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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrRomania is often known as “The Land of Choice” because there are plenty of things for visitors to do in this beautiful country. This beautiful land has several places of cult, many historical citadels, and a richness of wildlife ranging the various ecosystems that Romania is offering. For the tourists who desire something different and adventurous, the Transfagarasan road is definitely the perfect place.
HistoryThe Transfagarasan road was built between 1970 and 1974, when Romania was ruled by the communists. After the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia in 1968, the Romanian leader, Nicolae Ceausescu, thought that quick mountain access was vital in case the Soviets were intending to attack his country. During the communist regime, Romania built many mountain tunnels through the Carpathians (DN76C high pass and Campina-Predeal road). After many years of work and suffer, Transfagarasan road was formally opened on 20 Sep. 1974.
FeaturesFollowing many positive recommendations, a huge number of drivers have come to this beautiful road in order to experience the spills and thrills that Transfagarasan road is offering. It turns and curls for more than 56 miles between Arpașu de Jos and the highest peak of the mountain and it also passes Fagaras Mountains, which are Romania’s tallest mountains. Transfagarasan road is the ideal place to test a brand new speed car because it’s a great mixture of steep descents and heavy curves. Moreover to this, Transfagarasan has more viaducts and tunnels than any other road in the country; besides this, the view is absolutely stunning. Even though many drivers enjoy coming here to test their cars, the average speed on the road is quite low, close to 40 mp/h.
Transfagarasan also draws plenty of attention from tourists who do not come here by car; motorbike riders, hikers and cyclists also come here very often and enjoy every single part of this beautiful route. Tour of Romania, a cyclist tour similar to the Tour of France, is organized every year and Transfagarasan is considered to be one of the hardest stages. Even the most experienced cyclists say that the route is very difficult, especially the climbing part, and some of them even abandon the race. Although drivers and cyclists can face some serious problems, hikers should not worry that much; all they have to do is walk and enjoy the beautiful landscapes. All who choose to come here should know that there are plenty of guest houses and inns along the road always ready to satisfy the needs of an avid traveler.
“Balea Lac” and “Balea Cascada” are the main tourist attractions of this road and visitors have the possibility to reach the mountain’s peak by taking the telecabin, which is one of Romania’s longest lift lines, measuring about 12,139 feet. In addition to this, Transfagarasan road links the beautiful region of Transylvania (Transilvania) with Wallachia (Tara Romaneasca). Poienari Fortress (Cetatea Poienari), once the home of Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler ) is located at the southern end of the route. Vlad Tepes was one of the most important Romanian rulers, famous for his punishing methods and it was a big source of inspiration for Bram Stoker , well-known for his Gothic novel, Dracula.
How to Get ThereThe best way to get to Transfagarasan road from Bucharest is to go on A1 motorway until you reach Pitesti; Pitesti is mostly an industrial town so it’s not worth visiting. The only thing that matters is maybe the prison, which was one of the most arrant communist prisons, where people who did not obey the communist regime were executed. The next town, Curtea de Arges, is a way better pit stop because it was the home of Basarab I , founder of Curtea Domneasca (Princely Court). Following Curtea de Arges comes “Barajul Vidraru” (Vidraru Dam), one of Europe’s largest hydroelectric plants, together with the statue of Prometheus.
The road of Transfagarasan begins after crossing the dam, up to an altitude of 6,699 feet, making it the second-highest road in Romania after Transalpina (7,037 feet). The bad part of Transfagarasan road is that it is normally open only from the beginning of July until the end of September, because icy weather makes it impossible to traverse. Warning signs are always placed at the beginning of the road if weather conditions make it impassable.
Similar and Nearby LandmarksThis beautiful road is located very close to the Carpathian Mountains, a true wealth of Romania. Just a couple of kilometers southeast of Transfagarasan, lies the lovely town of Campulung, a beautiful place guarded by steep cliffs. Some other stunning roads in Europe include Trollstigen in Norway, Valeta in Spain, which is the highest paved road in Europe and Col de I’lseran in Graian Alps, one of the most difficult climbs in the “Tour de France” and also the highest paved access point in the Alps.
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Author: Iuliana. Last updated: Mar 10, 2015