Walking Tour of Maramures (link) for very small groups.
“The Best of Maramures in one day“: Săpânţa Merry Cemetery and Săpânţa-Peri Monastery (the highest wooden church in the world), Sighetu-Marmaţiei town (see the food market or visit quickly the Memorial of the Victims of the Communism), Bârsana Monastery (the largest and most beautiful in Northern Transylvania), a wooden gates carver, a painted medieval wooden church and a group of water powered mills (or, skip the mills and take a short tour around a traditional village). Also, you can experience (not included in price) a local taste like “plăcinta”, maybe drink a shot of local spirit – “horinca” or, have a traditional lunch.
“Maramures’s Top Attractions” (2-5 days): See “the most do” list: 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 or forest train, UNESCO’s wooden churches, Bârsana Convent, but also Cosău and Iza Valley villages, food and livestock markets, traditional craftsmen and farmers and many others…
“Following Traditional Way of Life“: The tour takes you inside several traditional 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 much about it! You 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.
“ On 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.
“Jewish Maramures Tour“: see the landmarks of the today’s tiny Jewish community of Sighet: Elie Wiesel Memorial House, the active Synagogue (with displays about Jews’s history), the new Hasidic Synagogue (under construction right now), the Jewish Cemetery (from 18-20 century, with 4000 tombs), the Holocaust Monument, the Kahan Court and the Drimer House at the Village Museum. You can visit the village where the Seven Dwarfs of Auschwitz were born or the Elefant House from Viseu de Sus (with displays about Viseu Jews).
“Ancient Crafts” (some of them are seasonal or temporary): woodworking (carving and carpentering from small objects up to mighty gates and churches); weaving clothing, carpets or rugs from wool (some with natural dyes), hemp or modern fabric; operating traditional riverside installations; manufacturing: straw hats, colorful leather or textile waistcoats, pine wood shingles, ritual masks, Bridal crowns, bead necklaces or traditional leather footwear; weaving baskets; forging metal; carving funeral crosses; burning alcohol and others… I have a list of over 60 Maramures traditional jobs and crafts, still performed today by hundreds artisans working for community (not just for tourists).
The best way to understand the secrets of Romania is if book a “Tailor-made Tour“, in the search of isolated mountain hamlets or temporary villages without electricity or road access, private art collections which normally are not open to the public, ancient customs, traditional healing and other things not mentioned above, from Maramures, Bucovina, Moldova or Transylvania.
For more info, please see Conditions and prices page, or contact us.