Romania is an up-and-coming holiday destination but have you ever considered skiing there? Read my guide where I tell you why you should, and why Poiana Brasov is the perfect place to start
Both my partner and myself have been skiing a number of times previously and we would consider ourselves as intermediates.
We were looking for a skiing holiday that wouldn't have our bank managers on the phone and had been deciding between a few destinations in
For the past few years the snow had been patchy in many resorts in
We stayed at a group of hotels - ANA Hotels - which included the Bradual, Poiana and Sport. All of these were located at the foot of the nursery slope and therefore required no shuttle bus transfer, a big plus. These were all next door to each other and while we stayed in the Bradul Hotel - in a front facing balcony room over the nursery slopes - we often went into the Sport for lunches (the Steak sandwich was fantastic!) and to collect our skis every morning. Although I cannot comment on the rooms in all three hotels we were happy with ours, it had simple white walls and wooden furniture; the beds were comfy, just what you need after a full day on the slopes! Only one TV channel was English but I tend not to go on holiday to watch TV. People in our ski schools were spread across these hotels and not one of them had any complaints.
The staff were great and were very friendly, particularly our ski instructor who was fantastic. Officially our lessons were four hours however he took us skiing all day if you didn’t want to leave after lunch. He did his best to push us to becoming better skiers whist still considering the weaker members of the group.
When we stayed, the hotels were run on an 'all inclusive' basis, which included breakfast, evening meal and all drinks after
Lunches were available on the slopes or at the hotel and were less than you'd pay for a McDonald's back home, all the food was of a good standard and you had a choice of local food or other worldwide foods such as pizza, steaks etc. We ate at a few restaurants on the slopes and I couldn’t fault a single one of them. Club Rossignol http://www.clubrossignol.ro/index.html was one of these and there was also fantastic small café at the top of one of the major lifts. It was hidden away down some wooden stairs although was very popular with the instructors and locals so I would recommend asking if they know about it.
The ski town of
The ski area isn't far from the local town of
In the main town there are a number of both traditional and modern shops as well as many beautiful buildings and churches, including the
Other trips you can take include a trip to Bran (Dracula's) castle to hear about the history and the legend. There are a few small stores here that sell the tourist gifts; one I found that was well received was a Bottle of Dracula’s Blood (red wine). You will need to take some cash if you wish to purchase anything as there were no cash machines in the area. Activities may vary on this trip but for us this also included a horse driven sleigh through snow and waterfalls which was very romantic! We went on this with the tour operator which was Airtours.
All in all I found this was one of my favourite ski holidays out of the number I have taken so far, as well as the best value for money. The slopes were quiet, the ski instruction was wonderful and it hadn't been damaged by the commercial side of tourism, and the food was far better quality and value than I had experience elsewhere in