Traditional life in the Carpathians: Shepherding

  • Walking through virgin forests
  • See Europes mega fauna
  • You have access to protected areas with local experts
  • Tracking the large carnivores

In an area of particularly beautiful, sunny glades how often are in the Carpathians, the tradition of sheep breeding is kept sacred by hardworking people with big hearts.

Shepherding is a basic occupation among locals for hundreds of years, it is an activity where the real work, toil and difficulties are compensated by contentment and satisfaction given by this ancient profession.

Livestock farming is an activity that prevails in the Carpathians, people also raise cattle in this area in so-called “odăi”  (small isolated farms), that are temporary settlements used during the warm season. Here, is prepared a traditional product, very good and specific to this area, is the famous cheese of Vrancea.

When you see the sunrise and hear the sheep and cows full of dew grass bite you feel happy.

When you see the sunrise and hear the sheep and cows biting the grass full of dew, you feel relaxed and happy.  And when you get only praise from your customers, for the taste and for the  traditional preparation of your products and succeed every time to thank your customers, gives you a huge boost of energy and feel motivated to continue your good job.

For a period of seven days you can enjoy this ancient, simple and quiet lifestyle,  participating in the special tour organized by our agency.

Day 1 Bucharest - Barsesti

Your holidays will start in Bucharest, capital of Romania. On arrival at the airport in Bucharest you will meet your guide, who will accompany you throughout the holiday.

We quickly leave the crowded town and we head for a small village in the Carpathians. We will travel 3 hours to the village Bârseşti located in the Eastern Carpathians, where we stay in a traditional sheepfold and we will enjoy a traditional Romanian dinner.

Upon arrival in Bârseşti village we meet to make a brief summary of your cultural adventure, then you are invited to relax in order to be prepared to meet the romanian culture and explore the wild forests of Carpathians.

Day 2 Bârseşti village - Şura - permanent sheepfold of Chirilă family

Early in the morning, you will have a natural, delicious and hearty breakfast, so you’ll be ready to visit the permanent sheepfold of Chirilă family. Şura hill area is beautiful and scenic. But also attract wild animals that occasionally approach the sheepfold and even attacking sheep in the fold. That is why people here have adapted perfectly to cohabitation with the largest carnivores of the Carpathians.

During this day you will go along with shepherds and their sheep to graze sheep and protect them from large carnivores. During the day you will learn the traditions respected by the shepherds, you will learn and listen to stories translated by your guide, you will hear songs played flute by shepherd and with a little talent and exercise you will learn to play flute.

brosura+bear+friendly+FINAL_mic_romana-19Lunch will be a traditional one, as it eats shepherds up in the mountains, with a little brandy before meals, fresh cheese, onions, mutton pastrami  and a cup of cold water spring.

In this relaxing day you have the opportunity, while sheep graze, to see much of the biodiversity of the Carpathians, shepherds and your guide will show you different species of plants, trees, birds, invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles and mammals that will show in front of you.

After a long day,  you have accumulated numerous knowledge, but you have also relaxed under the shade of trees in the glades of Carpathians it is the time to return to the sheepfold with the sheeps, and enter them into enclosures to be milked. Now it is time that you learn the technique of milking sheep directly from the sheep the shepherds practicing for decades.

This wonderful day will end with a dinner abundant with good things produced right in the sheepfold where you are.

The evening will continue with the stories told by shepherds about the life at the sheepfold, encounters with wildlife in the Carpathians and the attacks of large carnivores at sheepfold. At night you will spend at Chirilă sheepfold permanent family where you will have a quiet and restful sleep.

Day 3  Chirilă family permanent sheepfold - Căbălaşu - Chirilă family tempor

The morning will start with a rich breakfast, so you’ll be ready to climb to the temporary sheepfold which is located far but in a more scenic area that has not changed much by human hands.

On route to the sheepfold will be accompanied by a guide passionate about nature and culture of these places, and you will receive explanations for the beautiful objectives that you will see during this trip.

At noon you reach the sheepfold, where you are expected to eat lunch ready prepared. After the meal at the sheepfold we receive more information about the customs and traditions of shepherd life and we will explain why this sheepfold is temporary and is not used throughout the year.

Here we will help shepherds to prepare some specific products: curd cheese, cheese and others, learning archaic techniques for preparing such wonderful products. After enjoying a delicious lunch together, we go to see the sheeps grazing and meet with shepherds. Here we will learn more about these places directly from the shepherds, then we headed back to permanent sheepfold of Chirilă family to not be caught by the night on our route.

Once arrived at Chirila family sheepfold, we have dinner, and because it is the last night you’ll spend in our hosts house, this will be a special one, we will enjoy the most special and good food.

In order to be great, the evening will continue with a folklore dance and music specific to this area in Romania where you will be the special guest.

After this party you will sleep in the sheepfold of Chirilă family.

Day 4 Chirilă family permanent sheepfold - Soveja - The farm of Bălbărău family

In the morning we will start a little later, if the party continued long into the night, we will have breakfast
and we will prepare explore a new wonderful area of Wild Carpathians.

We will travel about 70 km to Soveja on the dirt road to Soveja you will see the wonderful landscapes
and you will understand better how it is to live in the middle of the Carpathians.

brosura+bear+friendly+FINAL_mic_romana-25

In Soveja we will visit the workshops of craftsmen that build wonderful objects using archaic tools, where you can choose souvenirs made to your taste. Also in these workshops you have the opportunity to learn how to use all these tools and begin to make specific Romanian crafts, even yourself,  under close guidance of the master. Time passed quickly as we visited craftsmen workshops and it is time to move to where we sleep and we will dinner. In the evening we reach Bălbărău family farm, where we will have dinner and will spend the evening, we will have enough time to know the following day the surroundings.

Day 5 The farm of Bălbărău family

Bălbărău family farm is located on the Orjoaga hill, in Soveja area, together with hills whose names have various signification, such as Stag coast and Yellow steep.

Drum de car

When you open your eyes in the morning and you come out you will see a very beautiful area with sunny meadows, colorful flowers and animals that graze quietly.

IMG_8290In the morning you will start by taking a healthy breakfast consisting of products whose mode of preparation you will discover later.

After breakfast you will get acquainted with the inhabitants of this farm, that are keepers of ancient traditions and appreciates the work, the warm sun and the lives of animals.

Ursus arctosYou will visit each of the members of the farm and understand the specific role of everyone here. You can help everyday tasks, you’ll see where are grazing the animals and learn to prepare the famous smoked cheese.

In the evening you will be guided at an observer used for hunting and you will see wild animals living in the forests of the Carpathians, and with any luck you will see large carnivores: the wolf, bear and lynx.

Happy that you had the opportunity to observe wildlife in the Carpathians, you return to the accommodation where you will enjoy a delicious dinner waiting for you.

Day 6 The farm of Bălbărău family

Today we will smoke the cheese prepared yesterday and until midday you shall help the members of Bălbărău family in daily affairs in the farm.

After lunch you will visit the wonderful surroundings around the farm, horse riding and cycling as you prefer, accompanied by your guide.

In the evening we return for dinner and we will have a special traditional moment, enjoying food and traditional music particular in these places.

The Bălbărău family knows how to work but know also to enjoy the leisure time, so you get a great moment for your last evening spent in the Wild Carpathians of Romania.

Day 7 Soveja - Bucharest

The beginning of this day depends on flying hours in Bucharest and during last night’s party. We enjoy a natural breakfast, fill our lungs with fresh mountain air for the last time, we get to say goodbye to family members Bălbărău and we start to Bucharest airport to take the flight back home.

Additional Information

What\'s Included?

Everything is included in this tour. All meals and drinks, accommodation, local guide, airport transfer, local transport, sightseeing fees.

Equipment

Included equipment

Available to you will be made all the necessary equipment for this tour: binoculars, compass, map, camping equipment, sleeping bag, hammock, and more. You will also receive small field guides, a representative list of wildlife in the area and a DVD with an image gallery and documentation in this area. You will also have access during your stay to our travel agency library you will find many books that will interest you and will answer your questions.

Personal equipment

We recommend that you bring your own binoculars. The clothing must be warm, including long pants, fleeces, thermal underwear and socks, scarves, wool hats, gloves and impermeable clothing. Although the weather is particularly chilly, the sun may shine strong, so we recommend you bring sunglasses and cream with high UV protection factor. Obviously, a pair of comfortable and waterproof boots are a must.Do not forget any other items of a personal nature, such as medicines. Do not forget to bring many memory cards for your camera.

Additional Costs

Almost everything is included in this tour. The only things not included are international flights, travel insurance (please contact us for more information that is required to achieve the insurance policy), any food bought outside the three main meals, drinks outside of anything offered at meals and bottled water provided throughout the day and any items of a personal nature such as souvenirs.

Visa and Health

If you are a citizen of one of the EU countries you do not need a visa to enter Romania. The citizens of other members states, other than those of the European Union we kindly ask to contact the embassy to find out if there are visa restrictions.

There are no health restrictions or recommendations to visit Romania, but please consult your local doctor for more information.