Romania is a country with extraordinary variated landforms that range from high mountains with breath-taking natural landscapes to long plateaus and deltas by the seashore. Because of this natural diversity, Romanians have the opportunity to explore a lot of beautiful and unique places in every region of the country.
Traditions, culture, cuisine, clothes, and songs, all vary just as much as the geographic locations.
Romania is commonly divided into 9 main regions (Maramureș, Crișana, Banat, Oltenia, Transylvania, Bucovina, Moldova, Dobrogea, Muntenia) and together, we will explore the main beauties and touristic attractions, hoping one of them catches your eye and intrigues you enough to check it out yourself.
You can check out a brief presentation of the regions on our Instagram page here but today, we will dig a bit deeper.
The region of Maramureș is situated in the northwestern part of Romania where the beautiful landscape is filled with mountains and valleys, and a lot of modest villages. Here, you can find the natural biosphere of Rodnei Mountains National Park, with diverse flora and fauna as it is recognized and under protection by UNESCO.
The charm of this area comes from the long tradition of artisans that practiced wood carvings. Especially seen in the villages’ churches, there are intricate woodcarvings on the gates and columns.
This region is also home to the Wooden Churches of Maramureș, another UNESCO-protected site. The typical high silhouette and detailed ornaments on their exterior display a dark, gothic-like style of the worship sanctuaries.
But by far the most intriguing and unique place in Romania is the Merry Cemetery (Cimitirul Vesel) in the town of Sapânța. The crosses are colored with an uncommon bright blue and have inscriptions with humourous verses that commemorate the life of the deceased. This comes from the belief of the local people that death is not the end but only a beginning.
If you managed to travel to this place, it is imperative to have one more beautiful experience and let yourself be transported back in time. Present in just a few other places in Romania, in Vișeu de Sus you can experience a fairy-tale-like moment by hoping in a narrow-gauge steam train, called Mocănița. During the trips, you have the opportunity to see the workers load the firewood and also pick up freshwater from the mountain streams.
The region of Crișana is situated in the West of Romania, where German, Serbian and Hungarian influences have been engraved within the architecture and traditions of the people.
While in Crișana you can visit the underrated cities of Oradea and Arad, which have rich multicultural history and elegant and well-preserved Art Nouveau buildings. If you are looking for some relaxation and perhaps some natural treatment, outside of Oradea is located one of the most famous thermal baths in Romania, Felix Thermal Baths (Băile Felix).
But for the ones that crave some adventure and a trip to the ancient past, you will be happy to hear that in Crișana you can find one of the most interesting and eerie caves, the Bears’ Cave (Peștera Urșilor). In this cave, filled with thousands of stalactites and stalagmites, you can see the fossils of a prehistoric species of bear that became extinct 24,000 years ago.