Traditional life in Transylvania and Maramures Photo Tour
Immerse yourself into the local culture
Roam Romania in search of some of the last truly rural places in Europe during this spring photo tour of Transylvania and Maramures. You’ll meet handy craftsmen practicing centuries old occupations, you’ll learn about intriguing traditions that are still part of people’s daily lives and you’ll be able to photograph the beautiful countryside and landscapes. Charming medieval Transylvania and bucolic Maramures abound with photographic opportunities.
This tour will take place between 25 April and 2 May in 2020.
Highlights of the Traditional life in Transylvania and Maramures Photo Tour during spring
- Visit a glass factory
- Capture the bohemian atmosphere of Sibiu, former European Capital of Culture
- Photograph the authentic character of Viscri village in the warm morning light
- Get insight into the gypsy culture
- Explore a traditional village and see old farming equipment
- Capture a steam-gauge train travelling through beautiful natural landscapes
Day 1 25th of April 2020 – Saturday
Start your Transylvania and Maramures photo tour in Bucharest, Romania’s capital, where you will be picked up from the airport and transferred to the hotel located in the city center.
Later in the day you will meet your photo tour leader, local guide and the other participants.
Accommodation in Bucharest
Day 2 26th of April 2020 – Sunday
In the morning you will leave Bucharest behind and travel to Sibiu, a beautiful medieval city with a charming atmosphere. Former European Capital of Culture, it is a wonderful place to admire the colorful architecture specific to the German Saxons and to learn about their history.
Not only will you have plenty of opportunities to practice street photography, but you will also have a blue hour photo shoot in the Old Town.
Accommodation in Sibiu
Drive time: 4h30
Day 3 27th of April 2020 – Monday
Today you’ll get an insight into the local culture as you’ll visit two places where locals managed to preserve their roots and practice occupations like centuries ago.
First of all, you’ll go to a glass factory and photograph the workers as they make objects using an old blowing technique.
You’ll then learn about one of the other communities that live in Transylvania and have managed to keep alive their traditions, the Roma. You’ll visit a 4-generations-family, among which the father is a coppersmith, and capture them in their home or as they work.
Lastly, you’ll arrive in Viscri village, a well-preserved Saxon settlement and which houses a UNESCO site, the Fortified Church.
Accommodation in Viscri
Drive time: 2h
Day 4 28h of April 2020 – Tuesday
You’ll start the fourth day of your Transylvania and Maramures photo tour with an early photo shoot on the streets of Viscri. You’ll be witness to quite interesting scenes, as the animals make their way out of the houses and towards the pastures, the villagers wander the streets carrying with them milk carts and the children get ready for a new day.
Later in the day you will visit the fortified church and its museum where you can learn about the history of the German Saxon population that founded Viscri. You can also go to a bakery and see how bread is made in the region using a traditional method, after which you will meet a blacksmith and photograph him as he puts on horseshoes to a horse.
Accommodation in Viscri
Day 5 29th of April 2020 – Wednesday
Another UNESCO site is Sighisoara, a very well-preserved medieval citadel dating from the 12th century. You’ll have the chance to capture the charming bohemian atmosphere of the place, the colorful buildings and the uneven cobbled streets during a walk through the historical citadel.
In the second part of the day we will head to Maramures, home to Wooden Churches, hospitable people and an authentic way of life that you might encounter in only a few other places on Earth.
Accommodation in Ieud
Drive time: 5h30’
Day 6 30th of April 2020 – Thursday
A unique place that captures the essence of the locals is the Merry Cemetery in Sapanta. They see death as a celebration of life, rather than a sad event. That’s why here the crosses are lively decorated with pictures and funny poems telling the story of the deceased. After photographing the most interesting graves, you’ll also visit the workshop of the man who makes them.
In the afternoon you’ll have another opportunity to get deeper into the local culture and learn about the traditional rural life. You’ll visit the village of Sarbi and see how a brandy distillery, a natural whirlpool, on old mill and a thresher operated by a water stream work, the way they did centuries ago.
No trip to Maramures would be complete without a visit to a Wooden Church. You’ll see the one in Ieud, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Accommodation in Ieud
Drive time: 3h
Day 7 1st of May 2020 – Friday
Today you will head back to Transylvania, to the city of Cluj-Napoca, but not before capturing one of the last fully-functional steam trains in Europe, Mocanita. The train travels through deep forests and along the river stream and you’ll get to capture it in motion.
Later in the day you will reach Cluj-Napoca, a city filled with history, art and culture.
Accommodation in Cluj-Napoca (Transylvania region)
Drive time: 4h
Day 8 2nd of May 2020 – Saturday
On the last day of your photo tour you will be transferred to the airport from where you will take the flight back home.
Hopefully, you got to capture the essence of traditional life in Transylvania and Maramures and made plenty of great memories.
Suggested Itinerary Viewed On Map
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 Photo Tour Leader
Born in the City of Derry, Trevor Cole has lived most of his life outside the bounds of Ireland; in England, Singapore, Togo, Italy, Ethiopia and Brazil. He returned to Ireland (Donegal) in 2012.
Trevor Cole’s photography focuses predominantly on culture and landscapes; images which reflect a spatial and temporal journey through life and which try to convey a need to live in a more sustainable world.
To capture people and landscapes and the interactions between them in the light of a world in transition is to encapsulate an inimitable moment, which will never again materialise. His own ‘take’ as a geographer photographer!
Trevor Cole has been published in magazines, calendars and cards, and has presented to The Royal Geographical Society in December 2011 and to tertiary institutions in Ireland. He also reached the final of Travel Photographer of the year in 2010, 2011,2013, 2015 and 2017 and was also a finalist in the ‘Wanderlust Magazine’ Travel Photographer of the year in 2013 and 2016 in the portfolio category.
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 the good times of the days 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 photo tour leader who will make the call where and when to make those additional stops.
Since we’ve included a lot of visits to people’s workshops and houses and those do not have a fixed schedule it is likely that during the trip we might need to make some changes and adjust the itinerary to their plans. With those people, because of the way they run their life we cannot make appointments with a long time in advance. Even if we can call them 9 or 2 months in advance they will tell us to call them with only few days’ notice when they know better their plan for that particular day. But even if we have to skip one of the visits we now included in the tour description we will make up for it by stopping in other places, this has never been an issue but we’d like to communicate this expectations that the tour schedule is flexible.
Traditional life in Transylvania and Maramures Photo Tour during spring: Included Services
- Trip planning and assistance before and during the tour
- English speaking local tour guide throughout the program (accommodation and meals are included)
- Guidance from international experienced photographer (accommodation and meals are included)
- Accommodation for 7 nights in standard double rooms with private bathroom, breakfast (B) included
- Transfer by 8+1 minivan only for a group of up to 6 (including photo tour leaders) and by minivan and SUV (if the group will have more 6 persons) on the itinerary described above
- Meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner on each day
- Entrance tickets, including additional fees for taking pictures at the tourist attractions included in the itinerary
- Visits to craftsmen, workshops and communities mentioned in the itinerary
- Private transfers from the airport to hotel on arrival and from hotel to airport on departure
Services which are not included in the tour price
- Personal expenses
For prices, please send an inquiry for details.
Gianni from Italy
“I took part in a photography tour they organized in rural Romania. Excellent knowledge of local history and culture! We visited off-the-beaten path places with practically no tourists around. They certainly know some of the best view points in the country, and they 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!”
Enis from Turkey
“Being interested in photography, this trip definitely had an impact on my experience and I learned a lot being there. In no moment I felt like a tourist or a guest, it was like being with friends that I have known for a long time. Thanks for this amazing experience; I hope to see you again in Transylvania again in the future.”