With the dawn of a new day, the village comes to life. In spring, summer and fall, farmers head to their fields on foot or with horse and wagon. Some carry scythes and rakes, others hoes, picks or shovels. In winter, the village streets are quiet, except for the crowing of a rooster or mooing of a cow ready for its morning milking. Smoke from chimneys settles over the village. Visitors to Vadu Izei have an opportunity to learn about the age-old arts and crafts of the region by visiting homes of artisans. Leave your car at your guest house and walk, like most of the villagers do, to your destinations. A walking guide is available at the information building in the center of the village. Hire a guide from the information center so you can get the most out of your visits with the artisans. Along the way, stop for a coffee. And, if you are lucky, the bakery near the palinca house and water powered mill will have fresh bread from the mornings baking.
Weaving is a long held tradition among the majority of women in Maramureş. In Vadu Izei visitors have an opportunity to spend time in weaving studios learning to spin or weave as well as to purchase beautiful naturally colored wool products such as blankets, jackets, and wall hangings.
Exploring Vadu Izei on foot or by bicycle is really easy. Once off the main road, the visitor is introduced to a lifestyle all but forgotten elsewhere in Europe. People lift water out of old wells, throw grain to chickens in the barnyard, rake dry cut grasses with a wooden rake, bring in the milking from the family cow, and hang rugs out to dry after washing in the riverside whirlpool. Vadu Izei has a variety of welcoming guest houses, well informed staff at the information center, and a network of craft persons whose homes and workshops are open to visitors. Walking into the patchwork of cultivated fields on the hillsides overlooking Vadu Izei is a great way to begin the day. Just after dawn, when the mists hang low upon the grasses and shroud the houses, views from the hilltops take the fortunate onlookers into self absorption as roosters crow, dogs bark, and the new day begins in Maramureş Land.
A short hike or bicycle ride to the outskirts of Vadu Izei along the small road towards Rona de Sus will provide a peaceful reprieve from the main roads between the villages of the Iza Valley. Gather a picnic from the guest house, hire a guide, and explore the life of the small villages off the beaten path of Maramureş Land.