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An unorthodox adventure with a very orthodox twist: sound intriguing? Try spending the night in a Romanian orthodox monastery on our Highlights of Romania Tour.
A country still relatively untouched by tourism, Romania remains beautifully wild and fascinating. Its population is a huge mix of different ethnic groups, each of which has fought to preserve their own cultures and traditions.
One of the least known regions is Neamt County, in the historic region of Moldova – not to be confused with the Republic of Moldova. Very few tourists venture here, yet it is one of the most appealing parts of the country.
You’ll find a slower pace of life, with rolling hills, simple villages and untouched nature adding to its charm. A contrast to the bustling capital city of Bucharest, arriving in the Neamt County is a breath of fresh air.
This is where you’ll find Neamt Monastery, a Romanian Orthodox religious settlement and your accommodation for the night. Built in the 15th century, it is a classic example of mediaeval Moldovian architecture.
The monastery also houses a museum, equipped with icons, bibles, crosses, goblets, weaves and sculptures. A printing house was established here, meaning you can find one of the richest monastic libraries in the country.
Monastery in Târgu Neamt
Established for pilgrims, the accommodation here is simple but comfortable. Located in a separate building next to the medieval building, rooms are equipped with twin beds and en suite bathrooms.
Sheets are provided and you’re expected to make up your own bed. After all, this is a monastery, not a hotel. The monks here are hospitable, friendly and happy to talk to you about the history of this place.
A hearty dinner is provided, consisting of produce that is reared or sourced locally. Romanian cuisine delivers, with influences from its surrounding countries like Bulgaria, Moldova, Ukraine and Hungary.
In typical Romanian fashion, bread, soup and a hot pickled pepper is served as a starter. This is quickly followed by roasted lamb, pickles, and rice mixed with vegetables. All of this is washed down with a glass of the monastery’s homemade wine.
After dinner, the evening is yours. You can be thankful that you’re not required to clear the table and wash your own dishes at this monastery, so if you’re not too full, feel free to finish off the wine – the monks provide surprising quantities of it.
You can also look forward to a substantial breakfast in the morning; tea and coffee, freshly baked bread, eggs, local cheeses and jam. You can also enjoy chips and homemade cheesecake, if you can handle it.
So if you’re after a dose of history and culture, wholesome food and some peace and quiet, stay in a Romanian Orthodox monastery for a unique experience.
Find out more about our tours to Romania below.