Two Days trip: Prahova Valley – Sinaia, Buşteni, Predeal, Braşov

Posted by Strainu on August 21, 2007
From Bucharest

Versiunea română aici.

The road
Map

Prahova Valley is on DN1 (E60), between Bucharest (120-140 km) and Braşov (25-45 km). The road is excellent, the only problems are on the Ploieşti ring and in Azuga. The speed limit is 70 km/h in the cities and 100km/h on open road. Beware, there are speed cameras all along the road.

You can also get there by train, from Bucharest Nord station.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Accommodation

There are some hotels in the region, and most of them have 3*, but you can find anything from 1* to 4*. If this is what you are looking for, here are some links for you (some websites are in Romanian): [1], [2], [3].

However, there is a much better way to spend a pleasant weekend on the Valley. For 20-30 € you can get a double room in one of the many villas in the region. Most of them offer a private bathroom and clean sheets, but little more.

Rating: ★★★★½

Hiking

Some of the trails can be dangerous, and some are closed during winter. You should always have proper equipment and respect the warnings signs. It’s for your own good! If you need help, you can call 0-SALVAMONT (0725826668 – the mountain rescue HQ) or 112 (emergency services).

Cascada Urlătoarea (“The Screaming Waterfall”)

You can get to it from Buşteni. The trip takes about an hour from downtown. The first 30 minutes (until you leave the city) are easy, but then you have a steep climb ahead of you. The last 15 minutes are a walk in the park…err, I mean wood 😀

The waterfall is impressive, and if you want to talk, you really have to scream. The sad part is that there are just too many tourists in the area, and the bottom of the waterfall is polluted by the beer cans kept cold by some local sellers, which, by the way, are the same people who should be looking after the waterfall.

Babele (Old ladies) and the Sphinx

Babele and the Sphinx are some rock formations on the Bucegi plateau, at almost 2000 m. You can get there from Buşteni by cable car or by foot (a 4 hour trip, closed during winter). If you go by foot, make sure you have the proper equipment for a (very) steep climb.

babeleSfinxul din bucegi
Images from Wikipedia.

The Caraiman Peak and Cross

The Heroes’ Monument (Crucea Eroilor Neamului) is a 28 m-high cross build on the Caraiman peak (2291m) to honor the Romanian heroes killed in the first World War. It’s an hour away from Babele.

Şapte scări (Seven Ladders)

It’s a beautiful canyon where you can get to the top by climbing seven ladders. You can get there from DN1 in Timişul de Sus. You can find lots of photos here or search google.

Other roads

There are many other interesting things to see. You can find below the maps from Pârâul Rece (near Predeal) and Buşteni.

p8100099.jpg img_7169.JPG

Rating: ★★★★☆

Visits

Peleş and Pelişor Palace, Sinaia

The two palaces are just a few minutes away from downtown Sinaia. They were built for the first Romanian kings, Carol I and Ferdinand, along with a chalet (Foişor), which isn’t open to public. The ticket prices are 15 lei for Peleş and 9 lei for Pelişor, with a 50% reduction for EURO<26 card owners and 2/3 reduction for Romanian students. If you get there by car, there is a 10 lei parking fee, but the parking is almost a km away from the museum.

Hunting Museum, Posada

The museum is placed on DN1, between the city of Comarnic and Sinaia. It holds many different collections, from stuffed animals to hunting trophies, most of them belonging to the Ceauşescu family.

Black Church, Braşov

The Black Church is the biggest Gothic cathedral east of Vienna. You can find the 38m high church in the city of Braşov. It’s known as black from 1689, when it was damaged in a big fire.

Ialomiţa Cave and Monastery

The Ialomiţa Cave is on the other side of Bucegi from Buşteni. The is a cable car line from Babele to the cave. If you prefer walking, you can make the descent by foot. The monastery, which is just at the entry of the cave, dates from 1818, when it replaced a previous wooden church.

You can also get there by car, from sinaia to Cota 1000, the Cuibu Dorului chalet then on a forest road to Ialomiţa valley. A longer but better road is through Moroieni – Cabana Padina – the cave.

Other Monasteries and churches

If you like churches, you might want to visit: Sinaia Monastery, Caraiman Monastery (from Buşteni, near the cable car), the Holy Trinity church in Azuga, dating from the early 20th century, the chapel built on the Sorica mountain in Azuga, the 16th century Lespezi Monastery in Posada, or one of the many gothic churches in Braşov.

Other points of interest

There are many more things to see on the valley, from the memorial houses of George Enescu and Cezar Petrescu to the Sinaia Casino or the monuments dedicated to Romanian heroes in each city. Just search a little on the internet to find all you need to know.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

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