Source: Ionut Turda, itmediastudio
We love Maramureş
We love Maramures region, due to it’s forests, mountains, traditions, warm people whom are always awaiting us with joy; due to the smell of freshly mowed grass and it’s gorgeous sunsets.
We love Maramures region because it is studded with wooden houses, each of them with a unique story, carved wooden gates and also because of the elderly people who are waiting to tell us a story from the times when the essence of the Romanian village was so strong that you could have felt its breeze in every wind gust.
Traveling to Maramures, we find ourselves in the North-West part of Romania, in the East part of the Old Continent. Maramures is one of the most charming regions of our dear Romania, it is our corner of heaven. The beauty of this region, does not stand in what the eyes can see, but in the hidden places, in the places where tradition, good will and faith remain the same even today. A simple visit to Merry Cemetery from Sapanta, unique in the world, a walk with Mocanita on the Vaser Valley, the last forest path with steam in Europe, or a transposition into the past meanwhile we visit Memorialul Durerii from Sighet and
Marmures County as we know it, is divided into 4 regions, named countries, each of them having its own customs, ports and traditions. The beauty of this county does not consist in what eyes can see, but in the hidden places where tradition, good will and faith remained the same even today.
- Maramures Country – or Historical Maramures, is bounded on the north by Ukraine, by Tisza River and the ridge of Maramures Mountains, on the west by Lapus Depression ( Lapus Country) and Copalnic Depression ( Copalnic Country), on the south by Bistrita Nasaud County, and on the east by Suceava County ( Bucovina). The ancient customs, the brightly colored traditional dress, the museums, the memorial houses and the hospitality of people are the main reasons that urge us to visit Maramures Country. Here rises Creasta Cocosului ( the Tower of Rooster), part of Gutai massif, a valuable geological monument.
- Lapus Country – is the place where you would return again and again, due to its incredible landscapes, welcoming people and the special energy that you feel as soon as you arrive in this place blessed by God. Lapus country is a summation of habits made by Romanian peasants and their lifestyle, together with the unchanged rural life. Here you can also find the Gorges of Lapus Natural Reserve, a natural area protected by law, constituted by the middle course of Lapus river, at the confluence with Cavnic river. This gorge is unique in Romania thanks to the rocks in which it develops and its size.
- Chioar Country – it is located in the south-east region of Maramures county. Chioar Country it has craved its history in wood and stone, being deeply imbued in myth and history. The name of this land comes from the Stone Fortress, a fortification located on the middle course of Lapus river; appears in writings for the first time in 1319 under the name Cheewar.
- Codrului Country – is located on either side of the top of Făget or Codrului. The landscape of this country consists of low hills, covered with pastures and fields. There are still forests, especially near Movila Codru, at the western end of the area. Codru is probably the least visited and least known area in Maramures County.
Tradition and folk costumes:
Specific to this area is the popular port of Maramures, which stands out with a special elegance, and has a completely original character. We can say that the popular dress from Maramures is a fascinating art of clothing, because all its components are made in-house.
The women’s dress consists in a flowered scarf (darker in color for older women), a shirt with three-quarter sleeves, a lap over which two larks are dressed, a gray fleece chest or a “lecric”, and as an accessory “Expensive collar” (coral beads) or collars (small bead fabrics around the neck).
The main element of the men’s suit is the white shirt. At the bottom the men wear drawers who come to the middle of the calf, (in winter wearing white wool crows). The men’s outfit also has a bell and a cloak.
For a complete life experience, it is necessary to take part on a wedding, organized in a traditional style, where the modern bride’s dress is replaced with a dress passed from generation to generation to which are added the legs, and larch, having flowered elements and silk on it. The groom also has a special suit. In winter they wear crows and dolomites, and in summer they wear wide boots, shirts, blue leggings, sometimes with round, yellow buttons and bead applications on them. Wedding customs include:
- wooing (the lads send the invitation through spokesmen. The bride, however, is not easily impressed. She accepts the marriage proposal only the third time.);
- engagement (the wedding begins with the ceremony of “faith.” According to tradition, the bride and groom go to the priest’s house in order to obtain the blessing. Here they exchange wedding rings and “shake hands,” meaning that they make their promise to marry each other);
- the wedding flag and the bride’s crown (announcing the wedding in the village and decorating the wedding flag, a symbol of masculine vitality and power. In addition, people in Maramures are also preparing the ” wreath of the bride “, in a girls’ party);
- the wedding invitation (the wedding invitation is made in three stages: one month, two or three weeks before and during the wedding week, but most often it is done on the Sunday after the engagement. It is a ritual in which the bride and groom, the governor – a kind of ceremonies master – and friends of the two take part. Dressed in festive attire, they go to invite people from the village to the wedding. The boys hold in their hands a flask filled with brandy, and the girls – one with wine: whoever wants to attend the wedding, drinks a mouthful of brandy or wine.)
How to get there?
Plane, train or car? We can arrive on this lands through each of those 3 options.
Plain –> Maramures International Airport from Baia Mare, has its gates wide open, but for better connections, Avram Iancu International Airport in Cluj, situated at 140 km from Baia Mare, is always welcoming us.
Car –> No matter which airport we choose, we can rent a car from the airport in order to arrive at our accommodation from Maramures county and the fairy-tale landscape that we can not wait to see.
Train –> If we are planning to arrive in Maramures by train, we should know that the rail transport it is provided by C.F.R, and the trains program is found on www.mersultrenurilor.ro. There are connections from Cluj Napoca, Bucharest and Timisoara to Baia Mare and Sighetu Marmatiei.
Baia Mare – residence of Maramures County, is the perfect start point for a fairy-tale adventure on this lands. One of the city highlights is the fact that it combines perfectly monuments with modern architecture with medieval ones.
Through its tourist spots we can find:
- Stefan’s Tower – build by Iancu de Hunedoara, as an annex for “Saint Stefan” Cathedral. The building is in gothic style.
- Ethnographic Museum – it’s an open-air museum, consisting of peasant households.
- Iancu de Hunedoara House – part of the old medieval castle, build in 1446 by Iancu for his wife, Elisabeth.
- “Sfanta Treime” Church – medieval building in gothic style.
Sighetu Marmatiei – it is one of the landmarks of Maramures County. From here you can easily arrive to Mocanita on the Vaserului Valley, at the Blue Lake from Baia Sprie or to the Merry Cemetery from Sapanta. What can we visit in Sighet? The answer is simple, lots of museums:
- Museum of Communism Victims and Resistance – a museum set up in a former political prison by Romulus Rusan and Ana Blandiana.
- Maramures Museum of History and Ethnography – founded in 1860 is one of the most important museums in Romania. This is also the first museum in Sighet.
What to visit?
The tourist spots dear to us, which we visit over and over again with great fondness, every time we reach the lands of Maramures County, due to their beautiful landscapes and the good state of mind transmitted are listed below, without a specific order of their visit, because from wherever we start the wealth of the soul remains the same.
- Maramures Village Museum – is spread over an area of 14 hectares, and consists of more than 150 buildings consisting of traditional houses, two mills, a church and installations.The museum is located in the town of Sighetu Marmatiei.
- The Memorial of Communism Victims and Resistance or the Memorial of Pain – was inaugurated in 1997 at the initiative of Ana Blandiana. The museum holds a breathtaking collection of illustrations of victims of the communist system, methods of persecution, photographs, objects and interviews. In the past, here was the prison of Sighet, built by the Austro-Hungarian authorities. Among the intellectuals brought and closed here are Iuliu Maniu, Gheorghe Brătianu, Corneliu Coposu and many others.
- The Merry Cemetery from Sapanta – is unique in the world. Its founder is the poplar craftsman Stan Ioan Pătraş. What do we find here? Crosses painted in Sapanta blue, carved, on which are passed characteristic lyrics of the life of the deceased.
- The Monastery of Barsana – was built in the 14th century, only of oak and stones. It is an example of local architecture and tradition. The church tower is 57 m, being the second highest wooden building in Europe, after the monastery of Sapanta Peri (75 m), which is also located in Maramures. The monastery church is a UNESCO heritage site.
- Mocanita on the Vaser Valley – the last steam forest railway in Europe. The train route is a truly spectacular one. Once you arrive at Paltin station – the destination of the trip, you can admire the gorge or take a short hike to the galleries during the Second World War.
- Ruscova, Repedea and Poienile de Sub Munte – these three villages located near the Ukrainian border, form the Ruscova Valley. At Repedea is a festival of daffodils, which takes place in May, every year. It is good to know that in the Ruscova Valley predominant are Ukrainians. This area is especially recommended for mountain lovers, who would like to explore Maramures Mountains.
- Breb Village – one of the most well-known villages in the county, primarily due to the peasants who have kept the traditions until today, and each cottage seems detached from the stories. From here you can also admire Creasta Cocosului. Other attractions would be the Morarenilor Lake located at 853 m altitude, and the wooden church “Holy Archangels Michael and Gavril” included in the list of historical monuments.
- Petrova and Stramtura – here is the Hera hill, with a superb road, drawn through the forest.
- Mara Village – here is the trout with its own waterfall, and the pool named “Pa Coasta”, an unexpected place, appeared in a picturesque landscape.
- Horses Waterfall – is located at 1300 m altitude and is formed from the water that gathers from Horse Mountain, due to the melting of snow and heavy rains that slide on the slope of Piatra Rea Reserve spilling over the Horse Bridge from an altitude of about 90 meters in several steps with successive falls.
- Wooden Churches – part of UNESCO heritage site
Events & Festivals
In order to see more from the lifestyle, traditions, port and culture of this region, we recommend you to plan your vacation depending on the events that are taking place in Maramures region. Below we share some of them:
– Snow Festival – Borsa: This usually takes place on the first weekend of March; snow shows, winter sports, dancing and good cheer are welcoming you.
-“Cate flori pe Iza-n sus” – Dragomiresti: It is a popular festival, usually taking place on the first Sunday after Easter, with dances, songs and folk costumes.
– Sculpture, painting and ceramics camp – Sighetu Marmatiei: Talented artists in traditional art exhibit their handmade objects.
-Pântru mândra din Botiza – Botiza: Traditional music, folk costume parades, contests, fireworks.
-Sighetu Marmatiei days: Music, fairs, concerts, dance etc.
-Chestnut Festival – Baia Mare: At the end of September – beginning of October, when the chestnuts are ripe; this is the symbol of Baia Mare and we celebrate it.
-Winter Habits Festival – Târgu Lăpuş: Folk festival with winter traditions in Lăpuş and Chioar; parade of folk costumes, traditional performances typical for Christmas and New Year.
-Hanukkah Festival – Sighetu Marmatiei: An 8-day Jewish festival held at the end of December by the Jewish community in Sighet.
-Winter customs festival “Marmaţia” – Sighetu Marmatiei: A 40-year-old festival that celebrates the winter traditions of Maramureş.
Photo Gallery Maramureş
Need help?Contact us for a customized offer
See our offers from Maramureş
Most popular accommodation
Most popular tours
- America/New York: