Though a republic nowadays, Romania boasts more than 80 years of royal past, probably the best times the country enjoyed, an end to which was put by the abrupt Soviet-imposed switch to communism, in the late 1940s.
After Ceausescu's overthrowing, and the end of communism along with that, in December 1989, the Romanian Royal Family has managed to regain much of the prestige of the past, if not the official quality, and some of the places once important to royalty are now visitable, as some of Romania's most impressive tourist attractions.
One such place is Sinaia, "the Pearl of the Carpathians", the most important winter sports-resort in the Prahova Valley, also home to three former royal palaces, of which two- the Peles and the Pelisor Castles, are visitable. Another place is Bran, home of the Bran Castle, property of the descendants of the Royal Family, also known for its link to the Dracula myth. The tour will be concluded with the Rasnov fortress, an impressive reminder of times long gone.
The tour starts from Brasov, from the yellow building of the Council House in the Council Square, and we leave Transylvania, heading for Wallachia, the southern historical part of Romania, where we admire the sights of the Carpathian Mountains in the picturesque winter resorts of Predeal, Azuga, Busteni and Sinaia.
Sinaia, also named "the Pearl of the Carpathians", offers the remarkable sights of the Peles Castle, built between 1875-1883, as residence of King Charles I of Romania, with an imposing German Renaissance outer appearance and stunning interiors, the Pelisor, residence of King Ferdinand of Romania, and the Sinaia Monastery, built in 1695, in the Brancovan Wallachian style.
Crossing back to Transylvania, we head for the Bran Castle, attested in 1377 residence of Queen Marie of Romania, but also renowned for the connection to the dark myth of Count Dracula, based on the real medieval voivode Vlad the Impaler.
The Rasnov Fortress is a sample of a peasant fortress of the 14th century. Back to Brasov.
Meeting Location + Tour Duration
Meeting location: The tourists will be picked up from the Council House Info Point in the middle of the Council Square from Brasov, or from any hotel or boarding-house in the Prahova Valley (towns of Predeal, Azuga, Busteni, Sinaia).
End location: The tourists can be brought back to the Council House in Brasov or, on demand, to their hotel or boarding-house from the Prahova Valley (for a charge of additional transport).
Duration: 8 hours
Traffic conditions on the Prahova Valley national road could affect the timing.
Transport assured by car, Renault Symbol, 2011, air-conditioning.
Estimated Local Cash Needed
150 RON - Entrance-fees (in local currency), plus an estimation of food and drinks.
As a Romanian licensed national guide, there are limitations to guiding inside some museums, such as the Cotroceni Palace or the House of Parliament in Bucharest, or the Peles Castle in Sinaia, in the Prahova Valley.
A Recent Review of this tour
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Our day with Liviu was excellent. He is very knowledgeable, flexible, and personable. Liviu worked hard to customize our VERY full day to see everything we requested. His love for Romania is quite evident; yet he was willing to share his feelings about the challenges his country still faces. We enjoyed our day thoroughly and would not hesitate to recommend his services! We have not used private guides in the past, but this experience has convinced us of the value.