An ethno-folkloric region with well-preserved customs and traditions, hospitable people and charming sights. This is Maramureș, a region located on the north-western side of Romania.
Customs and Traditions
The specificity of Maramureș region makes you feel like a time traveller. You get inside the neat houses from the rural areas, passing through the traditional “Maramureș gates”, true masterpieces carved in wood. Beyond these thresholds, accommodation and food services with archaic flavour are waiting for you in rural pensions. They are located in the villages from the valleys of Mara, Cosău and Iza rivers. The traditional wool rugs, the blouses (ii) woven by women, the knitting and the folk music local festivals complete the specific of this region, which is inhabited by people who treat their guests with traditional dishes and drinks. Craftsmen from Săpânța, Bârsana, Vadu Izei, Ieud, Breb and Glod are considered the most talented artists of wood carving, while in Săcel you can find artisans of the unenamelled red ceramics.
Place to visit
- The Merry Cemetery of Săpânța. If your holiday takes you through Maramureș, do not miss this unique place that will intrigue you with its black humour.
- Baia Mare. Visit the Butchers’ Bastion (Bastionul Măcelarilor), one of the seven towers of the Baia Mare citadel, where you can find out the legend of a famous outlaw and enjoy the fairs held inside the bastion. Another sight here is Stephen’s Tower (Turnul lui Ştefan), a symbol of the city, built in the 15th century to celebrate a victory of Stephen the Great (Ştefan cel Mare).
- Wooden churches. Maramureș will captivate you with 40 of the most beautiful Gothic wooden churches in Eastern Europe. Enjoy the magical experience of Șurdești and Bârsana Monasteries, built among green hills, dotted with wild flowers.
Things to do
Those who feel the need for adrenaline can entertain themselves with motocross, off-road, paragliding launches or can go rafting and canoeing on the numerous rivers that cross Maramureș. Rock and ice climbing are also popular. In winter, the skiers, snowboarders and those who prefer bobsleds and sleighs can race down the modern slopes of some popular resorts: Șuior, Cavnic, Izvoare or Mogoşa.
Mocănița, the steam train, one of the few in Europe which still work, will lead the tourists through the Maramureș Mountains, revealing to their eyes some of the most beautiful and wild landscapes within the Carpathian-Danubian-Pontic space. During spring and summer, the hiking to the peaks of Rodnei Mountains, to the caves, the 30 natural reservations or the lakes will take you to a world where rare species, protected by law, are at home.
Below is a map showing the main cities and towns from Banat and Crişana Region. Zoom in!