Romania Winter Photo Tour during Christmas and NY holidays

Summer Guided Photo Tour of Romania

Connect with Romanian culture and capture candid shots

11 Days

This Summer Guided Photo Tour of Romania will bring you in close contact with Romania’s multiple flavors and rich customs. You will be able to photograph some of the best preserved traditional occupations in the country and capture candid shots from people’s daily lives in summer.

You will interact with coppersmiths, blacksmiths and shepherds and see the celebration of an important religious holiday. Beautiful mountainous landscapes and medieval towns are also part of the itinerary.

Highlights of the Summer Guided Photo Tour of Romania

  • Photograph coppersmiths, shepherds and glass makers
  • Observe Saint Elijah’s special mass with locals dressed in traditional clothes
  • Visit the beautiful medieval town of Sibiu and Sighisoara
  • Photograph Romania’s most beautiful mountains
  • Capture locals mowing the hay in the fields and making haystacks in Maramures

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1 Thursday, July 16, 2020

Welcome to Romania! To save on drive time in the country we will start this tour from Cluj-Napoca in Transylvania region. Upon arrival you will be picked up from the airport and transferred to the hotel located in the heart of the city.

Cluj-Napoca

You will go on a walk in the largest city of Transylvania, a lively place with historic buildings and a beautiful old town.  Then, you will attend a welcome dinner and meet the other Summer Guided Photo Tour of Romania participants and the guide.

Overnight in Cluj-Napoca.

 

Day 2 Friday, July 17, 2020

Today you will travel to Maramures, one of the most authentic rural areas in Europe and also known as the Land of Wood.

Once in Maramures, you will get the chance to immerse yourself into the local culture and take advantage of the multiple opportunities to meet and photograph very interesting characters. While enjoying a walk in a village you will observe locals coming back from working in the fields or children playing in the streets.

Locals coming back from working in the fields

In the afternoon, you will visit and capture Ieud Wooden Church, one of eight buildings that are part of the Wooden churches of Maramures, UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The origins of the church are surrounded in mystery, some considering it to be the oldest wooden church of the region, dating to the 14th century.

Overnight in Ieud.

Drive time: 3h 30’

 

Day 3 Saturday, July 18, 2020

July is the time of the hay season and, as you travel around the region, you will stop and photograph people mowing hay, landscapes dotted with haystacks or people working in the fields. In Romania, after mowing the hay locals use pitch-forks to turn it, pile it up in haystacks or load it in horse-drawn carts to bring it home.

Haypicking in Maramures

Next on this day, you will visit a wood carver, see and photograph him at work and learn about the famous wooden gates which adorn the entrances to people’s homes.

In Maramures, July is also the summer wedding season, so you might get the chance to attend and capture a traditional wedding.

Traditional wedding in Maramures

Overnight in Ieud.

Drive time: 2h

 

Day 4 Sunday, July 19, 2020

On the morning of the fourth day of your Summer Guided Photo Tour of Romania you will have the opportunity to shoot one of the last fully-functional narrow gauge steam train in Europe knows as Mocanita.  The train passes through the beautiful Vaser Valley, following the course of the river and along bright green forests. The landscapes are truly worth-capturing!

Next on this day, you will visit the Memorial of the Victims of Communism in Sighet, located in a former prison where communists detained their political opponents. Here you will get to learn about the impact of Communism in the development of the country.

Following that, you will visit a very special cemetery called Sapanta Merry Cemetery. It is a one-of-a-kind place, where the crosses are lively decorated with paintings and funny poems telling about the life of those who passed away.

People dressed in traditional clothes at the Merry Cemeterry from Sapanta

Overnight in Ieud.

Drive time: 2h 30’

 

Day 5 Monday, July 20, 2020

You will start your day with observing and photographing people dressed in traditional clothes coming and going from the mass, as today is a very important religious holiday for people in Maramures. On July 20 of every year, people celebrate Saint Elijah and it is believed that it’s forbidden to work the fields on this day, as you can stir the anger of nature.

Next on this day, while traveling to Apuseni Mountains, we can have an optional stop at Turda Salt Mine, a real museum of salt mining. There, 400-feet underground, you’ll find an incredible theme park that looks straight out of a sci-fi movie. The underground lake with paddle and row boats, the amphitheater, the bowling alley and the Ferris wheel will give you some unique shots.

Turda Salt Mine

Overnight in a village in Apuseni Mountains.

Drive time: 4h 30’

 

Day 6 Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Today will start with a sunrise shoot in the beautiful Apuseni Mountains, where you’ll get to capture picturesque landscapes enveloped in a misty fog. You will continue your itinerary with some hiking and walking through a small deserted hamlet in the mountains, which will give you great photo opportunities.

You will end the day with a sunset shoot in the mountains, allowing you to enjoy the healthy air and the calming landscape.

Landscape in Apuseni Mountains

Overnight in a village in Apuseni Mountains.

Drive time: 1h

 

Day 7 Wednesday, July 22, 2020

You will continue your Summer Guided Photo Tour of Romania with a stop in a village where you will get to meet and photograph a Roma community, their way of life, work, traditions and crafts.  They are called gypsy coppersmith, which is an occupation that has been passed down from generation to generation.

Roma Coppersmith Family

You can have an optional stop in Sighisoara, a medieval town, located in the heart of Transylvania, also part of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. Its cobbled streets, colorful buildings and the beautiful and pedestrian-friendly old town will make you step back into charming medieval times.

In the afternoon you will take a horse drawn carriage ride to a sheepfold. You will be able to capture shepherds’ way of living, learn about the cheese making process, how they take care of the sheep and how they milk them.

Shepherds milking the sheep

Overnight in Viscri.

Drive time: 4h

 

Day 8 Thursday, July 23, 2020

The mornings in Viscri are truly fascinating to see, as you can capture the cows that come out in the streets to go to pasture, the locals who just milked the cows going up and down the streets carrying small milk carts, all set against the background of traditional historic buildings.

Quaint countryside - Viscri village

Then, you will meet a local blacksmith who still practice a centuries-old craft. You will get the chance to capture his work process and to learn more about this craft. Also, you can get to see the process of bread making in a traditional bakery.

In the second part of the day, you will go to a bear observatory where you’ll be able to observe and photograph in safety brown bears in the wild.

Playful bears

Overnight in Viscri.

Drive time 1h

 

Day 9 Friday, July 24, 2020

Today on your way to Sibiu you will stop at a Glass Factory, where you will have the opportunity to capture all phases of the glass blowing technique. You will see how the factory’s workers are obtaining unique glass objects, which are used even for British Royal Family events.

You will then travel on the Transfagarasan road, one of the most spectacular roads in the world, also labeled as “the Road to the Sky”. Up in the mountains, above clouds, you will enjoy Balea Lake, at around 2000m altitude. You will have beautiful views of the sharp road turns and surrounding mountains to capture on your camera.

Transfagarasan Road in summer

Overnight in Sibiu.

Drive time 4h

 

Day 10 Saturday, July 25, 2020

In the morning you will have a guided walking tour of Sibiu, Europe’s Cultural Capital in 2007. It is a great place for architecture and street photography and you will visit its 3 historic squares, admire and capture its architecture and enjoy its history.

Then you will go to the Open-air Village Museum, where you will learn about and photograph the old traditions and rural occupations from all over Romania.

Open Air Village Museum in Sibiu

In the evening, you can attend a culinary or cultural event, as Sibiu is known for hosting many events during the weekends in summer.

Overnight in Sibiu

Drive time 1h

 

Day 11 Sunday, July 26, 2020

Your Summer Guided Photo Tour of Romania ends today and you will be transferred to the airport in Cluj-Napoca, from where you will take your flight back home.

Or there is also the option to continue your visit of Romania going to the west (Timisoara, Alba Iulia, Hunedoara) or to the East (Brasov, Bran and Peles Castles) and Bucharest.

Drive time: 2h

 

Why travel with us

Suggested Itinerary Viewed On Map

Suggested Accommodation

Hotel Beyfin 4* – Cluj-Napoca

Known for its commitment to quality and attention to details, Hotel Beyfin offer to its guests accommodation in 31 rooms and apartments decorated with charming Italian furniture and having a high level of comfort. From some of the the rooms windows you can enjoy the views over the most important attractions of the city as the hotel is located in the very center of Cluj-Napoca. The distinctive elegance of the hotel can be also found in the restaurant and the upper terrace where you can delight with dishes from the Italian cuisine accompanied by local and international wines.

House of Traditions 3* – Ieud

Located in Ieud village, the "House of Traditions (Casa Traditiilor)" guesthouse is the best place to spend a relaxing time in the picturesque Maramures and to be introduced to the traditions of the place as well. The hosts will provide you with comfortable rooms traditionally decorated and will serve you delicious home-cooked meals made with natural ingredients from their own household.
Raven's Nest

Raven’s Nest 3*

Raven’s Nest is a private village located in a spectacular natural landscape in the Apuseni Mountains. The three houses, now restored, date from the 18th-19th centuries and offer comfortable accommodation in double or twin rooms decorated in a traditional style. The guests can enjoy the available facilities like hammocks, an open-air cinema or a terrace built on rocks from where they can admire the beautiful sunset over the Transylvanian mountains. The restaurant serves authentic food made from local ingredients, which is paired with excellent wines and artisanal beers.  

Timpuri Vechi – Sibiu

Initially an old house, Timpuri Vechi is now a boutique hotel in an elegant 19th century style with 9 unique rooms that combine the comfort of our days with the charm of the old times. The excellent location of this family-run business, in the very center of the Old Town of Sibiu, will make your stay even more enjoyable as you will be close to the main attractions and the best restaurants and shops.

Viscri 125 – Viscri

The 11 rooms of this rural guesthouse are located in traditional German Saxon buildings specific to this area and older than 100 years. The rooms are charming, comfortable and lack TV and internet access so you are encouraged to disconnect from the outside world. They offer set menus cooked from local ingredients and mostly by following traditional recipes. Walking out through the front gate you’ll feel like stepping back in time while exploring the village. Through the back door you will get to the hammocks area where you can relax or walk through the wildflower fields in the summer months.

About The Tour Guide

Daniel is a Romanian tour guide since 2011 and the very first tour he organized was for photographers. Since then he ran tours for several international photo tour leaders including a Pulitzer Prize winner so he became very aware of the specific needs of photographers.

He really loves the rural areas and people practicing traditional occupations and helps photographers interact with them. Previously he worked for Microsoft, Soros Foundation, Ecosistemi, Deloitte and AIESEC, lived in 4 different countries and traveled to another 30 on 4 continents.

About The Tour 

This is a cultural tour which focuses on photography by putting you in contact with interesting locals and also planning visits around interesting events and the good times of the day to take pictures. This means that on some days you might wake up early for sunrise or stay up late for sunsets and the blue hour, it is up to each participant though.

It also means that the tour plan is flexible and can be changed depending on weather conditions and photography opportunities found on the way.

Besides the planned visits at places of interest and people we’ve also planned time for 2-3 stops/day as we drive around the countryside as there are always unplanned very interesting photo opportunities, especially focused on people. It will be the tour guide who will make the call where and when to make those additional stops.

This tour is not meant to be an intense photography workshop with non-stop shooting, editing and image reviewing. The pace will be moderate so you can actually enjoy it as a holiday and learn about the culture you are visiting.

The tour guide leading this photo tour has good knowledge of photography but he is not a professional photographer or teacher. So you will be able to have interesting discussions about composition and some technical aspects but you will not be able to have very in-depth technical discussions.

Summer Guided Photo Tour of Romania: Included Services

  • Trip planning and assistance
  • Local tour guide services of English speaking licensed guide for 11 days. The guide has good knowledge of photography but he is not a photography teacher.
  • Accommodation for 10 nights in double room (with private bathroom), breakfast included.
  • Meals: 3 lunches and 9 dinners, the menus will be fixed and usually include a soup or starter, main dish, desert and a drink.
  • Transfer along the itinerary by sedan car (Ford Mondeo or similar) for up to 3 people or by 8+1 minivan (Opel Vivaro or similar) for 4-8 people. Road taxes, fuel and parking fees are included. 
  • Visits to craftsmen, workshops and communities mentioned in the itinerary

 

Excluded services:

  • Entrance tickets to tourist sites (you will probably spend around 30-40 EUR)
  • Meals except the ones included (you will probably spend on average 10-15 EUR/meal, in some places it will be more and in others less.)
  • Other services not mentioned in the above sections

For prices, please contact us for details.

Traveler’s Reviews

Gianni from Italy
“I took part in a photography tour Daniel organized in rural Romania. Excellent knowledge of local history and culture! We visited off-the-beaten path places with practically no tourists around. Daniel certainly knows some of the best view points in the country, and he tailored the tour since we were a group of photographers seeking for some good landscape views, as well as people photography. Highly recommended if you want to see real Romania!”

 

Nina from Michigan, USA
“I can’t say enough good things about the two weeks I spent with Daniel and a small group of photographers in Sept. 2016! He is probably one of the best guides I’ve ever had anywhere. Not only is he a walking encyclopedia about everything Romanian, he went out of his way to be helpful even when he should have been taking a break! He was totally adaptable to our wandering ways as photographers, giving us all the time we needed.”

 


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