Sighetu Marmației => Sarasău => Câmpulung la Tisa => Săpânța => Sighetu Maramației
Distance: 50 km
Time: Sighet => Săpânța – 20 minutes, Sighet => Tisa – 15 minutes (Total drive time of 1 hr 15 min)
Sighet, as the locals call it, is small enough for visitors to explore in a few hours on foot. Day 2’s itinerary suggests that the morning be spent exploring the sights of Sighet before travelling the short distance to Săpânța and then returning to Sighet for the evening. Be sure not to miss the Sighet Prison - The Memorial of Victims of the Communism and of the Resistance, the Elie Wiesel Memorial House and the Maramureş Ethnographical Museum among other sites. Clear here for more information about tourist activities and objectives in Sighet.
Following a pleasant morning in Sighet, the route continues on to Sapanţa located very close to the Ukrainian border. Sapanţa is a pleasant village which is well-known throughout Romania for its “Merry Cemetery” or Cimitirul Vesel in Romanian. The cemetery and its iconic grave crosses are the result of a local wood carver named Ioan Stan Pătraș, who carved the first wooden marker in 1935. The crosses are unique in that each one is inscribed with a witty epitaph and picture describing something relevant to the deceased life and/or death. Each marker is different and reflects the life to whom the cross belongs. Pătraș died in 1977 and is buried in the cemetery directly opposite the main entrance to the church. His legacy can be seen in the large cross which he carved and painted for himself prior to his death. The creation of the markers continues to this day and is carried on by Pătraș’s apprentice, Dumitu Pop, who lives and works in Pătraș’s former home and workshop – which is also a museum. The number of new markers annually averages around 10 but depends on the death rate in the village.
Upon leaving Săpânţa, head back towards Sighet, where the route takes a slight detour (9 km, 15 min) to the village of Tisa. The day’s itinerary ends back in Sighet.