Transfăgărăşan Road


Jeremy Clarkson, the famous Top Gear showman said about the Transfăgărăşan winding road that it is “the best road in the world” and we totally agree with him!

The road was built between 1970 and 1974, at the request of the Communist dictator, Nicolae Ceauşescu. He used the army's logistical support, in order to connect the historical provinces of Transylvania and Walachia through a new, strategic route. The construction involved great sacrifice and labor. It was finished with the cost of many lives.

The road with its breathtaking views and the area of the Bâlea Lake became popular after the famous TV show Top Gear was shot here, in 2009. The scenic, winding route attracts passionate drivers, thrilled bikers, mountain and nature lovers, travelers curious to live new experiences!


Transfăgărăşan Road (c) Iulian Aştilean

What makes Transfăgărăşan such a great road? The different landscape views alternating from deciduous tree forests to fir and spruce and finally, alpine vegetation. Thus, the drive is absolutely fascinating regardless the season.


For the passionate drivers, the string of great corners and the altitude are also essential. The mountain lovers are fascinated by the road seen from above, from the trails leading to the nearby peaks.


Facts to know about the road


Transfăgărăşan road (DN7C) starts from the Cârţişoara village (coming from the main national road (DN1, Sibiu – Braşov) and it ends in the town of Căpăţâneni, Argeş County. The road crosses the Carpathian Mountains from North to South, from Transylvania to Wallachia. The total distance is of about 180 km.

In summer time (from July to November) you can drive all along the road from one end to another whilst in the winter time (November-July) you can drive only on the Northern side, from the national road (DN 1) till the Bâlea Waterfall (about 25 km). From here, you can take the cable car which will get to the Bâlea Lake and the hotel of ice.

The highest altitude it gets to is 2042 m (in the area of the glacial lake).


Transfăgărăşan Road (c) Iulian Aştilean

Transfăgărăşan (pronounced like Transfer-garrison in English) means the road crossing the Făgăraş Mountains (mountain range in the Carpathians). The name refers to the tunnel that goes through the mountains starting the area of the glacial lake. The tunnel is around 900 m, being the longest and the highest tunnel in Romania.

If you want to have a great drive through the road you can do a day trip from Sibiu or you can overnight in the region – there are plenty of hotels, villas, cabins are restaurants along the road including at Bâlea Lake. If you want to drive the whole road, you should plan your visit between July and November. The region is magical in wintertime, especially if you love snow. The cable car experience is also unforgettable!

If you’re in the area, put on your list a visit at the former Cistercian Abbey in Cârţa (one of the oldest constructions in Transylvania), a visit in the town of Avrig at the Brukenthal Palace and, why not, a visit at the fancy Fairy Clay Castle.


Transalpina Road

Transalpina winding road goes higher than the Transfăgărăşan, reaching the highest altitude at the Urdele Pass (2145 m). The road crosses the Parâng Mountains (part of the Carpathians) from North to South connecting the town of Sălişte in Sibiu county with the town of Novaci in Gorj County.

Its name comes from Latin and it means “the country beyond the mountains”. Romanians also know it as the “King’s Road” as it was built by King Charles II of Romania, in 1935. The road is fascinating, longer in distance than the Transfăgărăşan road, with softer corners.

Because of the altitude, the weather can be very unstable and unpredictable even in summer time. It can easily snow in September and even in April, so we suggest you check the weather forecast and the tires before your adventure trip. In wintertime the road is closed because of the high layer of snow.

On your way to Transalpina, you can visit the picturesque town of Sălişte and the other idyllic pastoral traditional villages in the mountains: Tilişca, Rod, Poiana Sibiului and Jina.