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PLEASE NOTE: In the event that this villa is booked there may be an identical villa next door which could be made available. In these circumstances please contact me.
The River Prahova froths white beneath the gigantic Bucegi Mountains, which tower over Azuga, lying in South-eastern Transylvania. The mixed deciduous and coniferous forests that clothe the lower slopes of the range are home to bears, wolves, chamois, eagles, wild boar and even lynx. The untamed and, largely, untouched landscape also provides so much to see and do in the area, with highlights including walking and fishing the Prahova river (and its tributaries), skiing in Azuga (and/or the surrounding towns) or exploring the many historic sites (including Castle Bran, also known as 'Dracula's castle'). The area is also ideal for hiking, whether on the mountains and by the rivers within easy walking distance from the villa or further afield at, for instance, the upper reaches of the Prahova valley, which are unforgettably stunning and dotted with fantastic caves and other karstic phenomena.
In this landscape of outstanding natural beauty, and with panoramic views onto the Bucegi Mountains lies the villa. Built above the town of Azuga, though with easy walking access to it, it is spacious, yet homely, exhilarating but relaxing. Azuga, itself, nestles in a valley in the Bucegi mountains and straddles one of the tributaries of the Prahova River. An eclectic mix of charming traditional Romanian cottages and Soviet relics, the village is friendly, quaint and still inquisitive of western adopters.
Although, incredibly tranquil and sublimely peaceful, the area around Azuga offers a huge array of activities. Many of the local towns (Sinaia, Predeal and Poiana Bra?ov), including Azuga itself, offer skiing, sledging, cross-country skiing, snowboarding , Nordic walking and sow-tubing. An alternative to winter sports might be rock-climbing. The Bucegi Mountains are the centre of Romanian rock-climbing. The town of Buteni a few kilometres from Azuga), at the foot of Caraiman Mountain, is the main access point for the climbing routes of the Bucegi mountains. The Piatra Craiului Mountains (the Rock of the King), reaching 2,238 meters (7,342 ft.) are popular for their beauty, but winter brings heavy snows, cold winds and avalanches, so only experienced and well-equipped mountaineers should venture up during the winter. The Bicaz gorges, carved by the waters of Bicaz River into the Jurassic limestone of the Hasmas massif has the most difficult routes.
Mountain biking, ATV riding, Bungee jumping (Rasnoava Gorges in the Postavaru mountains is the second highest bungee jumping place in Europe) and golfing are all readily accessible. The landscape lends itself particularly well to camping and Saint Ana Lake is highly recommended. Lying just 25 km north of Brasov, it is the only lake of volcanic origin in Romania.
Camping is encouraged in the flower-meadow adjoining the lake (it's water's purity approaches that of distilled water). Caving is a hugely popular sport in Romania and there are more than 12,500 known caves in Romania filled with natural riches, including the first Palaeolithic paintings found in central and south-east Europe. Ten caves have underground glaciers. The Apuseni Mountains alone have over 200 caves to explore. For a gentler way to explore the extraordinary local environment there's horseback and horse carriage riding. Horse riding or riding in a carriage at the base of the woody mountains are ideal for learning the art of equestrianism while being guided by qualified instructors.
Most hikes in the Bucegi Mountains (Muntii Bucegi) are easy day-hikes, with cable cars an alternative on the steeper sections. Snow covers Mount Omu, the highest point of the Bucegi (2505m), for 200 or more days a year. Elsewhere the snow generally retreats during April, and soon after the meadows are covered with wildflowers such as ladies' gloves, grape ferns and edelweiss. Golden eagles circle above the forests that shelter woodcock, hazel grouse and nightingales, while other wildlife includes the Carpathian red deer. Chamois may well be seen on the cliffs to the north above the massif.
Mountains dominate the skyline around Bran. To the southeast is the almost sheer wall of the Bucegi range – it takes about eight hours to hike from Bran to Mount Omu, where there’s a cabana. To the west, gentler slopes run up to the Piatra Craiului, a 20km-long narrow limestone ridge, known as the Royal Rock. It's now a national park.
The Piatra Craiului National Park is ideal for all kinds of outdoor pursuits. There're a multitude of things to see and do, from observing animals in the wild to sporting activities and guided walks. The most popular of these is bear-watching, which gives visitors a rare chance to observe these animals in their natural habitat – gathering at dusk, you are taken up to a forest hide, where the chances of seeing a brown bear are rated at around seventy percent. While you’re less likely to see wolves, wolf-tracking is also popular.
The villa is located about a 20 minute drive from the medieval Saxon town of Brasov, known for the largely Baroque Old Town, coiled beneath Mount Tâmpa and Mount the Postavaru. Close by are the medieval ramparts and, beyond them, the Schei quarter. Brasov, often described as the greatest city of Transylvania, is the area's capital and provides excellent dining, shopping and entertainment. It is home to Parc Aventura Brasov (an adventure park), Council Square (a national landmark), the Liberty Bear Sanctuary Zernesti (described as '[a] special place, touching and beautiful'), the Black Church (Biserica Neagr) - an imposing Gothic architectural masterpiece and Paradisul Acvatic (a waterpark).
The Bucegi mountains/Prahova valley is a geological marvel, a wild untamed nature reserve, an historic and cultural melting pot and a fascinating architectural anachronism. and it all lies on the doorstep of Casa Ferica. Both a launch-pad to adventure and discovery and a comfortable homely retreat. That is why Casa Ferica is unique and we hope to welcome you soon.
While the internal dining area can seat 8, the property has a substantial terrace which can also easily accommodate 8 diners (or more). It also benefits from spectacular views across the valley....moreless
The living room has an L shaped Sofa (seats 5) and 2 armchairs. It also benefits from a Sony HD 42” widescreen TV and PS3. A Large selection of sheep skins (useful on the terrace in Winter!)....moreless
As well as those items listed below the kitchen benefits from the following: Braun Food Whisk (re-chargeable), Kettle, All Cooking Implements & Knives,Wine Glasses, Tumblers, Mugs & Weighing Scales...moreless
The upper terrace is accessible from the living area and can easily accommodate 8 people. The lower terrace is much larger. Both have spectacular views across the valley and to the Bucegi Mountains....moreless
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My Standard Rate
6 night min stay
Additional information about rental rates
Please note that visitors should vacate the villa by 11:00 am on their day of leaving and should not expect to occupy the villa until 6:00 pm on their date of arrival (all times are local), in order that the villa can be cleaned and prepared for arriving visitors.
Cancelled bookings will not receive a refund.
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The website of the national railway service is www.cfrcalatori.ro (the website has an English translation). The website contains train times, a map, discounts and other information.
In order to make your visit more relaxing and comfortable I may be able to provide the following additional services if sufficient notice is given:
Arrive at Casa Ferica and have a fantastic dinner waiting for you. Or, if you would simply like the option of having dinner provided, without the hassle of shopping, preparing and cooking, our housekeeper, Marianna, would happily to do it for you. As a guide, the price for the service would be around £65 for 3 courses for 6-8 people. All food is home-cooked by Marianna and is traditionally Romanian. Please contact me directly for a quotation and suggested menu (I will liaise with Marianna).
If, during your stay, you would rather focus on relaxing and/exploring Marianna may also provide a limited housekeeping service, for an additional fee. Again, please contact me to sort out the details and cost. For these services, Marianna should be paid directly.
While there will be a small supply of alcoholic/non-alcoholic drinks available at the villa (there is an honesty box), I would be happy to ensure a supply of local and/or international wine is available at the house, either for your first night or for all or any part of your stay. Being a lover of wine, I have developed unhealthily close relationships with various reputable dealers/producers of wine! Obviously, this will need to be organised (and paid for) sufficiently in advance of your trip, for me to make the necessary arrangements so please let me know, as soon as possible, any preferences you may have.
Year Purchased: 2008
About the owner: I am British, but I have lived and worked in Romania for nearly 25 years. I have raised my family of 3 children 4 dogs and a cat here and I have fully integrated into the Romanian way of life. I have had the great fortune to travel across much of Romania and experience its great charm, fascinating culture, history and stunning unspoiled landscapes. I have found Romanians to be incredibly welcoming, helpful and sociable. The country is rich with tradition and the people very Mediterranean in outlook. After many years exploring Romania, my family decided to buy a holiday home and we settled on Azuga which is in the impressive Bucegi mountain range, this is close enough to Romania’s capital, Bucharest and the International airport, so easily accessible at weekends and for the odd night at the same time in the heart of the Carpathian Mountains and great launching pad to exploring Transylvania. Romania and the Carpathian Mountains are one of the last wildernesses in Europe, this is a country of adventure, legends, rich history and raw beauty for you to explore and right on your doorstep at Casa Ferica.
Why the Owner Chose Sinaia:
The villa is a 4 double bedroomed, 3 storey property offering spectacular views of the Carpathian landscape. Located high on one of the many forested valley slopes, it is far enough away from the local town of Azuga to feel the tranquillity of nature, while still affording easy walking access to the local amenities. Whether it's a warm fire and a glass of mulled wine after a day's skiing on the pistes in Azuga or a sun-drenched barbecue on the spacious terrace, Casa Ferica is an ideal sanctuary. Alternatively, you could take the time to enjoy a glass of the local Romanian wine and ponder what you might explore in the days that follow. You have much from which to choose. Whether it's sports (skiing, hiking, horse-riding, climbing or ATV riding), history (fortified Saxon churches or, at the other extreme, Dracula's castle), culture (the medieval town of Brasov, or the distinctive soviet architecture) or just exploring one of the last truly wild European landscapes, Casa Ferica is a gateway to adventure.
The Unique Benefits at this Chalet:
The area around Azuga offers a huge array of activities. Skiing, sledging, snowboarding and Nordic walking are all on offer. The Bucegi Mountains are the centre of Romanian rock-climbing. Mountain biking, ATV riding, Bungee jumping (Rasnoava Gorges is the second highest bungee jump in Europe), caving, camping and golfing are all readily accessible. Alternatively, there's horseback/carriage riding. Romania manifests a wonderful array of architectural styles, from Romanesque to Gothic to indigenous forms such as Brancovenesc, and communist-style structures. In Azuga itself (as there are everywhere), exist examples of the brutal soviet architecture, which are well worth viewing as they provide a fascinating counterpoint to the truly remarkable and diverse older architecture. Close to 'home', in Sinai, is the intriguing Peles Castle, built in the German Renaissance style. However, the whole of South-eastern Transylvania is dotted with places of historic and cultural interest. Crowning the fir covered hills that overlook Râsnov is a ruined 13th Century fort. It provides glorious mountain views across to the Piatra Craiului. In Viscri , set, gleaming white, upon a small hill and screened by trees, is a Saxon fortified church, one of Romania’s most impressive. A forbidding silhouette of battlements and needle spires looms over Sighisoara; it seems a fitting birthplace for Vlad Tepes, “The Impaler” – the man known to so many as Dracula. In the small town of Bran the Saxons built a castle in 1377. It's now known as 'Dracula's Castle' and, indeed, looks like a vampire counts residence, perched on a rocky bluff and rising in tiers of towers and ramparts from the woods against a glorious mountain backdrop. The villa is located about a 20 minute drive from the medieval Saxon town of Brasov, known for the largely Baroque Old Town, coiled beneath Mount Tâmpa and Mount the Postavaru. It offers outstanding restaurants, shops and entertainment.
A view of the villa looking East.
A view of the various terraces (including the hot tub)
A view of the villa looking towards the East
A view of the rear of the house looking towards the South
The two terraces ( . . . and firewood) looking towards the South-east.
A view of the sitting room looking through the picture windows.
Bedroom 1 - south facing with direct access to terrace/hot tub
Another view of the twin bedroom. This room can be converted to a double.
A view of the top terrace looking towards the South East.
A view of the pistes from the balcony.
The Bucegi Mountains at sunset. Taken 50 yards from the villa in October 2013.
The Bucegi at dawn, in the Autumn, taken from the lower terrace.
Casa Ferica in the early morning sun.
View of the villa (including the hot tub and the two terraces) from the West.
The side of the villa in the late evening sun.
A view of the side of the house looking towards the South East
A view of the house looking South East
Bedroom 2 - south facing with direct access to terrace/hot tub
The twin room. Ideal for children . . . but can be used for adults!
A view of the balcony looking South East. Taken on a sunny Autumn evening.
Dinner on the balcony. Smoke from the BBQ can be seen drifting in the background
The Bucegi Mountains as dawn breaks. Taken from the lower terrace.
A cemetery in Brasov on a sunny Autumn day.
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