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Bucovina

Bucovina: Top things to do, where to stay and what to taste

If you are planning your next holiday in Romania, Bucovina should be one of the top destinations. We are here to help you with everything you need to know about this magical land:

  • top things to do;
  • best accommodations and experiences;
  • best culinary recipes;
  • top tourist attractions and sights;

Bucovina has well preserved its traditions and customs. The people here are living as they used to hundreds of years ago. The old customs are respected without any alteration, the traditional dress is held very dear and the traditional old houses are waiting to receive their guests.

Culinary feasts with local influence, craft workshops, animal drawn carriage rides, mountain trails and many other experiences await you in Bucovina.

Our platform promotes sustainable and responsible tourism. It provides you with the most beautiful accommodations and rural experiences that you can book yourself, quickly and easily, directly with the host. This way, you will avoid paying any fees and charges.

History of Bucovina, an European top destination for cultural tourism

traditional houses in bucovina

This historical region in Romania, spread over 10,441 km², received a distinct identity from the rest of Moldova in 1775 when it was annexed to the Habsburg Empire. Its name comes from the Slavic word buk (beech). Thus, in translation, Bukovina means The Beech Land.

A place with a rich history, at the border between different peoples, Bucovina still represents today a cultural and multi-ethnic mix.

Here you will find the painted churches, which are some of the most beautiful places of worship in Eastern Europe. Constructed centuries ago by Moldovan rulers and boyars, they are true architectural masterpieces, each with its own particularities.

Now that you’ve got an overall idea of ​​this magical realm, we will introduce to you:

  • top things to do in Bucovina (main sights and tourist attractions);
  • unique accommodations and experiences, all in close connection with the history and traditions of the place;
  • best culinary recipes;
  • local traditions and customs;

Explore Bukovina

Top things to do in Bucovina

top things to do in bucovina

Painted churches in Bucovina

As mentioned earlier, the painted churches in Bucovina represent some of the top tourist attraction in the area. Of these, the most spectacular are: Putna Monastery, Sucevita Monastery, Moldovita Monastery, Arbore Monastery, Humor Monastery, Voronet Monastery, Dragomirna Monastery, Agapia Monastery and Varatec Monastery.

If you want to organize a tour of these places of worship, here is the map of the monasteries. Based on this and with the help of an interactive map (Google Maps), you can create your own itinerary.

Below we are presenting other places to visit.

Hermit Daniil’s Monastic Cell

In Putna village, on the banks of the Viteul river, there is the cell of the monk Daniil. He carved in the rock a small room with a chapel, which served as shelter for over 20 years.

Believers from all over the country would come here to seek his advice, and there was evidence of his ability to relieve their suffering. After his death, the monk was beatified and buried in the pronaos of Voronet Monastery.

This place enriches you spiritually and brings you inner peace.

Cacica Salt Mine

17 km away from Gura Humorului there is the town of Cacica. Here you will find Cacica Salt Mine, one of the oldest recrystallized salt mines in Europe, dating from the early Neolithic (5th millennium BC).

During the Habsburg Empire’s domination over Bucovina, the Imperial Court in Vienna began prospecting for the salt springs in here, in order to ensure salt supply to the inhabitants of the new province.

The salt reserve in Cacica was discovered after the drilling in 1790. By 1791 the salt mine was built. Later, workers from different ethnic groups were brought in for exploitation, most of them being Polish.

Currently, Cacica Salt Mine is in use as a tourist destination. The entrance is made by means of no less than 192 steps made from old firtree wood, arranged in a spiral form. They are several centuries old and their surface has been covered over time with mineralized salt. If you want to visit the salt mine, keep in mind that inside temperature does not exceed 10 degrees Celsius.

Cacica Salt Mine include, among others, a museum of salt, a Roman Catholic chapel, an Orthodox chapel, a salt water lake, a dance hall and the cave of the dwarfs.

The Egg Museum in Vama

Bucovina is also famous for the egg laying art using traditional motifs. There is even a private museum, in the town of Vama, dedicated to the art of laying eggs and to eggs in general. The museum has a fantastic collection, gathering over 3,000 exhibits collected from all over the world, from the smallest egg to the largest.

The collection of Bucovinian eggs is over 50 years old. They bear the imprint of the local craftwork, being decorated with various symbolic signs.

The Seat Fortress of Suceava

The Seat Fortress of Suceava is a medieval fortress located on the outskirts of Suceava. It is part of the fortifications built in Moldova in the fourteenth century. The construction of the fortress started in the time of Petru I Musat, and the fortification was made in the time of Stefan cel Mare.

The location on the end point spur of a plateau situated 70 m above Suceva meadow, offers a magnificent panorama over the entire valley.

The House with spoons at the windows

The House with spoons at the windows is a private museum founded in 1945 by Professor Ion Tugui. It presents an impressive collection of wooden spoons, harmoniously placed on the walls, ceiling or windows.

The spoons were made from various wood essences, from the most common to more exotic essences, such as fig or lemon. There is also an exhibition of spoons donated by tourists from all corners of the world, who have crossed the threshold of this museum.

The Museum of the Bucovinian Village

Traditional houses in Bucovina area, centuries old, but carefully restored and relocated in a traditional village. In the courtyard of the museum, folk music and craft workshop festivals are held regularly to illustrate the occupations and the way of life of the people of Bucovina.

The “Mocanita”

The Mocanita in Bucovina is not as spectacular as the one in the Vaser Valley in Maramures, but it can offer a fantastic experience. The 7-decade-old steam locomotive will take you through the Moldovita Valley in 3 hours (round trip).

From the wagons of Mocanita you will be able to admire the beauty of the traditional villages and the wildness of the mountains that surround them.

Transrarau Road

Transrarau Road is one of the most beautiful transalpine roads in Europe. This mountain road has a length of 28 km and connects Bistrita Valley and Moldovan Valley. The maximum altitude reached is 1,400 m.

Being nicknamed the “Treasures’ Path”, the road offers dreamy landscapes over the mountain ridges, bordered by coniferous forests. Along the road you will be able to admire the Stones of the Lady or the Adam and Eve Rocks.

By clicking on one of the top things to do mentioned above, you will discover his exact location on Google, as well as related reviews and photographs. In this way you can pin all the attractions that you want to visit and also set the route from one attraction to another.

Are you looking for accommodation in Bucovina? Here are the most beautiful traditional guesthouses

Our platform brings the top exponents of rural tourism in Bucovina in one place. We present real-like museums of the Bucovinian villages where you can book a room. Traditional houses, over a century old, excellently restored for your comfort, open their doors to welcome guests from all over the world. Every tourist crossing their threshold leaves these places enriched both culturally and spiritually.

If you want more comfort, you can choose one of the traditional guesthouses, built without making any chages to the local architectural style.
Our hosts are very kind and welcoming. They will offer you their best dishes, prepared with ingredients grown in their own garden or in their neighbors’ garden. Here you will discover a world that stood still. The experiences we are suggesting will fill your heart with joy. You will rediscover the joy of life.

Explore Bukovina

Gastronomy in Bucovina

bucovina gastronomy

If you have already decided to spend your next vacation in Bucovina, here are some tips on the local culinary recipes.

Bucovina’s food is not only meant to satiate your hunger, but also to arouse your senses. They are mainly cooked from locally grown organic foods, following old recipes, passed on from generation to generation.

Vegetables and greens play a very important role in Bucovinian cuisine. You will often find them as side or main dishes, boiled, baked, stewed or pickled. Very rarely they are fried in animal fats.

This historical region is a pastoral area and the mountains that surround it offer the cows and sheep all the necessary ingredients to give the best fresh milk. Therefore dairy products play an important role in this land’s gastronomy. They accompany all kinds of dishes, from appetizers to dessert (cabbage rolls with sour cream, the butcher’s pork and beef chops, cheese pies, etc.)

Given that over time in Bucovina people of many ethnic groups have lived, their influences are evident in the local gastronomy. Poles, Russians, Turks, Germans and Austrians left their mark on the culinary recipes.

Also known as The Land of sour cream, Bucovina adds this ingredient to every dish. Other two foods mainly used in local gastronomy are trout and ceps. The trout is smoked in fir-tree twigs and is eaten grilled or as “zacusca”. Ceps can be served as stew or as filling for cabbage rolls.

Bucovina’s gastronomy mainly uses poultry meat and fish, but there are also some culinary recipes for pork, game or beef. Soups are soured with “borș” and are thickened with a mixture of sour cream and eggs. Try the “Radauteana” soup.

Being the homeland of painted churches, it also offers some delicious fasting recipes: the mushroom pie at Dragomirna Monastery or the vegetable sausages at Putna Monastery.

The forest offers fresh and healthy food to the people. Everything that is edible is cooked here, from nettles, sorrel and garden sorrel, ramson and even beetroot. These dishes are delicious.

Desserts are not left out in the Bucovinian gastronomy either. These are usually made of doughs with different fillings. You can try the Moldavian Easter cake, the “Poale’n brau” cheese pies, the Moldavian sweet bread, the pumpkin, cheese, apple or cabbage pies.

Customs and traditions in Bucovina

bucovina customs

Bucovina is a fairy tale land, excellently preserved. People here still live according to the old customs and traditions. Even if it is said that the most beautiful winters are in Bucovina, the main celebration here is Easter.

Easter traditions and customs in Bucovina

An occasion of great joy for the people of Bucovina, the Easter celebration starts on Palm Sunday. This is also known as the Sunday of Poles. It is considered that the signs on this day are predictive for the rest of the year. If the weather is good on Palm Sunday, it is said that it will be a good and fruitful season, and if the frogs make their appearance on this day, it means that the Bucovinians will have a pleasant summer.

On Palm Sunday the willow branches are sanctified. Then they are taken home and placed on icons, as a symbol of well-being in the household. At the same time, the holly willows are thought to bring love to the unmarried girls and to chase away the pain of the sick.

 

Winter in Bucovina. Traditions and customs

The last month of the year is full of religious traditions. These centuries-old practices have been passed on from generation to generation until today. Bucovina is probably the place that has best preserved the winter holidays traditions.

The carols, the greetings and the wishes, with lyrics, vary from one village to another. Some of them are of Christian origin, others are pagan. Most of the latter are humorous and are aimed at the person who is being caroled.

The folk theatre scenes, performed at the gate or inside the households, are not unusual in the villages of Bucovina. The carolers are dressed in traditional dress, with local specificity, and are accompanied by musicians carried in plows pulled by oxen.

The traditions continue after the New Year, with Sorcova, Chiraleisa and the throwing of the cross in the water on Boboteaza Day.

The spirituality of the Christians is very suggestive here, and this allowed the perpetuation of the archaic village life. Young people and the elderly alike are looking forward to the holiday seasons in this special universe called Bucovina.

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