Tailor-Made Holiday

North Romania - The Highlights

Monasteries and Wooden Churches of Northern Romania

7 days

from £2,495pp (excluding flights)

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 – picture farmers scything fields by hand, horse carts rattling along lanes little used by motor cars, and forested slopes home to wolves and bears. 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 steam train through the rolling hills and forests of the Viseului Valley
  • Lose hours in the Museum of Decorated Eggs in Moldovita
  • Sample a shot of homemade plum brandy (palinca) with a friendly villager

Base yourself in Botiza for the first four nights. This is one of Romania's best places to stay. Botiza is nestled in amongst vast stretches of unspoiled forests, home to wolves and bears. This is a sleepy, traditional village with lovingly restored houses. Botiza will be your base from which to explore the timeless Maramures region.

From Botiza you can easily reach the key highlights of the region. Breb is a village almost frozen in time and the heartland of Romania’s last vestiges of peasant culture. Visit the Barsana monastery which is a UNESCO listed wooden structure. Sighetu Marmatiei is home to the compelling Memorial Museum of Communism. Sad at times, this experience is emotional but interesting. 

The old train journey from Mocanita travels to the Rodnei Mountains National park. The Rodnei Mountains are some of the most spectacular in Romania, home to glacial lakes and flowers like the mountain peony. Borsa is located within the Rodnei Mountains National Park. The monastery is a point of interest here. Have a picnic before continuing to a small village of Sucevita, home to painted monasteries.

Stay in Sucevita, a small village in Bucovina and a convenient jumping off point for the regions beautiful painted monasteries.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 2495 £ 250
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • Accommodation and meals as stated on the insurance.
  • English Speaking Guide throughout the itinerary
  • Meals as indicated on itinerary

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Porterage Fees
  • Private transportation in a comfortable air conditioned vehicle.

PLEASE NOTE THE COST SHOWN INCLUDES INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK, BASED ON AN APPROXIMATE AIR FARE. PLEASE ASK YOUR TRAVEL EXPERT FOR AN ACCURATE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT QUOTE. INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Transfer directly from Satu Mare airport to Botiza


The drive from the airport to Botiza takes approximately three hours.


Botiza is a small village of wooden houses, farmland and meadows in the region of Maramures. Famous for hand-made wool carpets it is one of Europe's last remaining peasant communities where fields are still cropped by scythe, and horse carts rattle down the roads.


Afternoon in Botiza
On arrival in Botiza in the late afternoon, take some time to discover the village and its surroundings or just relax and settle in.


Breakfast and Evening Meal


You will be staying at Sesuri Guesthouse, bed and breakfast

Day 2

Morning exploring Botiza
After breakfast, enjoy a morning at leisure. Go for a leisurely walk in the nearby forest or simply relax at the guesthouse. You can also visit the monastery that's on the other side of the hill from the guesthouse or walk to the nearby village of Leud to visit the wooden church, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Later in the morning, drive to the UNESCO World Heritage site Barsana Monastery, around 30 minutes from Botiza. On your way to Barsana make a detour and drive to Glod. This is a beautiful journey and well worth the detour.


Afternoon Visit to Breb and Barsana Monastery
Drive to Breb, just over an hour away. Breb is known for being one of the most remote villages in Maramures. Have lunch at a traditional house restored at the request of Prince Charles during his time mentoring the NGO trust. On returning to Botiza, stop by at Barsana Monastery, part of the UNESCO World Heritage. On the route home, there will be many opportunities to see the wooden churches, such as the one at Poienile Izei.


Breakfast and Evening Meal


You will be staying at Sesuri Guesthouse, bed and breakfast

Day 3

Full Day Excursion to Sighetu Marmatiei
Drive an hour to reach Sighetu Marmatei, where you find the traditional villages with their wooden churches and pretty landscapes. Visit the Memorial Museum of Communism, sometimes a sad experience but important for anybody interested in Romanian history. Open mornings only. After lunch at Casa Iurca visit the Marmures Village Museum. Continue to  Sapanta to visit the Merry Cemetery. The locals are talented craftspeople. You may be invited into their homes to try the plum brandy.


Breakfast, Lunch and Evening Meal


You will be staying at Sesuri Guesthouse, bed and breakfast

Day 4

Train Ride
Travel aboard the Mocanita. This is one of the only restored old trains that still connect remote villages to the road heads. Take an hours train journey through the Viseului Valley taking in the landscape and local life. Stopping for lunch and the opportunity to do some walking before returning to Botiza. On the return take a detour to Ieud Hill Church - an important site in Maramures.


Breakfast, Lunch and Evening Meal


You will be staying at Sesuri Guesthouse, bed and breakfast

Day 5

Mountain Crossing to Bucovina
Heading towards Bucovina stopping at Borsa on the way. Borsa is located within the Rodnei Mountains National Park. The monastery is a point of interest here. The walks take in the fresh alpine air. This area is home to glacial lakes. Have a picnic before continuing to a small village of Sucevita, home to painted monasteries.


You will be staying at Casa cu Cerbi, bed and breakfast

Day 6

Tour of Sucevita
Spend the day taking a tour of the 15th and 16th century painted monasteries in the area, which have made Bucovina famous. This tour can also be considered a trip through UNESCO World Heritage sites as most of these monasteries are on this list due to their beautifully painted frescoes. Start with Sucevita Monastery, right in the village, built in 1585, by the Movilesti family. The architecture of the church contains both Byzantine and Gothic elements, as well as some typical elements of northern Moldavia. Continue to Moldovita Monastery to see the Lucia Condrea Museum of Decorated Eggs. 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 close to Gura Humorului or have a picnic with ingredients from the local village markets.


In the evening go for a traditional horse cart around the village.


Breakfast, lunch and Evening Meal.


You will be staying at Casa cu Cerbi, bed and breakfast

Day 7

Day at leisure in Sucevita

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Romania

Joe Parkes, Travel Expert

"It was extremely helpful to work in conjunction with Joe and his much more up to date knowledge of India and arrive at an itinerary which we were happy with. We enjoyed the whole trip and probably what made it special for us was the fact that all the arrangements worked so well and we really didn’t have to worry about anything at all. Even when we decided to make a small change it was dealt with efficiently and promptly. We can't think of anything that would have made our trip more enjoyable."

"The service from start to finish has been excellent. Joe was very quick to respond to any queries and put together an excellent itinerary at short notice."

"A pleasure to deal with Joe. Efficient, helpful, knowledgeable and fun!"

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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