Maramures is probably the most wonderful hidden secret of Romania. Traditions are still preserved and local tourism boards promote treasures that cannot be found elsewhere in the country. Maramures is unique because of the Romanian classic lifestyle which focuses on customs, religion and a distinct culture. In combination with rural landscapes worthy of admiration, this region became a local beauty queen.
Maramures is in northern Romania, bordering Ukraine; it is a land that is keeping Transylvanian influences and manages to remain a mystery even to many Romanians.
1. Maramures County has the most UNESCO monuments in Romania. But besides the monuments, you'll love the traditional clothing, welcoming people, music, scenery and gastronomy.
2. La Cassa, Viseu
Viseu is a quiet little town with beautiful churches, wonderful people, guest houses, restaurants and dreamlike landscapes surrounded by forests and mountains. I recommend you to stay at the Guest House La Cassa, an oasis of peace and good will. The food is sensational and the people here will impress you!
3. Mocanita, Valea Vaserului
Mocanita is a vintage steam train with a stove in the middle of the wagon, crowded with photo enthusiasts that are there to capture endless forests, fast rivers, waterfalls, unleashed nature, wildflowers, wind, sun and everything else there is to offer. You will undoubtedly spend a few hours of utter joy in this surreal location. It is an adventure not to be missed. The train station is a few minutes' walk from Villa La Cassa.
In Borsa tourism is well developed and travelers from all over the world come to experience the ancient traditions and customs of Maramures. It is the ideal place to continue your adventures in Maramures. There is also the possibility to travel by train near Borsa, on a railway that passes a forest.
The Merry Cemetery in Sapanta is known worldwide thanks to the very colorful tombs' crosses, showing aspects of the life and death of the people buried here. Most of the texts are humorous poems which express the idea that death is not to be perceived as a sad event.
6. Rodnei Mountains National Park
Rodnei Mountains National Park is the most visited tourist attraction in Maramures and the largest protected area in northern Romania. This beautiful natural reservation includes sights such as Old Ponorul, caves and karst springs such as: Iza Blue Cave, Cobasel, Piatra Rea, Bila - Lala, Mihaiesei.
7. Pietrosul Rodnei Reservation
It is the largest natural reservation complex in the north and Pietrosul Rodnei is the highest peak in the whole chain of the Carpathians, with 2303 m. Those who dare to come up here are rewarded with a magnificent view of nature's spectacle. You can also admire the wonderful glacial lakes (Iezerul Pietrosului, Buhaescu).
8. Monasteries and wooden churches in Maramures
Maramures accommodates an impressive collection of historic churches and monasteries who resisted stoically through time. The following list includes the ones that were introduced in the UNESCO World Heritage: the wooden churches in Barsana, Budesti, Josan Desesti, Iza Meadows, Surdesti, Plopis, and Rogoz.
9. Horses Falls (Cascada Cailor)
Horses Falls is the highest waterfall in the country and one of the most spectacular. It is located 4 km away from Borsa Tourist Complex. You can reach the waterfall towards Poiana Runcu Stiol or by chairlift. The entire region around the waterfall is impressive and deserves recognition.
Prislop is located at a height of 1413 m and is the highest pass in Romania. It connects Maramures to Moldova. During the winter the snowy pass is difficult to cross, but in the summer you will find here a superb view of the natural monuments in the area.
If you want a different kind of holiday, with traditions, culture and beautiful landscapes, maybe it's time to visit Romania. For more photos and stories follow us on Instagram.
Contributing Editor: Alida Cucu