Within approximately 100 kilometers range from Suceava, in Northern Romania, the Ciocanesti villages are a must-see for anyone interested in exploring some of the country’s oldest traditions and crafts.

The commune sits on both sides of the Bistrita Aurie river, along the national road DN18 with a mountain valley landscape as it is part of the Suhard and Obcina Mestecanisului mountains. Those interested in mountain walks have plenty to pick from in the surrounding area where one can find the Icoana peak (1,593 meters), the Faroane peak (1,715 meters), Botosu (1,473 meters), Orata (1,388 meters), Oita (1,294 meters) or Capraria (1,249 meters).

The site preserves rich traditions, habits, and architecture that led to the commune be declared a museum in 2004. The houses in the area stand out with their exterior painting and some of the best-preserved traditional Romanian dress can be found here. From animal breeding to forest keeping, the occupations of the village inhabitants remain connected to traditions.

One of the main attractions in the village is the Museum of the Painted Eggs, where craftily painted eggs can be admired. Ciocanesti also hosts the national festival of Painted Eggs, a unique event in Romania.

There is a peonies reservation in the area, which can be visited until end-July of each year. The National Trout Festival takes place here between August 14th and 16th and throughout summer you can try the whitewater rafting on the Bistrita river. Among the other sites to see in the area are the Ciocanarilor cave and the Sfintii Apostoli Petru si Pavel (St. Peter and Paul) hermitage.

Where to stay:

There are more than 15 guest houses in the area to choose from for accommodation, mostly in the 2 or 3-star category and promising an authentic experience. You can see a list of them here.

You can check the ride from Suceava to Ciocanesti here.

Photo source: www.viatransylvania.com