Discover our Transfagarasan Tour from Brasov or Sibiu
Transfagarasan is the best road in the world or at least so said Jeremy Clarkson in a Top Gear episode. Still, it offers so much more besides the amazing driving experience. It’s, first of all, a major creation of the communist regime and its obsession with oversized infrastructure projects.
The Transfagarasan was finalized in 1974 after almost five years of hard work, done by soldiers and engineers. The army started working at the same time from the two opposite sides, in Arges and Sibiu counties, and a monument marks the place where they finally met.
Another monument, the Engineers’ Gate, commemorates the workers who lost their lives. Officially, 40 people died, but some of the witnesses state that hundreds of their colleagues died.
Initially, Nicolae Ceausescu, Romania’s communist dictator, argued the road served key military purposes since a Russian invasion was always possible. The outcome was, however, completely different.
When the Transfagarasan finally opened, it became a propaganda landmark and a major tourist attraction. Óf course, Nicolae Ceausescu was the first to take advantage. He had a hunting chalet on the lake, supplied with power from a high-altitude gridline installed just for his needs
Transfagarasan remains until today one of the must-see places in Romania. and a favorite vacation activity in Transylvania. The first attraction, as you drive from the south, is Vidraru Lake. 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, disappeared to build the dam of impressive dimensions. It has 166 meters high walls, a surface of 900 hectares, and 42 km of underground galleries.
Another top attraction is the glacial Balea Lake, located at an altitude of 2,034 meters, close to the highest point of the road. Its water is the main resource for creating the only Ice Hotel in Romania. Every year, the hotel is fully booked before it starts to snow in Romania. Be sure to reserve your room in time.
If the Transfagarasan is your main destination, we recommend you book nearby accommodation. This way, you have more time to enjoy the driving, the landscapes, and the hiking trails.
If you prefer to stay on the southern side, in Arges County, you can book a room with a lake view at Hotel Posada Vidraru.
The road is open from July to November. Avoid summer weekends as the road becomes too crowded with cars.
You can combine a drive on Transfagarasan and Transalpina on a weekend trip.
Discover more beautiful roads in Romania.