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

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.








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.




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.




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.




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




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.






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. 



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.




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. 












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. 
























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










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.




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. 




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. 








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








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. 











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. 








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.






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.







Edited by Stara__Varos

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).

OK, thought you're looking to go, but I see you already went :)

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:

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:

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

Create an account or sign in to comment

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

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • By Bryan Bosch
      Reports Record Sales for November and December, Steady Growth In Sluggish Market
      WOODCLIFF LAKE, NJ – January 11, 2018 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – BMW Motorrad reported sales of 13,546 motorcycles for 2017, down just 1.3% from the 13,730 motorcycles sold in 2016.  However, despite the slight downturn, BMW outpaced the rest of the motorcycle industry (which was down 3.2%) and its relevant competition (which was down 6.3%).

      Sales of BMW motorcycles increased 37.3% in December 2017 (1,270 units) compared to December sales in 2016 (925 units), capping eight months of steady growth over the previous year in BMW Motorrad’s strongest export market.  BMW Motorrad USA posted a 15% growth in sales from September through December compared to the same period in 2016, and showed a 27% growth in sales from November through December in 2017 compared to the previous year.
      “We are proud to report these impressive results despite current market conditions,” commented Michael Peyton, Vice President, BMW Motorrad North America.  “BMW Motorrad USA achieved all-time record sales in November, while December 2017 was our best December since 2004 and our fourth consecutive month of sales growth.”
      According to Peyton, strong year-end results were driven by the ever-popular BMW R 1200 GS Adventure, which accounted for 15% of December sales volume.
      “New and loyal customers; the broadest model range in our history; and a strong and growing dealer network will continue to propel BMW motorcycle sales in the coming year,” he observed.
      BMW’s robust product offensive will continue in 2018 with the recent introduction of the new 215 hp BMW HP4 Race limited-volume, supersport motorcycle (BMW’s most-exclusive motorcycle ever offered), the 2018 BMW G 310 GS (BMW’s second entry in the smaller displacement segment), the 2018 BMW C evolution electric scooter, the 2018 BMW C 400 X (premium mid-sized scooter), the 2018 BMW K 1600 B Grand America, as well as several special-option motorcycles.
      BMW’s diverse range of adventure models, roadsters, sport bikes, tourers, and scooters can be seen and ridden at 153 U.S. retailers.  Many new and updated BMW models are also currently making their debut at motorcycle shows around the country.   For more information about BMW motorcycles and retailers, visit: For information about The Progressive International Motorcycle Show schedule, visit:
      BMW Group In America
      BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975.  Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003.  The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars; Designworks, a strategic design consultancy based in California; technology offices in Silicon Valley and Chicago, and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 and X4 Sports Activity Coupes.  The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 344 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 153 BMW motorcycle retailers, 127 MINI passenger car dealers, and 36 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers.  BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
      Source: BMW of North America, LLC

    • By Khaled Y. Abueljebain
      When i decide to kayak through my gs adventure 1200

    • By TypeJ
      For sale BRAND NEW, still in the plastic, never been opened AltRider skid plate and the mounting bracket; also BRAND NEW. Located in northern California, and would prefer a local sale, but I'm willing to ship them. I'm asking $450 or best offer for both, and I'm open to trades. I enjoy hunting, hiking, motorcycles (obviously), travel, and all sorts of stuff so let me know if you've got a good trade. Thanks for looking.

    • By Bryan Bosch
      Can anyone relate? Pretty serious stuff...

    • By Jason R
      Selling a 2014 BMW F800 GSA. 
      Options included 
      Heated grips
      ASC Traction control
      Lower crash bars
      Hand guards
      6.3 gallon fuel tank
      Fog lights
      Over sized foot pegs
      Adjustable rear brake lever
      Bag mounts
      Aluminum paniers
      Tall Wind screen
      Accessories that I have added are: 
      Altrider skid plate
      Altrider radiator guard
      Altrider luggage rack 
      Rotopax gear box with locking mount
      Touratech bar risers
      The bike is in excellent running condition. Has been ridden off road so the plastics are not perfect. 7100 miles. 
      [email protected]