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Scenic Route

Transfagarasan Highway

Scenic Route · Transylvania
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  • Hairpin bends on Transfagarasan Highway
    / Hairpin bends on Transfagarasan Highway
    Photo: Cristian Bortes, CC BY, Wikimedia Commons
  • The mountain range of the Carpathians, seen from Transfagarasan Highway
    / The mountain range of the Carpathians, seen from Transfagarasan Highway
    Photo: Gerogex25, CC0, pixabay.com
  • Transfagarasan Highway in the Romanian hinterland
    / Transfagarasan Highway in the Romanian hinterland
    Photo: Țetcu Mircea Rareș, CC BY-SA, Wikimedia Commons
  • Transfagarasan Highway in winter time
    / Transfagarasan Highway in winter time
    Photo: Catalin Gafton, CC BY-SA, wikipedia.org
  • Transfagarasan Highway seen from afar
    / Transfagarasan Highway seen from afar
    Photo: Horia Varlan, CC BY, Wikimedia Commons
  • Panoramic views of Bâlea lake
    / Panoramic views of Bâlea lake
    Photo: Ana Zecheru, CC BY-SA, Wikimedia Commons
  • Chalet at Bâlea lake
    / Chalet at Bâlea lake
    Photo: Mihaiteo, CC BY, Wikimedia Commons
  • / View of Vidraru lake
    Photo: Cristian Bortes, CC BY-SA, wikipedia.org
  • / The best road in the world : Transfagarasan. Romania.
    Video: Anton somewhere
500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 m km 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Vidraru-Stausee Bâlea-Tunnel Bâlea-See

The Romanian hinterland is full of stunning mountainscapes and hidden scenic gems. Discover picturesque lakes and spectacular views of a nearly untouched natural beauty on the second largest road of the country.
96 km
1:36 h
3183 m
3357 m

Far from its touristic hotspots, Romania has to offer several original and natural areas. The sparsely populated area of Siebenbürgen or the mighty mountain ranges of the Carpathians, to name but a few, are largely unspoilt and pristine. Among the highlights is Transfagarasan Highway, a breathtaking scenic road within the mountains of Muntenia and Transylvania. Part of this route follows the national road DN 7C and was built back in the 70s. It is said to be the second highest road of Romania. Since Jeremy Clarkson praised it as “the best road in the world” in the BBC TV series “Top Gear” in 2009, there have been arriving countless tourists to visit the scenic road. With its great views of the stunning surroundings from lofty heights of up to 2042 meters. However, it takes some effort to get there: You need to overcome a few hairpin bends and steep roads.

Author’s recommendation

At Bâlea lake you can restore at a nearby hotel and buy souvenirs. It’s the highest point of the route.

outdooractive.com User
Author
Wolfgang Paulus
Updated: June 20, 2019

Experience
Landscape
Highest point
2274 m
Lowest point
439 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

As there are several steep sections and many bends on this route, you need to be an experienced driver and shouldn’t be afraid of heights. Besides, a large part of the route is exposed, so you shouldn’t travel on this road in poor weather conditions.

Equipment

For the stopovers during the tour you should wear sturdy shoes with a good profile, warm clothes and rainwear. Please keep in mind to take along also sun protection and water.

Tips, hints and links

The highway is open only from late June/early July to October due to snowfall; however, this period might vary due to weather conditions.

Start

Căpățânenii Ungureni (612 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
45.334759, 24.636149
UTM
35T 314780 5022857

Destination

crossing of National Road DN 1 and European Road 68 in the surroundings of Cârțișoara

Turn-by-turn directions

National road DN 7C starts in the small town of Căpățânenii Ungureni in the district of Argeș, Muntenia. After about 2 km it leads past the hydroelectric power station at lake Vidraru and through two tunnels in the lake’s immediate surroundings. The route continues for further 18 km alongside Vidraru’s eastern shore past the valley of Capra (Valea Caprei). After that, it leads through the tunnel of Bâlea of Paltinu Mountain to lake Bâlea. At that point, Transfagarasan Highway winds along a natural reserve to Transylvania (Erdély) past the mountain ranges of “Poarta Întâlnirii“ and “Poarta Geniștilor“ to the small town of Cârțișoara in the district of Sibiu. After further 4 km it leads to European Street E 68.

Public transport

You can’t get to Transfagarasan Highway by public transport. An alternative would be to hire a car.

Getting there

From Hermannstadt Airport (SBZ) by national road DN 1 and DN 7 to Transfagarasan Highway (DN 7C) (total length: approx. 180 km/ 112 miles; total duration: approx. 3,5 hours).

Parking

There are parking areas in the small towns alongside the route.

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


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Distance
96 km
Duration
1:36 h
Ascent
3183 m
Descent
3357 m
In and out Scenic Geological highlights

Statistics

: h
 km
 m
 m
Highest point
 m
Lowest point
 m
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