In the north of Romania, the region of Maramures, near Ukraine, is one of the best preserved areas in the country. Amidst vast forests punctuated with lakes and rivers, you will encounter pastures where sheep are grazing, adorable villages where some houses still have their carved wood porches, their fences ornate with wisteria, balancing wells, watermills, etc. In brief, an old style of countryside, with hay stacks and horse-drawn carts trotting along the roads, where farmers still cut the wheat with a scythe, where old ladies with faces crumpled as old apples spin the wool on ancient distaffs, and where villagers wear their traditional costumes on the occasion of the numerous festivals. The wooden churches of Maramures, with their pointed steeples reaching for the sky, are remarkable. The small village of Sapinta, west from Sighetu Marmati, is worth visiting for its spruce cemetery, with gravestones decorated with medallions and bas relief illustrating the life of the deceased; it is an authentic version of a Naive art museum. Do not miss Iza Valley either, where hosted by locals, you can keep yourself occupied by picking blackberries or mushrooms in the forest.
The inhabitants have preserved their customs and folklore, as well as their unique way of life.© Easyvoyage.com
Wood is the main element in the architecture of Maramures. It has not only been used in the construction of the houses, but also of the churches, which are responsible for the region's renown.© Easyvoyage.com
Handcrafted wooden constructions have made this region famous, with its sculpted gates, houses and even churches, some of which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage.© Easyvoyage.com
This valley is rather isolated due to the Carpathian Mountains that have protected it from invasions over the years.© Easyvoyage.com
With its rich vegetation, the landscape is principally pastoral.© Easyvoyage.com