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Romania
December 1, 2014, 1:35 pm
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Cherished, legendary, mythological, traditional

Only few countries in the world have preserved so many customs, or have such love for their rural communities and traditions as Romania. Many parts of the country have changed very little since the Middle-Ages and still retain much of their bygone-era appeal.

In Romania, you get to visit surprising and often contrasting towns that have survived centuries of turbulent history. While there, take time to also explore Romania's many architectural treasures, its dynamic cities and to experience its vibrant and flourishing art scene.

The capital, Bucharest, is perhaps daunting for the first-time visitors – its savage history is only too evident. More attractive by far, and easily accessible on public transport from the Danube River, is beautiful, medieval Transylvania, a region steeped in history, offering some of the most beautiful mountain scenery in Europe, as well as a uniquely multi-ethnic character.

The diversity of places one can visit in Romania is truly amazing. Take a step back in time to visit one of the world's most famous painted monasteries in Bucovina, or visit cities, such as BraÅŸov, Sibiu and the ancient, hilltop citadel in SighiÅŸoara, which were built by Saxon (German) colonist and Banat, all of which continue to have a multi-ethnic community of Romanians, Germans, Hungarians and Roma or Gypsy populations. Meanwhile, TimiÅŸoara in the west of the country remains Romania’s most Western-looking city and is famed as the birthplace of the 1989 revolution.

Travel to the remote Land of MaramureÈ™ in the northwest corner of Romania, 300 miles from Bucharest, and find life playing out as it has for hundreds of years—though one recent change is telling; rather than asphalting roads that are mainly used by horse and carriage, MaramureÈ™ has recently upgraded its bike trails—pathways to experience the region at the pace it deserves.

Things to do in Romania

Authentic Eco-rural cultural touring:

Natural beauty, hospitality of local people, folklore festivals and the flavors of regional cuisine – all these combine to bring a true taste of Romania. Visit legendary destinations, explore medieval fortresses, open castle gates and discover Romania's spirituality, music, crafts and traditions. Museum of Folk Civilization of Sibiu is a fascinating open-air museum of Romanian village architecture, set in a scenic landscape. Explore unique ecosystems, walk among alpine vegetation, to plains, coast line and the Danube Delta, the world's third most biologically diverse area.

Active adventure and wolf and bear-tracking:

Romania’s landscape is dominated by the spectacular Carpathian Mountains. A continuation of the Alps, they encircle Transylvania and provide the country with a rocky backbone perfect for activities from skiing to camping, hiking, riding, cycling or nautical, sports, rafting to wildlife watching, caving, fishing or hunting. Follow the footprints of Europe's largest wolf and bear population on a tracking safari.

Health and Wellness:

Built by Romans and unique in Europe, Romania's spas provide relief for many disorders and illnesses, medical treatments or relaxation. With steady development during the last decade, Romania is a suitable location for foreigners to find solution to their medical issues at competitive prices. The country hosts important mineral water and thermal resources, many of which have unique characteristics. Apply mud glop and bask in the sun until the mud cracks or take a swim to wash it all off at Eforie Nord's public mud baths. Sprawl in the waters of Neptun Water Park with in its large popular thermal pool and a couple of smaller pools for children.

Reasons to be in Romania

Romanian UNESCO Sites:

There are seven UNESCO nominated World Heritage Sites in Romania: the Churches of Moldavia, the Dacian Fortress of the Orastie Mountains, the historic center of Sighisoara, the Monastery of Horezu, the villages with Fortified Churches in Transylvania, the Danube Delta and the Wooden Churches of Maramures.

Transfagarasan:

According to Top Gear magazine this is the most beautiful road in the world and is also one of Romania's most exceptional roads. The road stretches for over 100km from north to south and runs through some of the highest peaks in the country.

The Sphinx: Lying in the Bucegi Mountains, the Sphinx is considered to be the most energetic point in the world, and is known as the 'Gate to Heaven'.

Turda Salt Mine:

The coolest underground place in the world, the Salt Mine is also among the top 10 most unbelievable travel destinations in the world, according to Business Insider. The Salt Mine has been a very important salt source since the times of the Roman Empire, and mining here was particularly popular between the 15th-17th centuries.

Bicaz Canyon:

One of the most spectacular places in Romania, the canyon is located in the north-east part of the country, in Neamt and Harghita countries, 372km from Bucharest. The road along the 8km of ravines often runs along serpentine roads with rock on one side and a sheer drop on the other.

Places to See

Dracula's castle:

Located in Bran, in close proximity to the important city of Brasov, the castle is a majestic structure commonly regarded as the home of the famous Count Dracula, the character brought to life by Bram Stoker. But the history of the castle is much more comprehensive than that, with the first written mention of the Bran Castle dating back all the way to 1377.

Mud Volcanoes:

Miniature craters, formed by natural gas that comes from the depth of more than 3000m, make the volcanoes a unique phenomenon in Romania, and is also quite rare in the world.

Mocanita:

The steam train, or 'Mocanita de la Viseul de Sus', which departs daily from Viseul de Sus village, reaching Novat, Faina and even Macarlau, lets tourists travel the entire Vaserului Gorge in the eastern Maramures Mountains.

Marry Cemetery:

Located in the Romanian village of Sapanta, the cemetery got its name from the colorful crosses and the satirical poetry that is written on them. After the cross is carved, it is usually painted in blue, the so-called ‘Blue Sapanta’.

Palace of the Parliament:

An impressive building that strikes the eye with its particular style, it is a giant building complex that was built during the golden age of the dictatorial regime of Nicolae Ceausescu. Born in the mind of someone for whom the notion of reasonable size did not exist, the monumental building today stands for the most precious symbol of democracy in Romania — the Parliament.

Bigar Waterfall: 

Located in the nature reserve in Anina Mountains of Caras Severin County, the amazing waterfall, and arguably the most beautiful one in the country, is covered with moss as the underground spring streams from the cave above and then falls into Minis River

Living fires in Lopatari: 

As high as 20cm, the fires represent a natural phenomenon unique in Europe. They are blue flames burning in places where the soil is cracked and kept alive because of the gas that comes to surface.
 


 

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