Witness Europe’s last remaining peasant culture in medieval Maramures
Criss-crossing northern Romania this itinerary focuses on the quieter corners of this vast and varied country. Villages such as Breb in the heart of the Maramures are as traditional as they come in today’s Europe. The painted monasteries of Bucovina are another big draw, as are the eerie, intricate wooden churches visited on this trip.
Witness Europe’s last remaining peasant culture in medieval Maramures
Travel by bike through the rolling hills and forests of the Viseului Valley.
Visit churches that are architectural masterpieces showcasing superb wood carving.
Sample a shot of homemade plum brandy (palinca) with a friendly villager.
Steppes Travel emphatically believes that travel in Romania is best in the company of a good guide. To that end, we have hand-picked the very best guides to ensure you get the most out of your visit to Romania. Our guides know the must-see sights, the off the beaten path gems, the hiking trails, the best places to eat, and also, more importantly, know the right people.
Satu Mare - Botiza
Botiza - Sucevita
Satu Mare - Botiza
Botiza is nestled in amongst vast stretches of unspoiled forests, home to wolves and bears, and is a sleepy, traditional village with lovingly restored houses where horse and cart is largely the only mode of transport. Visit the UNESCO listed wooden church or visit the local market held every Saturday.
Botiza - Sucevita
Sucevita is a small village in Bucovina, and a convenient jumping-off point for the region’s beautiful painted monasteries, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Visit the painted egg museums, one of the regions most famous traditions and enjoy a traditional home cooked meal in a local guest house.
Botiza is nestled in amongst vast stretches of unspoiled forests, home to wolves and bears, and is a sleepy, traditional village with lovingly restored houses. Ideally serving as your base, explore the timeless Maramures region. Highlights include Breb, a village almost frozen in time holding on to the last vestiges of peasant culture, and Barsana monastery, a UNESCO listed wooden structure. Also nearby is Sighetu Marmatiei, home to the compelling Memorial Museum of Communism, and The Merry Cemetery at Sapanta, where the locals are talented craftspeople and often invite guests into their homes to try their home-made plum brandy.
Sucevita is a small village in Bucovina, and a convenient jumping off point for the region’s beautiful painted monasteries, many UNESCO World Heritage Sites celebrated for their intricately painted frescoes. Visit also the Lucia Condrea Museum of Decorated Eggs and see for yourself how these traditional eggs are painted, meeting with a village elder, experienced in this traditional art. Enjoy lunch at a local farm or picnic with ingredients from the local village markets.
Below you can see some of the wonderful places we have recommended for this journey.
A stone’s throw from Tetbury’s iconic Market House, the Close Hotel dates back to the 16th century, when it was constructed as a private residence. Its fantastic central location means it is within walking distance of the town’s best restaurants, as well as the famous Royal Highgrove Shop. Although now a hotel, The Close retains the exclusive feel of a Cotswoldian townhouse, with beautifully manicured lawns tucked away behind it. Deck chairs in the garden in the summer and log fires inside in the winter add relaxed touch, which complements the historic surroundings perfectly.
A converted 16th-century home, the Manor House exudes Cotswold charm with its traditional design and cosy atmosphere. Located in the heart of Moreton-in-Marsh, it is conveniently located for exploring the northern and central Cotswolds. The Manor House’s central location means the quiet market town is right on your doorstep, whilst beautiful gardens spread out behind the manor building. For those looking to explore, this means a relaxed amble through the town is easily accessed. But if even this sounds too energetic, then the option of a cocktail on the terrace is even closer.
From the 17th century, Dormy House was a working farm whose owners cultivated the surrounding land. In the 1940s, it caught the eye of the neighbouring Broadway Golf Club who bought it and changed the name to Dormy House after their favourite golfing term, (a ‘dormy’ is an unbeatable round). In 1977, it passed to the same family that has owned it ever since. With a passion for style, service and hospitality, they have turned it into one of the area’s best-loved hotels.
Situated in 500 acres of parkland, Lucknam Park is the epitome of an English country stately home which effortlessly combines heritage and luxury. Retreat here for unspoilt country-house living at its very best. There are 42 elegant, individually styled rooms and suites and a Michelin starred Restaurant, Hywel Jones, which features local produce. For a more relaxed meal, there is also The Brasserie. What’s more, you can test your own cooking skills and master new techniques in the cookery school or just unwind and relax in the hotel’s rejuvenating spa.
Whatley Manor is a beautifully restored, 18th-century Cotswold manor house hotel and spa. The charming honey-coloured building sits in 12 acres of splendid, landscaped gardens which, inspired by the original 1920’s plans, have been divided into 26 individual areas, each exuding the timeless elegance of a traditional English country house garden. For food lovers, the two-star award-winning chef offers modern fare with a touch of French inspiration while for those looking for total relaxation, the award-winning Aquarias Spa features a vast hydrotherapy pool and promises to restore body and mind to a new harmony.
Legend has it that The Benedictine monks of Pershore Abbey kept and cured the abbey’s fish stocks in caves hewn into the hillside, which soon became known as ‘Fish Hill’. The monks may be long gone, but the name they left behind here lives on. Today the hillside is home to The Fish Hotel, a new kind of value-driven, back-to-nature bolt-hole with a little touch of luxury.
A grand Italianate 30-bedroom country house hotel, Cowley Manor has a funky-chic interior and sits in 55 acres of private parkland. Each of the generously sized 30 bedrooms (graded from good to best) is light and spacious, fitted with handmade furniture and fabrics created by British designers while each airy bathroom is fitted with a huge bathtub and shower.
Part of the Farncombe Estate near Broadway, Foxhill Manor is a stunning Grade-II listed Arts and Crafts country manor which has been revamped internally to create a cool, private house hotel with eight unique bedrooms and suites. The atmosphere is easy-going; you meet the chef on arrival to discuss your favourite dishes and then tour the wine cellar to choose accompanying wines. Wellington boots are available to borrow and there is a “pantry” for raiding should you feel peckish.
This honey-coloured country house dates back to the 14th century and languishes in 220 acres of Cotswold meadowland. It boasts 35 beautiful uniquely-designed rooms and suites, some in individual cottages. The hotel has outdoor and indoor pools, a secluded lavender-lined courtyard, hot tub and log fire and gymnasium, while the spa offers multiple treatment rooms stocked with the best therapists and the best products. The Conservatory restaurant serves simple local food and The Gumstool Inn next door has roaring log fires and a great British pub food menu.
‘The Caley’, as it is affectionately known among Edinburgh locals, has embodied the very best in Scottish hospitality for over a hundred years. Situated at the west end of Princes Street in Edinburgh, this former Victorian railway hotel nestles in the shadow of the historic Edinburgh Castle and is just a two-minute walk from the designer stores and fashionable bars of George Street.
Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.
From January to March, winter months can be harsh, with heavy snowfall and temperatures reaching below freezing in January. Conditions are ideal for winter sports in Romania’s mountainous regions but may be particularly cold for sightseeing activities.
During the winter months, it can be difficult to travel around Romania with some of its towns and cities blocked by snowfall or have other issues due to the adverse weather conditions. Therefore, it is best to travel to Romania’s mountain resorts for winter sports rather than travelling around the country.
March can be quite an unpredictable month as winter draws to a close, snow many still be present in some regions yet with temperatures rising, Romania may experience sunshine and the first signs of spring.
From the beginning of April, spring arrives in Romania and temperatures gradually increase. This can be an ideal time to visit Romania when there are fewer crowds than during the summer months with warmer temperatures than during the winter months.
The best time to travel to Romania is typically from May to September, when warmer weather is likely, and rainfall is very infrequent. Temperatures may reach highs of 24°C in May, which will keep increasing within the summer months.
From June to August, it is the most popular time to travel to Romania with temperatures at their highest and fewer chances or rainfall, meaning it is advised to book as far in advance as possible if travelling during summer.
July is one of the warmest months in Romania with average temperatures of 22°C. Destinations will become marginally more crowded, yet good weather is more likely during the peak of summer, rather than during the summer months.
During July and August, temperatures will be at their hottest and so ideal for coastal resorts but also for sightseeing in Romania’s towns and cities, with the occasional shower possible, yet unlikely.
As it is the beginning of Autumn, travelling during September is ideal for photographers with the autumn leaves forming and creating some vibrant countryside landscapes. After the summer months, attractions will be much quieter and with temperatures averaging 19°C, makes September a great time for sightseeing in pleasant conditions.
From October onwards, Romania will experience its off-peak season. With four very distinctive seasons – spring, summer, autumn and winter, the best time to travel to Romania will be dependent on your what you wish to do whilst in the country.
The first signs of winter begin to appear as temperatures can fall to 7°C at the end of the month. Like March, November can be quite unpredictable between the summer and winter months with chances of snowfall yet also the possibility of warm temperatures at the beginning of the month.
With snowfall likely and colder temperatures, December can be a great time for outdoor pursuits and winter sports, including skiing.
Our experts have created and curated these tailor-made holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure.
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