Things to See in Transylvania: the 7 Stairs Canyon

Most people that visit Romania are looking for things to see in Transylvania. One of the area’s main attractions is Brasov, a vibrant city full of history and culture. It is at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains and is surrounded by nature. One special place just outside of Brasov is the 7 Stairs Canyon or as it’s called in Romanian ‘Canionul Sapte Scari’. What makes this place spectacular, is that you can climb through the canyon on stairs and boardwalks, alongside the falling water. The photos below were taken before the renovations, when the rickety stairs and boardwalks were part of the adventure. Nowadays, there is no risk when walking through the canyon, with families with young children among the many visitors. If you were near Brasov, would you go visit the canyon?

Brasov, Romania

When I moved back to Romania, I knew one thing: I had had enough of the traffic and chaos of big cities. Don’t get me wrong, Toronto is an amazing city, but living there made me realize I’m more of a small city girl. Imagining that Bucharest was even more chaotic than Toronto, I wanted to stay away (although that didn’t last too long and I don’t regret my change of heart). I was considering moving to Brasov, a small city at the foot of the Carpathians, with its less than 300,000 inhabitants and intricate history written into every aspect of the city. I didn’t know much about it, before deciding to move there, so I went to walk around the town center on a warm autumn day. This is what I saw and the city won me over. Had you been in my place, would you have made the same decision?

 

 

In Maramures, Romania you must see the Barsana Monastery

In the heart of Maramures, hidden between rolling hills and quaint villages, not far from the must-see Mocanita Steam Train, you will find the Barsana Monastery. I have called Maramures the keeper of traditions. This monastery, although only recently built, has kept tradition by constructing its buildings out of wood in the typical Maramures style. You will notice the wood is a light color, not yet darkened by the elements, as is the wood of the hundred-year old wooden churches dotting the Maramures landscape. Impeccably kept grounds with blooming flowers, beautiful architecture, a place of spirituality and peace.

Aventura Parc – Brasov, Romania

Instead of cutting down forests to make space for shopping malls, why not make a natural amusement park - Aventura Park, Brasov, Romania

Romania is home to Eastern Europe’s largest adventure park. If you travel to Brasov, why not spend an afternoon outdoors at the foot of the Carpathian mountains? Climb through the trees at your own pace and level. And don’t miss out on the over 300m long zip-line that takes you over a lake! This is a tourist sight off the beaten track, so happy adventuring!

Visiting the Danube Delta – Romania

The Danube is Europe’s second largest river. It flows from its spring in the Black Forest in Germany almost 3000km to the Black Sea in Romania. On its journey it flows through four European capitals:  Vienna – Austria, Bratislava – Slovakia, Budapest – Hungary, and Belgrade Serbia. So it’s really no wonder that the Danube has always played such an important role. Over 1000km of its journey is in or bordering Romania. It enters Romania at the Iron gates, where it has carved its way through the Carpathian mountains, then acts as a natural border between Romania and Bulgaria. It eventually heads north and as it flows into the sea forms the Danube Delta.

The Danube Delta is a significant biosphere, recognized by the UNESCO World Heritage Organization. It is the largest and best preserved of all European deltas. It is a series of canals, islands, lakes, and marshes, whose borders and shapes change with every passing season and year. What is so special about this natural reserve is that it hosts over 300 species of birds, some migrating from North Africa and Siberia. But it is not just home to wildlife, but also to fishing communities whose traditional cultures are still alive since they have been somewhat separated from the rest of the world. There are many things to see in the Danube Delta.

As you visit the Danube Delta, you will probably start in Tulcea, the gateway into this corner of Romania. Here you can find the Tulcea office of tourism, accommodations, and boat tours. You can also reach a few other villages by road, such as Murighiol or Dunavatu de Jos. In every village you will find at least basic forms of accommodation if not beautiful resorts, delicious fish dishes, and boat tours. Most typically, tourists are taken with small motor boats on canals along the reeds, to small lakes where pelicans and egrets hide, to Lake Razim, the largest lake in Romania, or even to see wild horses. You might also choose to spend a few days in Sfantu Gheorghe or Sulina, the main towns in the Delta. There you will spend time by the sea, watching the long journey of the Danube come to an end, as it flows into the Black Sea.