As much as I am well aware of Romania’s beauty as I have grown up by the countryside, I still found myself in awe when we arrived last month, in July, to Breb, Maramureș. Although during the days spent in Maramureș we have visited other touristic attractions, we have wondered the village hours and hours, we have walked around and admired the picturesque scenery and rented a bikes to reach places faster. It is just impossible to not be astonished by the simplicity of rural living. Although one might find the villagers’ lives quite primitive one way or another, the fact that they are one with nature and so closely embraced with its wonders is fascinating to me. When taking a short glance into the past we would notice that that only few decades ago Europeans lived just as people in Breb, and while in other countries this way of living hasn’t been very well preserved, you can fully experience it here. It’s just hard sometimes to appear unemotional, especially in front of views like those seen in the photographs above.
Traditional wooden houses in vibrant colours are situated on each side of the tiny gravel roads, with villagers greeting you from their porches as if you were one of them. Their hospitality and friendliness can only make you feel all tingly inside. On an evening walk an older man with a warm voice invited us over to have a traditional pie with cheese the next morning, which I found adorable: inviting a stranger to share their meal. In Breb you will find the famous wooden gates specific to Maramureș, skilfully carved by local craftsmen, they make this heavenly place even more breath-taking. Fancy restaurants are replaced with local specialties and products prepared by the villagers – and they are tasty! In regard to accommodations you can find a review of the place we’ve stayed at down below.
The time spent in Breb I felt was short, but we will for sure return as the village has so much to offer that one cannot get enough of it in a couple of days – or perhaps in a lifetime. However, I believe we should visit at least once every season as I’m convinced autumn paints the forests surrounding the village in the most exquisite colours and winter highlights the very well preserved and respected traditions.
CASA LU’ ȘTEFAN | BREB
We have spent 4 days in Breb, days during which we have had the outmost pleasure to stay in probably the most beautiful, traditional and authentic little house we have ever stayed in. Casa lu’ Ștefan is a recently but wonderfully restored traditional wooden house of a villager who sadly passed aways. If someone would ask me where to stay when visiting Breb, I would definitely recommend this house as it offers everything one needs on a holiday: as you enter the house there is a grand kitchen in traditional style, in very vivid colours and with authentic objects (starting from the table and the stools to the modern utensils, the sink and the coffee maker that fit perfectly in the picture) that can help you visualize exactly how Ștefan, the initial owner, lived. The kitchen is equipped with everything you need if you plan on visiting and staying there: coffee maker, fridge, utensils, plates, electric stove and probably everything you can think about. The bathroom is gorgeous, with tiles and a sink that look authentic yet modern (and, besides the looks, the water pressure is great, which as of my experience, is something many accommodations have a problem with). The rooms are tidy and very spacious, with wardrobes to put your clothes and personal belongings in and really comfortable beds. The décor in the whole house is splendid, it instantly teleports you back in time and the smell of wood is only adding up to that. Not only the house is exquisite, but the garden as well, with a swing you can spend the evenings swinging in. What I found even greater was Casa lu’ Dochia, the traditional restaurant next door. The food was delicious and we felt compelled to go back there again and again. The hosts, Andreea and Marius, we’re the kindest! We were greeted by one of them and they checked on us every now and then to see if we need anything, which was lovely of them and we definitely did appreciate it. It’s really important to know that your hosts are kind. As I previously mentioned, Casa lu’ Ștefan is probably the most beautiful house I’ve ever had the pleasure to stay in and if we were to go back to Breb again, which I’m positive we will, there’s no doubt we will spend our time there. You can find more about it by clicking here.