Bucovina is a region in Romania of special beauty. I can say that Bucovina is a place of the soul because we felt so good there and we found so many tourist attractions of incredible beauty. Bucovina is famous for its painted churches, for the black pottery from Marginea, for the Putna monastery and Daniil Sihastru’s cell, and for the fantastic landscapes and delicious traditional food.
This itinerary includes the Painted Monasteries of Moldova, museums, the Seated Citadel of Suceava, a trip to Poiana Stampei where you can see the mysterious Tinovul Mare peat bog, a place almost unknown to tourists but incredibly beautiful, a visit to Salina Cacica, a trip to Rădăuți, a visit to Neamț Citadel and Neamț Monastery and ends with a trip in Borzești where you can see a bridge that legend says was built by Stephen the Great.
Here is how we planned our route through Bucovina, what we visited every day, what restaurants we ate and where we stayed.
We leave Bucharest and head to Gura Humorului
Road: 450 km, Total time on the road: 7 Hours
Road to Gura Humorului
The road from Bucharest to Gura Humorului has no highway but is an express road with a lane and a half, crowded, especially between Bucharest and Bacau. After Bacau, the road becomes freer and after passing Roman it is really beautiful and picturesque. On the way, there are enough gas stations and places where you can stop or dine.
Lunch Break at Hanul Ancutei
Hanu Ancutei – “May it remain an enchanted place for travelers from all over the world.” (quote from the food menu at Hanu Ancutei)
Putna, Sucevita, Marginea
Road: 160 km, Total time on the road: 3 Hours
Putna Monastery + Putna Museum (1 hour)
According to legend, this place was decided by Stephen the Great after shooting an arrow from the top of the hill located near the monastery. The building was erected on the ground where the arrow hit.
Visit Marelbo (shoe manufacturer) (15 min)
The Romanian footwear manufacturer has 60 stores and a factory in Suceava. The factory store is considered a point of attraction due to the factory prices.
Black ceramics from Marginea + Shopping (30 min)
In a village in Bucovina, called Marginea, there is a treasure hidden in the hands of potters. The treasure is their skill in creating black ceramic vessels of great beauty. The craft of creating black ceramic pots is special and not very common.
Road: 105 km, Total time on the road: 2 Hours
Suceava Fortress (1 hour)
Legend has it that Stephen the Great built, under Suceava Medieval Fortress, a tunnel that ends somewhere near the Church of St. Dumitru in Suceava.
Bucovina Village Museum (1 hour and 30 min)
A beautiful, traditional museum where you can find old houses from the Moldavian area. The museum is located right next to the Citadel of Suceava.
Lunch at the restaurant in the parking lot (1 hour)
There are a few restaurants in the parking lot of the seat of Suceava. I can’t say they are extraordinary but they are not bad either, the food is decent.
Dragomirna Monastery (30 min)
The Dragomirna Monastery was built in 1602 in Mitocu Dragomirnei village, in Suceava County, by Anastasie Crimca of Moldova.
Cacica, Arbore, Radauti, Moldovita
Road: 150 km, Total time on the road: 3 hours
Cacica mine, Cacica (2 hours)
Salina Cacica is among the smallest salt mines in Romania, but one of the most interesting. Salt is still extracted from this salt pan that you can find in stores.
Arbore Monastery (15 min)
The church bears the commemorative plaque dedicated to St. John the Baptist. Arbore Monastery is one of the Painted Monasteries in Moldova.
Radauti (2 hours)
The city is known especially for the Bogdan I Foundation, the Bogdana Monastery, the oldest wall church building in Moldova.
Lunch at Radauti (1 hour)
Moldovita Monastery + Moldovita Museum (30 min)
On the outside walls of Moldovita monastery, visitors can admire historical scenes, religious or cultural.
Vatra Dornei, Mohos Peat Bog, Voronet, Humor
Road: 222 km, Total time on the road: 4 1/2 Hours
Vatra Dornei (30 min)
Vatra Dornei or Pearl of Bucovina is a beautiful resort known for its mineral waters and temperate climate, being surrounded and protected by the Carpathian Mountains.
Walk on a wooden bridge in a fairytale swamp forest in Poiana Stampei, Romania. The peat bog is a swamp, an area where the groundwater reaches the surface and a specific flora is formed, consisting largely of moss.
Voronet Monastery (30 min)
Voronet Monastery azure blue is the dominant color, made with crushed azurite mixed with a mysterious substance that makes the hue lighter, and more vivid. The color composition remains a mystery.
Folk Traditions Museum of Bucovina (30 min)
This museum in the center of Gura Humorului is a place where the practices and traditions of the area are revealed to you.
Humor Monastery (30 min)
Humor Monastery was one of the first of Moldavia’s painted monasteries and, along with Voronet, is probably the best-preserved.
We leave Gura Humorului and we are heading to Targu Neamt
Humulesti, Agapia, Varatec
Road: 115 km, Total time on the road: 2,15 hours
Ion Creanga Memorial House and Museum (30 min)
The Ion Creangă Memorial House, now a Museum, is the house where the Romanian writer Ion Creangă grew up.
Agapia Monastery + Agapia Museum (1 Hour)
Agapia Monastery is famous due to its interior frescoes painted by the great Romanian painter Nicolae Grigorescu.
Vivant Museum (15 min)
On the way to Agapia monastery, on the left, is the Vivant Museum, where you can see how, in the past, those in the service of God lived.
Alexandru Vlahuta Memorial House (15 min)
The Alexandru Vlahuță house, now a museum, is located in Agapia and is the place where the writer Alexandru Vlahuța lived.
Varatec Monastery + Museum (15 min)
Varatec Monastery is the largest nunnery in Romania, currently having about 400 nuns.
Veronica Micle’s Tomb (15 min) + The “Saint John the Baptist” church – dating from 1844
Veronica Micle is famous because she was in love with the greatest Romanian poet, Mihai Eminescu.
Neamt Monastery, Neamt Citadel
Road: 145 km, Total time on the road: 3 hours
Neamt Monastery (30 min)
In Neamt Monastery there is a miracle-working icon of the Virgin Mary painted in 665 in Israel. The settlement has the largest and oldest monastery library (18,000 volumes).
Neamt Citadel (1 hour)
Find out the legends, the mystery and the secrets that surround this fabulous medieval fortress.
We leave Targu Neamt and head to Bucharest
We stop in Borzesti to visit the homeland of Stephen the Great
Road: 430 km, Total time on the road: 6 hours and 30 minutes
The Church from Borzesti (15 min)
We stop in Borzesti to visit the homeland of Stephen the Great. The church was founded by Stephen the Great and Saint in 1494.
The Bridge from Borzesti (15 min)
Legend has it that Stephen the Great built this bridge. The bridge is not a properly marked tourist attraction. Access to it is from the main street, crossing the railway and driving on a dirt road next to the railway. After the monument on the left that is not important, you will reach the bridge. You can go down to the valley to admire the bridge.