Bistriţa Năsăud boasts all types of tourism, ecological, rural, ecumenical, cultural and historical.
“If you have passed through the gate of Transylvania and have reached the Land of Count Dracula, you should have your passport on you” show the warnings in the passport published by the Association for Tourism Promotion entitled “Tourist in Bistriţa Năsăud”. Everybody will know that you are the guest of the Count and that you are under his protection. You must wear a little cross and carry garlic cloves in your pockets. The passport also reads that plum brandy gives you courage and makes you invincible. If you decide to visit Dracula’s Land in late July get ready for a party, because the Garlic Festival will be in full swing. If you come to Transylvania in October you’ll have the opportunity to attend the Witches Ball, which the Count holds at the castle each year.
Claudia Andron is the president of the “Tourist in Bistriţa Năsăud” Association for Tourism Promotion and also the creator of the passport for Transylvania: “If people choose to go to Maramureş to find authentic Romanian traditions and to Bukovina to see the wonderful monasteries there, here in Transylvania they have it all. We have all types of tourism, ecological, rural, ecumenical, cultural and historical. And we also have the true story of Count Dracula. In Bram Stoker’s novel, the events are set in Bistriţa Năsăud, in the Tihuţa Pass. We have created these passports to offer them to those who want to pass through the gate of Transylvania. Bistriţa Năsăud is located on the border between the regions of Moldavia and Transylvania and between Maramureş and Transylvania. Those who pass the gate and enter Bistriţa Năsăud will receive a passport with travel warnings and recommendations for a holiday in Count Dracula’s Land. Bistriţa Năsăud is the land of all tourist opportunities. You will even find a beach resort here, in Colibiţa. The beach was set up near a storage lake that has drawn many tourists over the past two years.”
Next Claudia Andron will talk about the cultural events organized in the area: “We have several satire and humour festivals such as the ‘Golden Apple’ that has been held for 20 years. We also organize ‘Zamfira’s Wedding’, an event that gathers ensembles from around the world in Bistriţa every year. We also have symphony music concerts held in the Bistriţa Synagogue. We should not forget about the ‘Garlic Festival in Count Dracula’s Land’, which is held each year in the last week of July. The festival has its own Facebook page. This year we’ll hold the 5th edition. Last year the festival was attended by 35 thousand people. It is a unique event in Romania, created by special people for special people. We have games for children, old, traditional games in which they throw garlic at witches. In the evening, we organize bonfires around which rituals are held to ward off evil spirits. The rituals are said to protect the area from evil spirits and from the maleficent influence of Count Dracula for one whole year.”
If you happen to be in Năsăud, by all means you stop at the famous traditional costume creator Virginia Linul. And she is not the only woman highly-skilled in the making of traditional costumes.
With details on that, here is Claudia Andron once again: “The region of Năsăud is the land of traditional costumes. There you can find dozens of women who still sew traditional costumes in the old fashion. They don’t use embroidery machines, everything is hand-made, and they use beads to create traditional motifs. Around May 15 you can see thousands of people dressed in traditional costumes. It is an event held in our region alone, because we have preserved traditional costumes. Here you will also see eddies, natural washing machines that our ancestors used. You should know that eddies are still used in Bistriţa Năsăud.“
Claudia Andron has collected feedback from tourists who visited Bistriţa Năsăud: ”They told us that people were very welcoming, and prices were affordable as compared to what they found elsewhere across the country. Thanks to the hosts’ very special care, people really feel they are on holiday. Then the food is very good. With us, people can still have fine and very healthy food. We are developing and backing a project themed ‘Made in Bistriţa Năsăud’ by means of which we encourage the consumption of natural food such as traditional pressed cheese, homemade bread and homemade horn-shaped cookies. German is spoken in our region but most of us are fluent in English, and very many people in our region work abroad. There are no language barriers in Bistriţa Năsăud.”
And here are some of the recommendations you can find in the passport edited by the “Tourist in Bistriţa Năsăud” Tourism Promotion Association. You need to make sure that a local will accompany you on your way to the castle in the mountains. The scenery is of a rare beauty and wild animals can get in the way any time. The Bargău Mountains boast the highest number of brown bears and wolves in Europe. The lake in Colibiţa impresses everybody, but you’re not supposed to admire yourself in the mirror of the lake. Local people tell stories about real monsters hiding in the depths. As for the full moon nights, they should never catch you unaccompanied.“
The administrator of the castle in the Bargău Mountains Ana-Maria Muscar will now make a brief presentation of that: "We are at an altitude of 1,116 meters in the famous Bargău Pass. We are one of Bistriţa’s most important tourist objectives. The construction was designed as a real-life replica of the castle in the famous novel written by Bram Stoker. So it is an imposing construction with battlements, made of stone and wood, with a very attractive interior design: plenty of red and black colours and dragons. Inside the castle you will discover Count Dracula’s tomb and tunnel. The tunnel is a longer route, a several tens of meters long which ends up in the Count’s tomb.”
This is an offer for those who are more into adrenaline-rush activities, but also for those who want a peaceful holiday in areas where nature has been preserved unaltered.