Although parties are no longer a thing these days and Christmas fairs are planned so as to ensure the right distance between visitors, guest houses and hotels in both mountain and sea resorts are still a good option for the upcoming holiday period. This year, the challenge for tour operators has been to offer tourists a great experience, be it traditional or modern, but also a safe environment, given the pandemic that is not over yet.
There are still many offers to spend the winter holidays away from home, and today we will present some of them. The first one is from the north of the country, in Maramures, more precisely from Cavnic. The accommodation offer is varied and ways of spending leisure time many, as Marius Dumitru, a manager with the Cavnic town hall told us:
"In 2001-2003 two ski slopes, Icoana and Roata, as well as motels, guest houses and also a hotel were built. These days, the main local activity is tourism. Winter here lasts about six months, so we can say that Cavnic is the snow pole of Maramures. And it is an advantage for those who love winter sports. After the last works done in the winter of 2007, the ski area has been extended and now we have seven slopes. Three of them are new, 800 to 2200 m long and elevations ranging from 19 to 37 degrees. So, they are suitable for both beginner and advanced skiers. In Cavnic we have a Mountain Rescue Center and a Tourism Information and Promotion Center."
As the snow pole of Romania, Cavnic is the place where most of the times the first snow fall is reported, and studies show that people can ski there at least 120 days per year. Then, for the offer to be more alluring, there is another place where one can ski in the area, 25 km from Cavnic, at the feet of Mogosa Massiv, in Suior. The pistes there are 3.5 km long in total, are equipped with ski lifts and can be used by both beginner and experienced skiers."
Tables full of traditional dishes, welcoming hosts and a feast of old customs and traditions, this is what the tourist offer of Maramures looks like these days, as Daniel Maran, the director of the Sighetul Marmatie National Tourism and Information Center told us:
"Maramures has high mountains and lots of snow, that's why is ideal for skiing. We mainly recommend the ski areas in Borsa, Prislop, Izvoare and Cavnic. As regards, hiking, we have both easy routes, in the depression area, that link the beautiful villages in the area, but also trekking along mountain routes. The most spectacular are those in Rodna Mountains, whose peaks often exceed 2000 m. Moreover, guest houses in the Maramures villages are known for how they entertain their visitors, including with wagon or sledge rides, depending on the season. Winter holidays are a good opportunity for us, the people of Maramures, to show what we cherish. Usually, the month of December is rich in cultural events, but because of the pandemic, we've had to adapt, in order to protect both our visitors and the locals. Guest houses in Maramures are fully booked all year round, anyway, proof of the hospitality that we are so proud of here. All those who decide to spend their winter holidays with us are sure to enjoy a great experience, that's a guarantee."
Also in the north of the country, Bukovina is another place that gets very crowded at winter. Catalina Velniciuc, a tourism adviser with the Suceava County Council, says that a visit to the famous painted monasteries, which are UNESCO monuments, is a must, and the villages in Bukovina are like a magnet for tourists from all over the world.
" Bukovina boasts some of the most beautiful and spectacular customs and traditions, starting with Saint Nicholas' Day and ending with carrolling at Christmas. The mask rituals are also extremely spectacular. At winter, because of these special performance, villages here turn into open stages, a magical space where visitors can enjoy lots of traditional games and rituals, featuring characters from the folk mythology. Many involve masks of animals, which are made of wood, tree bark, adorned with beads or beans. All those who see these shows are really impressed. All accommodation facilities in the area are very well prepared to make sure all visitors have a great time. The food is local and prepared in keeping with old, traditional recipes, and carols are always part of the program."
Of course, there many other possibilities to spend the winter holidays in Romania, including in the resorts on the more famous Prahova Valley, to enjoy both traditional meals and customs, but also skiing on beautiful slopes. The only condition is to observe the measures in place aimed to protect everybody against the background of the pandemic. So, enjoy your winter holidays, wherever you may be, and be safe! (MI)