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June 2019, Orlat – Romania
It’s not a secret that we love nature and authentic rural landscapes. After looking for villages with preserved architecture and rich cuisine, the area Marginimea Sibiului was the winner for the weekend. Finding a beautiful place to stay in the middle of nowhere was also a guarantee of a great holiday.
Little did we know this was going to be our last vacation in Romania. But that’s another story to tell. 🙂
So if you’re looking for an escape in nature, cannot recommend enough Marginimea Sibiului! We will show you below what you can do on a short visit.
Translated as The Outskirts of Sibiu, this region represents the south-western part of the Sibiu county, limited by the Sadu river in the south and Saliste in the north. The villages are a colorful surprise for the visitor’s eye. We stopped in Orlat and took day trips to the surroundings.
The area where Marginimea Sibiului lies now, was known from the times of the Roman Empire. The oldest known village is Rasinari (1204), followed by Talmaciu (1318), Orlat (1322) and Saliste (1354). An important event in the area was the establishment in the 18th century of the 1st Romanian border regiment at Orlat.
People living in Marginimea Sibiului were predominantly shepherds, who continuously crossed the Carpathian Mountains, maintaining the link between the Romanian communities to the north and to the south of the mountains. The name of margineni comes from the geographical region, placed exactly between hills and the mountain, on the outskirts of the former Austro-Hungarian border of Transylvania.
The gastronomy of Marginimea Sibiului is a mixture between Romanians, Germans, Saxons and Hungarians. The dairy products are a true delight! Some of the most known ones are telemea cheese, sour milk, burduf cheese, kneaded cheese or urda.
So, a first thing to do is tasting the food and wandering the village by foot. Colorful houses are a regular presence, as well as stork nests built on top of electric pillars. Neighbours chat outside on the wooden benches, sharing daily news until sunset.
If you are wondering what else happens around here, try to observe the wedding habbits in the village. 🙂 On a day like this, everybody is wearing their best colorful clothes, like it’s the most important event of the year. Tradition is an important part of everyday life.
We end the day with a short trek on the nearby hill. Happiness really lies in simplicity.
Astra Museum Sibiu
Not far from Orlat, there is an open air museum to explore in the Dumbrava Forest. It’s usually quite a challenge to find traditional houses from all historical regions of Romania, but Astra open air museum has it all. A walk through history is a good reminder of how much things changed.
It was such a refreshing day!
Right when we’re about to leave, another beauty pops up. The Fortified Church from Cristian is the last surprise on the road, before we return home fully recharged.
If you have more time
In terms of main attractions, each village has its charm. Here are some of the spots not to miss: the Octavian Goga Memorial House from Rasinari, the Broken Tower from Boita, The Ortodox Church from Talmacel, the wooden houses from Rau Sadului, The Evangelical Church from Cisnadie, the Fortified Church from Cisnadioara, the traditional houses from Rasinari and Poplaca, the Medieval Fortress from Sibiel, the water mill from Gales or the Dacian Fotress from Tilisca.
Conacul Maria Theresa is the perfect luxury spot in the middle of nature. We had all the modern amenities, while still enjoying the local cuisine and the nature escape that we hoped for.
Happy travels and stay safe!
Anita & Geo, World travellers