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The Inn on Balaban is just two miles as the bat flies from Bran Castle, famously – but incorrectly - believed to be that of Count Dracula or his factual counterpart Vlad the Impaler.
The guesthouse is in a beautiful location at the far end of a bumpy track on a spur overlooking valleys dotted with picture perfect wooden barns and the brooding presence in the middle distance of the Piatra Craiului (Rock of the King) mountain range.
The inn is designed in traditional Romanian style with shingled (wooden tiled) roofs and tastefully decorated interiors, and there are eleven bedrooms spread across three buildings. Some of the rooms are adjoining to create perfect family suites, and the Peasant House with one double, one twin and one single bedroom is ideal for bigger families.
This is a place to sit back and contemplate a rural way of life long since vanished in the UK. Alternatively there's walking and riding along forest or sheep trails in a Carpathian setting, or trips to Bran Castle, Rasnov medieval citadel, the Piatra Craiului National Park or remote local villages.
The food on offer is tasty and traditional Romanian home cooking best toasted with palinca, a punchy plum brandy, or some of the really quite good local wines.
Why we love it
We recommend the three-mile cross-country walk down to Bran Castle, strategically placed on one of the few mountain passes along the border between Transylvania and Wallachia. Even better, the friendly staff will come and pick you up if you would rather avoid the uphill leg