In the North of Romania, in the heart of Transylvania, lies the region of Maramures. Unscathed by the industrialisation of Romania’s communist period the Maramures region showcases a spectacular landscape married with centuries old agricultural and pastoral traditions. Snow capped mountain peaks, ancient forests and an amazing diversity of fauna and flora – some of which are lost and forgotten in other parts of Europe – all combine with an ancient way of life.
Ringed in by mountains Maramures has been kept isolated, thus preserving a way of life which has been passed by in Western Europe. As you travel through the enchanting countryside you’ll see farmers making hay in the traditional manner amongst spectacular wooden churches, some of which fall under UNESCO patronage. Entering the towns and villages of Maramures is the closest you can get to stepping back in time: farmers ploughing with bulls, carriages pulled by oxen, rugs dyed with natural plant extracts, beautiful wooden houses with intricately carved wooden gates; historic churches, regional customs, dances and traditions. This is no Disneyland, there is no performance for the benefit of the tourists – this is real, authentic life in Maramures.
The Rodnei Mountains with the Pietrosu Peak – at 2303m the highest in the Eastern Carpathians – are made up of volcanic rock and their inner rim forms the longest chain of volcanic mountains in Europe. With their deep valleys, sharp crests and glacial lakes the Rodnei Mountains provide a natural reserve for a breathtaking array of flora and fauna: chamois and marmots or, if you’re lucky, eagles, capercaille and black grouse. The Waterfall of The Horse (80m high) is a worthwhile day excursion, and you may also come across some of the many undiscovered and unmapped caves of the region. The Cresta Cocosului offers spectacular views and, for the more adventurous, some fantastic climbing routes on its abrupt cliffs.
Ecological and cultural tourism in Maramures can open up new perspectives for the visitor in a place where nature and traditions survive and co exist in the geographic centre of Europe. A visit to Maramures can be an enchanting and fulfilling experience, opening up new horizons and giving us a greater understanding of our complex relationship with nature and our surroundings. For those of you who visit Maramures you will experience a truly unforgettable and privileged experience that will certainly make you leave yearning to come back.