Discover Romania

Romania is proud to have the largest population of wolves and bears in Europe and, as a country, is mainly unspoilt by tourism, offering an unequalled opportunity to visit and see the country as the Romanians see it themselves. It is steeped in history being able to trace its ancestry back to before 2000 BC.

Around 40 to 60 percent of Europea��s brown bears live in the woodlands of Romania. This impressive statistic is the result of the remarkably intact woodland ecosystem and traditional land-management practices. In the 1960a��s the bear population was somewhere around 1,500 individuals, but during the Ceausescu regime, this has grown to more than 8,000.

This occurred partly to the hunting preferences of Nicolae Ceausescu. The increasing number of bears led also to attacks on livestock. Various estimates put the population today at between 4,000 and 6,000 animals.

To sustain his a�?hobbya�?, he ordered a nationwide program of feeding stations and from 1975, bear hunting became illegal for anyone but Ceausescu and other top party officials or invited guests.

Reaching up to 2 meters in height if standing on his back legs, the brown bear is omnivorous, with a rather poor digestive system. If you are in the search of a bear, one sign of being in onea��s territory is finding their characteristic droppings, which contain large amounts of undigested food. Territorial scratch marks on tress can also be found: three to five parallel gouges, which, if fresh, may be accompanied by rich brown hairs snagged on the bark.

Generally the bears are not a danger to the public; most incidents involving bears attacking humans are when shepherds are defending their flocks. Usually they will stay out of human sights, and will retreat in the face of noise. Though, compared to the other carnivores, the bear is most likely to be seen in the quieter forests of the Carpathians.

Several a�?bear hidesa�? have been set up in Zarnesti, near Brasov, and an evening visit to these provides the best opportunity to see wild bears.

In Racadau, a suburb of Brasov, bears have been raiding rubbish bins since the 1980s. They are becoming more and more fearless of people, especially since the nightly event has become a bit of a spectacle and some bears are being fed by hand.

RomaniaA� : Gem of the Balkans
Romania is a striking mA�lange of different cultural influences. Historically, the Romanians have looked north and west to their European and Slavic neighbors for their cultural, emotional, and religious succor, spending most of their leisure time keeping the Turks out of Europe.

These differences are most clearly evident in the architectural styles in the large cities a�� French, Soviet, Slavic, Byzantine. Constantinople has had an influence, although real-life Dracula, Vlad Tepes , who was actually the ruler of this area (Wallachia) in the mid-15th century, spent most of his days fighting to keep Romaniaa��then split into the three principalities of Wallachia, Transylvania, and Moldaviaa��and the rest of Europe, free of the Ottoman.

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Among the numerous Latin countries, Romania is the only country that takes its name from the Roman Empire, the greatest empire of Antiquity. And though the Roman legions officially stood here less than three centuries, the locals speak a language resembling with Italian, that is very close in its structure with the Latin language.

Traveling Romania today ita��s common to see Gypsy hay carts rattling along pulled by scraggy old horses (under other conditions fit only for the glue factory) straining against the slopes to pull their ungainly cargos crowned by wide-eyed urchins.

As you wind your way through these hills, impossibly picturesque vistas unfold round every corner. The jagged ridges of southern Transylvania provide a breathtaking backdrop to the rolling agrarian hills above and below. It takes considerably more concentration than youa��ll likely be able to muster to take all this in whilst driving and avoiding the cattle dawdling home in the middle of the road.

Culture and religion :

People in the small towns and villages outside the cities have changed their lifestyle very little over the years. It is not uncommon that the villagers will use horse-drawn carriages as their main means of transport. Romanians are naturally hospitable people and always eager to share stories of their village with travelers passing-by. You might even be invited into their home for a home-cooked traditional Romanian meal.

The Romanian culture is very rich in tradition and folklore. The culture steams from the Dacians, who once occupied the area in the past, among other influences are the Romans. Festivals feature brightly ornamented costumes with traditional dancing. Wood carvings, skillfully woven carpets, and pottery are some of the elements of traditional Romanian culture. Special folk arts of Romania are the decorated Easter eggs and painted glass. These items can be found in many markets and vendors near tourist attractions throughout the country.

Whether you want to see the customs of the ancient festivals related to various celebrations throughout the year, such as Easter, Christmas, the New Year or ceremonies, the origins of which are centuries old, or, conversely, modern performances, Romania is the place to come to.
The great majority of Romanians (86.8% in the 1992 census) are affiliated with the Romanian Orthodox Church, one of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox churches. Under Bulgarian influence, Slavonic rite was maintained in the Romanian Church until the 17th century, when Romanian became the liturgical language. The Romanian Church enjoyed a large measure of autonomy in the Middle Ages and, after
Romania achieved full independence from the Turks in 1878, was formally declared independent of the Patriarchate of Constantinople; it is now headed by its own patriarch.

Religion plays an important role in the daily life of the Romanian population, no matter if they are orthodox ,roman catholicA� orA� protestantA� ,A� this making it one of the most religious nations of Europe.

Accomodations:
All our accommodations on our tours have minimal ***, dispose mostly of an own restaurant and we avoid to make a choice for large hotels. All accommodations have been personally checked out and during the tours we regularly visit all of them. For the conventional holidays we offer as well budged as luxury, and you always will dispose of a private bathroom and everything a Western European tourist is used to!