Romania

Driving the Transfagarasan Highway in Romania

Driving in Romania is an adventure in itself.

Navigating through five-lane roundabouts, dodging livestock on the highway and trying to find a parking spot on the sidewalk are just some of the many things one can experience while driving in this beautiful country.

Although it can be intimidating at first, I think it is totally worth it. You get to explore so many places that you wouldn’t of otherwise had the chance to visit.

I mean, just take a look at this jaw-dropping scenery..

Driving-Romania-TransfagarasanDriving-Romania-Transfagarasan-5Often considered one of the most beautiful roads in the world, the Transfagarasan Highway in Romania is not for the faint of heart. The road passes through the Fagaras Mountain range and climbs to a staggering 2,034 meters in altitude.

Although it certainly offers a series of amazing views, this winding road is full of sharp hairpin turns, long curves and steep descents. It can be a serious challenge for hikers and drivers alike.

Driving-Romania-Transfagarasan-2Driving-Romania-Transfagarasan-3One can easily spend an entire day driving along the Transfagarasan. Even though the road is only 90km in length, there are plenty of photo opportunities and places to stop along the way.

When entering from the northern side of the road, you begin an ascent through forested valleys and every so often, you will catch a glimpse of the jagged mountain peaks above. Once you are past the tree line, you are granted with picturesque views of the road passing through the mountain.

Driving-Romania-Transfagarasan-4Driving-Romania-Transfagarasan-6The top of the Transfagarasan highway is home to the beautiful Balea Lake, where one can go for a hike into the mountains, purchase local artisan products or simply stand in front of the lake to take a photo, even though it’s freezing cold outside.

Driving-Romania-Transfagarasan-7Driving-Romania-Transfagarasan-8Driving-Romania-Transfagarasan-9As you descend from Balea Lake, you pass through the most popular attractions on the road. Not only can you see Poienari Fortress, the castle that served as Vlad the Impaler’s residence, but you also drive along Vidaru lake and pass through the famous dam.

We heavily underestimated the amount of time it would take us to drive the Transfagarasan and as such, we were unable to stop for photos at most of these places.

Driving-Romania-Transfagarasan-9I am very thankful that I am spending two months in Brasov because that means I will have another opportunity to drive through the Transfagarasan and check out what I missed. If I am lucky enough, I might even catch the fall colours!

You can view all of the photos from my drive on the Transfagarasan by visiting my Flickr album here

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