Road trip routes
mountain, alpine zone
Corbeni - Vidraru - Cabana Balea Lac - Cabana Balea Cascada - Cartisoara
Tarmac: good on the northern part / around lake Vidraru, the road has lots of potholes and bumps.
60 - 70 km/h
Transfagarasan road is the second highest road in Romania (2042m ) and you can find it on the first places in all the best roads tops in the world.
The construction of the road began in 1969 right after the Vidraru dam was finished. The initial plan was to build a strategic road with only one lane over the Fagaras Mountains between Muntenia and Transylvania region. But in 1971 the plan was changed and they decided to build a 2 way touristic road and also to build a ski resort on the top of the mountain. The road was opened for traffic in 1974. It was paved in 4 years and it was finally finished in 1980.
Segment 1 - average riding speed 60-70 km/h
The Transfagarasan road begins after 2 or 3 km after Corbeni village, at the Poienari Castle. Right after the castle parking there is a small tunnel and then the intersection with the road that goes to the base of Vidraru Dam. From this intersection you can admire the next part of the road which seems that it hangs from the rock cliffs. Then the road starts climbing towards Vidraru Dam: a few curves, one hairpin curve and two tunnels and suddenly you can see the impressive dam and the Vidraru Lake and in the background the Fagaras Mountains.
The road will take you over the dam and then it follows the left side of the lake for 25km. The views are superb: the road goes through a nice forest and from time to time you will be able to see the lake. Sadly the asphalt is awful, but there are some portions with good asphalt. After you pass the Vidraru Lake, the road follows the Arges river and it starts to climb a little. This 15km part is very fast, with wide curves and soon you will be able to see the peaks of the Fagaras Mountains.
Segment 2 - average riding speed 40-60 km/h:
Suddenly, you exit the forest and you wil find yourself in the alpine zone. The climb towards the summit begins: hairpin curves, tight curves, straight lines and this goes for 12 kilometers. Roughly at the half of the climb, next to the road you will see the Capra Waterfall and probably you will stop here for a short brake.
As we get closer to the summit, the scenery becomes spectacular and the temperature drops. The climb ends with a series of 3 semi closed protection tunnels and then you enter the 2 kilometer tunnel that passes through the heart of Paltinu Mountain. Before entering this tunnel you have to stop to admire once more the spectacular road that just took you to that place.
Segment 3 - average riding speed 40-50 km/h:
After existing the tunnel you will find yourself right on the bank of Balea Lake. In this place is quite common in some days the weather will be completely different on the Northern part of the tunnel than the weather on the southern part.
The descent from here is the most spectacular part of the Transfagarasan. It is mandatory to stop before starting the descent and admire for a few minutes the road and the valley: it's just perfect, it looks like it was designed for Formula 1 races. It has all range of curves: tight ones, wide ones, hairpins and chicanes. This part of the road stretches for 4 kilometers then the road follows the side of a mountain towards north, than it turns to south and before you know it you are at the Balea Cascada Hotel.
Segment 4 - average riding speed 70-80 km/h:
From Balea Cascada, the road goes again into the forest. The first part is quite straight and then a few kilometers with many tight curves and hairpin curves. The final part of the descend is quite nice with very wide curves and very good asphalt and before you know it you will find yourself in Cartisoara in a large plane with the Fagaras Mountains behind you.
Transfagarasan road is opened starting from 1st of July until the end of November or until the firs snowfall. In the summertime and specially in the first weekends after is opened, the road gets very crowded and sometimes you can get stuck for minutes. So my recommendation is to go there during the weekdays or during the autumn.