Bukovina and Maramures are among the first destinations that come to mind when we speak about old-time Romanian traditions and customs.
Bukovina and Maramures are among the first destinations that come to mind when we speak about old-time Romanian traditions and customs. And this is particularly important around the main religious holidays. The two regions are heavily promoted in the relevant national and international travel fairs, and on Easter they are packed with tourists, as Catalina Velniciuc, coordinator of the Suceava Tourist Information Centre tells us.
Catalina Velniciuc: “On Easter, just like every year, local authorities organize events that showcase the importance of the Easter traditions and customs in Bukovina. Guest houses are welcoming tourists with traditional dishes, egg painting demonstrations, and trips to monasteries. It is a truly spectacular time of the year, both in terms of cultural and gastronomic events.”
Laura Dan, head of the public relations and tourist promotion service with the Maramures County Council, says that Maramures takes pride in its famed craftsmen: “In Maramures, Easter means, first of all, traditional cuisine. There are lots of tourist offers during this period. Accommodation units in Maramures have already been booked up to 80-90%. All the traditions, the rituals of our forefathers are presented to the tourists who come to visit us. We have a lot of craftsmen, potters and weavers in particular. We usually bring some of these craftsmen with us in trade fairs, and they demonstrate to tourists various ancient crafts.”
This Easter you are also invited to the castle. More specifically, a medieval citadel built in the 14th Century, which is in perfect condition. Bran Castle, erected on a cliff, at around 40 m above ground, has 4 levels, 4 towers, and a complete lack of symmetry. In 2009, the Bran Estate was transferred from public to private administration, after the property was returned to the heirs of Queen Marie and the Royal House of Romania.
Here is Bogdana Balmus, PR manager for the Bran Castle: “On each holiday, we transform the Bran Castle completely. This time, the Easter holiday will bring here theme exhibitions, egg painting workshops, traditional music and dance performances, and traditional cuisine at the Bran Castle’s restaurant. Guided by traditional craftsmen, children will have an opportunity to paint wood eggs and take them home as souvenirs. Also for children, on Easter Sunday, the Easter bunny will be waiting for them in the Castle’s music hall and offer them chocolate eggs. The official opening of an exhibition has just concluded. It is an exhibition called “The Easter holiday among the shepherds of Săcele”, and it was organized with support from the Traditional Culture Service of the Reduta Cultural Centre in Brasov. The items on display belong to the traditional craftsman Fane Lupu, who is also a member of the Zestrea Seceleană ensemble, which will give a shepherd music and dance performance in the Castle garden. And on May 4, another ensemble, Junii Săceleni, will also perform traditional songs and dances.”
The foreign tourists are impressed and always glad to discover the wealth of Romanian tradition and culture, says Bogdana Balmus: “They gladly take part in workshops. Sometimes when traditional music dances are staged in the interior courtyard of the castle, they join the round dances or take part in ancient rituals re-enacted for the occasion. They are also eager to sample the local food and drink. The area is very beautiful and Bran castle has become a full-day trip destination since 2009. Tourists will not regret spending their holidays in Bran and if they stay on for Labour Day, on May 1, they are in for a first: a cooking demonstration held in the royal gardens. The star of the whole event will be cheese, both salty and fresh, which will be prepared in different ways. The brass band of the nearby town of Codlea will also give a performance, so this will be special day.”
Stefan Necula, the director of a travel agency, says the Romanian Black Sea coast is also an exciting destination: “More than 80 hotels on the Black Sea coast are open for Easter and Labour Day. We expect a 100% occupancy rate in the resorts of Mamaia and Vama Veche. At this point, we have a 25% increase in the number of visitors compared with last year for the Labour Day period. We hope the weather will be good. Accommodation and entertainment opportunities provided by the hotels on the Romanian coast have improved from one year to the next. The infrastructure in resorts is also being taken care of. We believe Romanian hospitality and the special Easter meals can add something to a holiday.”
Most holiday packages for this period are sold out in April, but bookings began in January. The cost of a stay in this period can go up to 126 Euros per day in Mamaia, but average prices in this resort do not exceed 38 Euros a day: “Prices have begun to stabilise on the Romanian coast. We can find decent accommodation at decent prices. Of course, there are also some very expensive places, which provide excellent accommodation. In the resort of Eforie Sud, the price of a double room in this period starts from 14 Euros. I think that’s a very good price for the Romanian coast.”