TransFagarasan, TransAlpina and TransBucegi Pass
Transylvania Moto Experience is a small company in Romania which offers motorcycle adventure holidays. The man behind this project is Mihai Palos and he says that the world has already been mapped, but never discovered truthfully. Thus, he has a couple of roads around Transylvania which might be one of the best motorcycle roads in Romania.
Some of you might know this route for being named the Best Road in the World according to BBC’s Top Gear and MotorBikeEurope.com. That is quite a challenge if we look to Stelvio Pass in Switzerland and we think that each road is special in its own way. So, why is this road so unique?
It was built in the early ‘70s under the command of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu as a response to the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. The former dictator wanted quick military access across the mountains in case of an invasion. In other words, it was designed as a strategic military route to connect the historic regions of Transylvania and Wallachia. The road starts near the village Pitesti, and stretches 90 kilometres (56 miles) to the crossroad between the DN1 road and Sibiu, between the highest peaks in the country, Moldoveanu and Negoiu. It passes major cities like Curtea de Arges. The end of the route is Arpasu de Jos region.
The road climbs to an altitude of 2,042 metres (6,699 ft), making it the second-highest mountain pass in Romania after the Transalpina. It’s a winding road, dotted with steep hairpin turns, long S-curves, and sharp descents. The road also provides access to Balea Lake and Balea Waterfall.
Moreover, the road is usually closed from late October until late June because of snow. The Transfagarasan Pass has more tunnels (a total of 5) and viaducts than any other road in Romania. At the highest point, at Balea Lake, the road passes through Balea Tunnel, the longest road tunnel in Romania at 884 m (2,900 ft).
The southern section of the road, near the village of Arefu, is Poenari Castle. The castle was the residence of Vlad the Impaler which was the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Count Dracula.
The road is located in the Parang Mountains group, in the Southern Carpathians of Romania. It connects the Novaci village to Sebes over a 148km route. Transalpina is one of the highest roads of the Carpathian Mountains and it offers a fast connection between the Oltenia and Transylvania regions. The course has its highest point at the Urdele Pass where the elevation is 2,145m above sea level. The road was built under King Carol the second and was constructed over an old Roman road. Furthermore, it was consolidated during World War 2 by the German army.
It’s located in the south-central part of Romania and the road goes through the Bucegi Natural Park. It links the village of Sinaia and the Bucegi Mountains Plateau. The route is the third-highest altitude road in the country at an altitude of 1,925m (6,315ft). The road is 20 km long (17 of them tarmac) and it consists of twisty hairpin corners, high elevations and steep grades, all surrounded by a scenic landscape. The road’s elevation changes from 2,495 feet at Sinaia to almost 6,315 feet at Bucegi National Park. The other 3 km are considered a protected area and therefore are off-limits to riders or drivers.
There are a couple of tourist attractions such as the Peles Palace and the most famous cave from Bucegi Mountains, as well as the most important one, Ialomita Cave or also known as Kings’ Cave.
TransBucegi was built in from 2010 and the construction lasted three years. Also known as The Old Ladies Road, it is a narrow, sinuous road close to The Old Ladies and The Sphinx – famous Romanian rock formations shaped by the wind. The road is opened all year round thanks to the weather conditions.
The road is 16,9km long and is located between some of Romania’s most picturesque mountains, Bucegi, Leaota and Piatra Craiului. It connects Wallachia to Transylvania regions. There are a couple of sites to visit like Zarnesti, Rasnov or Bran. Of course, the main attraction is the famous Bran Castle, also known as the fortress of Count Dracula, the legendary literature figure.
You can view a full photo gallery by clicking on the main picture in the story