Sâmbăta has plenty of guesthouses, and there are some charming options around Lake Bâlea, the finish point of the Transfăgărăşan Rd. Overnight in Făgăraş town if you must (after all, it has most of the region's amenities and public transport) but its humdrum pensiunes aren't likely to prolong your stay.

Other Features

Feature: Hotel of Ice

As if Lake Bâlea framed by pillowy snow wasn't magical enough, there is another reason to visit in winter. The Hotel of Ice (www.hotelofice.ro) is a luxurious igloo, replete with snowy sculptures, ice walls that sparkle under fairy lights, and plenty of sheepskin blankets to keep you warm at night. Every winter since 2005 it has been built, welcoming guests from late December until the thaw. Each room, costing between 440 and 660 lei, is sculpted according to a theme chosen for that year. Needless to say, you'll need all your thermal layers and ski gear to dine at ice tables, visit the ice chapel, drink from ice shot glasses, and sleep on an ice bed (really). Book months ahead through the website. In winter, you can only access it going south from the E68 (the Transfăgărăşan Rd running north of Curtea de Argeș to Bâlea will close in winter).