Jump to content

Is ''Transfagarasan Highway'' the greatest ride in the word?

Recommended Posts

I had this steep alpine Romanian road for very long on my bucket list.

After all i have heard or read about it, i had to check to have my own opinion.

So, is it the best road to ride as well-known british auto-moto show claimed? Rate from 1 to 10.

 :ride:

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

07-4TR-.jpg

 

The «Transfagarasanul» road, as its name implies, is the highway that crosses the Fagaras Mountains - DN7C (officially called National Road 7C) and is the most famous road in Romania, perhaps Europe and well-known  in the rest of the world because of the landscape variations around it. Essentially, unites Transylvania with Wallachia, but it is not only that. It is the result of the megalomania of N. Ceausescu and the road that climbs to the highest altitude in Romania, at 2042 meters near Lake Balea. The route starts from Brasov and ends at Cartisoara, crossing the European highway Sibiu - Brasov. It is 151 km long. During the winter, from November 1st to June 30th, between Negru Peak and the Balea Cascada lodge, the road closes.

 

14-2TR-.jpg

 

This road is not for those who are afraid of heights, and in some places driving can become dangerous. There are large sections of road without protective barriers or next to cliffs reaching deep up to 300 meters. Also, due to heavy snowfall, asphalt is not ideal and requires increased attention.

 

04-9CTR-.jpg

 

When planning a route crossing the Transfagarasan, you should spend as much time as possible since parts of the road use various vehicles (often large trucks and caravans) and animal flocks. So with the steep rocks on the one side and cliffs on the other, probably is not an easy pass. If someone is in hurry and travels aiming "from point A to point B", it is better to use the E81 road, from Sibiu to Minicu Vilcea.

 

15-TR.jpg

 

I crossed the highway from north to south, starting from Cartisoara. Its a good idea to refill your motorcycle's tank here.

 

01-2TR.jpg

 

After a light meal in the tourist restaurants and some photos, I am moving towards the foothills of the mountain, looking forward to seeing the first turns. My wishes are coming true soon and I ascend through the dense forest.

 

02-B-TR.jpg

 

02-F-TR-.jpg

 

I was abstracted  by the landscape around me, but other riders who greet me in the opposite direction, bring me back to my course. I want to stop somewhere for a few minutes and suck in the pictures that surround me, but the weather is closing and the temperature drops considerably. 

 

04-2TR-.jpg


Soon I get to a point with a lot of people and traffic. Small wooden shops with works of folk art, souvenirs and food attract many tourists.

 

03-%25CE%2592-TR-.jpg

 

I meet here two motorcyclists from Poland that later our roads cross quite often. For hikers there  is also a path that leads to a point with a perfect view of the Balea Cascada waterfall. Ten minutes later I am on my way again and after a series of uphill turns, I enter the central plateau, the most photographed valley of Transgararasan. 

 

04-B-TR.jpg

 

04-C-TR-.jpg

 

04-H-TR-.jpg

 

05-A-TR-.jpg

 

05-C-TR-.jpg

 

I try to photograph a part of it, but I believe that no camera can capture the splendor and the impact of the landscape on the human soul. 

 

06-A-TR-.jpg

 

06-B-TR-.jpg

 

06-C-TR-.jpg

 

06-D-TR-.jpg

 

06-E-TR-.jpg

 

06-G-TR.jpg

 

06-H-TR.jpg

 

06-I-TR-.jpg

 

07-A-TR-.jpg

 

07-B-TR-.jpg

 

07-C-TR-.jpg

 


I am now at a point where the clouds seem to be formed at lower altitudes than the road I drive.

 

07-1TRgo-.jpg

 

07-2TRgo-.jpg

 

07-3TRgo-.jpg

 

07-4-TRgo-.jpg

 

At the top of the mountain is Lake Bilea (or Balea), a glacier lake that has unfortunately been covered by fog for most of the year.

 

09-A-TR-.jpg

 

During my visit I find Lake Balea in such a dense and frozen fog that I barely remain, as I can not even take a picture. Perhaps better because it has so many people there that I could not make a good shot. Here there is a restaurant and rooms where you can stay, especially if the weather is bad and you do not want to continue. Prices are quite high for Romanian standards, but justified because of the remote location. I read somewhere that many tourists come during the winter season near Lake Bâlea for climbing on ice, skiing or visiting the Ice Hotel that is being built every year by ice of the lake. A thick fog also fills the 887-meter tunnel that leads to the other side, close to the fire brigade station. 

 

10-A-TR-.jpg

 

Driving into it the minimal visibility, darkness and my effort to leave room for the vehicles that come to the other traffic stream, make me think I travel in time. Getting out of the tunnel the weather was completely different, surprisingly warm and the atmosphere clean. 

 

11-B-TR-.jpg

 

11-A-TR.jpg

 

11-C-TR.jpg

 


From this side of the mountains of Fagaras, with the successive downhill turns, I descend to Lake VIdraru. 

 

12-A-TR-.jpg

 

12-B-TR-.jpg

 

12-C-TR-.jpg

 

I overtake the Cascada Capra cascade that goes directly from the homonymous glacier lake at the top of the mountain, as I avoid the very touristic spots. From this point many cyclists start their route down to the dam, taking advantage of the downhill. 

 

15-A-TR-.jpg

 

15-B-TR-.jpg

 

15-E-TR.jpg

 

15-D-TR-.jpg

 

13-A-TR.jpg



Near the pretty spectacular Lake Vidraru, I meet other motorcyclists from Turkey and Poland, as well as 6-7 Greeks that I noticed earlier near the top. 

 

16-A-TR-.jpg

 

16-B-TR-.jpg

 

16-1TR-.jpg

 

From the dam of the lake you can choose to navigate to its right or left side to reach the town of Curtea de Arges. I choose the most established route to the dam at the bottom of the lake. The road here is even worse and I see signs for Dracula's Castle. «Hats off»  to the Romanians as they manage to connect everything with the legacy of the famous Count. Perhaps this ruined castle is the closest to the myth of the bloodstained ruler. Poenari Castle. I wrote it on my list of places I will visit in the future, although I will need to climb the 1480 concrete stairs to its acropolis. From now on the road to Pitesti, where I overnight, is relatively indifferent. The monotony is interrupted by shepherds, who drive their flocks in the middle of the road, by carts and wagons. Those images of rural life carry my thoughts to similar seasons of my country's past.

 

18-B-TR-.jpg

 

18-A-TR-.jpg

 

If you have not been persuaded so far of the presenter of a well-known four-wheel English show to ride the Transgarasan Highway, I will not be able to do it. What I can add is that this is a road that every motorcyclist will surely enjoy. Personally, I focused on driving as much as possible, concentrating on my lines, to feel as close as possible to my road and motorcycle. There were times when I felt awe and fear for the road I was in, as if I were somehow inferior and the next moment the adrenaline flood in me after a quick exit from the corner. Also the self-confidence that I am driving perhaps one of the best motorcycles ever been produced. Although asphalt is of average quality at the highest points, the view is unique. The demands of driving on continuous hairpins do not allow you to observe the nature around you, so I suggest driving both directions. Firstly, north to south for the driving experience and after the opposite direction for some stops and photos.

My complaint is that I did not take a lot of photos. However this can be a good excuse to come back!


I believe I have had enough time to come closer to my real self. This trip really added something to my experiences and contributed to expand a little more my personal «treasure» of memories.

 

04-8TR-.jpg

 

 

 

 

Edited by Stara__Varos
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did it a few times. It's very nice, but can be very busy during the season, because it's so famous.

But if you go to Romania to do the Transfagarasan, you owe yourself to do the Transalpina, which is nicer IMO (and at higher altitude).

And there are other nice mountain roads as well (and of course, unpaved roads and offroad).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Dragos Stefan said:

I did it a few times. It's very nice, but can be very busy during the season, because it's so famous.

But if you go to Romania to do the Transfagarasan, you owe yourself to do the Transalpina, which is nicer IMO (and at higher altitude).

And there are other nice mountain roads as well (and of course, unpaved roads and offroad).

Transalpina and Transbucegi, if i say it correctly :) Romania has a lot to offer for on/offroad roads and is my favourite destination as my country is really close! See u on the road bro!! :thumbsup:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Stara__Varos said:

Transalpina and Transbucegi, if i say it correctly :) Romania has a lot to offer for on/offroad roads and is my favourite destination as my country is really close! See u on the road bro!! :thumbsup:

Let me know when you're coming again and we'll sure see each other on the road :) :thumbsup:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Dragos Stefan said:

Let me know when you're coming again and we'll sure see each other on the road :) :thumbsup:

will do! Same goes for u also, if u r around, give me a heads-up

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

XL Adventure Motorcycle Community

Register a new account Sign In Now

×