‘The land beyond the forest’ or as most people probably know it, Transylvania is truly a place that will take you back in time. With medieval castles, beautiful landscapes, lovely cities and lots of activities to be had Transylvania is probably the most popular regions of Romania.
You could spend a year in Transylvania and not have time to visit all the amazing places, so today we are going to focus on the western side of the region.
1 Is it far?
Planin a trip to a foreign country is never easy, but thanks to it’s locaion Transylvania is actualy not that difficult to travel to/in. With international airports in Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara, and the close by Budapest, a short flight and a bus ride later you can be already enjoying the architecture of the art nouveau capital of Romania, Oradea.
2 Get your hiking boots ready
If cities are not your thing, the Apuseni National Park is where you want to be. The first hiking trails date back to the early 1900, today having tens of trails on it’s 75.784 ha. Thanks to its calcareous rocks the whole park is littered with caves, waterfals, lakes and even glacier caves. If you don’t feel like getting your feet dirty some caves are equiped with paths to protect the cave so you can even do it in your flipflops, most notably The Bear Cave or something man made, an abandoned salt mine Turda Slat Mine.
3 Don’t forget to pack you camera
You can still enjoy the beautyfull Transilvanian landscape even if you’re not keen on mountainous adventures. It’s enough to leave the city behind and within minutes you will find yourself in fabulous landscapes with large valleys, distnant mountains,wild gorges, forests as far as you can see. Transylvania has a long history, and you can see it. The villages and countriside will only add to the experience, with hungarian and german influences the romanian rural architecture is an atraction in itself.
Transylvanian cousine may not be a sophisticated one but with recipes that survived generations, with romanian, hungarian and germanic influences you will for sure find a dish that was made for you.
5 Tradition and craft
Local traditions and crafts have been preserved here for centuries. Handcrafting is still being practiced by the locals, and it’s something worth experiencing. In the villages of Transylvania you can still find shepherds, weavers, blacksmiths, carpenters and potters that are keeping their craft alive as it was generations ago.
You can get closer to these traditional crafts by taking part in a workshop.
6 Traditional felting workshop
You can get a taste of Transylvania and it’s traditional crafts through a felting workshop by Ruth’s Corner. Enjoy the breathtaking nature in Bihor, also known as the Western Gate of Transylvania. Felt your own sheepsrug from the Țsurkana sheep, and enjoy a lovely traditional meal. Stay in Oradea, city of Art Nouveau. This journey will give yoy an unforgetful experience in nature, a flourishing city and heartwarming culture.