The Fairy Valley – Clay Castle has been on my bucketlist for a while, especially due to the photos that kept floating on the internet, from all kinds of angles. And it’s understandable why tourists can’t get enough of this place located in the heart of Romania, which combines the beauty of nature with an almost unreal setting.
I think it’s impossible not to have heard of this place, but just in case, you should expect some clay houses, with towers, with rounded doors and tiled roofs, in the more picturesque natural setting!
We arrived here descending from the Transfăgărășan – so if you decide to cross one of the most popular and spectacular mountain roads in Romania, you can add to the list the Fairy Valley – Clay Castle! In fact, it is located right near the village of Porumbacu de Sus, just 35 kilometers from yet another wonderful city: Sibiu!
But let’s see some interesting things about this place that has created a real community around it on social media, reaching over 130,000 likes on the Facebook page, thousands of photos on Instagram, as well as a few viral articles, including one written by the BBC in 2016!
✨ The Fairy Valley – Clay Castle project started in 2014, with the initial goal of creating a tourist attraction based on fairytales. It was supposed to include a restaurant built of stone (with a green roof with flowers), a souvenir shop, playgrounds for children and other adult facilities (horse riding, mountain biking).
All this in an enchanting natural setting, on the Porumbacului Valley, at the foot of the Făgăraș Mountains – from where the Negoiu Peak, the second highest peak in Romania (2535 m), can be seen! One of the most spectacular tourist attractions in the area, it covers about 8,000 square meters!
✨ Who is behind this wonderful idea? It’s no secret that people nowadays seek the peace and freedom of nature, fed up with the stress and congestion of big cities! Răzvan Vasile, a former publicist, together with his wife, wanted to escape the routine of Bucharest (the capital of Romania) and, completely giving up on their old life, they moved to Porumbacu de Sus.
Despite the critics, the two persevered and managed to build this fairytale place at the foot of the Făgăraș Mountains, which reminds us of the Snow White dwarves’ house. A place that has gained fame not only in Romania, but also (or especially) abroad!
✨In order for their dream to become a reality, they did not give up the initial idea, thus changing 5 architects, the fifth being the one who resonated with the vision of the two; this was Ileana Mavrodin, an architect whose vision is to build places in harmony with nature. Related to the “forging” of the castle, it is made only of natural non-toxic materials and finishes (this ecological aspect having a primary role in motivating the owners), by craftsmen from Maramureș. It has two levels, ground floor and attic, as well as two towers.
You can climb the towers, to witness the beautiful view that awaits you. 80,000 pieces and 200 kg of nails were used for the wooden shingle roof, everything being handmade – hence the success of the castle!
✨ Each of the 10 rooms will have its own rustic design, with all the necessary facilities for comfort – bathroom, hot water, etc. In addition, the attention to the ecological aspects extends to the heating part, since they plan to build a traditional firewood during the cold season!
Although it was designed as a guesthouse, at the moment, the Fairy Valley – Clay Castle is not open for accommodation yet. In fact, the owners do not want to rush in, until they make sure that the indoors of the castle will correspond to the idyllic image they want!
✨However, the business is supported by simple entrances to the castle, which cost only 5 LEI (about 1 EURO). The program is from Monday to Sunday, between 10:30 and 17:30. You can buy personalized gifts or fridge magnets from the souvenir shop! And the restaurant is going to be open, serving only eco food there! There is currently a barbecue shop on site, where you can enjoy a variety of drinks and snacks and enjoy the natural setting.
✨ In addition, you can opt for a professional photo shoot (the album fee would be 200 RON)!
✨ In addition to the unique design, this place has a huge courtyard, close to the Porumbacu River. It is an area with a lot of potential, and the sound of the river adds charm to the place. Next to it you can relax on a beautiful terrace, with tables and chairs made of wooden logs and straw bales!
✨ Not only Romanian tourists were enchanted by the magic of this castle that has the mountain at the top and the river at its base: the Fairy Valley – Clay Castle attracted people from all over the world (America, Mexico, Canada, China, New Zealand and all over Europe) , which is not bad at all for the Romanian tourism, on the contrary!
How I wrote my own story at the Fairy Valley Clay Castle
As for me, the foray into the realm of fairies began on an August day, when the heat had already settled over the castle in question. At the entrance, the tourists’ cars had already gathered, so we had a hard time finding a parking space. Across the street there is another terrace, in the same rustic style, where you can enjoy a coffee, a tea or some pies made in regional style.
After we rested and cooled down a bit there, we entered the beautiful world that we would have discovered differently, already having in mind the image of the photos on Instagram. I had begun to ignore the rather pronounced heat, being absorbed by what I saw around me.
Colorful flowers on either side, the tiled roofs, the wooden doors and the organic shapes of the castle seemed only good to inspire you with hundreds of stories. And if you manage to stay here for a few days, I think you will not find a better source of inspiration.
After climbing the turrets and admiring the view, after reading the fairy tale, we went downstairs, picked up some magnets from the souvenir shop, and headed to the wooden tables and chairs, which contrast with the colorful pillows. There was waiting the river in which we cooled our feet a little, after which we ate an ice cream in the shade of the trees.
Now, when I talk about the Fairy Valley – Clay Castle, I can say that there is no place more suitable for a photo shoot, for relaxation, for escaping from the tumult of cities or daily life and getting closer to nature.
What’s more, I personally appreciate the owners’ effort, firstly because they followed their dream despite the discouragement of those around them, creating something completely new from scratch, and secondly, because of the impact it has.
Now I have to ask you: are you tempted to get here and, if you already did, was it as expected? I know for sure that I liked it so much that I would love to come back in other seasons to rediscover the Clay Castle’s charm! 😃