Spa town in Romania
Sinaia is one of Romania's finest holiday resorts, located deep into the Carpathian Mountains. In the late 19th century King Charles I of Romania chose Sinaia as his summer residence and built the fabulous Peles Castle, which is today the city's best known landmark.
In 1690 a Wallachian nobleman, Mihail Cantacuzino, built a small monastery on the upper Prahova river and (inspired by his voyage to Mount Sinai) named it Sinaia; a village developed around it. In the 1860s, attracted by the area's wild beauty, Romania's first king, Charles of Hohenzollern, decided to build here a summer residence, which would become Peles Castle (inaugurated in 1883). Soon the place became the favorite resort of the Romania upper class, who started raising their own luxurious holiday villas in the area. Impressive hotels, casinos, modern restaurants and shops followed, which, by the end of the 19th century, turned Sinaia from an obscure village into Romania's unofficial summer capital.
Winter sports. Sinaia is an increasingly popular winter sports destination. As winter turns the hills around town white, Romanians and visitors alike flock to the slopes for down-hill ski and snowboard fun. The season roughly runs from December-April. Ski-passes are sold on site, but can be booked in advance. Keep in mind that lifts don't operate every day, so check in advance. Also, not all ski-passes give access to all lifts, so check the map to see which slopes you're interested in.
Hiking. As is the case with most hill-stations that aren't snow-covered all year, Sinaia makes a fine hiking destination in summer, combining all resort facilities with excellent hiking routes and vistas.