Maramures is situated in a depression in the heart of the Romanian’s Northwest Carpathian Mountains. The inhabitants of this region have known how to preserve their traditions and their folklore and you can admire their woollen traditional costumes, the flowery skirts, the coloured women head scarves and the traditional men hats.
Although bordered by Ukraine, Hungary and Transylvania, Maramures presents an unmistakably cultural unity. One of the most clear aspects of this common heritage is the architecture: here, the majority of houses are wooden built, according to an ancestral and proven technique. Each village counts at least one few centuries old wooden church. Some of them are even registered as a UNESCO world heritage site.
The region lives essentially on its natural resources, especially on the farming and on the forest exploitation. Come and discover the sweet hills and fields covered with flowers during the spring time, and forests with plenty of mushrooms and wild berries. The fieldworks reflect the seasons and add an undated charm to this bucolic region.
Your day by day program
Arrival in Cluj Napoca. Private transfer from the airport to your first accommodation in Maramures. Free evening. Dinner included. (Possibility to arrive in Bucharest and have a transfer by night train to Maramures)
After breakfast, you begin your adventure with a loop which will bring you on the outskirts of the town of Sighetu Marmatiei, the old capital of Maramures: to visit the Memorial of the Communism Victims, a museum situated in the former political prison, which will give you a sad testimony of the Romanian dark years. You can then have a coffee break on the pedestrian street at one of the cafes and stroll through this city which is also a border point with Ukraine. This is also the hometown of Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winner, Elie Wiesel. A first taste of Maramures's landscape and charm. (~40km, +/-500m)
Today, our route will bring us through typical and charming villages of the region. We can admire houses, churches and monumental portals with symbolic or everyday life scenes carved in wood. We will arrive in the charming village of Breb, a hidden gem surrounded by the Carpathians. We will spend the night at a traditional guesthouse. (~30km, +/-400m)
Today you will leave Breb and bike further on the Iza Valley. You will pass villages like Budesti and Valeni, where you will be able to admire the tranquility of the Maramures' life. In the village of Barsana you can stop and admire the craftsmanship of the wooden church, located above the village. Your destination for today is the village of Botiza. (~40km, +/-600m)
Moving further today to Viseu Valley. On your way you can stop and visit the church from Ieud, the oldest wooden church from Maramures, also part of UNESCO heritage. You'll cross Iza river and you'll be getting closer to the Ukrainian border, passing through beautiful villages. You arrive in Viseu de Sus, the home of the steam train Mocanita. (~47km, +/-400m)
In the morning, you'll ride the steam train from Viseu de Sus. It will take you through breat-taking landscapes, a cool forest that was once a battlefield in WWI and stop at the end of the track for lunch. While eating a delicious meal, you can closely admire the artwork of the steam engine. Once back, you take your bike and ride to a nearby village, where you'll spend the night. (~20 km, +/-100m)
Today you'll ride across the hills between Viseu Valley and Iza Valley.The never-ending hills and scattered villages will be your companions for this journey. Arrival in the village of Poienile Izei, where you can visit the UNESCO wooden church. Night at a family-run guesthouse. (~40 km, +/- 400m)
You leave our bikes today. Then, you will have a private transfer back to Cluj. End of the tour. Breakfast included (Possibility to return to Bucharest by night train from Sighetu Marmatiei)
From April to the end of October.
- Cluj Napoca
- Cluj Napoca
- Nights in guest-houses in double rooms, exceptionnaly 3. Generally one bathroom accomodation for 2 bedrooms.
- Minimum of 2 people.
- 8 days of which 6 cycling. Medium to difficult level (40Km a day, with usually gentle climbs and a few steeper parts).
- Luggage will be transferred from one guesthouse to the other.
- Bike rental : 135€
- Single supplement : 130€
- Hike day with local guide & extra night in Botiza village (D4) for 2 people : 100€
- The nights, meals, roadbook, maps, luggage transfer, permanent local assistance.
- Bikes rental, insurances, drinks and personal expenses.