A country of warm and welcoming people. Landscapes of lakes, forests and mountains. An abundance of colour and culture, Romania is ready and reaching out from its recent Communist past.
I was invited back to Romania to take part in the #ExperienceRomania press trip. It was my second time in Romania, having previously only visited the capital city, Bucharest in May 2017.
This was a 2 week trip mainly to the North and Eastern parts of the country, along with 40 or so other travel bloggers, photographers and influencers. In a series of posts, I will show you what I thought were the highlights (there are many) of this part of Romania. This post focuses primarily on an area called Bucovina.
Romanian history isn’t just about Communism, it goes back further than that. The country has castles, fortresses, and medieval towns too.
Highlights of Romania
Neamt Citadel / Fortress
One of the first stops was Neamt Citadel, a fortress built in the 14th century. It’s about a 10-minute walk from the bus/car park to the entrance of the citadel.
The Citadel has witnessed and survived some crucial battles in its time, from the Ottomans in the 1470’s and later the Polish in 1691.
The view over the Romanian countryside from the Citadel is well worth the 10-15 minute walk up to it.
Lacul Roșu (Red Lake) is 980 metres above sea-level and was formed after a landslide blocked the Bicaz Valley. It is the largest natural lake in Romania. The name derives from the red coloured alluvium deposits. I have to say though, the lake looked more a greeny colour rather than red when I was there!
Nevertheless, it is super scenic and would make the perfect place to stop and have a picnic. It’s also a popular place for hiking. Just remember to take your litter away with you when you leave.
Another natural treat for my eyes! The Gorge was carved out by the Bicaz River. It’s also one of the many spectacular drives I experienced as I travelled through this part of Romania. For about 8 kilometres (5 miles) steep white cliffs line the route from the Moldova province through to Transylvania.
Mocanita Hutulca – Steam Train
An alternative way to see the rich Romanian countryside is to take a ride on the Mocanita Hutulca.
Meandering through traditional villages, forests, and yet more spectacular scenery, this steam train ride takes you on an adventure back in time.
Originally used to carry logs, this narrow gauged railway is an up and coming tourist attraction.
The Moldovita Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site was built in 1532 by Petru Rares (Peter IV). The frescos were painted in 1537 and are mainly of Voronet blue (a colour that even now has yet to be exactly reproduced) and gold colours. The artwork is original and is protected from the weather by the overhanging roof.
One of the most famous frescos is of The Siege of Constantinople depicting the intervention of the Virgin saving the city of Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey) from Persian attack in A.D. 626.
Lake Bicaz, is the largest man-made lake in Romania; it was created after the completion of a dam built on the river Bistrița. The dam is located a few kilometres north of the town of Bicaz.
The dam was built between 1950 and 1960 and is used to generate hydroelectricity. The lake has a length of 40 kilometres, an area of 33 square kilometres. In summer it’s possible to take a boat ride on the lake.
‘Chip’, was our guide for the Bucovina area. He is a friendly person and extremely knowledgeable about this part of Romania. He can be contacted here.
The hotels that I stayed in during the trip were the Hotel Best Western Bucovina, in the town of Gura Humorului.
And the comfortable and cosy rooms at the Roman Plaza Hotel in Roman.
General Information about Romania
- Time Zone: EET (Eastern European Time), GMT + 2
- Religion: Mainly Christian Orthodox
- Currency: Leu
- Language: Romanian
Map Showing The North Western Part of Romania
The trip was organised by volunteers of #ExperienceRomania team (thank you all). The transport, accommodation, food, water, and entrance fees were all sponsored (thank you all, again)! However, all opinions as always are my own.
Come back soon for part 2
Have you visited Romania or would you like to? Let me know.
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