Eco tourism or sustainable tourism is relatively new in Transylvania. For many mountain regions it is or will be an important secondary income, at some places even the main income. As Romania is integrated in the EU, the traditional way of farming will disappear and with that the traditional way of living for the mountain people. Unless extra incomes can be found or created. Tourism and then especially sustainable tourism proved to be a very good source of income.
About 10 years ago people started to offer rooms to foreign tourists. Before it was not allowed or discouraged by the communist government. That doesn't mean that the local people don't have experience in offering services. On the contrary. People were offering a bed to family or friends way easier than in Western Europe. A traditional Transylvanian house has a special guest room, in most cases the biggest and best room of the house. This room was never used by the owner of the house. The room was kept for the occasional visitor. This rooms are now offered to foreign or local tourists.
Active eco tourism is new. In many Western European countries lots of people start to become more aware about their way of living and some try to do something about it. Lots of people live again in rural areas or have there a second residence. There is again a lot of interest about how things were done in the past. How people were living, how they were preparing for the winter, how they were harvesting. Because the people here keep so strong to their traditions, you have here the perfect possibility to go back in time and take active part in their way of life, or more or less see how your ancestors lived 50 or 100 years ago.
With our programs we try to stimulate young people to stay home in the villages and to prove that there is a decent future in rural tourism for them as well. And not only for that alone. The average age of the population in many remote villages is well above 60. They keep most of the traditions alive. There is a certain danger that in the long run many of these traditions will get lost. Traditional farming and artisan handwork is not always that profitable. Tourism will help providing a better income.
Green Mountain Holidays offers only programs that respect the nature and rural and sustainable development in Romania.
What has been done:
Tourism infrastructure is being developed:
Sancraiu offers bicycles for rent, cycling and hiking trails are being marked.
Hiking trails are also being marked in Risca, Rachitele, Manastireni, Marisel, Girda, Albac.
Kayaks are offered in Albac
Info panels, brochures and a web page are being prepared.
Accommodations are upgraded to western European standards.
Courses are given to the local population.
The ecologic club "Transylvania" from Cluj Napoca organizes in collaboration with external partners symposiums, courses, workshops, information- and development projects
We've included a special page about the Apuseni Mountains: click here
and there is a movie about the Gilau and Vladeasa Mountains click here
We would like to offer in the future workshops as well. Many crafts are authentic to each region. Many of these crafts could be introduced to tourists during a family holiday. We are thinking about making pottery, woodcarving or building with wood, building an authentic oven, basket work, weaving, making wooden barrels, working with a horse and much more.
It would interest us to have some response from you about this.
Further information and development about these workshops will be updated on our web page.