Transfagarasan: Probably the Best Road in the World

Alexandra Balaceanu
Alexandra Balaceanu
Alexandra is passionate about traveling, studying and working on new business projects.

Transfagarasan is included in many of our private tours. Check our offers on

This is the best road in the world or at least so said Jeremy Clarkson in a Top Gear episode while comparing it to a race track. Still, Transfagarasan offers so much more besides the amazing driving experience, connecting the south of Romania with Transylvania across the massive Fagaras Mountains through five tunnels and winding routes that needed 6,500 tons of dynamite to be built.


Transfagarasan Road

Transfagarasan is 90 km long and reaches an altitude of 2,042 meters. It’s the second-highest road in Romania after Transalpina that has a maximum altitude of 2,145 meters. A veritable road from the clouds, but with a history that has much to do with the communist regime and its obsession with oversized projects.

Transfagarasan, a landmark of the communist regime

The road was finalized in 1974 after almost five years of hard work done mainly by soldiers and engineers. The army started working at the same time from the two opposite ends, in Arges and Sibiu counties, and a monument marks along the way the place where they finally met. Another monument, this time the Engineers’ Gate, was done in the memory of those who lost their lives in this project – officially 40 people died –, but some of the witnesses indicate hundreds of deaths among their colleagues.

Transfagarasan Road

Transfagarasan Road

If initially, Nicolae Ceausescu, Romania’s communist leader from 1965 to 1989, argued the road was needed for military purposes since a Russian invasion was possible at any time,  the outcome was completely different. When the project was finalized, the goals were to ease the distribution of resources and to create a tourist center at the glacial Balea Lake. Nicolae Ceausescu himself had a hunting chalet next by the lake.

Must-see attractions along the Transfagarasan

One of the first attractions as you drive from the south is Vidraru Lake, a major dam built before Ceausescu came to power. Another big project of the communist authorities, the dam was a major achievement of the 1960s, back then one of the top 10 dams of this type in Europe. An entire village, Cumpana, was drowned to build the dam of impressive dimensions: 166 meters high walls, a surface of 900 hectares, and 42 km of underground galleries.

Balea Waterfall

Balea Waterfall

Another top attraction from the Transfagarasan is Balea Lake, an iconic glacial lake located at an altitude of 2,034 meters, close to the highest point of the road. It’s the main resource for creating a unique attraction in Romania, the Ice Hotel. Every year, the hotel is built from ice blocks taken from Balea Lake, and every year it’s fully booked before it starts to snow in Romania.


Balea Lake

Plan a short or longer hike starting from the Transfagarasan

If you need even more reasons to drive the Transfagarasan, you should know that the Fagaras Mountains are the highest in Romania and offer spectacular views over the surrounding landscapes of the Carpathians. An easy and popular hike of only one hour you can take is from Balea Lake to Capra Lake. You can continue one more hour to Vanatoarea lui Buteanu Peak (2,507 meters).

The Black Peak is a good starting point for more intense hikes. After about three hours, you can reach Caltun refuge (2,135 meters), and you can continue from there to Caltun Peak’s twin: Lespezi Peak or even to Negoiu Peak (2,535 meters). But be prepared for the effort because the astonishing views will make you work really hard.

Fagaras Mountains

Summer hikes in Fagaras Mountains

Many people drive the Transfagarasan for the hiking routes that start along the way. Many more go simply to drive on one of the most amazing roads in the world. Whichever option you prefer, you’re in for a great day and experience.

Capra Lake

Capra Lake

Where to stay

If this incredible road is your main destination, we recommend you to book a nearby accommodation in order to have more time to enjoy the driving, the landscapes and the hiking trails Transfagarasan offers.

If you’re looking for accommodation in the northern part of Transfagarasan, in Sibiu County, we recommend you try the guest house Pensiunea Dealu Morii from Cartisoara. You’ll also find great options in the nearby village Porumbacu de Sus, the guest houses Porumbacu 295, Porumbacu Tree House, and the Musketeers Cabin.

If you prefer to stay on the southern side, in Arges County, you can book a room with a view from Hotel Posada Vidraru, on the shore of Vidraru Lake.

Travel tips

The road is open from July to November. Avoid summer weekends as the road becomes too crowded with cars.

Visit Curtea de Arges Monastery and Poenari Fortress on your way from Bucharest.

Transfagarasan ends in Cartisoara, only 45 km away from Sibiu. Don’t miss the Cistercian Abbey of Carta, a few km from Cartisoara.

You can combine a drive on Transfagarasan and Transalpina on a weekend trip.

Transfagarasan is included in many of our private tours. Check our offers on



  1. Raul B says:

    Transfagarasan and Transalpina are 2 wonderful roads. Here’s how you can drive them in 1 day:

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