Transfăgărăşan

Transfăgărăşan, a thrilling ride through Dracula territory

The Transfăgărăşan (DN7C) is the most dramatic and second-highest paved road in Romania. Spooky dark tunnels (the longest is more than 800 meters and pitch black), plus endless twists and turns make for a thrilling ride through Dracula territory. 90 km road riding up, over 5 km serpentines, over 80 hairpin curves, 5 tunnels and over 500 small bridges.

When was Transfagarasan road built?

It’s one of the famous Romanian high altitude roads.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 links Transylvania and Wallachia, and the cities of Sibiu and Piteşt, and was constructed between 1970 and 1974, during the rule of Nicolae Ceauşescu. It was built mainly with military forces, at a high cost both financially and from a human standpoint—roughly 6 million kilograms of dynamite were used on the northern face, and the official records mention that about 40 soldiers lost their lives in building accidents, and it came as a response to the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union. Ceauşescu wanted to ensure quick military access across the mountains in the event the Soviets attempted a similar move into Romania. It's one of the most scenic drives in the world.

Is Transfagarasan road open?

 This road, also known as Ceausescu's Folly, is covered with snow between late October and late June and usually it is closed during this period, meaning that it is available only during a few summer months, to delight the eye with outstanding landscapes, that Romania usually meets its visitors. Depending on the weather, it may remain open until as late as November. It may also be closed, at times, because of weather conditions (it occasionally snows even in August). There are signs at the town of Curtea de Argeş and the village of Cartisoara that provide information on the passage. Check the weather forecast on the day you head for the Transfagarasan highway, as it is closed in bad weather. Don't plan a trip in winter as the highway is closed! Generally speaking it is safe to plan your trip between mid June and mid September. The road that traverses the Carpathian Mountains will send chill down your spine, especially when you reach the top. The highest point of the road is Pasul Bâlea at 2.042m (6,699ft) above the sea level. 

Is Transfagarasan road paved?

The surface of the road is paved with asphalt. It runs between the highest peak in the country, Moldoveanu, and the second highest, Negoiu.There are large sections of non barriered road with sheer drops of over a 1000 ft. It has more tunnels (a total of 5) and viaducts than any other road in Romania. Near the highest point, at Bâlea Lake, the road passes through the longest road tunnel in Romania which is not lighted (884 m). The road was closed for several days on November’2010 because it was featured Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, with Nicolas Cage. The scenes were filmed on some sections between km 56 (HPP) and km 62 (The dam). Among the attractions along the southern section of the road, near the village of Arefu, is the Poienari fortress. The castle served as the residence of Vlad III the Impaler, the prince who inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula character. There is a parking area and a path to the ruins. 

How long is Transfagarasan road?

90 km road riding up, over 5 km serpentines, over 80 hairpin curves, 5 tunnels and over 500 small bridges. The road is a great driving experience in southern Romania; owing a lot to the endless winding roads and fantastic rugged mountainous scenery. It climbs to 2,034 metres altitude at Pasul Bâlea. The most spectacular route is from the North. It is a winding road, dotted with steep hairpin turns, long S-curves, and sharp descents. The Transfăgărăşan is both an attraction and a challenge for hikers, cyclists, drivers and motorcycle enthusiasts alike. Due to the topography, the average speed is around 40 km/h. The road also provides access to Bâlea Lake and Bâlea Waterfall. Travellers can find food and lodging at several hotels or chalets (cabane) along the way. To sleep, there are numerous villages and towns on both sides of the highway offering accommodation for every budget. The hotels on or just off the highway itself tend to be expensive. Several camp sites can also be found. The road’s difficult spelling and pronunciation is a preview of what any driver can expect from this thoroughfare. The road has become one of the preferred setting for drive tests, photo shootings, and auto commercials for sports cars and motorcycles in recent years. Several international car brands have chosen this Romania’s high altitude road as the setting for their commercials and drive tests, and sports car owners all over the world have come to feel the thrill of driving on it.

Tunnels on the Transfagarasan

km Length (m) Width (m) Year of construction
116 884 4.4 1972
57 15.95 6 1962
57 51.47 6.2 1962
60 117.1 6 1962
61 97.89 7.1 1962

Transfagarasan facts

-Second highest road in Romania at a peak of 2.042m (after the Transalpina which is 2100m). It runs across the highest section of the Southern Carpathian Mountain range (Făgăraș Mountains)
-Built between 1970 to 1974 as a strategic military route stretching 90km
-It’s estimated that ‘hundreds’ lost their lives during the road’s construction
-In 2010 they used a section of this road to film Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, with Nicolas Cage.
-About 3 million tonnes of rock were deployed at the road construction, using only 6520 tonnes of TNT. 

 

NOTICE: Due to the spread of COVID-19, many points of interest and roads are closed and travel is not recommended. Please follow all local health authority directives before venturing off, and stay safe.