What is a digital detox?
It is a fact that our world is spending more and more time in the digital world. We are always connected with the latest news, invaded with hundreds of news and updates from people we know or don’t know in real life and also bombed with direct or indirect marketing messages. All this “noise” can cause, if it is not controlled, a negative effect, in the long run, on our physical and mental health.
At work, at home, everywhere we go we are surrounded by technology, smartphones, smart TVs, smart watches, smart tech devices etc. Some of us feel the pressure of the digital world and miss the real social interactions, while others don’t realise that they need a break and they are already too addicted to this virtual world.
The digital detox concept came as a necessity and its supporters claim that it has many benefits, from stress reduction and lower anxiety to a better understanding and ability to address our real needs, as well as the needs of the ones we care about.
Travelling is the best method to start detoxing because it is easier to change ”bad” behaviour when you change the routine and you leave home. However, this doesn’t mean that all travelling destinations are suitable for digital detox. Imagine that if you are in a dense, highly populated city, it is hard and maybe impossible to relax, to think about the beauty of life and to forget to check your phone, while everyone around you is “technologically connected”.
How should a digital detox destination look like?
There are thousands of Detox, SPA &Wellness, Yoga and Mindfulness resorts that provide a suitable environment for a controlled digital detox getaway.
When you want to clean your body, heart and mind in a more strict environment, a good resort is a right answer. For meeting corporate wellness objectives, a team building at SPA or a board meeting in a wellbeing retreat can bring results like increased productivity and a better and more peaceful working environment.
For a digital detox which doesn’t look at all like a detox camp, there a few, one of a kind destinations in Europe, which all have in common some incredible landscapes, various options for outdoor leisure activities, historical spots, remoteness, quality food and welcoming people.
One of the best European digital detox destinations is the fairy-tale region of Marginimea Sibiului in Romania. This beautiful area in Transylvania has been declared a European Destination of Excellence by the European Commission.
The Marginimea Sibiului area is in Sibiu County, spread over an area of 200 square kilometres. This area is made up of 18 villages situated at the foot of Cândrel Mountains, easily accessible from Sibiu, which in 2019 has become a European gastronomic region!
Sălişte, Sibiel, Fântânele, Răşinari, Tilişca, Sadu, Râu Sadului, Rod, Poiana Sibiului, Orlat, Jina, Gura Râului, Galeş, Boiţa, Tălmăcel, Cisnădioara, Amnăşul, Tălmaciu are all ancient settlements with a historical significance.
For hundreds of years, the main occupation of the inhabitants of these Transylvanian villages has been raising sheep. In time, the local farmers have become internationally known for their tasty dairy and meat products. The pastoral life continues, as many of them are still raising hundreds of sheep, so it is very common to see in the region sheep flocks with their shepherds.
The smell of grass and hay, the horse-drawn wagons, the flocks of sheep scattered on the blooming meadows, the streets transformed during winter into the best sled slides by children, the smell of freshly baked bread or cake, waiting for the hungry visitors are all just a bit of the usual, authentic life in Marginimea Sibiului.
The greatest virtue of the people living in Marginime is that they have managed to keep their traditions intact for centuries. The transhumance is still a part of the rural life, and this way of living was inherited from the previous generations and transmitted it further, despite the other cultural influences (especially the Saxons).
Even the architecture of the courtyard houses in Marginime has been preserved, and today, these things make this region special and unique, not only in Romania but also in the whole world.
Tourists are stunned by the different lifestyle they see in these Transylvanian villages, from the pastoral way of life to the connection with their ancient roots and the sense of stability, peace and community anyone can experience here.
Even the festivals and the events, they all reflect the same reality: in Marginimea Sibiului people eat and live well. If you haven’t heard yet of the goodies prepared in the villagers’ households (“cas”, “telemea, “branza de burduf”, traditional smoked cheese, etc), you can go to Răşinari, to taste them at the Cheese and Tuica Festival or to the Shepherds Festival in Jina.
But it is more than eating, seeing and listening to nature. Marginimea Sibiului is a destination for living, for reconnecting with nature, with others, with yourself. It’s the kind of destination you have to experience slowly, thoroughly, as it’s so different from the usual, commercial, tourist traps.
Start with a tour of the settlements in the area. Besides scenic landscapes, some villages still preserve the old air with narrow, cobbled streets and old houses with simple and beautiful architecture from the past. Some tours can be conveniently taken by car, but walking or cycling is the best way to explore and enjoy these places.
The spirituality is closely related to the pastoral and rural life anywhere in Romania, so we also recommend a visit to the Museum of Glass Icons in Sibiel, where a collection of over 600 icons painted in different places in the country is exhibited.
Taste the apples! The villagers of Sibiel and Fântânele are very proud of their orchards (they say that they are over a hundred years old) and their organic healthy apples, which are not helped artificially to grow faster or to look perfect. Enjoy a sweet, fresh and intense taste!
Go to Jina. The scenery is great for yoga and meditation in the morning, for taking beautiful pictures and enjoying nature. Life in the village begins at sunrise. See and listen to the start of a new day in the village life through an ancient ritual while villagers are taking the animals to the pastures. In the evening make sure you watch the “show” of cattle returning home, which revives the streets. In Jina you can also visit the Ethnography Museum, a place full of things from the past.
Climb Coasta Boacii, a hill in Rășinari which was the inspiration and the playground for Emil Cioran. Rășinari is the place of birth and formation for the famous philosopher.
What about seeing the craftsman in Săcel who makes the special hats for the shepherds in Marginime? In Jina, there is also a craftsman who makes the famous sheepskin coats that shepherds still wear today.
Every Sunday and during religious celebrations, like in the other historical regions of Bucovina and Maramures, you can still see locals dressed in traditional clothing.
Even in winter time, Marginimea Sibiului keeps its magical vibe, when streets turn into outdoor playgrounds for the children and filled with carols, as the waits are walking around the village from house to house. After Christmas, in Sălişte, all the waits bands from Mărginime gather in a spectacular parade of the traditional clothing of the area, a celebration of joy for a new beginning.
Marginimea Sibiului is a great destination for groups and individuals, as it is easily accessible from the airport of Sibiu, offering all the comfort of the modern world, but being also as a remote enclave, protected against the stressful and demanding modern living. It is a Romanian successful destination for sustainable tourism, keeping the meaning of simple life, real, authentic and untamed.
Looking forward to experiencing one of the top digital detox destinations in Europe? We’re looking forward to making your experience even better, as our team is specialised in facilitating your entire trip in Romania, so that you, your team, your company and/or your partners can sit back, relax, live and enjoy a fulfilling experience.
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