Șirnea, Romania’s first tourist village
The small settlement of Șirnea in Brasov county, located at the foot of the Piatra Craiului Massif, at an altitude of about 1,300 meters, is the first tourist village in Romania. It all began when in the 60s the biology teacher of the village, Nicolae Frunteș initiated this project of tourist promotion and managed to convince the communist rulers of that time that countryside beauties in Romania are worth visiting and that many foreign tourists would be lured that way.
First, the bold teacher set up a museum inside the village school, got all the necessary permits and thus, Șirnea became an internationally renowned village.
According to Frunteș’ son, Radu, also a teacher, his father came up with the idea of turning Șirnea into a touristic village in 1960 but it became a reality in 1968.
“The tourist village implied a lot of things, first of all the geographic positioning of the settlement. Șirnea is a quiet village located between the Piatra Craiului Massif and the Bucegi Massif where the landscape, the climate and the seasons are amazing (…) Water at Șirnea used to be tested and analyzed, and was ranked as the purest water in south-eastern Europe,” Radu Frunteș, the son of Nicolae Frunteș told Agerpres.
At the same time, two feasts were set on track to attract tourists: “The measure of the Milk and the meeting of the village lads” held every June and “Winter at Șirnea” displaying the villagers’ customs and traditions both in summer and in winter and also offering a torch-handed skiing race and sleigh rides.
Many tourists from about 22 countries used to visit Șirnea until de 1989 Revolution, mostly coming from Canada, Egypt, the US, New Zealand, Australia and Israel, whose reviews are well kept in the Book of Impressions hosted by Șirnea Village Museum.
However, there was a national tourism project involved, with tourists being expected nearby DN73 national road by 10-20 cars or sleighs pulled by horses adorned with bells in the winter. Locals used to welcome visitors with boiled plum brandy and used to take a tour of the household of the people who provided them with the sleigh ride.
Unfortunately, the project lasted until the 90s, and ever since, fewer and fewer tourists chose Șirnea as travel destination. The road is rather difficult and there are no direct means of transport.
Despite the transport troublesome, we recommend the destination for adventure seekers, as they won’t regret it. While in the neighborhood, you can also visit “Nicolae Frunteș” ethnographic museum, the Old Orthodox Church, Piatra Craiului National Park, Moeciu Gorges or the Bat Cave in the Peștera village.