How about holidays with children including riding donkeys, piling haystacks, painting eggs, hiking, bathing and watching brown bears in the wild?
It is both fun and educational as you will also see the wooden churches of Maramures and painted monasteries of Bucovina.
Discover all this and more in our Family Tour of Transylvania, which can be further tailored to meet your needs.
Day 1 - Arrival in Transylvania
You will Arrive in Cluj and be transferred to a small and isolated electricity-free farm nearby Beclean, away from the bustle of modern life, offering simple comfort and friendly atmosphere. You will have free time to enjoy the farm and meet the donkeys that will accompany you in the next 2 days.
Days 2 and 3 – Traveling with the donkeys
After breakfast you will depart for a pleasant two days walk with donkeys: children can ride them and adults will walk alongside them. Accompanied by a guide, you’ll go through valleys, hills and villages on a country road. You will walk at your own pace and in any autonomy. In the evening you will stop in a small village for the night. Dinner cooked by locals and overnight in a local house (rustic comfort, for simple people).
In the next day, you will continue the journey with the donkeys and return to the farm in the evening.
Day 4 – Arriving in Breb, a traditional village in Maramures
On the road, you can see the tallest wooden church in the world and a few more, listed as UNESCO heritage sites. In Breb you will settle in a traditional wooden house owned by locals and in the afternoon you will make a small tour of the village and have a traditional welcome dinner with the hosts.
Day 5 – Gathering hay and working in the farm
This family tour of Transylvania will continue with a day of total immersion in the rural life of Maramures. As the summer is the season for mowing, you will depart on board of a traditional “căruță” (horse-drawn carriage) and accompany your guests to hay field. In Maramures agricultural activities are practiced with old techniques, no machines or automation, but scythes, rakes and forks. Once the hay is loaded in the carriage, you'll go back to the village sitting comfortably in the carriage, on top of the hay! Once arrived, you will pile up a haystack, helped by your host.
In the afternoon, you can participate in various farm activities: feeding animals, work in the garden, picking fruit in the orchard, collecting eggs...
Day 6 - Traveling through Maramures
Accompanied by your host, you will go from village to village and from valley to valley to admire a region where time stood still. It will feel like an incursion in time, passing by wooden churches dating back several centuries (several classified by UNESCO), artisan workshops, natural washing machines, water mills and landscapes of wild beauty. You will also visit the famous Merry Cemetery in Săpânța, unique for its wooden crosses, beautifully painted and each bearing limericks describing the deceased, eloquent for the life philosophy of the locals.
Day 7 - The mountains and the sheepfold
After an early breakfast you will depart to the mountain meadows to discover a traditional sheepfold. Your host will first drive you before reaching the hills on foot. Besides seeing the magic of the sunrise, if you will be there early enough you will participate in milking sheep before their departure to pastures - an ancestral ritual still performed manually. Then you can attend and even participate in traditional cheese making, which probably has nothing to do with what you knew before.
Later in the day you will depart for an excursion through the pastures in search of blackberries and blueberries. You wiull have a picnic in nature and return in the late afternoon to the sheepfold for a well-deserved, simple but delicious shepherd meal: polenta with cheese and bacon.
One last night in the wooden house.
Day 8 – From Breb through Bârsana to Vișeu de Sus
It will be the last breakfast with your maramureseni family, before taking the road towards Viseu de Sus. On the way, Bârsana monastery, perhaps the most beautiful of the whole region is worth a stop. Your arrival in Viseu de Sus will be followed by a rather unusual accommodation in a hotel train next to the forest. Free afternoon and dinner in the hotel train.
Day 9 – Steam train ride through wild nature
After breakfast you'll leave the hotel train to board another train, with steam on a narrow gauge, the last of this type operating in Romania! The 4h round trip immerses you in one of the wildest valleys of Maramures and this train is the only way to access it. You will go back to Viseu de Sus and transfer to Bucovina (3-4h), along one of the most beautiful roads of the region, linking the historic regions of Transylvania and Moldavia.
You will arrive in the evening at your new host, in a village located in the Land of Monasteries, Bucovina. The village can be Ciocănești, Vama, Moldovița or others.
Reception and dinner and lodging in a rural guesthouse owned by locals.
Day 10 – Painting traditional Eggs
This family tour of Transylvania will continue with a stroll through the village to the master craftsmen (stone sculptors , wood carving, weaving, ...), the museum of decorated eggs and the local wooden church. Moreover, since the decorated eggs is an art and a symbol of Bucovina, you'll be initiated and paint an egg yourselves.
In the afternoon you will have free time for hiking. The Eastern Carpathians with its moderately high peaks and huge beech forests are ideal for this. In the evening, you will go to Suceava (50km) to pick up your rental car for the rest of the trip.
Day 11 – Discover the painted monasteries of Bucovina
Breakfast and departure to discover Bucovina’s treasures, the famous monasteries, UNESCO Heritage sites. Fascinating architectural works, with indoor and outdoor frescoes dating back centuries, these monasteries are symbols of Orthodoxy. These sacred places also played a protective role against the various invasions. Moreover, many still retain fortified structures. Among the most impressive, we recommend those at Moldovita, Putna, Sucevita, Dragomirna, Gura Humorului and Voronet. Besides the monasteries, the region is rich in beautiful landscapes full of wildlife that you will enjoy.
Day 12 – Traveling to the land of Szeklers
You will travel towards Sovata, an old and beautiful spa, famous for its salty lakes, a place to relax and bath. The region around Sovata is inhabited mainly by Romanians of Hungarian ethnicity, fascinating through their strong cultural identity, felt at all levels (architecture, language, traditions, gastronomy, ...). To be near the spa, and to avoid the tourist bustle, we propose to stay in Praid, 7km away, offering much better accommodation in charming traditional Szekler guesthouses.
In the afternoon you will already be by the lakes or pool for a first bath.
Day 13 – Bathing and spa day at Sovata
You could swim in one of the many lakes with salty water, the most important being the Bear Lake. Formed in 1875 after a huge landslide, the water temperature is 15-20° C at the surface and can increase up to 40° C at a depth of 1.5m. Salt concentration of the water far exceeds that of the oceans, making it easier to float. The resort is surrounded by mountains and forests, so you have plenty of hiking opportunities.
Day 14 – Spa and watching the wild brown bear
You will start the morning with another bath and in the afternoon we suggest discovering the spectacular Praid saline, exploited since Roman times, recently opened to visitors. Impressive by the size of its galleries (accessible by bus), the section accessible to visitors has the most unexpected developments: athletic fields, a church, an exhibition of wines and a museum. In the late afternoon, together with a forest ranger you can go to the bear observatory where you will wait in silence the arrival of the wild brown bear for the evening meal and watch it in its natural habitat.
Day 15 - Goodbye ...
You will conclude this family tour of Transylvania with a hearty breakfast, saying goodbyes and hopefully wishing to return.
To Cluj-Napoca airport you can fly with Wizzair, Lufthansa, Carpatair via Timisoara or Tarom via Bucharest. Through Bucharest you can connect with any SkyTeam Alliance airline (KLM, Air-France, Alitalia, Air Europa, Czech Airlines) or other airlines which fly to Bucharest such as BA, Austrian, Lufthansa, El Al, LOT, Turkish or low cost airlines such as WizzAir, GermanWings, BlueAir.
|Group size||Price per person|
If the itinerary will be tailored, the price might change.
To confirm the booking 200 EUR/person should be paid in advance. The remaining amount should be paid 4 weeks before the first day of the tour. Payments can be done through bank transfer. Credit card payment is possible through PayPal, in which case a 5% PayPal transaction fee will be added.
Travelers are financially secure given our globally valid travel agency insurance. Please also read our terms and conditions.
Please confirm the dates with us before booking your flights.
You will stay in a rural guesthouse owned by locals and which preserve local heritage. Nearby Beclean there is a farm owned by a Belgian-Romanian couple, in Breb we suggest a traditional wooden house, in Bucovina there are several options depending on the desired activities and in Praid we suggest a wonderful traditional Szekler guesthouse. Rooms have private bathroom except at the farm nearby Beclean; please specify any preferences you have. We will check availabilities once you contact us for specific dates and book rooms after you have made the advance payment.
Meals are cooked by traditional recipes and most ingredients come from local farmers. The food is very tasty as it is grown through traditional farming methods.
We assume that this Tour of Transylvania will start from Cluj Napoca, but if wanted we can help you transfer from any place in Romania.
We have tried to limit the need to rent a car so until day 10 you will be transfered by locals and then you will have a rented car for the rest of the trip.
For more information please check terms and conditions.
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