Bucovina – the land of the Beech trees

Just to get started- you won’t be able to find Bucovina when looking on a Romanian map. Being a historic region, Bucovina is situated in the North-Eastern part of Romania, which comprises a 10.441 km² territory of 12  Romanian and 7 Ukrainian towns. The name is coming from the Slavic term ”buk”, which means ”beech” and there is where the ”Land of beech trees” appellation is coming.

In defiance of all the political conflicts that happened in the region during its time, Bucovina managed to conserve its aesthetical treasures throughout the time, including picturesque villages where traditions lie for generations, magical views and landscapes, and interesting to discover touristic objectives. The good part is that the beauties Bucovina has to offer are not just aesthetic, but incorporate the wishes of any human soul. Let’s get some of them on the list:

Traditions

People from this region are just not living in the rapidly changing 21 century. Here, you will find habits and practices specific for distant times, such as individual agricultural work, as people are plowing their land with old fashioned tools, wooden traditional barns, peasant old houses, and people with an unimaginably pure hearth. Even the roads capture the Romanian medieval vibe perfectly, as they look dusty and smell like fresh grass. Even the decorations are traditional, as people still use vintage furniture in a unique style and Slavic rugs hanging on the walls.

Throughout time, the main occupation of the Bucovinean people was wooden extraction and manufacturing. In that sense, Bucovinean people are experts when it comes to crafting wooden objects such as pots, cutlery, wall clocks, or other decorations. More than that, another craft that bucovineans are mastering is pottery. You can find local pottery workshops where you can see an artist performing or even teaching how to potter.

Food and cuisine

Being such a traditional place to be, the food you will find in the region is something you can not find anywhere in the world. House specialty is sour cream, as all the preparations are containing this ingredient. However, the food is incredibly tasty and unique, as all the ingredients are coming from local production and are 100% bio.

Some specialties include lamb tripe, a delicious lamb recipe, the pork stew, or Radauteana Soup,  made with meat and sour cream. Try finding locally owned guesthouses where everything is home-cooked.

Monasteries and painted churches

One of the main attractions of the region, most of the churches and Monasteries from Bucovina were built around the 15th and 16th centuries and were kept in very good conditions until these days. A good part of them was built during the reign of Stephan the Great, a Moldavian voivode which used to build a church or monastery every time he won a battle against the Ottoman Empire. This is the case of Voronet Monastery, a monarchial complex surnamed ”The Sixtina Capital of the East”. The edifice was built in just around  3 months, an absolute record for that time. The paintings are just unbelievable, as all the faces and scenes painted on the walls seem to be alive. Absolute astonishing about this structure is the absolute unique shade of blue used for the paintings, recognized as ”the Voronet Blue”

Along with the Voronet Monastery, another 7 churches were listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1993, each one with its beauties and story to be discovered.

Mountain views and hiking

The mountain vibe is what characterizes all the traditions and practices of people from Bucovina. Living in such a perfect symbiosis, people managed to take the best from the natural environment and exploited it by turning mountain places into several tourist attractions. In that sense, you will be able to find mountain routes with amazing views for hiking all over the region.  

If you are thirsty to explore the mountain miracles but you not really into hiking, do not worry! Bucovina has solutions for everybody: you can explore it through Mocanita, a vintage steam train that specially designated for tourists that will take you to an unforgettable trip through the magical land of Bucovinean mountains. For the hikers, the go-to route we recommend is called Transrarau and is a 28 km mountain hiking route revealing the most incredible landscapes Bucovina has to offer.

Lovers of the extreme sport can visit the longest zipline in Romania, named Palma. The installation is1.1 km long and suspended at 100m altitude, which makes it great if you really want to test your limits. Another way of enjoying these types of activities is attending the  ”Hard Enduro Bucovina”, on offroad motorcycling competition held annually.

How to choose your car rental

Renting a car is an action that can improve any trip, whether is work associated, a vacation, or a road trip. Instead of depending on public transportation services, you can opt for renting a car that will save you time and comfort by taking you to the shopping mall, conference place, or the closest mountain resort anytime you want. For optimizing your cost and avoiding any possible displeasure during your rental experience, here are 3 tips you should look about:

The size of the car

Take into consideration the number of people you will transport during your trip. If you are taking lost of family members with you, it might be a good idea to choose a bigger vehicle with enough seats for everyone. Also, keep an eye on the cars luggage space, as everyone’s cases have to fit in the trunk you don’t want your fashionista aunt may surprise you with a dozen of trollers taken with her. If you are planning to go hiking, skiing, or practicing any extreme sport(hyperlink), you also may need extra space. A good option we recommend for a situation like that is the Volkswagen Multivan 2.1, a comfortable and modern equipped van that suits all the needs.  Keep in mind: the middle place of most of the car’s rear set may not be comfortable for any passenger, so make sure you checked on that! However, is not the case of the Volkswagen Minivan 🙂

 On the other hand, a two-seater or any small convertible is great for working trips or any journey you are taking alone. 

Fuel consumption

All rental car companies require that the client has to refuel before returning the car. In that sense, try to go as economically as you can. Keep in mind 2 basic rules: benzine consume more than diesel and bigger cars consume more than smaller cars. Also, engines tend to consume more as they grow in power (horsepower). A very reliable option our company offer is the Volkswagen Multivan 6., with consumption between 6.9-7.2l/100km, a very good performance for its engine.

Where are you going

You may want a different car for going on a mountain road trip in Bucovina than for flying over the city for a working voyage. For instance, if you have to move a lot within the city or region, you may want to choose a car with small consumption. On the same note, if you will need to park the car a lot, a good option would be a small-sized car rather than a big one.  Look for car characteristics of cars that fit your needs!

Don”t worry, we got options for anybody. When going to a working trip, for instance, you may want to opt for a cool convertible that will place you in a position of power for a good price, like this BMW 5 Series we offer. A good option for road-tripping in class is this cozy Range Rover Sport, which will take you safely on any road possible.

Renting a car is a decision that can improve any voyage, no matter the type of it. Use this guide to properly choose a car for enjoying your stay at maximum!

A brief into the Transylvanian landscape

When thinking about Transylvania, usually what comes into a person’s mind are fantasy images and scenes including gothic castles, blood, and, not least, vampires. And we have to admit it – the prestige of Transylvania county comes mainly from the main character of the novel with the same name, “Dracula” by Bram Stoker.

Situated within the Carpathian Circle, the multicellularity of the Transylvanian region consists of a mix of elements from the Romanian traditional manners, old Hungarian post domination, and germanic tribes migration from the 16th century. The etymology of the word “Transylvania” comes from the Latin “terra ultra silvam”, which means “the county from abroad the forest”, which is a very accurate description of the calm vibe and picturesque aesthetics the land has to offer.

Let`s explore together some of the finest places Transylvania has to offer.

Cluj Napoca

Being the second-largest city in Romania, Cluj Napoca is a place that breathes a mix of historic vibes and young fullness.

Having the biggest universitarian importance in the country, the city is the house of 80.000 students. That means that you can find a party any day of the week, as the city is filled with pubs and nightclubs. More than that, Cluj Napoca is the place where 2 important international music festivals are taken place every year: Untold and Electric Castle.

In addition to that, Cluj is filled with cultural attractions for more sophisticated tourists, you can visit the Saint Mihail church, a piece of gothic jewelry certified from the 14-15 century, the Botanical Garden of Cluj-Napoca, a beautiful scientific institution, some museums, such as The Art Museum or Aqua Museum or you can just take a walk downtown to enjoy the vibe of the carefully decorated center of the city.

Alba Iulia

A small town with the most well-preserved citadel in the country, Alba Iulia is a place that has enormous historic importance for Romania. This is actually the place where The United Kingdom of Romania united with the recently autonomous county of Transylvania in 1918. The event is known as “The Great National Assembly from Alba Iulia”, where the leaders read a Declaration of Principles which is the base of the organization of state to this day.

The citadel is in fact a majestic and coquette construction that hosts between its walls important patrimony sanctuaries such as Saint Mihail Cathedral, the oldest Cathedral in Romania, and Batthyaneum Library, with over 50.000 books on its shelves.

Apuseni Mountains

Somewhere in Western Romania, there is a splendid mountain plateau where nature and people seem to be living in perfect symbiosis since forever. This place is called Apuseni National Park and is situated within Apuseni Mountains, also known as Western Carpathians or  “mountains at the sunset”.

Apuseni National park is a world unto itself.  A large variety of geographical forms is what gives birth a rich fauna of flora, where 1550 plant species and over 1350 animal species live together. That’s why nobody should be surprised if they hear wolves howling at any moment during the day (especially at night) or meet bears looking for food with their calves. Also,  lots of extremely rare plant species are one of the main attractions. 

Apuseni mountains give possibilities for any tourists interested in nature travel: you can visit various unique caves, such as Bears Cave, Scarisoara Cave or Vartop Ice Cave, climb mountains and enjoy wonderful views or even explore an (almost) lost cultures, such as Motilor Land, which is an isolated group of people living in harmony with nature,  far from the ”normal” world, having their specific traditions and rules. 

Sighișoara

A small town situated in the middle of the country, Sighisoara is a dwelling capable to arouse anyone’s passion for medieval buildings and historic heritage.  With colorful houses and extremely narrow streets (not common for Romania), the citadel of Sighisoara is equipped with 9 defense towers and a 64 meters long clock tower decorated with symbolic specific figurines. In other words, we can say that Sighisoara is a living medieval entity, designed for authentic-time travel. 

Brașov and Dracula

Brasov is a city situated in the soul of the mountains and touristic attractions that fits perfectly both for summer and winter season. Go for a cool hiking experience during the hot season or ski or explore the ski parties around it during the winter. Also, you can indulge yourself with an outstanding view of the city from the cable chariot all year long.  An important attraction of the city is the so-called The Black Church, an 89 meters long edifice loaded with history and legends.

If you think you saw it all, you have to wait. The best is yet to come! The best part is that one of the most recognizable Romanian symbols from across the country is just 40 km away. We are talking about the Bran Castle, an edifice built back in the 14th century in a mountain.