The favorite mountain resorts of Romania are those on the Prahova’s Valley, crossed by the national road DN1/ E60 and by the railroad binding the capital city of Romania, Bucharest, to Brasov: Azuga, Busteni, Sinaia, Predeal.
If you intend to go to the mountains, regardless of the resort you are in, do not forget to take a map of the area with you, to be suitably dressed and shod (under no circumstances with sandals or slippers), to have water on you, and not to deviate from the marked route. You can find out the marking of the routes in their departure point. Most of the hotels in the resorts have maps of the routes, so you can ask about them at the reception. Each route can be achieved in a certain period of time. Do not forget that this time is relative, because it depends on your walking style, on how hard the route seems to you, on how well trained you are, and on how many stops you make on the route.
Also called the "Pearl of Bucegi", the resort is located at the feet of the Varful cu Dor and Piatra Arsa mountains. To the west of the Sinaia resort are the Bucegi mountains, and to the east – the Garbova mountains.
Sinaia is a spa, but it turned into an attractive location for tourists wishing to practice winter sports – the resort also has a bobsleigh path – and hiking. Besides the winter sports, tourists may ascend from the resort, by cable car, up to the Altitude of 1400 m (Cota 1400), where there is a hotel and a restaurant. Also, if the weather is good on the chine, from the Altitude of 1400 you can go further by cable car, up to the Altitude of 2000 m (Cota 2000), where there is a chalet. For those who like hiking, the route to the Altitude of 1400 can also be made on foot, as it is a relatively easy route. The route to the Altitude of 2000 is more difficult. Also, from Sinaia to the Altitude of 1400, you can reach by car as well, as there is an asphalt route, with serpentines.
From the altitude of 1400, you can start on the route to the Fir Tree Valley chalet (Cabana Valea cu Brazi) (1500 m) – Longing Peak (Varful Cu Dor). It’s a long route, for tourists suitably equipped for the mountain, that can be made within 3 to 5 hours. The footpath starting from the Altitude of 1400 towards the Fir Tree Valley chalet passes first near the "Saint Ana" Cliff. Then, up to the chalet, you must climb on an abrupt road, but it is worth the effort. From here, you can see Sinaia in its splendor, and the Garbova Massif, on which you can see the Dog’s Pike chalet (Cabana Piscul Cainelui). After you admired the view, you go on up to the "At the fortress" rock ("La Cetate"). Further, the footpath leads to the Longing Peak chalet (Cabana Varful Cu Dor), located on an ascent leading close to the Longing Peak (Varful Cu Dor).
If you still have energy and if you are suitably equipped, from the Longing Peak chalet you can go further, again on a marked route, to the Omu Peak (Varful Omu). You only have to pay attention to the marking, in order not to lose track. To get to the Omu Peak, you will go on the ascents of the Ant mountain (muntele Furnica), having to your right the Fir Tree Valley (Valea cu Brazi) and the Hackmatack Valley (Valea cu Zade). You will get close to the Burnt Stone chalet (Cabana Piatra Arsa). Then, following the telephone line, you will get to the Crones chalet (Cabana Babele) in half an hour and, further, over the Ialomita Origin Peak (Varful Obarsia Ialomitei) to the highest pike of Bucegi, the Omu Peak (Varful Omu).
However, the main attraction of the resort is the Peles Castle (link to the Peles part of the page), located on the Royal Domain, where the Little Peles Castle (Castelul Pelisor) and the Gazebo (Foisorul) are also located.
Located between the Bucegi mountains and Baiului mountains, at the altitude of 885 m, the Busteni resort is also called the "Bucegi Gate" because there are many mountain routes starting from Busteni. Also, from Busteni you can get to the two natural monuments – Crones (Babele) and Sphinx (Sfinxul) – and to the famous Cross on the Caraiman, a unique monument in Europe.
A route accessible during the entire year is the one that lead you from Busteni to the Howling Waterfall (Cascada Urlatoare) which is 1055 m high. It’s a route of almost 1 hour and a half. You climb the cable car street (Strada Telecabinei) towards the cable car and, after a pronounced ascent, you will get to the point called "At the Grill" ("La Gratar"). Attention! Here the road bifurcates. Follow the marking for the Howling Waterfall, cross the Dry Valley of the Jepi (Valea Seaca a Jepilor) and after an easy and relaxing trip through the woods you will get at the Howling Waterfall (Cascada Urlatoare), impressive due to its flow and height.
To get to the Burnt Stone chalet (Cabana Piatra Arsa) you must take the same road as for the Howling Waterfall, up to the point called "At the Grill" ("La Gratar"). Attention! Although up to here it’s a common route, from here on the route is more difficult. It’s a 4 hours and a half route, accessible only in summer. From the bifurcation point "At the Grill", go on the footpath to the right, cross the Dry Valley of the Jepi, climb through the woods and reach the point called "At the Elbow" ("La Vinclu"). Following the marking, cross the Treasures Valley (Valea Comorilor), the Small Howling Valley (Valea Urlatoare Mica), the Small Howling Dale (Valcelul Urlatoarei Mici) and the Howling Chine Dale (Valcelul Crestei Urlatorilor). Here starts an ascending path, sometimes the footpath being endowed with safety cables. You get to the Jepi Forest Range (Cantonul Jepi), from where, going through the juniper trees on an easy path, you will get to the Burnt Stone chalet (Cabana Piatra Arsa).
Those who have a hobby for mountains, who have suitable equipment for climbing, may start a 7-hour route from Busteni up to the Zamora Peak (Varful Zamora) located at 1826 m. The route, recommended only in summer, is marked. The route leaves from Busteni, from behind the Sanatorium building.
Another route accessible only in summer is from Busteni – Springs Glade chalet (Cabana Poiana Izvoarelor) (1455 m) – Red Peg (Pichetul Rosu) (1400 m) – Bucsoiu Peak (2492 m) – Omu Peak (2505 m). It’s a route of almost 8 hours, difficult, maybe very difficult in patches that you must finish before nightfall. You start from Busteni towards the Gura Diham chalet, then, on a footpath ascending on the chine between the Baiului Dry Valley (Valea Seaca a Baiului) and the Miller’s Valley (Valea Morarului). After approximately 45 minutes, depending on the walking style, you will get to the Springs Glade chalet (Cabana Poiana Izvoarelor). Further, by getting round the Pig’s Head mountain (muntele Capatana Porcului), you will get to the Red Peg Glade (Poiana Pichetul Rosu), where there’s a sheep yard. Be careful because sheep dogs are not at all friendly. We recommend you not to get close to them, nor try to feed them. Following the original marking, you get to the Bucsoiului Glade (Poiana Bucsoiului). You cross the Bucsoiului Valley (Valea Bucsoiului), you climb the chine and then descend again to the Evil Valley (Valea Rea), that you must cross. Maintain the route up to the point called "At Prepeleac" ("La Prepeleac"). Here starts a difficult ascent, on the Bucsoiu mountain, on a pronounced slope. You get to the Bucsoiu Peak from where the panorama is truly impressive. From here you descend to the Bucsoiului Break (Curmatura Bucsoiului), from where, through the Miller’s Break (Curmatura Morarului), you get to the Omu chalet at the altitude of 2505 m.
The Crones (Babele)
A natural monument, the Crones (Babele) are an attraction for all those who get to Busteni. That is why a chalet was built here. The walk from Busteni to the Crones chalet (Cabana Babele), located at the altitude of 2206 m, is a difficult and dangerous one, through the Jepi Valley (Valea Jepilor). However, tourists can cross it in only 12 minutes by cable car, inaugurated in 1978. From the Crones chalet you can reach further, again by cable car, towards the Cave (Pestera).
The Crones chalet, which is open all year long, is located on the Bucegi mountains plateau, under the Crones Peak (Varful Babele). Right in front of the chalet there are the stone mushrooms called the "Crones". We still don’t know how the two stone mushrooms appeared. Most scientific theories certify that the "Crones" were created by water and wind, with the help of frost and defrost. Due to their relatively regular shapes, it is said that the "Crones" were also polished by people. However, there isn’t any concrete proof of it.
In winter, around the Crones, Caraiman and Burnt Stone chalets, ski lovers can find ski paths for beginners and for advanced skiers.
The Sphinx (Sfinxul)
Located near the "Crones", at the altitude of 2216 m, the "Sphinx" has the same uncertain origins. 8 m high, the "Sphinx" was baptized as such in 1936, when it was photographed from side view. Therefore, the side view similar to a man looking in the distance can be noticed only if you look at the rock from a certain angle.
The Cross on Caraiman
Another attraction of the Busteni resort is the Cross on Caraiman, a "Monument of the Heroes", unique in Europe for the altitude it was located at: 2,291 meters. The Cross, illuminated at night, was built between 1926 and 1928, upon the request of Queen Mary, by the architects of Cristinel Georges and Constantin Procopiu. It is 29.5 m high and its arms are 14 m long.
The monument was made of iron, transported with the aerial ropeway of the paper factory of Busteni and with the ox-carts.
The Cross on Caraiman was connected to the national energetic system in 1939.
The route to the Cross on Caraiman is made on foot, starting from the Crones, and it lasts an hour an a half. From Busteni to the Crones you can get by cable car, in a quarter hour. Another route to the Cross is through the Caraiman Valley, still on foot. Only this is a long way, as from Busteni to the Caraiman chalet you have to walk almost 4 hours during summer.
When you decide to visit the Cross on Caraiman, you must take into account that the closest accommodation place is at the Crones chalet, with 108 places.
Buck’s Glade (Poiana Tapului)
In the past, the Buck’s Glade used to be a spa with independent administration; currently, it is a neighborhood of the Busteni town.
During the monarchy period of Romania, this area flourished, as here was one of the residences of Prince Ferdinand.
Tourists that are desirous for quietness may come to the Buck’s Glade to be accommodated at the pensions here. In the park in the middle of the neighborhood, they will be able to visit the monument dedicated to the Kremnitz family, where doctor Kremnitz, King Ferdinand’s personal doctor, was buried. The locals say that here was also buried Mite Kremnitz, one of Mihai Eminescu’s muses.
Azuga is at an altitude of 1100 m, and the attractions of the resort, beyond the mountain routes, are the two sky paths: the alpine skiing path – descent – and the cross-country skiing path. Both are endowed with chair-lift, ski-lift and cars for arrangement. Also, there is a cable car ski path along the Olympic ski path of Sorica. The new ski path is called Cazacu and it has cable installation and snow maintenance equipment.
Located in a depression sheltered by the Bucegi, Baiu, Piatra Mare and Postavarul mountains, the Predeal resort has a strongly ionized air, which is why it is very much wanted fro treatment.
From Predeal you can get to the Three Fir Trees chalet (Cabana Trei Brazi) and then to the Secui Clearing (Poiana Secuilor), on an easy route that lasts around one hour and a half. If you wish, you may reach even further, on a marked route, up to the Postavaru Massif.
Another easy route, of one hour and 40 minutes, is the one to the Cold Brook chalet (Cabana Paraul Rece) – Stag’s chalet (Cabana Cerbului). You can get there by going from Predeal, on the asphalted road towards Azuga, then to the right on the road along Rasnoavei Valley, beyond Sipote where, near the road, there is the Cold Brook chalet on a meadow. From there, on the road, you get to the Stag chalet and, after 17 km, to the Rasnov town.