Transfagarasan Road is considered to be the most beautiful road in Romania. The spectacular hairpin turns, the panoramas of the Fagaras Mountains and the wonderful sights along it make Transfagarasan an obvious choice for a true holiday.
It starts near the village Cartisoara, in Sibiu and stretches for 90 km to Bascov, near Pitesti. The paved mountain road crosses Fagaras, the highest mountains in the country.
The construction of Transfagarasean road was ordered during the rule of Nicolae Ceausescu and had, in fact, a strategic purpose: to ensure quick military access across the mountains and prepare the county in case of a Soviet invasion, which fortunately did not happen. However, an amazing road was constructed and today is both an attraction and a challenge for hikers, cyclists and drivers.
The Vidraru Dam, a masterpiece of engineering
Vidraru Dam is one of the most impressive dams in Romania and definitely worth stopping for along the way. It is a beautiful place, where one of the most imposing construction blends with nature. The Vidraru Dam was built in 1965, being the 8th largest dam in Europe by that time, and created the artificial Vidraru Lake on Arges River.
The dam has a height of over 160 meters and it can store 465 million cubic meters of water. The Transfagarasan road passes over the top of the dam. For an impressive panoramic view of Vidrarul Lake and the Fagaras Mountains, we recommend you to stop at Belvedere platform.
Enjoy the spectacular surroundings of Balea Lake
The most popular place on the Transfagarasan highway is certainly Balea Lake. This is also the highest point along the route and you should not be surprised if you find snow around the lake, even in mid-August. This glacier lake has over 11 meters deep and the area surrounding it has been declared a scientific reserve.
The ice hotel from Balea Lake is a famous tourist attraction, visited by thousands of local and foreign tourists. The hotel is built every winter from huge blocks of ice, taken out directly from Balea Lake.
The Balea Waterfall is only 10 km away from the lake. It is the largest waterfall in steps in Romania, with a fall of 60 m, surrounded by amazing landscape. To reach the waterfall you have to follow a route from Balea Waterfall Chalet, on the edge of Transfăgărăşan Road.
The fortress of Poenari, the real Dracula castle
Another fascinating tourist attraction, the Poenari Fortress is a historic monument from the 14th century built on a mountain peak that overlooks the Arges River vallley. The castle had five defensive towers and very thick walls, that still stand today.
A few people know that, in fact, this was the residence of Vlad the Impaler. It was also a place of refuge and a fortress in the way of Ottoman invasion. To get to the ruins of the fortress you must climb not less than 1,480 stone steps. Instead, the effort is worthwhile because the view from the top is breathtaking.
The Stan Valley, a real adventure park
One of the most beautiful canyon in Romania, the Stan Valley is a circuit set up with ladders and cables and a real challenge. The whole track is marked with a red dot and it takes about 4 hours to complete it, both the entrance and the exit being on the side of the Transfagarasan road.
You can enjoy the fresh air of the mountains and a series of picturesque places with wild landscapes, waterfalls, tall cliffs and rich vegetation. You will need special equipment if you decide to go through the valley! The hiking boots are a must!!
The last attraction on the Transfagarasan Road is an interesting ethnographic museum located in Cartisoara. The Cârţişoara Museum houses an interesting collection of folk costumes, painted icons on glass, ceramics and decorative items from the 19th and 20th centuries, and a traditional household from the middle of the 19th century.