charlie ottley adam vanecko traveller sirnea brasov transilvania transylvania rumunsko romania

Șirnea – from a pastoral settlement to a tourist village

While in the past the small village of Șirnea was a shepherd settlement, today it boasts the title of the 1st tourist village in Romania.

How to get to Șirnea?

Șirnea is located in southeastern Transylvania in the central part of Romania at the foot of the Piatra Craiului National Park at an altitude of 1,244 m above sea level. From an administrative point of view, it is located on the edge of the Brașov county.

By car

Route number 730 passes through the village. It connects to the European route E574, which starts in Bacău and ends in the city of Craiova.

By bus

Buses stop at the bus stop Statie Șirnea Ramificatie, which is located 3.4 km/6 minutes by car southeast of the center of the village.

By train

You cannot get to the village of Șirnea by train, because there is no railway line running through the village.

By plane

Brașov-Ghimbav International Airport (Aeroportul Internaionale Brașov-Ghimbav; international code according to IATA: GHV) is located 44.5 km/49 min. by car northeast of the village of Șirnea. The airport boasts the title of the 1st airport built in Romania in the last 50 years. At the same time, it is the 3rd largest airport after Henri Coandă Airport (OTP) in Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca Airport (CLJ). The airport was opened only in June 2023. Brașov is the 2nd most visited city after Bucharest.

From the airport, you can reach destinations such as Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga, Valencia in Spain, Brussels in Belgium, London-Gatwick, London-Luton in the United Kingdom, Dortmund, Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart in Germany or Rome-Fiumicino airport in Italy. In 3 months of operation (June-August 2023), they transported more than 30,000 people to the airport.

What to do, see and visit in Șirnea?

The DeȘirnea Experience tourist activity center will take care of your leisure time in the municipality of Șirnea. In the village there is a cozy museum of regional importance, a house in which Romanian traditions still live and a house in which the world-famous British journalist Charlie Ottley lives.

DeȘirnea Experience

The aim of the DeȘirnea Experience association is to support and promote activities for the protection of the environment and the well-being of the local community. All activities for visitors are eco-friendly with no impact on the environment and supported by local residents. You can explore the village and its surroundings on foot, on a classic MTB bike, electric bike, electric mountain bike, from the saddle of a horse or from the seat of an all-terrain vehicle.

The center also focuses on hippotherapy (treatment using horses). Some activities you complete by yourself, others with a guide. You can reserve all services by filling out the on-line form on the company’s official website. If I worked in a company in Romania, I would definitely suggest to my boss that we do team building with this center during some activity, or even at all of them. The center also includes a shop with products from local craftsmen.

School museum

The former school provided its premises for the local museum. It is also located in the center of the village. You can find the location of the museum in the maps as a School (Şcoala), but also as a cultural center of Radu G Teposu (Centru cultural Radu G Teposu). We were guided through the museum by a man who looked like a magic grandpa from a fairy tale. The museum’s permanent exhibition was very similar to the ethnographic exhibitions in museums in Slovakia. It’s a pity that all the explanations for the objects on display were in Romanian.

House of traditions

Only 230 m/3 minutes on foot south of the center of the village stands the house of traditions. In it, we could see how wooden shingles were made in the past (why not today). The work of a skilled craftsman was very well looked at with a fantastic cone in hand. Well, better said, it tasted like our doughnut. At the same time, the very nice lady of the house showed us what it looks like in such a (perhaps typical) Romanian household. But be careful, the house is not an open-air museum or a museum. It is still inhabited.

Charlie Ottley’s house

Charlie Ottley, the British journalist and TV presenter behind the travel documentary Flavors of Romania, also fell in love with Romania. The documentary was accessible on the Netflix streaming platform. Charlie even moved to the village of Șirnea. You can find his house at the end of the village. Maybe you’ll be lucky and Charlie will host you at his place.

Where to eat in the village of Șirnea?

I tasted a (non) traditional Romanian dinner at the Valea Lupilor guesthouse. We started the dinner with a cold appetizer, a plate covered with smoked meat (similar to our smoked ham that we eat on Easter in Slovakia), sheep’s cheese, Romanian cheese (70% cow’s milk and 30% sheep’s milk, matured in fir bark), which is much more aromatic than our Slovak one, olives, cucumber and onion. Roast pork, grilled sausages and roasted chicken legs were served as the main course. At the end of the dinner, a pancake with jam. Nothing for vegetarians or vegans. A nice guesthouse, in the garden of which you can pet (if they let you) deer, ostriches, and even a llama.

Where to stay in Șirnea?

I did not stay in the village of Șirnea, but you can. The village offers countless accommodation facilities. I am choosing for you at least those that were shown to us and recommended:

  • The Barn (1.5 km/23 minutes walk east of the center of the village)
  • Crai Nou (1.5 km/21 minutes walk southeast of the village center)
  • Valea Lupilor (550 m/8 minutes walk north of the center)
  • Poarta Craiului (1.3 km/20 minutes walk north of the village center)

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The article was created in cooperation with FIJET Romania.

© Ing. Adam Vanečko