Prahova Valley is the most developed mountain area of Romania. In resorts here you have at your disposal ski slopes of all categories, from beginners to competition level
As a tourist area, it has its beginnings in the 19th century. That is when Peles Castle was built in Sinaia, and King Carol I established his summer residence there. This sparked a proliferation of mountain resorts, and today we look at what they have to offer to tourists nowadays.
Oana Constantinescu, secretary of the Association for Promoting and Developing Tourism in Prahova, has more: “The main tourist objectives I would recommend to a foreign tourist on Prahova Valley are Peles Castle and Cantacuzino Castle. Peles Castle in Sinaia has been the residence of royalty in this country since it was built. Cantacuzino Castle itself is an architectural jewel. It was built in the early 20th Century by Gheorghe Grigore Cantacuzino. I would also recommend Babele and the Sphynx, two stone formations, monuments of nature, in the Bucegi Mountains. They are the more impressive as they are natural. I would also recommend the Caraiman cross, which lies at high altitude.”
Oana Constantinescu continues her presentation of this area, situated at the foot of the mountains: “Prahova Valley begins with the Posada area. The most popular resorts are Sinaia, Busteni and Azuga, but we recommend Breaza and Campina. There are lots of events here, and we also have architectural monuments, superb ones, such as the Iulia Hasdeu Mansion in Campina, and you can also find there traditional garb, such as peasant blouses made in workshops that use ancient techniques for decoration. The resorts of Sinaia, Busteni and Azuga are the most sought after by skiers and museum lovers. We have a novelty in this sense, too. In 2017 we opened the Sinaia Town Museum. It showcases the history of the town from its foundation, all the way to the present day. The museum lies in Stirbey Florescu Palace.”
Prahova Valley is an area famous for winter sports, but there is a place where tourists can see for themselves how traditional clothing is made, right in the homes of the local craftsmen. Here is Oana Constantinescu again: “In Breaza we have workshops that provide tourists with a wholesale experience. They can watch the work that the craftsmen do, and, of course, they have access to a gift shop where they can purchase the finished products, colourful peasant shirts for men, women and children. Tourists can get information off dedicated websites, or from tourist information centres.”
As much as a third of tourists visiting Prahova stop in Busteni, the second most popular resort in the area, according to Mihai Colesi with the Center for Tourist Information and promotion of Busteni, presenting us with the skiing situation: “The Kalinderu 1 and 2 ski slopes are functional, as well as the beginner slope. The Kalinderu 1 also has a night schedule. The Kalinderu 1 slope is 1,500 m long. It is not a long-range slope, and is aimed at medium and advanced skiers. The Kalinderu 2 slope falls into the same category. They are pretty fancy, with protection and signalling systems, and modern installations overall. We have four seat ski lifts. At the bottom of the slope we have rental centres for all seasonal winter sports enthusiasts.”
Prahova Valley is the most popular vacation venue in Romania. As a result, events abound. Oana Constantinescu, Secretary of the Association for Promoting and Developing Tourism in Prahova, has told us about it: “The first event takes place in a few weeks. It is the Honey Fair in Campina, which runs between February 16 and 18, followed by a cheese festival, the Sinaia Forever Festival, as well as the Winter Airsports and the Sinaia Trophy. There is also a festival dedicated to fancy automobiles, bringing here vintage cars that are all fully functional. Prahova Valley is a venue for all seasons. In winter we enjoy the skiing amenities, but in any other season we have a wide range of activities available, mostly dedicated to trekkers and climbing enthusiasts. We also have lots of parks. You have many trails available, including for cycling. We have MTB cycling competitions, among them the best being in Campina. We have adventure parks in Busteni, as well as in Sinaia.”
Oana Constantinescu recommends the Wine Route in particular. It follows an old Roman wine-trading route, which traversed Europe. You can visit the famous vineyards of the county, with stopovers at mansions and monasteries. For one day on this trail, starting in Bucharest, it costs 80 Euro per person, with availability for groups of up to 8. Large groups get discounts. Transportation is included in the price for going from Bucharest to Sinaia and Dealu Mare, with wine tasting, lunch and entry to tourist objectives, tour guides included as well. You get picked up at 9 AM and get back by 6 PM.
Oana Constantinescu: “The Wine Route is a tourist trail in the Dealu Mare- Urlati area. You can taste all the local wines where they are made. A tour like this lasts for a day. You can go from wine cellar to wine cellar, tasting the wines, seeing how they are made, as well as the vineyards. It is a unique experience, with the whole range of wines available. Our area boasts mostly red wines. For tourists in a hurry we have a few wine cellars in Azuga. You are eagerly awaited in Prahova Valley, we have a lot to offer, and we enjoy having visitors.”
We have extended the invitation, it is up to you to follow up.