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    What our guests say

    Thanks for making the Bucovina and Maramures part of our recent tour with our INSEAD colleagues so special.

    Now the we are back in the rainy UK, Peta and I want to record our thanks for making the Bucovina and Maramures part of our recent tour with our INSEAD colleagues so special.  It was a pleasure to get to know you and share in the passion and hope you have in your country.

    This is the review I posted on TripAdvisor, which explains better our appreciation.  As you know, I have some professional experience in the tourism industry and I genuinely believe that you have an exceptional gift for engaging your customers:

    Ovidiu has detailed knowledge of all the paintings on the churches we visited in Bucovina and the wooden churches and monasteries we visited in Maramures.  However, his special talent is to read his guests – in our case an international group of retired business school executives, and tailor his contextual description (history, art, culture…) to their interests.  He was able to give us a living insight into the seesawing history of Romania and its invaders and occupiers as well of the minorities which still manage to thrive in this country.  We gained a deep insight into the place of the Orthodox Church in Romanian society. We were able to share in his pride in his country and his hope for the future. As we returned back to our home countries, he had turned us into “Romanian Ambassadors”! Ovidiu is a truly outstanding designer of a visitor tour and an exceptional guide.  We would recommend him and his company to anyone planning an “out of the ordinary” tour.

    May we wish you and your family every blessing in the future and we hope that our paths may cross again in the future.

    David and Peta Guillebaud

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    David and Peta Guillebaud

    UK

    Trip of a Lifetime

    I just returned home from a vacation to Romania and Ukraine. I was with my 2 sisters and 2 nieces from the US. We spent several days touring Bucovina and surrounding areas in Romania with Ovidiu, our tour guide. I had been a bit reluctant to visit Romania, as I was unsure if the climate or culture of this Eastern European country would be friendly or hostile. I was in for an extraordinary surprise. Not only is Romania a very welcoming country to visit, but it has a history that will give you an appreciation for the strong spirit of the Romanian people. The diverse landscape of Romania will take your breath away. Be prepared to fall in love with this fascinating country, as demonstrated by your excellent tour guide.

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    October 2018

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    Coburn

    Bellingham, Washington

    Ten Special Days with Ovidiu in Romania

    Ovidiu led group of friends around Romania on a very special and enjoyable custom tour in summer 2018. Our itinerary was crafted by two of the tour members – one Romanian, one French, who had long dreamt of sharing the wonderful Romanian landscape, people and cultures with friends from Europe and the USA. Ovidiu met us off the night train from Bucarest to Sighet, then led us as guide and driver through stops in Maramures, Bucovina, and Transylvania. We stayed in private accommodations full of character in villages and castles as we wound our way to churches, monasteries and other attractions including stops in Breb, Viseu de Sus, Viscri, Suceavita, Sighisoara, Crit, Brasov and Peles. Ovidiu is a charming, patient and highly knowledgeable guide with a deep love and understanding of Romanian culture and history. Highly recommended.

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    July 2018

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    Steve

    Worcester, Massachusetts, USA

    I recommend Ovidiu with the highest enthusiasm possible.

    We recently had the good fortune to have him lead my family on a personalized tour of several regions in Romania. I was travelling alone with my three children (aged 6-17). Ovidiu managed to keep all of us engaged and entertained while sharing his abundant and impeccable knowledge of history and the area. He is kind, professional, witty well-informed, accommodating and an overall extraordinary host. In addition to a wonderful tour, I sincerely feel that we have gained a friend from the experience. We miss Ovidiu and cannot wait to come back for another visit. If you are travelling in beautiful Romania, you would be very fortunate to have Ovidiu show you the sights!!!

    Review listed on facebook

    April 2017

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    Brandy Elser Chetsas

    Boston, USA

    We could spend weeks with him!

    We spent part of two days with Ovidiu Botoni, of Explore Bucovina, when we visited Transylvania. He proved to be an extremely intelligent guide who had done his research and was enthusiastic about his subjects. He welcomed our questions and showed great patience with our fascination with the Dracula story. The first day we arrived in Brasov in the afternoon, and Ovidiu was our guide for The Pelles Castle. He knew everything about the Castle, the woodwork, the history, the artwork. He even got us tickets to go to the upstairs where few tourists see. On the way to and from the Castle, he gave us valuable information about the region and the people. On the second day, he gave us a tour of Bran Castle. He knew how to time our arrival to miss most of the crowds, and he also found out that it was the first day of an added attraction: an elevator and hallway full of Dracula lore. He brushed away the Gypsies selling things we didn’t want and guided us to the souvenirs we were looking for. Later, he took us through Brasov and made the city interesting enough that we spent the next few nights exploring it. There were no mailboxes to mail postcards back to the U.S., so Ovidiu took the time to drive around and around the post office so I could run in and mail the postcards. After we were home, he sent us some additional information he had found about some of the things we discussed. My husband said, ” I could spend 2 more weeks learning about Romania from Ovid.”

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    July 2018

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    Elaine Carolyn

    Houston, Texas

    Bucovina & Maramures Excursion

    We visited the four famous painted monasteries and, moreover, we did a 2-day excursion to the wooden churches of Maramures. Mr. Sorin was an excellent guide with a broad knowledge of all the paintings – and he was a very good driver. He also selected the local dishes and gave us a real overall Service. i highly recommend him as driver/guide for the Region mentioned.

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    April 2019

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    Peter Gehringer

    Viena, Austria

    Great Entrance to The Heart of Moldavia

    I booked their tour last minute. Fairly streamlined and transparent communication. A guide, Adrian, was more just a guide but someone who you’d hang out with. He was very knowledgeable and made my otherwise very difficult to maneuver monastery exploring a breeze.
    Sights were very cold but it made the experience more interesting.

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    January 2019

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    Sung Chon

    New York, USA

    Bucovina / Maramureş

    100% recommended! We had great time with Ovidiu in bucovina and maramures. The best was his knowledge about frescos in the differents monasteries and we are very greatful because he made our wishes true. We visited everything we wanted and more in record time. Thanks a lot for the efforts!

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    October 2018

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    Rocio Lopez

    Santiago, Chile

    Florin is an exceptionally knowledgeable guide

    Our tour with Florin was great. We went to four painted monasteries and the pottery workshop. He knows a great deal about the monasteries, their history, and their art. He is a very pleasant and friendly person, and we enjoyed spending the day with him.

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    September 2018

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    Kevin O

    Toronto, Canada

    Maramureș: where you’re given time back…

    As we longed to visit Maramureș, just west to Bukovina, we contacted Mr. Ovidiu who planned a wonderful two-days tour to this region. A comfortable car, many kms run, but we were rewarded by the amazing wooden churches, monasteries, historical sites, the merry cemetery in Săpânța and two different though welcoming guesthouses on their suggestion to dine (local products and lavish meals) and spend the night. A professional, patient (very patient with us, indeed) and kind guidance going out of his way to surprise us. We’ll never forget Maramureș thanks to him. Until next time!

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    August 2018

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    Marco D'Agostino

    Roma, Italia

    A Fascinating Ride through the Unique Nature, History and Traditions of Romania’s Jewels

    Romania has treasures well hidden in the countryside – from its imposing Carpathian mountains to the superb traditions and heritage that were declared UNESCO sites – and this boutique tour take you through an informative and fun alike exploration where you will have the opportunity to meet the people in their true unspoiled environment, observe how they have preserved their customs and learn about their history. Ovidiu is an amazing guide, extremely knowledgeable and very very passionate of sharing his love for these places with his tourists! Very friendly, professional, patient and approachable – with a degree in political history and international life experience, Ovidiu was for us the ideal guide! We feel so grateful to have been with him on this fascinating journey!!!!

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    June 2019

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    Mihaela U

    Canada

    Excellent tour guide

    Ovidiu was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic while showing us around Brasov. He had all the maps of how the town used to be, made it easier to visualize while he gave us a history of the town, the people, and the culture. He is a proud Romanian and it showed how much he wanted to show us his country. It was infectious because it made us wanted to absorbed all the knowledge that he possessed. Highly recommend him.

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    June 2018

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    IamRS

    USA

    Excellent tour operator in Bucovina

    I took a day trip to the Bucovina Monasteries with Explore Bucovina and it was excellent. Gabriel, my guide, was an extremely nice person and very knowledgeable about the history of the region. Definitely recommended!

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    June 2018

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    Giulia

    Italy

    To see and share beautiful Romania with Ovidiu is a lifetime experience I am not going into great detail but do yourself a favor and do it with Explore Bucovina I guarantee you will have memories to last forever

    Review listed facebook

    June 2017

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    Mike Youlden

    Australia

    Brasov and Gura Humorului


    On a recent trip to Romania and Ukraine with my family, we spent two wonderful days with Ovidiu as our tour guide. He was so open and funny and showed us a wide variety of attractions. From mountain tops to castles to recommending local dishes, he was smart with a broad understanding of the area. I would very highly recommend his services.

    Review listed on Tripadvisor 

    October 2018

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    loborn68

    Colorado Springs, Colorado

    Exactly and more than what we wanted from our visit to Romania 

    Out tour was aimed at finding the roots of my family in a very small village. Time was very limited. Our fantastic guide researched and took us straight to the village where with his help we were able to find exactly what we wanted to know. Our guide was knowledgeable about the history, a very safe driver, flexible with the timetable, booked great accommodation, and restaurants and entertaining. We felt very confident in his guidance and suggestion. Saw some great scenery and historic buildings and learned so much about România The trip was much more than we had hope for such a short trip. We highly recommend our guide and look to a future longer visit with him .

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    August 2019

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    Dina Breen

    Australia

    We spent a wonderful three days with Sorin Fodor as our guide. He figured out quickly how to adjust the planned itinerary to best meet our interests and had the contacts and detailed knowledge of the area to show us much that we would never have discovered on our own. We were particularly interested in Jewish life in the area, and saw the interior of four synagogues instead of one, plus three cemeteries, and the exteriors of at least six other synagogues. We didn’t neglect the other sites or learning about other aspects of Romania — Sorin just put in long and very full days with us.

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    July 2019

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    Ruth L.

    Florida, USA

    Excellent way to discover the Bucovina Monasteries

    We had great communication with Explore Bucovina and felt confident our tour would be suitable. Our guide, Mr Florin arrived on time and he took us on a relaxed and informative tour around the major sights. It was a professional service and we had a fabulous day. Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this tour operator.

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    August 2019

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    Petrus Z.

    New Plymouth

    Great way to see the Painted Monasteries

    Mr Sorin Fodor from was an excellent guide for my day trip to the Painted Monasteries with Boutique Romania. He was the driver and knew the region well. This meant, for example, that he was able to guide us to a family-run restaurant in a village for lunch. But above all, he was knowledgeable about the monasteries, both their history and the motifs represented. He knew the details, but also the bigger picture He was not only well-rehearsed, but also ready to answer follow-up questions in depth.
    I am used to travelling independently, but I could not have understood the monasteries in the same way if I had hired a car and visited the monasteries by myself. Mr Sorin’s knowledge certainly meant that I enjoyed my visit to the region much more.

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    August 2019

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    Anne G.

    Prague, Czech Republic

    Discover the wonderful Romania

    I traveled with two friends and we concluded that this trip was a wonderful experience. We had a very personalized trip trough Prahova Vally, Bucovina, Maramures and Transylvania.
    Ovidiu was an excellent guide: professional, knowledgeable ,passionate and fun to travel with.His history knowledge is impressive.The accommodation for the 9 days trip were chosen with care .
    Not only that it left us with the taste of an “ encore”, but I will highly recommend this agency and guide to all my friends that want to discover the marvellous Romania.

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    September 2019

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    Carolina F.

    Quebec. Canada

    The Best of Brasov’s Guides

    Ovidiu is the best guide we’ve met! He is very knowledgable, articulate, and personable with a sense of humour. He has historical facts and figures and wonderful legends fables and quips. I cannot day enough about his wonderful services., Tom Taylor, Boston Mass.

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    October 2019

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    Tom Taylor

    Boston, USA

    Sorin was a great tourguide!

    We had a really good day this week with Sorin at the Classic tour. It was around 0 degrees this week, so if you come in “winter” time, make sure you wear warm clothes as you will spend some time outdoors. Car was heated to warm up though :-). Sorin gave us an in-depth explanation of the monasteries, the meaning of all the stories painted on the walls and we used the time in the car to talk about the Romanian society in general. It was a fantastic way to get to know this area of Romania and we can highly recommend the tour and Sorin as a tourguide, thanks a lot!

    Review listed on Tripadvisor

    November 2019

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    Gijs V.

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    Talk to our expert

    Our story goes back to 2009, with the founder of the agency: Ovidiu Boțoni, a very enthusiastic, passionate traveler that spent a lot of his young years in Western Europe. As a Romanian, Ovidiu was surprised to see that a lot of people who lived outside his country, didn’t really know many valuable things about Romania. They often associated his native country with different stereotypes such as:“the Communism / Ceaușescu”, “Dracula” or even “Gypsys”.
    All of these reasons, made Ovidiu really determined to change how everyone perceived Romania. His started his journey as a travel guide working for different agencies but soon, he felt like he could offer much more on his own, so he decided to take everything to the “next level” and start a high quality travel agency with integrity and a focus on the client’s needs.

    Today we are proud to say that we changed the perception of Romania for travelers coming from 5 different continents and over 100 countries.