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Farm Stay in the Western Carpathians
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Farm Stay in the Western Carpathians

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 3 - 15 day(s)
Group Size: 1 - 10 people
Destination(s): Romania  
Specialty Categories: Farm Stay & Ranching   Walking Tours  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 145 Euro (EUR)
Maximum Per Person Price: 700 Euro (EUR)

You stay during 1 or more weeks on a farm and have the possibility to live like generations of Romanian people do. The farm has all kind of animals and you can just enjoy or help out taking care of the farm animals. There is a vegetable garden, orchard hay and farmland. You can take active part in all farm activities. At the farm, you sleep in guestrooms and traditional dishes will be prepared for you. Food is as much as possible homegrown vegetables and fruits, homemade cheese and other products.

If you have special needs or wishes, we discuss this before or in the beginning of your holiday and arrange that all is provided. During your stay you will be invited to take active part in several agriculture activities at and around the farm, under guidance of the local farmer. That can be making a haystack, harvesting potatoes, milking the cow or even working with the horse. You will have the possibility to see and help out how people here prepare the long winter and make jam, syrups, pickles, wine or even plum brandy. Further you can learn or see how cheese is prepared and how the shepherds prepare cheese higher in the mountains.

On Tuesdays there is the local market. You will be invited to help to collect wood fruits such as berries, mushrooms and medical plants. Your host will demonstrate you how typical dishes are prepared. Further there will be lots of time to make small hikes around the village and to visit the region. Your guest family: Jeny and Traian Matis have 2 daughters, Ramona 15 years old and Gina 21 years old. The farm is located in the village Risca. There are several donkeys at the farm. In the surrounding forest are a lot of berries and Jeny likes to make all kind of fruit juices, marmalades and pies.

The region: In Western Romania lies a splendid mountain plateau that is little known: the Apuseni Mountains. The main access roads in the country swing around it, the towns are built at its margins. It’s a huge plateau cut in 2 by the scenic Aries River. The nature is green and unspoiled, the forested hills change with colorful open meadows. Numerous rivers have cut spectacular canyons and created the most fascinating caves. You could name them “the Green Mountains”. Experience the very warmhearted hospitality in a region where tourism is still relatively new and every guest is welcomed as a friend of the family.

This page is a window to the beautiful landscapes, unique nature and people of the Green Mountains; The Apuseni Mountains. Harvesting the forest is still mostly pure man and horse-power. Logs are moved down the slopes by horses, then transported with horse and wagon to the summer villages where they are cut to timber. Most of these remote places have no electric power and all mechanized tools are somewhere powered by tractors or other engines. That means also that there is no electric power in the wooden cabins where the people stay for the summer. They come up around the 20th of May and stay for 3 months, till end September, the time the grass is gone.

The men cut and transport the trees and cut them to timber. The women take care of the household and the farm animals and often help loading, unloading timber. Things don’t change much in the mountain villages. Since ancient times people live in, around and from the forest. The people made huge pastures higher up in the mountains where they herd sheep and cattle. These open meadows are colored in spring and summer by millions of flowers, many species since long gone in western Europe. The shepherds move with the sheep up in the mountains in late May, only to return end September. Some shepherds are herding their own flock, others are herding the sheep for the whole village and are paid a percentage of the cheese.

Some shepherds stay for the whole summer at the same spot, others move around and sleep in handmade mobile wagons. The sheep are milked up to three times a day and the milk is directly processed in cheese. The shepherds stay with their huge sheepdogs day and night around the flock to protect them from wolves and bears. The farm lies to the west of Cluj Napoca and the region is dominated by the enormous Vladeasa Mountain. The more than 1800m high ridge is the first barrier after the flat plains of Hungary. The Vladeasa Mountain itself is an old volcano, but the surrounding mountains are mainly limestone. The region is world wide known for its magnificent caves, the largest and finest of Romania.

The southern border of the region host one of the most spectacular nature reserves of the country: Padis. The Hungarian minority names this region the “kalotaszeg region”. Their culture and traditions survived here stronger then in Hungary. Their beautiful colorful handwork got attention during several world expositions at the end of the 19th century and ever since people produce all kind of embroidery that can be seen and bought in the region. Manastireni, Valeni and Izvoru Crisului have some lovely examples of the typical “Kalotaszeg” church with very steep steeple and roof covered with wooden shingles.

The ceilings are beautifully decorated with century old wooden cassettes. 25 km long Fintinele lake is the highest of a chain of 4 lakes on the Somes River. A beautiful region to fish or for boat trips. Marisel, Rogojel and Maguri are some of the highest settlements in Romania. An enormous forest stretches for 100 km from the Vladeasa mountain in the west to the Trascau mountains in the east. It is a perfect region where you can make beautiful hikes or bike along the thousands of kilometers of forestry roads, a region where predators as wolf and bear still roam the remote valleys, a region where nature was mainly left untouched.

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- Accommodation in full board
- All activities, children < 12 have special rates: 50% off.

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