Rural reality in Romania Photo Tour 2019 – Alternative Visions & Light Motives

The graveyard craftsman


12th April – 21st April 2019




€2600 PP
10% Deposit required

Romania, and especially Maramures region, is the last truly rural place in Europe. Our photo tour focuses on the rustic nature of the country and its ancient traditions. Landscapes and agrarian practices are inextricably linked and we will strive to capture the life of people in the villages of Maramures, the colorful paintings on the walls of Bucovina’s monasteries and the charm of the old medieval Saxon towns of Transylvania. Whilst on tour we will photograph rural life, which takes you back in time and capture some of those inimitable moments with artisans who still, to this day, take real pride in their craft. Many spontaneous opportunities to photograph arise as we travel (architecture, people old barns, livestock, shepherds, horses and carts…), hence we will stop to capture those moments.

View past photographs of Romania

Tour Details
Alternative Visions and Light Motives
Rural reality in Romania
Photo Tour
Friday 12th April (Day 1)

You arrive in Cluj-Napoca and will be transferred to a hotel located in the heart of the city. Depending on your time of arrival you can have dinner and relax or explore the older part of the city.

You will also meet with your photo tour leader, local guide and the other photographers participating in the tour. There will be an outline of the tour, introductions and expectations from the group

  • Accommodation in Cluj-Napoca
Saturday, 13th April, 2019 (day 2)

Today we travel to Bucovina region, “the land of painted monasteries”.  On our way we pass through a mountainous region with opportunities to capture beautiful landscapes, lakes surrounded by forests and villages and people carrying on their traditions agrarian practices.  Ploughs driven by horses are still used to work the land. Horse and bullock carts and shepherding of livestock are commonplace.

Before dinner we have a photo presentation.

  • Accommodation in Vama (Bucovina region)
  • Drive time: 5h
Sunday, 14th April, 2019 (day 3)

We travel today to Moldovita where you will photograph one of the few steam trains still functioning in Europe. As the train travels through villages, forests and by the river we will have a few different opportunities to capture it in motion from the roadside.

We then visit Sucevita monastery, set in a beautiful location among gentle hills and featuring the largest number of wall paintings of all painted monasteries of the region.

You will then return to your guesthouse in Vama but on our way we will have a stop at Sadova to photograph the picturesque landscape dotted with haystacks, barns and lined with fences.

  • Accommodation in Vama (Bucovina region)
  • Drive time: 3h
Itinerary continued…
Monday, April 15th, 2019 (day 4)

We leave Bucovina behind and travel to Maramures region also known as “the last peasant culture in Europe” and renowned for its wooden churches.  

There is an opportunity to visit the workshop of a renowned potter. As with all the artisans we see, there are opportunities to take photographs.

  • Accommodation in Danesti (Maramures region)
  • Drive time: 5h
Tuesday, April 16th, 2019 (day 5)

Today we discover more of traditional rural life and the people of Maramures region, in the village of Sarbi. We visit a brandy distillery so you can learn how the locals process the fruit to obtain the strong horinca (fruit brandy), a natural whirlpool, an old mill and a thresher operated by a water stream and still functioning as they did centuries ago.

In Sarbi you will also visit a traditional shoe-maker and you can photograph him while working.

In the afternoon you will travel to Sapanta where you will see the Merry Cemetery. Here the crosses are decorated with poems on the carved wood that telling stories of the deceased.  You will also meet the man that makes the crosses and visit his workshop.

  • Accommodation in Danesti (Maramures region)

Photo review and critique in the evening if time permits

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 (day 6)

We start the day by visiting one of the tallest wooden churches in the world in Surdesti village.

In the afternoon we travel to Sighisoara, a well preserved and beautiful medieval town in the heart of the country, built by the German-Saxons in the 12th century. You can wander the narrow cobbled streets in search of the best perspectives to photograph the colorful historic buildings.

In the evening we will arrive in Viscri, a well preserved traditional Transylvanian village.

  • Accommodation in Viscri (Transylvania region)
  • Drive time: 5h30’
Itinerary continued…
Thursday, April 18th, 2019 (day 7)

We spend the early morning on the streets of Viscri village as it is a time of the day when people start their activities. People take their milk to central points and cows are gathered and taken to the pastures by a herdsman. Photo opportunities abound.

In the middle of the village, there is a fortified church built by the German-Saxons in the 13th century, a place of prayer for the villagers but also for shelter, in the past, when the enemies attack the village.  

We visit a black-smith and hopefully photograph him while shoeing to a horse.

Photo talk and review if time permits

  • Accommodation in Viscri (Transylvania region)
Friday, April 19th, 2019 (day 8)

Today we get an insight into gypsy culture and visit a Roma family learning about their unique traditions. The man is a copper-smith and we are able to photograph him and his family.

We have lunch at an organic farm where all the food is prepared with natural products.

In the afternoon we see another traditional practice in Transylvania; charcoal making. We see how charcoal is made, by burning wood for a long period of time and get to know and photograph the workers while they carry out their activity. The smoke and faces of the workers create great photo opportunities.

  • Accommodation in Sibiu (Transylvania region)
  • Drive time: 3h30’
Saturday, April 20th, 2019 (day 9)

We have a morning photo walk in the charming medieval town of Sibiu, roaming the cobbled streets, admiring the beautiful historic buildings and eye-catching roofs.  

We then travel, weather permitting, to a colorful lake created by residues from a neighboring mine. The lake has already drowned a village and the spire of the church emerges ominously from the lake. We can visit it only if the weather is good as the road is unpaved and can be impassible during rainy periods.

In the afternoon we visit two beautiful villages of Hungarian heritage:  Rimetea and Coltesti.  In Coltesti we can hike to a nearby ruined fortress with a good ‘landscape’ view over the village and mountainous backdrop. Accommodation in Coltesti

  • Drive time: 4h30’
Sunday, April 21st, 2019 (day 10)

On the last day we travel back to Cluj-Napoca for the return flight home and hopefully with good memories and inimitable moments captured on camera.

  • Drive time: 1h

Departure flights should be after 11 am so there is enough time to get to the airport.

Accomadation included

Accommodation for 9 nights in standard double room (with private bathroom), breakfast included:

  • 1 night in Cluj (13-14.04), at 4* Hotel Beyfin ( ).
  • 2 nights in Vama village, Bucovina region (14-16.04) at 4* Bucovina Lodge rural guesthouse ( ).
  • 2 nights in Danesti village, Maramures region (16-18.04), at 3* Hanul Teilor rural guesthouse ( ).
  • 2 nights in Viscri, Transylvania region (18-20.04), at Viscri 125 3* rural guesthouse (
    1 night in Sibiu, Transylvania region (20-21.04), at Hotel Casa Luxemburg 3* (
  • 1 night in Coltesti, Transylvania region (21-22.04), at Conacul Secuiesc 4* (

An authentic experience

We choose to stay in rural guesthouses as they offer a more traditional experience and they are closer to good photo opportunities. The rooms are comfortable and clean and have en-suite bathrooms. The difference between a rural guesthouse and a hotel is that in a rural guesthouse usually there isn’t a 24h reception, meals are served as a set menu (not a la carte) and there is no bar. By staying in these rural retreats you will feel like you are truly in Romania.

Services included

Breakfast, lunch and dinner for 10 days (starting with dinner on day 1 and ending with breakfast on day 10)
Meals normally include soup or a starter, main dish, a dessert, water and coffee/tea and a soft drink (a glass of juice). For the last dinner wine/beer is also included.

Entrance tickets, including additional fees for photography:

Sucevita monastery
Sapanta Merry Cemetery
Surdesti wooden church
Viscri fortified church

Visits to craftsmen, workshops and communities mentioned in the itinerary

Private transfers from the airport to hotel on the first day and from hotel to airport as guests come in and depart, even if they are arriving or leaving at different times.

English speaking tour guide services and photo tour leader/s throughout the tour.

Travel by 8+1 minivan only for a group of up to 6 (including photo tour leaders) and by minivan and SUV (if the group has more 6 participants).

The cost of the tour is €2790 . To reserve a place there is a deposit of €279

If you have any questions please contact me via email or Ring +353 872825851