Six short kilometers south of Poienari Citadel is Arefu, a tiny village that is purportedly inhabited by descendants of the minions who served Vlad Tepes Dracula. The village has a simple, but brilliant agro-tourism scheme designed to allow visitors to spend the night in this distinctly Romanian rural backdrop. A good place to “come down off” the Transfagarasan Road, visitors are treated to campfires, folk songs and (translator given) tales about ‘the impaler’ himself.
The Arefians pasture lands are apparently a gift from Tepes himself, in gratitude for helping him escape into the mountains when the Turks besieged Poienari Citadel in 1462, but not before Tepes’ wife, convinced they would not escape, flung herself from the castle’s turret. Proof is in a document signed by Mircea Ciobanul in 1540, acknowledging that Tepes granted the villagers 16 mountains and 14 sheepfolds.