Why Romania? Because its timelessness nourishes the soul and the heart.
One of the biggest crusaders for the conservation of our uniqueness, owner of 10 properties across rural Romania, His Royal Highness Charles, Prince of Wales, summarized the answer to this question in a very unique way in an interview with Charlie Ottley, BBC:
“The key thing that I think about Romania, is that there is so much that we can learn from it. It is the last corner of Europe where you see true sustainability and complete resilience and the maintenance of entire eco-systems to the benefit of mankind and also for nature, and there’s so much we can learn from that, before it’s too late. (…)
The great thing is the combination of natural ecosystems, the forests, and the agriculture, together with the human, cultural systems. And it is this extraordinarily, unique, integrated relationship, which is off such huge importance.”
When asked what he loves most about Romania, his Highness answered: “It’s the timelessness of it which is so remarkable, almost out of some of those stories one used to read as a child. It’s quite remarkable. People are yearning for that sense of belonging and identity and meaning!
And we have to find, we have to rediscover some of these aspects of the way we produce food and live and maintain and give back to nature, if we are going to make sure this whole system continues; and that’s why human cultural systems matter because they are intimately linked to that aspect of nature. It’s in us, but we’ve somehow denied it and thrown it away and said it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t exist, it’s irrelevant. It isn’t irrelevant!”
Charlie Ottley BBC: “It nourishes the soul and the heart”.
Prince Charles: “That’s what Romania does for you!”
Romania is a EU member country, situated in the S-E of Central Europe. Due to its unique position across the 45 N parallel and the 25 E meridian, Romania benefits from four moderate seasons, so regardless of when you plan your trip here, you will be able to unveil unsuspected natural beauties.
Unique in Europe due to its long mountain chains, high hills and wide plateaus, together with a multitude of rivers that spring high in the mountains and the magnificent Danube Delta (the largest water land in Europe and since 1991a UNESCO heritage), Romania is a must see in terms of natural wonders.
Wildlife and plants
Romania is one of the most important biodiversity hotspots in Europe, so if you are interested in wildlife, then this is the right place for you.
With 60% of Europe’s bear population and 40% of its wolf population located in the Romanian Carpathians, together with the lynx, wildcats and foxes, Romania has the largest population of large carnivores in Europe. Let us not forget a large population of deer, boars, and wild rabbits, the bison reservations scattered across the country (largest European mammal), or the chance to spot the magnificent chamois on the high rocky peaks of the Carpathians. The Carpathians also harbor some of the last remaining pristine forests in Europe, and a multitude of springs and rivers that are so clean you can refresh yourself on the spot!
Anybody should see at least once the wonderful Danube Delta, one of the most beautiful places in the world. Here nature is master with over 1,830 species of trees and plants, over 2,440 species of insects, 133 fish species, 91 species of mollusks, 11 reptile species, 10 amphibian species, 320 bird species, 44 species Of mammals, many of which are declared unique species and monuments of nature. This is the newest land in Europe, growing about 40 meters each year. The natural wealth of the place places the Danube Delta third in the world among the most important natural reserves. The Danube Delta also has the world’s richest ornithological fauna and the largest compact reed area (240,000 ha).
While in Romania you will have the opportunity to see one of the few remaining populations of wild horses in the world in a magnificent, unique forest in Europe. The Letea forest is home to sand dunes, wild horses riding freely and secular oaks, on the trunks of which lianas wander like snakes (the only place in Europe where liane grow). Perhaps because it is well hidden in the heart of the Danube Delta, sheltered by thousands of hectares of reed, tangled canals and sandy roads, the little jungle Letea is among the few miracles of nature that have survived the invasion of the modern world.
Its people and culture
Romania’s geographical location transformed it into a bridge between civilizations, a place where millennial cultural collision left behind a mix like no other in the world. From Romans to Tatars, from Ottomans to Germans, from Hapsburgs to Russians, they all passed through these lands and ran across the resilience of Romanians in giving up their land, culture or religion. They have, in exchange, created the most unique blend of cultural heritage in Europe.
By always being at the border of some Empire, or great power, Romanians have learned a thing or two about how to “say what they want, but do as you please” – a common saying that’s on the tongues of locals. They respect other cultures, are very open to new things, but sometimes unnaturally skeptical about others, and they have the greatest sense of humor you can get. Romanians have taken irony and metaphoric language to the next level, and the true Romanian will most often laugh at the small misfortunes they have to face. To prove how they can laugh at death itself, Romanians pride themselves with the only “Merry Cemetery” in the world.
From the agitated life in the big cities to the simplest way of living in the remote country-side areas, you will see it all.
Any foreigner that visited the country could tell you that Romanians are very friendly and hospitable. They also have an ear and tongue for languages, and wherever you might find yourself, you will find a Romanian who speaks English and you can understand yourself with the locals provided you speak a Romance language (French, Spanish, Italian, etc) . German, Hungarian, Russian are also pretty common depending on the region you are travelling to.
The Romanian folklore that preserves the ancient rites and customs is another impressive attraction. Here you can uncover specific costumes in vivid colors for every ethnographic area of the country, fairs with traditional local handicrafts or traditional food, and places where you can hear and delight the eyes with the Romanian folk music and dance.
Depending on the season, you will be able to witness some spectacular traditions that have been passed on for generations in a mix of Pagan and Christian rituals. Of all, a special place take celebrations such as
- Martisor – a spring festival with women at the center of it
- Dragobete – Valentine’s day, Romanian version with less consumerism and more feeling attaches to it
- Florii – from the pagan goddess Flora, a moment to celebrate nature’s rebirth
- the spectacular Easter traditions
- Sanziene – meaning beautiful fairies, on Sanziene it is said that the gates of heaven open, and the beyond world comes into contact with the earthly world
- St Andrew Day – the witches and curses tales
- St Nicholas who brings presents to good kids, and a whip for those who misbehaved
- Christmas with all the traditional caroling
- New Year’s celebrations that are so unique and impressive, you will want to spend each New Year here just to witness them again and again. Depending on the region, on New Year’s Eve, Romanians are respecting the ancient customs and going from house to house with wishes for good luck, money, and health in the next year. Sorcova, Plugusorul, Capra (goat) or Ursul (bear) are only a few of the most beautiful New Year’s customs, preserved from ancestral heritage in Romania.
A trip to Romania is no exception to the old saying that the most fruitful path to the heart of a place is through the stomach. While not well known abroad, Romanian cuisine is a near-perfect reflection of the country’s agrarian roots and twisted history.
Dishes borrow heavily from neighboring (and occasionally occupying) cultures – Turkish, Hungarian, Germanic and Slavic. We invite you to try the following:
Ciorba de fasole in coaja de paine
Special pork dishes such as Caltabosi, Sausages, Smoked ham, Toba, Lebar, Rulada
TOP tourist attraction in Romania – Campulung Muscel
It has a wall height of 120 m (390 ft) and a total volume of 60 million m³.