Introduction

Serpentine Snagov Lake, 40km north of Bucharest and running north–south, serves as the main weekend retreat for residents of the capital looking for a place to relax. The lake has a lovely semirural setting, and there are plenty of opportunities for swimming, boating, fishing and sunbathing. Summer weekends get crowded as nature-seeking hordes from Bucharest descend. Weekdays are more peaceful. Resorts line both sides of the lake, east and west, though places on the western side, in a protected area across the lake from Snagov village, feel more exclusive and remote.

Snagov has an even bigger claim to fame: a small island at the northern end of the lake holds a fine monastery that also happens to be the reputed final resting place of none other than Vlad Ţepeş (aka 'Vlad the Impaler'), the legendarily brutal Wallachian prince who served as the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.