In the first two parts of our Romania in Focus series, we visited the bustling capital city Bucharest and the spectacularly scenic historic region of Transylvania. In the third and final installment, we take a look at some of the other popular destinations found throughout the country.

The Painted Monasteries of Bucovina

As we saw in Transylvania, many astonishing monasteries can be found throughout Romania, some of which are more than a thousand years old and still stand in perfect condition. The Painted Monasteries of Bucovina, located in the northeast of the country, are among the most picturesque in the entire country.

Regarded as masterpieces of Byzantine art, the monasteries represent a one-of-a-kind architectural site in Europe. Their painted exterior walls are decorated with elaborate frescoes, which date back to the 15th and 16th centuries. These feature portraits of saints and prophets, depictions of the life of Jesus, images of angels and demons, and other religious iconography. More than just decorations, the murals represent entire cycles of religious events.

Moldovita Monastery, Romania

Moldovița Monastery, a Romanian Orthodox monastery situated in the commune of Vatra Moldoviței, Suceava County.

The frescoes were originally created to convey the story of the Bible and lives of important Orthodox saints to villagers through the use of pictures. Their elegant outlines and harmonious colors display outstanding composition and attention to detail, and blend in perfectly with the surrounding landscape. The best-preserved examples can be found in Humor, Moldovita, Patrauti, Probota, Suceava, Sucevita, and Voronet. Seven of these churches have been recognized as part of UNESCO’s World Heritage list since 1993.

Whether your interest lies with religion, history, art or architecture, you will be amazed by the unique construction and decoration (both exterior and interior) of these remarkable edifices.

Europe’s Best-preserved River Delta

For an excursion into a unique natural habitat, head to Romania’s east coast, where you can visit the Danube Delta. The best-preserved river delta in Europe, this extensive network of waterways consists of more than 5,700 km2 of rivers, canals, marshes, tree-fringed lakes and reed islands. The delta is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and contains several protected areas which have been designated as sites of special scientific interest.

A bird-watchers’ paradise, the Danube Delta hosts over 300 species of birds. Indigenous species include cranes, cormorants, eagles, geese, ibises, pelicans, swans and vultures. The area also makes a perfect staging post between the equator and the north pole for millions of migratory birds.

Pelicans on the Danube Delta, Romania

A group of pelicans take flight on the waters of the Danube Delta, a destination which is extremely popular with bird-watchers.

The delta’s innumerable lakes and marshes provide a habitat for around 160 species of freshwater and saltwater fish, some of which are unique to the region. Several rare reptiles can also be sighted in the forest areas which line the shore, including Aesculapian snakes and steppe runner lizards.

You can explore the delta as part of a longer Danube River cruise, or book a boat excursion to a specific area. Most of these depart from the city of Tulcea (around 280km east of Bucharest), which offers many good hotels, restaurants specializing in fish dishes and a fascinating museum dedicated to the history and ecology of the region.

Danube Delta, Romania

Embark on a river cruise or boat excursion to the Danube Delta from the city of Tulcea, around 280km east of Bucharest.

Winter Wonderland

Its rugged mountainous landscape and heavy seasonal snowfall make Romania an ideal destination for winter sports enthusiasts. Some of the most popular ski resorts to visit include Poiana Brasov, Sinaia and Paltinis.

Poiana Brașov is considered the best ski resort in Romania, offering seven different ski slopes with varying degrees of difficulty. The resort is situated at an altitude of 1,020 meters, and surrounded by four impressive mountains; Postăvaru, Piatra Craiului, Bucegi and Piatra Mare. Over 50 hotels, villas and guest houses are available for visitors, who are sure to appreciate the spectacular sweeping vistas.

Ski Resorts, Romania

Ski Resorts in Romania such as Poiana Brasov are among the most affordable in the world.

Sinaia is the place to go to experience the best high altitude skiing in Romania. Located in Prahova county, the resort’s slopes are situated around 2km above sea level. There are 20km of slopes and 5km of cross-country ski routes available, catering to both skiers and snowboarders of all abilities.

Travel to the northern area of Romania, known as Maramures, and you will find the captivating resort of Cavnic. Situated at the foot of the scenic Gutai Mountains, the resort features more than 8km of slopes. Whilst these may be lower in terms of altitude, the shaded mountainsides make skiing possible even during higher temperatures. Visiting during the summer months? Cavnic resort is home to Romania’s first artificial ski slope, so you can enjoy winter sports all year round.

Sun, Sand and Sea

Following the snow and ice of the ski slopes, our tour of Romania concludes in a warmer environment. If you prefer to relax on the beach, Mamaia is just the place for you.

The largest and best-known resort on the Romanian Riviera, Mamaia is famous for its vibrant nightlife and busy hotel strip. The resort is attached to Constanta city, and separates Lake Siutghiol from the Black Sea. Its spectacular fountains, promenade areas, luxurious restaurants and trendy clubs become a magnet for holidaymakers during the hot summer months.

Mamaia Beach, Romania

Mamaia Beach is a popular spot for tourists during summer.

The best time to visit is between mid-June and early September, when average temperatures range between  25°C and 30°C (77°F and 86°F). The water remains pleasantly warm up until mid-autumn.

A wide variety of accommodations are available, ranging from simple bed and breakfasts and holiday homes to exclusive 5-star hotels and private villas. If you prefer an outdoor experience, several campsites are  available in the north.

The Mamaia strip comes alive after dark, where you can enjoy a host of packed nightclubs and impromptu beach parties. This bustling resort guarantees a fun-filled break on the charming Black Sea coastline.

Further Reading

We hope you have enjoyed our brief journey around some of the most popular destinations in Romania. In case you missed the first two parts, be sure to check out our guides to Bucharest and Transylvania using the links below!

Romania in Focus Part One: Bucharest
Romania in Focus Part Two: Transylvania

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