Come with us! Maramureș, Bukovina and South-Eastern Poland


This year, the travel season starts late along Río Wang, but this also demonstrates the strength of the Wang river. After all, a full revolution and the intervention of a superpower was necessary to renounce the repetition of the Crimean tour, planned for this spring and awaited by so many of our readers, as well as the Lemberg Easter, which is especially painful, because this year, as a rare constellation, every denomination of Lemberg – Catholic Poles, Ukrainian Greek Catholics, Russian Orthodox, and Armenian Catholics – celebrated it in the same days in the countless churches of the city, on its streets and squares, as well as in the open-air museum of wooden churches.

Our first tour in this year, by popular demand, is the repetition and expansion of last year’s Maramureș-Bukovina journey. Between 25 and 29 June (Wednesday–Sunday) we leave from Budapest by bus, and arrive through the medieval city of Baia Mare/Nagybánya, the cradle of Hungarian Impressionism and the gate of historical Maramureș, to one of the most archaic regions of Transylvania. We visit its wooden churches included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage and its Hasidic cemeteries, Sighetul Marmației/Máramarossziget, the central town of the region, cut in two by the Tisza river and the Ukrainian-Romanian border, and the “merry cemetery” of Sapânța/Szaplonca. We climb up with the narrow-gauge forestry railway to the virgin forest in the border mountains, to return in the afternoon, along with the wagons loaded with wood, to the Rusyn village of Vișeu de Sus/Felsővisó. We walk to the Horses’ Waterfall and the pass of the Radna Mountains. We visit the Renaissance-style princely monasteries in Bukovina, painted both inside and out with the full symbolism of Orthodox icons, which also feature on the list of UNESCO World Heritage. Our accommodation will be in traditional peasant farms engaged in agroturism, and – if we manage to reserve in time – in the Bukovina monasteries. The participation fee for the five-day tour (accommodation with breakfast + bus from Budapest and back + guide) is about 270-300 euros, depending on the number of participants. If you are interested, please register by 31 May, after which we will publish, on the basis of the certain registrations, the final participation fee and send out the detailed program.

Our previous posts from the the former county of Maramureș (click for a full map), which will increase in the following weeks.

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On our second journey, between 13 and 17 August (Wednesday–Sunday) we will wander all over Western Galicia, today’s South-Eastern Poland, the richest region of the medieval and early Polish kingdom and the traditional center of Polish Jewry. Our road leads through Renaissance cities and castles, shtetls and beautifully carved Hasidic cemeteries. Leaving from Budapest by bus, we first stop in Krakow, where we visit the Renaissance old town, the Wawel and the Jewish suburb of Kazimierz, well off of the tourist routes. Through the medieval town of Sandomierz we arrive at Lublin, a second center of medieval Polish kingdom and formerly its largest Jewish center. From there we turn south to visit the most beautiful old towns along the modern Ukrainian border, the ideal Renaissance Zamość, Leżajsk, the Hasidic pilgrimage site and Jarosław, the seat of the former Jewish “parliament” of Poland, to Przemyśl at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, a former bulwark of the Austrian Empire, and to the Bieszczady, the most romantic mountains of present-day Poland, where we will also visit the ghost villages of the Rusyns displaced after WWII. Turning back to the west, we will pass through the Renaissance towns of Rzeszów, Tarnów and Nowy Sącz and come to the Dukla Pass, where we also stop at some of the soldiers’ cemeteries of the 1915 Gorlice breakthrough, and from where we will return, through Bardejov/Bártfa and Košice/Kassa to Budapest. Here you can find the planned route of the journey. The participation fee for the five-day tour (accommodation with breakfast + bus from Budapest and back + guide) is about 300-330 euros, depending on the number of participants. If you are interested, please register until 31 May, after which we will publish, on the basis of the certain registrations, the final participation fee and send out the detailed program.

Soon we will publish new plans of further journeys.