Transalpina (DN67C) is the highest road in Romania. It’s one of the famous Romanian high altitude roads. With a length of 146 km, it goes trough the Carpathian Mountains, reaching a maximum altitude of 2.145m (7,037ft) above sea level in Pasul Urdele. In 2009 it was completely paved. A quick glance at the map at its sheer drops and serpentine twists and turns, confirms that this is no hype.
The road was built under King Carol II. That’s the reason why Romanian locals in the area call it The King’s Road (“Drumul Regelui”). It was opened in 1938, when it was inaugurated by King Charles II in Poiana Sibiu and it was rebuilt during World War II by German troops, when they needed a road for military purposes, but remained inaccessible for most normal drivers and vehicles until only a few years ago. In 2007 it started the works to transform this spectacular road into a modern highway (148 km), allowing a rapid transit between Oltenia and Transylvania. In 2009 it was completely paved. It was totally opened to traffic in 2012. Located in the Parâng Mountains group, in the Southern Carpathians of Romania, it’s one of the most spectacular roads of the Carpathian Mountains. The road links Novaci, south of Parâng Mountains and Sebeş in the north.
This road is closed during the cold months of the year but it can be closed anytime when the access is not cleared of snow. The road has its highest point at Urdele Pass. It’s quite famous and it attracts an impressive number of tourists due to the experience it provides: driving through a mountainous region and being surrounded by nature on all sides. You can only imagine the landscapes you are bound to admire on your trip. But what you might not know is that Transalpina also offers a beautiful natural setting. In fact, if you take this path instead of the one leading to Transfagarasan, you will be taken aback by what nature has to offer you. Transalpina, known as “The Devil’s Path”, is Romania’s newest attractiont wisting and turning from North to South across the Parang mountains.
The weather on this zone is harsh and highly unpredictable and it does not take much time for the bright sun shine to change over to moderate to heavy snow fall. Keep in mind that the road is not open all year round. Depending on weather conditions, the highway is usually closed in November or December due to the heavy amount of snowfall and the treacherous driving situations that could develop. A person wanting to experience the Transalpina in all its splendor should plan for an mid-to-late fall trip. During this time, the deciduous trees will see their leaves change color, creating an unbelievable backdrop with tons of different shades of green, orange, yellow, red, and brown.
This asphalted road is difficult and it’s a nightmare in the wet or dark (or both). A person going to the Transalpina basically has two main choices in how they would like to see the road. If they are coming from the north, the best option is to stay in the city of Sibiu the night before and make it a full day drive, finishing in Ranca, Baile Olanesti, or Targu Jiu. The other option is to come up from the south and stay one night in the Ranca resort area before beginning the journey. Located already in the mountains, starting in Ranca and continuing north may be the best bet to get a visitor in the right natural mindset to enjoy the scenery of the Transalpina.