The 6 Must-Drive Sky-High Roads in Romania
Nestled within Europe's heart, Romania offers some of the continent's most captivating road trips. Beyond its rich history and vibrant culture, this nation boasts breathtaking scenic drives that are destinations in their own right. From the undulating curves of the Carpathian Mountains to the serene flow of the Danube River, Romania presents a cinematic backdrop for every driving enthusiast
These drives aren't just about the journey, but the spectacular photo moments they offer, so keep your camera at the ready. Experience roads that wind through majestic landscapes, transcending high elevations and presenting heart-stopping views. Here are six of Romania's high-altitude roads that will leave an indelible mark on your memory:
The highest road in Romania. With a total length of 146 km, it goes trough the Carpathian Mountains, reaching a maximum altitude of 2.145m above the sea level in Pasul Urdele. The Transalpina is considered among the most picturesque in the country and has a long history: originally a Roman road, it was paved in the 1930s and renovated by the Nazis in World War II. It was constructed on an old shepherd trail known as the Poteca Dracului (the Devil’s Path).
The most dramatic and second-highest paved road in Romania. Built as a strategic military route, the 90 km of twists and turns run north to south across the tallest sections of the Southern Carpathians. It was built on the orders of Communist era dictator Nicolae Ceausescu between 1970 and 1974 to ensure a military strategic route through the mountains. It includes Romania’s longest road tunnel (887 meters).
The third high altitude road in Romania reaching an altitude of 1.925 meters. TransBucegi is one of the most scenic drives in Romania. It’s located in the south-central part of the country, going through the Bucegi Natural Park. Along the road you will feel the need for higher elevation, even fresher air and sweeping landscapes you can soak in some of Romania's most breathtaking vistas without even leaving your car.
The Treasures’ Road’ is said to be the third most beautiful alpine road in Romania. It crosses the Rarau massif. The road (175A and 175B) is 26 km long and links the villages Chiril (on the southern side) and Pojorata (on the northern side) crossing the Rarau Mountains, and climbs up to an elevation of 1.400 m above the sea level. Some years ago the road was full of holes and extremely narrow, but in 2014 the road was widened and resurfaced so the asphalt is just perfect.
Transursoaia Road (DN1R) is located in northern Romania, within the Apuseni Mountains. It is mostly asphalted but includes some gravel sections. The road is 80.0 km (49.7 miles) long. It links the towns of Albac, (in Alba County) and Huedin (in Cluj County). Its highest elevation is at 1.324m (4,343ft) above the sea level, at Pasul Ursoaia. The road is usually impassable from May to October, depending on the weather.
Located in Caraș-Severin county, the TransSemenic (DJ582) is set high in the Semenic Mountains of the Southern Carpathians. The road was totally paved in 2014. It’s 58.4 km (36.28 miles) long, running east-west from Slatina-Timiș (on DN6 road) to Resita (on DN58 road). It tops out at 1.004 m (3,293ft) above the sea level. It’s usually open all year round (in the winter it is only closed during massive snow falls).