring and inquisitive guide who delights in sharing where she lives brings so much to the experience. Go visit Piemonte with Lisa- you will have such an amazing time and fond memories to share and relish!

Patricia Eaganafter a tour in Piedmont, Italy with Lisa

I have had the joy of traveling with Adventures with Sarah many times, from Thailand, to Turkey, and many places in between. I choose to book with AWS because I can rely on a tour that is paced well, varied in activities, with great food and even greater guides. As a frequent traveler to Europe, I really enjoy AWS tours due to a small group size and the opportunity to go in depth into a region and really experience the culture of the area I’m visiting. And every time, with every group, I meet fellow travelers who are now friends. Adventures with Sarah is a tour company that I would recommend without hesitation. In fact, I have 3 tours booked for this year!

Betsy McGregorafter multiple tours with Adventures with Sarah

Fantastic look at more "out of the way" spots and wonderful experiences of food and wine. No crowds, just the Sicilian countryside and lovely towns. Traveling in April was fantastic with all the wildflowers. And walking on Mama Etna's shoulders was a highlight!

Barbara B.Sicily Pleasures tour

It really was a wonderful trip. This was our first group trip, and the size was just right. We all got along well which was a bonus. Everything was smooth, and Sarah had picked out some really wonderful things for us to do. I felt like we were getting "sneak peeks" of special things regular tourists don't get to do. We were willing participants for her to try out new things on this trip. The hotels were lovely, and the wine lunches perfect! There was a good balance of planned activities and free time which I appreciated. I will definitely be looking for more trips to go on with Adventures with Sarah!

Leslie P.Sicily Pleasures tour

Good accommodations in the heart of all important areas. Food experience was excellent with incentive to try new foods. Sarah is very personable and has each tour member's concerns and needs in mind. Love the small groups.

Larry C.Sicily Highlights tour

We had a great time! Perfect mix of free time and planned group excursions/tours. The food was amazing! Our accommodation was comfortable and our views were unforgettable! I would book another trip with this company.

Jen R.Dalmatian Staycation tour

My husband and I had a great time touring Dalmatia with Sarah and the local guides that joined us. A favorite activity was sailing on a traditional sail boat from the island of Vis. Lovely group of travelers and many memories made!

Dawn R.Dalmatian Staycation tour

Food and wine blitz in beautiful areas of Slovenia and Croatia. You will appreciate it most if you are a true wine lover. Meetings with young enthusiastic, creative winemakers were the highlight.

Betsy W.Harvest tour

We had a wonderful trip with no issues at all. Gorgeous area, plenty of delicious food, perfect weather and knowledgeable guide!

John G.Harvest tour

What a perfect way to get back into European travel. It was obvious from the start that Trish had put her heart and soul into the planning of the Hidden Paris tour. It was a great mix of adventures and I throughly enjoyed my travel group, who became like family, and it was obvious to see why most had traveled with adventures with Sarah before, Our local guide, Julian, was excellent and it was fun finally getting to also meet Sarah and sons. Merci beaucoup, Trish for this great time and I hope to travel with you again in the future.

Leslie A.Paris Staycation tour

A thoroughly enjoyable trip. George, our leader, was super-knowledgeable, helpful, energetic, and fun. His knowledge of people and places gave us experiences we couldn't have duplicated on our own. The itinerary was great - I thought the pace was good and we had a variety of experiences. The only thing I didn't like was that the weather in late April was rather chilly and often wet, more so than I expected. However, traveling later in the spring would have meant missing Orthodox Easter, which was the highlight of the trip for me. We spent it in a rural village, and participating in the villagers' traditions was a rare privilege that I'll never forget. So take an umbrella and some warm clothes and prepare for a special experience. Maybe you'll get the sunshine that we mostly didn't get!

Melissa M.Romania tour

Our guide Susanna was both professional and thoughtful. She cared for our health and happiness! I had some health issues and was treated with kindness and help! Our accommodations were both comfortable and clean. The bus driver was fearless and professional. I will travel with Susanna again!

Melva O.Sicily Pleasures tour

This was a wonderful trip! Susanna was such a wonderful tour guide, thoughtful, funny, informative. I can’t imagine a better guide for this trip! Our accommodations were wonderful as were all the varied activities and dining experiences. I enjoyed the other travelers in our group and felt as if we were family. I have made new friends that I will keep in touch with. Thank you!

Anne B.Sicily Pleasures tour

We had a wonderful tour with our guide Susanna and fellow travelers. The tour was well planned out touching on most all the main destinations in Sicily. Susanna was super well organized, kind and considerate and a lot of fun to travel with. She was a great communicator before, during and after the tour and was helpful with day to day needs like finding laundry service, restaurants and transport to the airport. The local guides, meals, accommodations, etc were all top notch. We had a great small group of 7 travelers that all got on very well. The spacious van we used for traveling was very comfortable and the driver Giuseppe was highly skilled at driving the chaotic streets in Sicily’s cities and towns. We highly recommend booking a tour with Adventures with Sarah and especially with Susanna Perrucchini!!

Randal D.Sicily Highlights tour

In short, we will travel with AWS again and would highly recommend them! Oh!! We also felt that we received far more in value and experience than the price for the tour.

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