All the tours described bellow can be personalised and/or converted to multi-day tours, including (if required or if is possible) accommodation, transportation and transfers, in order to meet the client’s specifications.
-“The best of Maramureş in one day“: the tour takes you to Săpânţa Merry Cemetery and Săpânţa-Peri Monastery (the highest wooden church in the world) – close to the Ukrainian border, pass through Sighetu-Marmaţiei town, visit Bârsana convent (the largest and most beautiful in Northern Transylvania), stop at a wooden gates carver, a beautiful medieval wooden church, a loom weaver, two groups of water powered machines (flour mill, carding mill, fulling mills, alcohol distilleries and traditional whirlpools), and ends visiting the famous Breb village with its craftsmen and so-called “Prince Charles’s houses”.
-“Maramureş’s Top Ten attractions” (2 or 3 days): The Merry Cemetery of Săpânţa, Săpânţa-Peri Monastery, the Memorial of the Victims of the Communism and of the Resistance and other museums from Sighet, Vaser Valley steam train, UNESCO’s wooden churches, Bârsana Convent, Cosău and Iza Valley villages, food and livestock markets, traditional craftsmen and farmers…
-“Following Traditional way of life“: The tour takes you inside several traditional wooden farms, where the locals are still working their land like long time ago, making hay by hand, breeding cattle for their use, in a self-sufficient subsistence economy. Their food, dairy or drinks are organic, even if the locals does not care about it! We will visit also a weaver (many women are still loom knitting blankets, rugs or clothes fabric), and some laundries – where the people still wash or press their rugs and carpets. If is the right season, we will visit a cheese making sheep fold and a blacksmith. You can also choose to visit the Hemp and the Peasant Woman Museums.
– “The UNESCO trail“: a number of 8 Maramures wooden churches out of 90 existing in the area, some of them erected in XIV-XV centuries, are inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage list. They are filled with frescoes, icons on wood and glass, rugs and aprons made by local women, each church having its own story and particularity (in some, the families have reserved the same rows, from generation to generation, for several centuries). At many churches is hard to get in, because they are locked at all time. During an average day, you can visit five UNESCO churches.
-“Maramureş walking/hiking tour“: one or more days long flexible tours, due to the weather conditions and your personal preferences. It can combine walks and hikes on hills and crests which separate the villages, or along tiny valleys (following small footpaths, horse cart roads or track beds of disused railways), bird or flowers watching, points of view, remote waterfalls, primeval forests, mineral springs and alpine meadows, but also human attractions (like churches, crafts and farms). Hikes on Volcanic Mountains (Mara-Cosău-Creasta Cocoşului’s eco-region), Maramureş Mountains Natural Park or Rodna National Park (hosting one of the most famous Romanian waterfall, Cascada Cailor) are also available.
-“Crafts from Maramureş” (some of them are seasonal or temporary): woodworking (carving and carpentering starting from small objects up to mighty gates and spectacular churches); weaving clothing, carpets, rugs and other textiles from wool (some with natural dyes), hemp and modern materials; operating traditional riverside installations; manufacturing: straw hats, colorful leather or textile waistcoats, barrels, pine wood shingles, ritual masks, Bridal crowns, bead necklaces or traditional leather footwear; weaving hazelnut fiber and willow baskets; forging metal; carving funeral crosses; painting icons on glass and wood; burning alcohol and charcoal; beekeeping and others…
-“One day riding the Vaser Valley train“: follow the Vaser River along a spectacular canyon-like valley, where cliffs alternate with fir and beech forests and clearings, on a train pulled by an old steam engine nicknamed “Mocăniţa”. A journey with it is like going back in time: on the valley is not cell phone signal (there are in service only radio stations). If you are adventurous, you can book a much longer ride, with the real logging train (the only one still working across Europe), usually hauled by Diesel engines, which carry forest workers and materials and departs at a very early hour.
-“Sighetu Marmaţiei’s essential tour“: visit the town’s landmarks: the Memorial of the Victims of the Communism, the Village Museum, the Ethnographic Museum, Ellie Wiesel House, the 18 century Main Square, the beautiful food market, and some of the following landmarks: the Calvinist church (14-19 century), the Roman Catholic church (18 century), the Orthodox Ukrainian church (18 century), the Orthodox wooden church (20 century), the Orthodox Cathedral (20-21 centuries), the Synagogue (early 20 century, with displays about Jews’s history) or the Jewish Cemetery (18-20 centuries, 3000 tombs and the sinister “Soap monument” which contains two boxes filled with the famous RIF soap).
-“Maramureş’s distilleries“: in the region there are in use hundreds alcohol copper stills used for making “palinca” or “horinca”-a double distilled clear and perfumed spirit, about 50 degrees proof, made by plums, apples, pears or cherries. You are invited during the season (April-May or September-December) to visit several family owned distilleries, where can see, smell and taste the local brandy, in a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
-“Maramureş photo tour“: includes the most scenic people, landscapes and human settlements of the region. It can be tailored depending on your interests.
-The best way to understand the secrets of Maramureş is to book a fully “Tailor-made tour of Maramureş”, in the search of isolated hamlets without electricity or road access, private art collections which normally are not open to the public, the village where the Seven Dwarfs of Auschwitz were born, ancient customs, traditional healing and other things not mentioned above.