A weeklong itinerary in Maramures with visiting Salina Turda, Bucharest and/or Brasov in Romania (possible combination with a trip in Bulgaria).
Maramures is famous for its preserved authentic culture, traditions, and pastoral scenery. It is said that the spirit and atmosphere of the genuine old Romania can still be felt here.
This itinerary/program in Maramures, Romania, is designed for people interested in old customs, traditional rural Romania, beautiful nature – all those in the still not so touristy area of this remote Romanian province. You can combine the trip with traveling in Bulgaria. Both countries combine perfectly because of the excellent transport connections and beautiful and exciting places to visit, both natural and historical. You can visit the Maramures area, starting from Bucharest or from Bulgaria (Sofia). It is possible to use public transport, but renting a car is preferable. Book your hotel in Baia Mare, the administrative center of Maramures, and make day trips around the area.
In the area, visit the village of Sarbi with its numerous craft workshops and the largest wooden church in Maramures – Budesti-Josani. Don’t miss the famous Merry Cemetery in Sapanta, famous for its colorful tombstones with naive paintings. Continue to the Sapanta-Peri Monastery – the tallest wooden church structure in the world (78 m). Visit the Maramures Village Museum in Sighetu Marmatiei, its open-air exhibitions, and the Ethnographic Museum.
On the way back, stop at Turda Salt Mine (Salina Turda) for a few hours. Finish your trip back to Bucharest or continue to Bulgaria.
Tip -> After crossing the Danube Bridge (the border between Bulgaria and Romania), stop for a stroll around Ivanovo Rock Churches and “Rusenski Lom” Nature Park in Bulgaria
DAY BY DAY ITINERARY
The distance from Bucharest to Baia Mare, the administrative center of the province of Maramures, is 610 km, which you will cover in about 8 hours by car. On the way, you can stop for a stroll and lunch in Brasov. An option would be to stay in Brasov for a night, as the city is mountainous, quiet and very pleasant. If you combine your trip to Bulgaria, overnight in Brasov is recommended, as the distance from Sofia to Brasov is about 550 km.
In case of an overnight stay in Brasov, add another day to this program. Choose one of the three accommodation options in Brasov:
If you plan to travel directly from Bucharest to Maramures, choose from the three options for accommodation in Baia Mare, Maramures:
Baia Mare is the administrative center of Maramures, Romania. It would be a good idea to stay in the city and take short day trips exploring the area. In Baia Mare, you will have more choices of hotels, hostels, and other places to stay and also will skip the constant moving from hotel to hotel.
Below are some of the most exciting places in Maramures, which you should not miss.
One of the traditional villages in the area is Sarbi. You will see water-powered mills, a “batoza” – a machine for separating the grain from the chaff, a “piua” – carpet washer, a “valtoarea” – traditional clothes washer, and other exciting things. Stop by the craft workshops to learn more about the traditions in the area and to buy some local stuff.
The church of Saint Nicholas, Budești Josani in the village of Budeşti in the region of Maramures is representative of the characteristic wooden churches of Maramures with double eaves. It is one of eight wooden churches of Maramureș that UNESCO has listed as a World Heritage Site. You can see here the so-called “cheotori” (wooden castanets) from 1643, which are considered “magical.” This church is the largest in Maramures, with awe-inspiring stained glass windows from 1762.
The Merry Sapanta Cemetery is a famous tourist destination. The legend says that the Dacians (the ancient inhabitants of the area) had accepted death with joy because they believed in eternal life. They did not see the end as a tragedy, but as a way to meet Zamolxe, their supreme God. The cemetery itself dates from 1930, made by Stan Ion Patras, a famous sculptor, artist, and poet. It was his creativity that marked the beginning of this exceptional place. For more than about 50 years, this man has created hundreds of wooden crosses with funny inscriptions. Each cross has an epitaph that best characterizes the deceased’s personality, or a particular fact from his life is described.
Continue to the Sapanta-Peri Monastery, whose patron is Saint Archangel Michael. The building is 78 meters high, and the whole place – majestic and impressive. This monastery is the tallest wooden church structure in the world, included in the Guinness Book of Records.
Stop in Sighetu Marmatiei to see the Maramures Village Museum with its excellent open-air museum and the Maramures Ethnographic Museum. Both of them show rural life in different parts of the province. Enjoy the collections of icons, traditional clothing, masks, and costumes worn during the winter holidays and much more.
Visit the former prison, now part of the Memorial of the Victims of Communism and the Resistance. In the 1950s and 1960s, the former Romanian Secret Police, known as “Securitate” ran the Sighetu Prison as a place for detention and political repression of public figures. The most prominent of these was the former prime minister Iuliu Maniu, who died in prison in 1953.
Another place in Maramures is the village of Desesti. The commune’s Saint Parascheva Church was built in 1770 and is one of eight Wooden Churches of Maramures that UNESCO listed as a World Heritage Site.
Today you leave for Salina Turda. The journey is about 3 hours, and the time it will take you to explore it would be about 2 or 3 hours. The Turda Salt Mine (Salina Turda) is set nearly 400 feet (120 meters) below ground and was excavated for centuries before opening to the public in 1992. The subterranean, salt-encrusted chambers now host a Ferris wheel, mini-golf, table tennis, an amphitheater, and a boating lake.
Arrive in Bucharest in the late afternoon. You can stay overnight in the city or continue to Bulgaria if you combine this trip to one in Bulgaria.
Choose one of the three accommodation options in Bucharest:
When would be the best time to travel? Year-round, but in summer would be more pleasant;
How long is it? 5 nights/6 days is the Maramures part of the itinerary.
For what type of tourism can I use this itinerary: Sightseeing, Culture & Food, Long weekend, Urban;
Means of transportation: It is possible to use public transport, but renting a car is preferable.
Can I combine it with another itinerary or program? You can combine the trip with traveling in Bulgaria. Both countries combine perfectly because of the excellent transport connections and beautiful and exciting places to visit, both natural and historical.
Visa requirements: Romania does not require a visa for citizens of the USA, EU, and other countries. Please check here, whether you’d need a visa and if yes also get assistance in getting one.
HOW CAN I USE THIS ITINERARY/PROGRAM
You can use this itinerary and all the information provided without any restrictions, free of charge! Please feel free to use the links to the travel service providers to book hotels, transportation, activities, experiences or other services. We get a small commission at no extra cost to you, which helps us a lot. Please have a look at the section “Self-organising and self-booking & reservation” at the end of this article to see all the services, which you can use to organise your trip. It might be also helpful to have a look at our Travel Services section of the website.
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The preparation of a guided tour program/offer is free of charge. You’ll receive a package price from us upfront. It will include the services of a professionally qualified tour guide; pick up and drop off from your hotel/accommodation; transportation by A/C vehicle, fuel and parking expenses; accommodation, transfers from/to airport and all other additional services you might need. Please contact us for more detailed information.
You will receive a Final Trip Plan of this tour in both web and pdf formats. Please have a look at sample web version with pictures, maps and video here. Please download a sample version of a Final Trip Plan in pdf format here.
You can use the Final Trip Plan to make the needed reservations and bookings by yourself.
The Final Trip Plan of the trip will contain: a web version of the tour; a pdf version of the tour (see the sample above), a short description (Resume); Basic information about the trip (duration, places to be visited, tour mileage, the period of travel; a trip budget with detailed expenses table (downloadable pdf file); Google map with the itinerary and bookmarks for places, hotels and restaurants; a link to a Google Earth interactive map with features like “Street view”, 3D etc.; A link to a Google KML file, which can be uploaded to a cell phone and used during the trip; a full program day by day with activities and places to be visited, recommendations for accommodation and excellent restaurants with links for bookings and reservations.
Additionally to the Final Trip Plan, we make all the bookings and reservations on your behalf. We manage this through our licensed travel agency “Thousand Voyages” Ltd, registered in EU (Bulgaria) (the company registration license and basic information).
Transportation and logistics: We coordinate, book and manage all the transit elements of your trip-planes, trains, rent-a-cars, busses, everything to and from your destination, and between various places during your trip.
Accommodation: We coordinate, book and manage all of your selected accommodations. We recommend the best selections at every destination along your trip, including hotels, Airbnb, bed and breakfasts, that fit your tastes, budget and are available during your travel dates. You will get the names of the properties in the Final Trip Plan, with links to the websites or booking forms. Sometimes the chosen by us accommodation is not on booking dot com or any other platform, especially those in the remote areas. In this case, we provide the name of the owner and a telephone number.
We usually have one or two small groups (max 7/8 participants) per year traveling on this or similar itinerary/program. If you are interested in joining a group, please drop a line. We will provide more information, like the dates, the program in English and everything needed.
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