Road Trip: Transfagarasan Highway

This Romanian road trip goes through the Fagaras mountains in the Arges River gorge. It’s only 56 miles long and so it can be combined with other trips, like driving the Transalpina. It is a highly popular attraction and so it’s recommended that you get your time right and either go when the road first opens in June or just before in closes in late October. If you do go during peak season, we recommend getting to the road just before sunrise. to ensure you won’t hit much traffic. But my oh my, this little road trip is worth it! It climbs over 2,000 metres high and and is the second highest paved road in the country after the aforementioned (and not quite as beautiful) Transalpina.

It was constructed at great expense as a strategic military route that meanders through the tallest peaks in Romania, winding, climbing and dropping like a roller coaster. If you take pleasure in being able to drive around a sharp bend, this road will give you more than enough opportunity to show off your skills. It is packed with delightful features, too. You even pass through tunnels covered by waterfalls and over historic viaducts. For me, one of the best bits was driving over the gigantic dam on Vidraru Lake and peaking down its 550 ft drop. One of the universally adored highlights of this trip is passing by Bâlea Glacier Lake and Bâlea Waterfall, which are some of the most beautiful natural sights in the country. What’s more, you’ll even see Vlad the Impaler’s castle, the Poienari Fortress, which is certainly worth stopping for if you can manage the gigantic stairway up the mountain to the building’s entrance.

Driving from North to South is the best way to experience this road. You will need to be relatively cautious of rocks and potholes, but the road is in overall quite good nick. On account of the wild topography, your average speed will only be about 25mph, but you wouldn’t want to race any faster past these stunning views.

Image: “Transfăgărăşan Highway” by Martijn Munneke on Flickr.

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