Discover A Land Which Time Has Forgotten.

Discover A Land Which Time Has Forgotten.

in​ the far 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 long lost and​ forgotten in​ other parts of​ Europe - all combine with an​ ancient way of​ life.

Ringed in​ by mountains Maramures has long 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.

Away from the mountains are the region’s vast and​ ancient forests of​ spruce and​ oak. Here bears, lynx and​ wolf still roam in​ evidence of​ Romania’s healthy and​ unique biodiversity. The alpine pastures are still used by the shepherds who keep a​ watchful eye over their flock. These mountain​ pastures, aesthetically scattered with haystacks, are living proof​ of​ the interaction​ between the people of​ Maramures and​ the nature which surrounds them. Walking through the freshly cut fields in​ silence and​ in​ harmony with nature perhaps represents the best break from city life, it’s pressures and​ excesses.

The water habitats of​ the region, from the glacial lakes with their clear pure waters, to​ the marshes of​ the wetlands, offer an​ unexpected beauty to​ those who discover them. The rivers of​ the Viseu, Vaser, Mara, Cosau, Isa and​ Tisa populate this​ region​ where the otter and​ the Danube salmon​ still live, along with dragonflies and​ water birds. Here traditional fishing is​ still practiced, women wash their clothes in​ the rivers and​ giant watermills dot the river banks. From the mountains to​ the meadows, forests and​ wetlands, this​ landscape presents a​ wonderful world. Our survival as​ a​ species is​ dependant on​ our capacity to​ preserve the balance between nature and​ ourselves. Here, in​ many ways, we can see how we once achieved this.

When you​ enter the villages you​ will see this​ rural life in​ close up: the traditional wood carver and​ hatter; women who produce wonderful jewellery, woollen rugs, cloth and​ traditional costumes. Here you​ will see people at​ work in​ regional clothes that have barely changed in​ hundreds of​ years; and​ a​ wide variety of​ ethnic groups - Romanians, Hungarians, Germans, Jews, Ukrainians and​ Gypsies - all mixing to​ provide a​ unique combination​ of​ architecture, clothing and​ traditions. There is​ also the opportunity to​ stay in​ agro-tourism accommodation, to​ witness at​ first hand​ the villagers’ life, to​ eat their food and​ to​ share a​ palinca with your​ hosts. Palinca is​ the traditional drink of​ the region​ brewed from plums and​ double distilled, this​ so called fire water is​ a​ part of​ the villagers’ lives as​ well as​ the visitors’.

Sighetu Marmatiei, the centre of​ historic Maramures, was first mentioned in​ 1326. Seen from an​ elevated position​ from the top of​ the Solovan Hill, the town is​ seen to​ be dominated by churches many centuries old. a​ tour of​ the old city centre will familiarise you​ with the old Jewish merchant houses and​ old administrative buildings: the former County Council, the City Hall and​ Culture Palace. There is​ the Ellie Wiesel Memorial House, a​ famous son​ of​ the city who was awarded the Nobel peace prize, the monument of​ the Holocaust, and​ the Memorial of​ the Victims of​ Communism. There is​ also the History Museum to​ wander around with axes from the stone age, silver and​ gold jewellery, the Ethnography Museum, the Natural Sciences’ Museum and​ the Village Museum all of​ which offer the chance to​ better get to​ know this​ fascinating region​ and​ its past.

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 Maramares you​ will experience a​ truly unforgettable and​ privileged experience that will certainly make you​ leave yearning to​ come back.

Discover A Land Which Time Has Forgotten.

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