“Welcome to your guide to Romania
This website is intended to assist travelers who are planning to visit Romania or would like to learn more about Romania.
Authentic, natural, cultural and cruel to animals are the words that best capture the essence of Romania, a dynamic country rich in history, arts, scenic beauty, homeless mistreated animals, and – of course – corruption.
Romania offers countless unique travel experiences that are waiting to be discovered. And those who love animals can be assured that Romania offers countless animal related experiences that will haunt them forever.
A journey of a few hours by car or train can take you from the Danube River to a beautiful, intact, medieval town in Transylvania; from Bucharest – Romania’s capital city – to the Black Sea; from Southern Transylvania to Bucovina or Maramures. Take a step back in time as you visit one of the world’s famous painted monasteries in Bucovina, the ancient, hilltop citadel in Sighisoaraor an authentic, centuries-old, folkloric village in Maramures.
Do not miss the Carpathian Mountains or Carpathians – a range of mountains forming an arc roughly 1,500 km (932 mi) long across Central and Eastern Europe, making them the second-longest mountain range in Europe (after the Scandinavian Mountains, 1,700 km (1,056 mi)). They provide the habitat for the largest European populations of brown bears, wolves, chamois and lynxes and which are currently being hunted to extinction.
You will find the traditional villages enchanting, with the golden glow of the sun against the soft pastel houses and residents going about their business, tending the chickens, their vegetable gardens, disposing of their unwanted newly born puppies or sitting on the front porch can make an unforgettable scene. In villages and in the countryside, on lands dominated by ancestral castles, old fortresses and peaceful monasteries, life moves a little slower and follows ancient rhythms of tradition and culture and you may see peasants assisting with the government promoted animal ‘eradication’ program. It is cautioned that if you have children then it’s perhaps best to avoid this “pastime” as it can be a truly gruesome experience and it would traumatize your children forever.
In fact, and in order to safeguard the emotional and psychological health of your children, we would suggest not to leave your hotel or your holiday resort at all because witnessing dogs and cats be beaten to death, shot, hung, run over on purpose, or dying a slow and painful death because of poisoning is something that can spoil the most beautiful vacation.
Where ever you go – be it the country side or in one of Romania’s vibrant cities – readily apparent are the numbers of animals living on the streets and it is strongly advised that drivers are not tired when they drive on Romanian roads, not only because you will not want to miss any of the beautiful scenery, traditional villages and ancient castles but it is important to be alert to the constant necessity to have to drive the car around the many animal corpses in the road.
If you decide to visit Romania and to take your dog(s) with you, please be advised to NOT let your dog(s) off the leash. Not even once. The hunting law in Romania gives the right to hunters to shot ALL dogs which are not on a leash on fields, ravines, forests… and even if they are on a resort property at a certain distance from the last inhabited building house.
Letting your trusted friend off leash would also be dangerous because of the widespread poisoned baits that are being laid out to ‘eradicate’ the abandoned, homeless animals. Carbofuran, also known as Furadan, is a very effictive and very dangerous poison that is banned in the European Union since 2008, but widespread in Romania. It kills indiscriminately: homeless animals, beloved companion, child or adult – Furadan kills them all.
Deep in the heart of the Romanian countryside, the Maramures region epitomises the country’s rural heritage and showcases traditional peasant lifestyle beautifully. The area itself is a scenic masterpiece of natural beauty with remote mountain passes, beautiful valleys and vast expanses of open landscape. Its rolling countryside is a patchwork of green pastures and meadows carpeted with wild flowers, peppered here and there with clusters of small villages that embrace peasant lifestyle. Cold, pure well water beckons the thirsty traveler from the roadside… streams should be avoided however as they may contain the body of an abandoned animal.
It’s not unusual to see a farmer bringing his fruits to the marketplace in a horse drawn wagon or to encounter a village festival where the locals perform ancient rites of planting and harvest dressed in colorful traditional costumes.
Horses are a familiar sight everywhere. They run around freely on the streets, they are used as workhorses, they pull carriage, they are beaten to make a last effort even if they have already colapsed – unable to get up, and they are also abandoned just like dogs are. Those who will make it to a slaughterhouse – alive or dead for some time – will end up in a Findus-lasagne.
Most major tourist attractions in Romania are easily accessible by public transportation but travel by car is perhaps the best way to discover Romania’s charming villages and to reach attractions located in areas with limited bus or train service. As said before: driving whilst tired is not recommended not only to allow viewing of the stupendous scenery but also to avoid the many animal bodies which you will find in the road.
We are not aware of any major incidents regarding driving in Romania but feedback from a few U.S. and Canadian travelers have indicated that some Romanian drivers have a competitive driving style (improper passing / cutting into another car’s path and tailgating flash of the headlamps are not uncommon). A recent report shown on national Romanian TV has shown that young driver’s favorite pastime during their weekend nights was to run with their cars in packs of stray dogs trying to hurt and kill as many as possible. So please be especially cautious while driving at night because an encounter with such, often drunken and/or drugged, drivers can be very dangerous.
You might find the added picture disturbing, but if you really plan to visit Romania, you better get used to this kind of images because THIS is what you are getting to see. Romania IS a beautiful country, Romania HAS breath taking country sides, enchanting villages, and vibrant cities, but where ever you go, all present is the smell of death, the smell of decomposing, rotting animal corpses, mixed with the sound of tortured animals along with the cries of shocked children who have to witness it…
The tourist must be cautioned against the strong possibility of experiencing public abuse and killing of animals. One survey found that 86% of children in Romania had seen this ‘many times’.
But so as not to be denied a visit to this land of rich culture, beautiful scenery and unique fauna and flora, some have already suggested that special ‘Tourist Preparatory Courses’ should be set up which should prepare the tourist for the sometimes horrific treatment of animals by causing them to desensitize to this… to induce a psychological defence mechanism causing the tourist not to feel emotional pain when seeing such sights when they visit Romania. This is the same process as undergone by all children who live in Romania. It is rather a horrifying thought to think that potentional visiters will then be free to explore the quaint villages and medieval castles without being affected by the death and misery which they will see.
Although the techniques that would be used in these courses have proven successful, they come with a price: and that is that the attendees may find that they feel less empathic towards their neighbour and less compassionate to those in need. These are regularly experienced side effects of the desenzitization process.
The next video will give you quite a good idea about what kind of images you will come to face during your vacation in Romania. If after watching this video, after reading our introduction and the other information compiled on this page, you are still inclined to visit Romania… we wish you a nice holiday. You can be assured that it will be an unforgettable experience.
If you have decided to rethink your country-choice or if you have already decided to spend your hard earned money in another country, in a country that is NOT cruel to animals, we would invite you to please take a moment and to sign Occupy for Animal’s petition to the Romanian Tourism Board and other officials informing them that you will NOT visit their country because you have come to know of their horrific mistreatment of animals, and that you will encourage others not to visit either until Romania changes its ways, and we thank you very much, in advance, for your signature.