The most famous region of Romania, called also Ardeal is the Central West part of Romania. Of course its fame comes from Count Dracula whose legend derives from the one of ruller Vlad the Impaler. Beautiful places you should not miss:
- Bran Castle – a gothic stunning structure which is considered Dracula’s Castle, built in 1377.
- Rasnov Fortress – built by Teutonic Knights around 1300s to protect Transylvania against the Tartars and the Turks.
- 7 villages with fortified churches and the medieval town of Sighisoara is on UNESCO heritage list: Biertan, Calnic, Prejmer, Darjiu, Sascaz, Valea Viilor and Viscri (one of Prince Charles of England preferred residences).
- Other medieval towns: Brasov, Sibiu (cultural capital of Europe in 2007, hosting Transylvania’s finest art museum – the Bruckenthal Palace).
- Sarmisegetuza - The Dacian Fortresses, with its Gradistea Muncelului-Cioclovina Nature Park – site of Sarmisegetuza’s archaeological ruins.
- Natural parks and reservations: Apuseni Park – caver’s paradise and Piatra Craiului National Park with its virgin forests and one of the world’s deepest underground abysses; Scarisoara Glacier shelters the second largest underground glacier on the continent.
Located in Northwestern part of Romania and geographical center of Europe, Maramures is considered by many to be the heart and soul of rural Romania, where the culture, traditions and lifestyle of the peasants are carefully preserved.
The people of Maramures greet visitors at any time of the year with open arms and hospitality to spend a night in a rural guesthouse, taste traditional food, experience the history, tradition, and culture. Generally speaking, the best time of year to visit is from late spring to early autumn (May to September) as it affords visitors the warmer and sunnier weather. Maramures is famous for:
- 8 UNESCO World Heritage wooden churches due to its original rural architecture: Barsana, Budesti, Desesti, Surdesti, Ieud, Plopis, Poienile Izei and Rogoz.
- "Merry Cemetery" in Sapanta village is among the world`s top ten most visited funeral places.
- "Mocăniţa”, the steam train, the only mean of transport to the heart of Maramureş Mountains.
- Handicrafts like pottery, textiles, glass or wooden religious icons, traditional costumes, hats.
- Its beautiful scenery with 38 natural protected areas, among Pitrosul Rodnei Wildlife Reserve was pronounced UNESCO's " Reserve of the Biosphere".
Bucovina is the North Eastern region of Romania named also the “Beech country”. Historically Bucovina started to be called this way in 1775, before that being part of the Moldavian Country and was double in size until 1940 when half of it was given to Ukraine after the World War II.
Well-known for its monasteries built by important Moldavian rulers each with its specific color Voronet – blue, Humor – red, Sucevita – green, Moldovita – yellow and Arbore – mixed.
The region is mostly mountain relief and it is full of wild rare flowers and plants and several natural reservations e.g. Slatioara, near Rarau peak, where stretches one of the oldest forests of Romania with 400 years old trees and Poiana Stampei.
Moldova, Romania’s Eastern region is often mistaken for Republic Moldova, Romania’s neighbor. Mostly known for: Iasi, the capital of the region is a beautiful city full of traditions preserved in over 100 churches, some of them very old like the Church of the Three Hierarchs, built in 1639 and museums Ethnographic, Art Moldavian History hosted within neo-gothic Palace of Culture.
- Numerous painted monasteries and churches with colorful exterior frescoes unique in the world, declared UNESCO heritage: Putna, Sucevita, Sihastria, Probota, Rasca.
- Wines, a third of the wine growing surface of Romania is located in Moldova: Cotnari Vineyard dating from the time of Stephan the Great (1457 - 1504) and Odobesti Vineyard one of largest in Romania dating from the 17th century.
- Natural reservations: Ceahlau National Park, nesting ground to over 90 species of birds and and lots of wild animals.
- Vanatori Park famous for its bison from Carpathian wildlife reserve and its hiking routes.
Danube the Europe 2nd longest river with its unique Delta, an UNESCO biosphere reservation which is an amazingly preserved habitat for rare species of plants and animals. Danube Delta, is a 2,200 square-mile wildlife located in the South-Eastern part of Romania called Dobrogea. South of Delta lays the entire Black Sea coast, with its beautiful lively resorts like Mamaia and also the historical city of Constanta - most important harbor. The region is most famous for:
- Curative mud baths on Lake Techirghiol from seaside resort Eforie Nord.
- Bird watching, realm of over 300 bird species, including the largest pelican colonies.
- Traditional fishing villages in the Danube Delta, such as Sfantu Gheorghe (host of Anonimul International Film Festival), Mila 23 , Crisan, Jurilovca and Letea (one of the oldest flooded forests with wild horses can be spotted.
- Wine-tasting tours ond of Romania’s best dessert wines on Murfatlar vineyard.
Muntenia, also known throughout history as Wallachia, is the Southern part of Romania, hosting country’s capital Bucharest. The city was documented first in 1459 by Vlad the Impaler. Another capital of Wallachia between 15th and 16th century was Targoviste, a city where the old and well-preserved rulers’s palace can be visited. Famous places:
- Close to Bucharest is the beautiful Prahova Valley, with the most popular ski resorts of the country Predeal, Busteni and Sinaia and starting points to hiking trails in the nearby Bucegi Nature Park.
- Castles and monasteries: Peles Castle in Sinaia, considered one of the best-preserved royal castles in Europe, Curtea de Arges monastery.
- Salt mine in Slanic Prahova, where extractions were made since 1685 and where there are several asthma treatment facilities due to the therapeutic microclimate.
- Old vineyards and cellars: Dealu Mare, Valea Calugareasca, Pietroasa, Samburesti, Segarcea, Stefanesti, Urlati.
- Bucegi Nature Park with heights of up to 1000m, glacial valleys, waterfalls and ski slopes and The Small Moor of Braila Nature Park – nesting ground to over 205 species of birds.
Oltenia is an historical province from southwestern part of Romania, between the Danube, the Southern Carphatians and the Olt river, famous for:
- Horezu Monastery UNESCO World Heritage, a masterpiece of the 'Brancovenesc' architectural style. The school of mural and icon painting established at the monastery in the 18th century was famous throughout the Balkan region. Horezu is also one of the most famous pottery centers in Romania.
- The beautiful Orthodox monasteries built in a Byzantine or Brancovenesc style: Arnota, Cozia, Curtea de Arges, Govora, Polovragi, Lainici, Tismana, Bistrita, the only churches that still preserve exterior mural paintings.
- The sculptures of Constantin Brâncuşi, the Romanian artist who is considered to be the founder of modern sculpture, in Târgu Jiu.
- The cule - boyard's fortified houses from the 18th century: Maldaresti, Greceanu.
- The Iron Gates Natural Park of the Danube with spectacular gorges.
- Statue of Dacian king Decebalus, the tallest rock sculpture in Europe (40m high) located on the Danube`s rocky bank, near the city of Orsova.