If in Western Europe the rural tourism is more a remembrance than a reality, Romania takes advantage of this aspect and started promoting its villages and the simple rural life. The foreigners are eager to travel back in time, to sleep in wooden houses up in the mountains or in authentic Saxon houses. Romania still offers these experiences and many more, such as milking cows and preparing cheese like many years ago; gathering grapes and preparing wine; traveling in horse carts around the villages or simply watching the shepherds still tending their sheep.
One of the Romanian villages that still offer these experiences is Cund (in German, Kund) from Mures County. Over the centuries, the city was inhabited by Romanians, Hungarians and Saxons and the result is a fusion of cultures and traditions. Unfortunately, most of the people left the village and it didn’t seem like they were planning to go back, especially the youngsters. Bu things changed after 2003, when Ulrike and Jonas Schäfer, original from Germany, decided to move to Romania, convinced by Jonas’s father who was a social worker in Transylvania. Since 2005 the couple dedicated themselves to developing the rural tourism in Cund and opened a resort called Valea Verde (Green Valley).
Jonas and Ulrike bought old houses from the village, restored and refurbished them in a simple and authentic style and brought them to life. Valea Verde is a complex of houses spread throughout the village. You can book double rooms, apartments or even entire houses.
Jonas, a promoter of good food, traveled all around the world and ate in Michelin star restaurants. He even worked as a helper in the kitchen and stole the secrets of the gourmet dishes. Once established in Cunt, he took his passion to the next level and opened a restaurant with gourmet dishes. It was for sure a risky decision to bring gourmet food in a village with 100 inhabitants, but the restaurant is now visited by Romanians from the entire country and from foreigners from all around the world. And all of these happen because the food and the wines are simply amazing.
The owner usually cooks the dinner when he’s there, but we missed him and had a buffet dinner. It was very good, but not outstanding. As for breakfast, we had Benedict eggs with truffles, and some other local products, like cheese, salami, home made bread and jam. At lunch, we served pasta with truffles and the most delicious panna cotta I’ve ever tried (and I just got back from Italy). The food is not cheap at all, but it’s exquisite and it is worth it (except the buffet dinner, I’m sure the regular dinner served by Jonas would have been way better).
Pasta with truffles
Benedict egg and pannacotta
We spent one night and one day in Valea Verde and it was very relaxing. The area is gorgeous, green and peaceful, with several places you can sit outside. There is also a lake surrounded by green spaces, hammocks, cozy sofas and chairs under beautiful trees. It is a great escape into the nature, far away from the urban jungle. Ulrike and Jonas were not there when we visited, but we were greeted by Niclas, a young man from Germany who was doing his summer internship here. He was an amazing host and we talked the hind leg off a donkey with him!
Valea Verde is an experience itself and as Ulrike and Jonas say, it is ” a home away from home”. If you ever plan a trip to Romania and you’re interested in seeing the rural side of our country, don’t hesitate to pay them a visit!
- Access to a small swimming lake
- Bike rental (10 euro/day/bike)
- Bear watching (35 euro/person)
- Truffle hunting (350 euro/1-12 persons)
- Riding lesson (15 euro/25 minutes, 30 euro/45 minutes)
- Horse and cart trip (30 euro/ 1-6 persons)
- Cheese making (call Istvan at +40749968944, 15 euro/person)
- Relax and enjoy a good book in a hammock