Romania, the puzzling Pandora box awaiting to be opened
Without being mawkish about it, Romania has a beautiful and diverse landscape, with mountains (the Carpathians rise to a maximum height of 2,544 meters), forested hills, fertile planes, the Black Sea Coast and the Danube Delta. The three main historical regions are Wallachia in the South, Moldova in the East, and Transylvania in the Central-Western part of the country.
Romania offers countless unique travel experiences and recondite places that are waiting to be discovered. The country was one of the least visited countries in Europe, until 15 years ago, according to some sources. Closed for more than 40 years behind the “Iron Curtain” and almost isolated from the rest of the world by a tough communist regime until 1989, Romania is a land of many genuine treasures and amazing touristic resources as follows.
To start with, the mountains are not only offering their slopes and serpentines for winter sports, hiking, cycling or just admiring their unspoiled by civilization delights.
Knockers might say Romanian mountain resorts are either too commercial or totally missing in certain regions of the Carpathians. Still, with or without them, the mountains here are serving anyone’s purpose and make a great place for vacations, adventures or, why not, for romantic hideaways. Starting with the city of Brasov one can feel the German influence from architecture to tidiness, people’s behavior and civic spirit. Not far from the mountainous city one can visit the elegant 19th century Peles Castle in Sinaia, with its 160 rooms filled with priceless European art and, of course, the Bran Castle in Bran, built in the mid-1300s and legendary home to Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula which has, at its entrance, bric-a-brac and traditional crafted items’ stalls for the amateurs of souvenirs.
Alongside Transylvanian Brasov, Sighisoara also stands with its hilltop citadel, as some of Europe’s best-preserved medieval towns and Sibiu, the 2007 European Cultural Capital. As a result of almost nine centuries of Saxon presence, Transylvania, located in central Romania, claims a cultural and architectural heritage unique in Europe. This region is also home to nearly 200 Saxon villages.
Recognized as the world’s third most biologically diverse area, the Danube Delta is home to 300 species of birds, including cormorants, white tailed eagles and glossy ibises. Altogether, 3,450 animal species and 1,700 plant types can be seen within the 2,200 square miles of rivers, canals, marshes, tree-fringed lakes and reed islands. The Danube Delta is a wildlife enthusiast’s (especially a bird watcher’s) paradise.
Not far from the South-Eastern Danube Delta, there is the Black Sea coastline which offers a rich tapestry of attractions and experiences. Warm climate, kilometers of sand beaches, ancient monuments, vineyards and modern resorts invite travelers to seriously consider Romania’s Black Sea Coast as their summer vacation destination. Romania’s main sea resorts are centered on about 70 kilometers of fine sand beaches and include Mamaia, Eforie, Neptun, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn and Mangalia.
And still on the Eastern part of the country but far in the North there is Moldova region with its renowned impressive monasteries.
Foreign visitors consider Romanians among the friendliest and most hospitable people on earth. Romanians are by nature warm, hospitable, with an innate sense of humor.