Transylvania, the region synonymous with the legend of Dracula, would not necessarily be where you'd expect to find Romania's largest ski resort.
The mountain resort of Poiana Brasov lies 157 km north of the capital Bucharest. The resort is an ideal base for mixing in some snow based adventure and exploring some of Transylvania's treasures.
Here are some of our top tips for skiing in Romania:
How to Get There
The easiest and most convenient way to reach Poiana Brasov is to fly into Bucharest's international airport and rent a car. There are plenty of international and local companies to choose from and the prices are highly competitive. Don't forget to add snow chains just in case.
Where to Stay
It would seem like fate that one of Poiana Brasov's top hotels is called the House of Dracula Hotel. The hotel is modeled to look like a Dracula castle, straight out of Bram Stoker's novel and is a short walk to the pistes. The rooms are Dracula themed. There is a spa, restaurant, comprehensive wine cellar and they even have their own Dracula themed wine.
On the Pistes
Poiana Brasov boasts 13 well maintained pistes totaling 9 miles. The ski resort favors intermediate and beginner skiers and boarders. The resort is accessible through 11 lifts and there are artificial snow machines on the main pistes for those less powdery days. The ski passes and lesson prices available are incredibly good value for money at a fraction of what you would pay in resorts further west.
Restaurant Vanatorul in the center of town offers incredibly good food and wine. The interior is decked out in traditional Romanian decor and the waiters double as sommeliers. Go for the chateaubriand, you will not be disappointed.
Restaurant Belvedere is a short drive out of town back towards Brasov. Set inside the Belvedere Hotel on a mountain road, this upscale restaurant offers phenomenal panoramic views. The staff are very professional and the menu is highly creative with fantastic value for money all around.
Things to Do Nearby
Bran Castle is a 30 minute drive from the resort. The castle, a Romanian national monument and landmark was used by Bram Stoker as his inspiration for his novel Dracula and it is easy to see why.
The Libearty Bear Sanctuary located just outside the nearby town of Zarnesti is a rescue centre for bears mistreated by tourism, zoo and circuses in Romania and all over Europe. The sanctuary is open to the public by appointment and the team are always happy to spread awareness of this great cause.