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Location of Azuga
|• Mayor||Constantin Samson (since 2012) (Green Party)|
|• Total||83.04 km2 (32.06 sq mi)|
|Lowest elevation||930 m (3,050 ft)|
|• Total||5,213|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
|Source: Census data|
Azuga is a small resort town nestled in the mountains of Prahova county in the historical region of Muntenia, in Romania. Azuga is located at the foot of the Baiu mountains, and contains the longest ski run in Romania, the Sorica - together with other ski slopes. Formerly heavy industrialized, Azuga retains now a bottled water factory - a leftover from the famous beer factory that brewed Azuga Beer (now produced elsewhere in Romania under license), a sparkling wine factory, wine tasting and lodging (Cramele Rhein, owned by Halewood International). The beer factory, the glassware factory and the wool cloth factory were privatized and now are closed and completely demolished. The refractory materials factory, also privatized, is still standing but it is closed. The town offers a dramatic view over the Bucegi mountains, even from street level and especially from the top of the Sorica mountain (at the gondola arrival station).
Azuga is one of the most famous mountain resorts of Prahova Valley. Tourists who decide to spend their winter vacation in Azuga, have two of the best ski slopes in the country: Sorica and Cazacu, together with a large offer for lodging. Until the winter of 2002, Azuga was known as an industrial town but thanks to the particularly mountain landscape offered by the Baiului Mountains, the town was turned into a resort. Shortly after, Sorica slope has been certified by the International Ski Federation. Today in Azuga are many hotels and hostels that can provide accommodation for tourists. Another option is the accommodation in local homes at lower prices.
The town is an emerging ski resort that sees tremendous development in tourism infrastructure.
On Sorica slope enthousiasts of winter sports can ski over a length of 2100 meters (vertical drop 561 m). The slope is recommended for both beginners and experienced skiers.
There are also two slopes descending the Cazacu mountain, one has 1920 meters in length (with a drop of 530 m) and the other, more suitable for beginners, just 400 meters in length, with a drop of 115 m. Slopes are equipped with skilifts and a new Leitner gondola lift which goes all the way to the top of Sorica slope, allowing skiers to choose between the two main slopes (access to Cazacu slope implies some tens of meters of ascending, eased by a small skilift).
The gondola does not go to the very top of the mountain; the top station is a few meters below the top, for weather protection in winter (the almost constant winds on the ridge would present icing issues, making morning startups difficult as sometimes the only alternative is the snow groomer - snowmobiles could not get there in fresh high snow).
In the summer, Azuga is a preferred destination for hikers, being a starting point for trips to various mountain destinations in Predeal, Busteni or Sinaia. Forest unpaved (but practicable) roads invite many bicycle enthusiasts, whom can drive along the Azuga River which is peppered with small wooden artificial waterfalls that oxygenate the water for the many trouts that populate naturally the river.
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