If you want to do a road-trip in Romania, there are two roads you need to drive on – Transalpina and Transfagarasan. Both roads are stunning, they pass through the Carpathian Mountains and offer stunning views.
Transalpina, located in Parang Mountains (a subdivision of Carpathian Mountains) is one of the highest roads in Romania and it connects Novaci to Sebes. The winding road and the scenery surrounding will make you fall in love with this place.
I visited Transalpina twice and each time it was a unique experience. The first time, the weather was against me because the fog was so dense that I couldn’t see anything. The second time, I was lucky enough to see the beauty of the mountains.
In this blog post, I’ll share with you everything you need to know when planning a road-trip on Transalpina, Romania. Let’s start with a bit of history.
Quick jump list
1. Transalpina history
Built under King Carol II in 1938, Transalpina Road is also known as DN67C or the “King’s Road”. During World War II, the road was consolidated by the German troops. However, Transalpina remained inaccessible to most cars until 2009 when paving started.
Transalpina was officially opened to the public in 2012 and since then it has become one of the main tourist attractions in Romania together with its brother, Transfagarasan.
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2. Quick facts about Transalpina Highway
- The highest point is at Urdele Pass – 2,145 m
- The road is 148 kilometres long
- Ranca, a small village along Transalpina is one of the most famous ski resorts in the country
- Every year, the National Hill Climbing Championship takes place on Transalpina, between Ranca and Novaci.
3. The best time to visit
It’s important to know that Transalpina is not open all year-round. Depending on the weather conditions, especially during winter, most of the road is closed.
You have to keep in mind the road was built right on the edge of the mountain so driving cautiously is a must. Also, due to the high altitude, there might be dense fog early in the morning. If you want to see the surrounding scenery, I recommend visiting Transalapina after 12 pm.
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Transalpina opening hours – 8 am to 8 pm
For the best experience, try visiting during summer and avoid the weekends or local holidays. Transalpina is a famous holiday destination for Romanians and the traffic can become hectic.
4. What to expect
Being one of the most famous roads in Romania, Transalpina is an ideal holiday or road-trip destination. Crossing it from one end to the other will take about three and a half hours but it would be a shame not to stop along the way to admire the views.
I’d recommend planning about 4 and a half hours for exploring it. You can either start your trip from the south at Novaci and continue north to Sebes or vice versa.
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Keep in mind that the most beautiful part of the road, with spectacular scenery is from Novaci to Obarsia Lotrului. The rest of the road will go through thick forest.
Along the section between Ranca and Obarsia Lotrului you’ll find lots of viewpoints. Make sure to bring your camera with you because you’ll be tempted to shoot hundreds of photos.
The scenery looks like it’s from another planet. The mountain tops are covered with thick grass and from time to time, you’ll see unique plants, specific to high altitudes.
There are several small cabins along the way and a few open-air markets where you’ll find local products and souvenirs.
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The first market is near Iezerul Muntinului. You can find the exact location here. This market is quite big. Here you’ll find souvenirs such as magnets, traditional clothing, rugs and local products such as honey and jam.
If you’re hungry, you can try one of the restaurants. Order some mici with mustard or carnati and you’ll thank me later.
Another market is at Stana Stefanu but this is a smaller one. Here you’ll find some delicious local food. However, the main attraction here are the donkeys. Yeap, that’s right.
Transalpina donkeys are famous for their friendliness. They’ll come to you for snacks and scratches. I recommend bringing some bread if you want to make some new friends.
Some of the donkeys even come directly to your car’s window searching for treats and attention. They’re super cute and adorable.
Is Transalpina safe?
If you stick to the speed limits, you’ll be fine. Transalpina is safe and the road is in good condition.
Camping on Transalpina
If you plan to go camping, you can only camp near Obarsia Lotrului. I’m not sure if it’s illegal to camp between Novaci and Obarsia Lotrului but I haven’t seen any tents along the way. Better be safe than sorry.
5. Things to do near Transalpina
Just a short drive away from Obarsia Lotrului is Vidra Lake, an artificial lake created in 1965 by constructing a dam on Arges River. It’s a beautiful area, surrounded by thick forest.
Another place you can visit near Transalpina is Iezerul Ialomitei with the beautiful Moara Dracilor Waterfall and Galbenu Lake.
You can also stop by the Oasa Lake and the beautiful Oasa Monastery. Surrounded by Sureanu Mountains, this beautiful lake is perfect for a quick stop.
6. How to get to Transalpina Road
There are several ways to get to Transalpina Highway. Unfortunately, there are no tours available so the best thing you can do is rent a car.
Bucharest to Transalpina
From Bucharest, take the highway to Pitesti and then continue to Ramnicu Valcea and Novaci. The road from Bucharest to Transalpina (Novaci) should take approximately 4 hours.
Good to know – On the way, make sure to stop in Horezu, famous for the beautiful hand-crafted ceramics. They’re the perfect Romanian souvenir!
From Novaci you’ll start the ascent and you’ll enter Transalpina. I recommend stopping in Sibiu for the night. If you have more time, spend at least 2 days in Sibiu, one of the most beautiful cities in Romania.
-> To search for accommodation in Sibiu, click here.
Sibiu to Transalpina
If you want to visit Transalpina from Sibiu, you’ll have to make your way to Sebes and then continue to Obarsia Lotrului. From there, continue to Novaci, the end of Transalpina.
The entire road should take around 3 and a half hours. You can easily visit Transalpina as a day trip from Sibiu or continue your drive to Bucharest.
-> To search for accommodation in Sibiu, click here.
Brasov to Transalpina
Getting from Brasov to Transalpina will take around 5 and a half hours. There are two alternative routes:
- Brasov – Sebes – Obarsia Lotrului – Novaci
- Brasov – Brezoi – Obarsia Lotrului – Novaci
Since this is going to be a long and tiring road-trip, I recommend spending the night in Ranca and then continuing your journey.
-> To search for accommodation in Ranca, click here
7. Final thoughts
This scenic road in Romania is a must-see, together with the Transfagarasan Highway. Driving through the Carpathian Mountains and witnessing such beautiful scenery is a unique experience. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments section below.
May the travel bug bite you!