Located in the Southern Carpathians, Sinaia was the former summer Royal Residence (Hohenzollern Royal House), situated on Prahova Valley on the European road 60, 44 km far from Brasov, at the foot of the Bucegi Mountains, at an altitude ranging between 800 - 1,000 m.
Half of the resort lies on the right side of Prahova river, where Varful cu Dor Peak and Furnica Peak rise above the town. On the left side you enter Cumpatu District, surrounded by one important mountain: Baiului (1,900 m).
Unlimited possibilities for tourists, and Sinaia's unique atmosphere makes a vacation here truly special. While you are here visit Sinaia Monastery (founded in 1690 - 1695 by Spatharus Mihail Cantacuzino), the Peles Castle and the ancient Casino of Sinaia. From Sinaia, the winding road takes you through Poiana Tapului to Busteni. Here we advice you to take the Busteni-Babele cable car to arrive to "Babele" (old ladies) (an unique natural monument - stones looking likeold ladies talking).
Doing the math, it was ~1900m (6200ft) vertical in ~14km (9mi). We did it in less than 4 hours but we were really moving.
At the top, you'll be able to see the Sphinx, the cross, or join the other expansive network of trail systems.
Dress accordingly, one of the times I did this hike, all was good, except for about 1hr... We were caught by a nasty rain, hail and thunderstorm. We were on the high plateau, with no coverage and were nearly washed away by the flash floods.
A nature monument...
Ok what can you do in Sinaia if is not winter when you can ski? You can go biking in the woods or see the Peles Castle or the Sinaia Monastery or go up on the mountain to see this "Sfinx" or the "Old ladys".
Peles Castle is one of Romania's most important museums in the country since it was the final resting place for several Romanian monarchs including King Carol I, who died here in 1914.
The building of the castle began in 1873 under the direct order of the Viennese architect Wilhem Doderer and was continued in 1876 by his assistant, Johann Schultz de Lemberg. During 1877-1879 because of the war they abandoned work. That's why the castle was inaugurated only on October 7, 1883. To the initial castle the Czech architect, Karel Liman added, during 1896-1914, Pelisor, a small castle with 70 rooms.
The castle was built in wood, stone, bricks and marble and comprises more than 160 rooms. The representative style used is German Renaissance, but one can easily discover elements belonging to the Italian Renaissance, Gothic, German Baroque and French Rococo style.
Peles is surrounded by seven terraces decorated with statues (sculptured by the Italian, Romanelli), stone-made-wells, ornamental vases and Carara marble. The architects used an abundance of wooden decoration, both for the exterior and for the interior of the castle, which confers a very special quality to the building.
Quite outstanding are the Big Armoury Room, the small Armoury Room, the Florentine Room, the Reception Room (where paintings and wooden sculptures depicting 16 castles of the Hohenzollerns are exhibited), the Moresque Room, The French Room, the Turkish Room, the Council Room, the Concert Room as well as the Imperial Suite.
It is also worth mentioning other exquisite attractions such as the statues, the ceramics, the gold and silver plates, the Meissen and Sevres porcelain, as well as the extensive weapon collections.
Near Peles castle there is Foisorul, a kings' residence with 42 rooms designed in the Swiss style.
For taking photo inside the castle there is a fee of RON 50/30 (flash/no flash) which is higher than the admission ticket itself, so you might consider buying a guide about Peles.
Next to its grand neighbour, Peles Castle, Pelisor Castle seems like a rather modest home for royalty: more a large country house, than a castle. Nevertheless, it is still interesting to look around inside. Its exterior is rather ugly as its eclectic architectural style makes it look like a cross between a French chateau and an English mock-Tudor mansion.
Pelisor Castle was built between 1899-1903 by order of King Carol I for the future King Ferdinand and Queen Maria. Until the completion of the castle the young couple lived in Foisor castle. The castle reflects the personal style of Queen Maria. The walls of the reception room are covered with oak. The gilded sculpted wood design of the Golden Room as well as the design of the working cabinet was created by the queen herself. The thistle which is the floral emblem of Scotland and reminder of her birthplace is also present on the wall of the Golden Room. The royal offspring spent their childhood in this castle: the future King Carol, Queen Mary of Yugoslavia, Queen Elizabeth of Greece and Prince Nicolae.