May Day is big in Romania, not only as a public holiday marking the International Workers’ Day, but also as a more ancient holiday, pagan if you will, marking the beginning of summer. This ancient tradition is called on some parts of the country “armindeni” and is an occasion for the locals to rest, and celebrate festively with fiddlers, dance, flowers and special May Day dishes.
But for most Romanians, May Day is the beginning of the littoral season, and traditionally, residents of big cities flock to seaside resorts at the Black Sea: Mamaia, Costinesti, Vama Veche (the most popular, due to affordability and demographics) and 2 May. Many Romanians prefer Bulgarian seaside resorts, in many ways a more affordable alternative to the resident facilities in resorts like Mamaia, Neptun, and others.
The Romanian exodus to the coast begun on Monday, and by today, authorities registered over 40,000 Romanian tourists on the Romanian littoral – many of them camping in Vama Veche and 2 May, and about 16,000 crossing the border to neighboring Bulgarian seaside resorts. According to Romanian newspaper Gândul, the numbers indicate a 15% increase compared to 2012. The Bulgarian Ministry of Tourism confirmed in March that Romanians are the most numerous foreign tourists in the country. In fact, Bulgaria is the second favorite destination for Romanian travelers, after Italy, and followed by, interestingly, Hungary.
If last year tourists were unhappy with the service and facilities in Romanian seaside resorts, those who will spend their May Day mini vacation on the Romanian coast, are more optimistic this year. They hope to enjoy double the fun with friends, clean accommodation, and excellent service. The prices for accommodation in 2013 are ranging from 45 RON ($ 14) per person for a night in a two star hotel, to over 220 RON ($ 66) per person at a five-star hotel in Mamaia.
Even Romanian President, Traian Băsescu, will spend May 1st at the seaside. His resort of choice is Neptun, a presidential family favorite for many years.
To make Romanian seaside resorts even more appealing for Romanian travelers, local authorities are introducing double-decker buses on the route from Constanta to Mamaia Station. The busses will run daily, every half hour, from 10:00 to 18:00.