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While Highway No. 1 is considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful coastal roads, the Transfagarasan in Romania is known as one of the most beautiful mountain roads in the world. It is approx. 62 miles long, leads across the Southern Carpathians and connects Transylvania with Wallachia. It is open for traffic every year from July 1st to October 31st.
What do you do if you are not in Romania during this time?
If the weather permits, you can also drive part of the route from Transylvania outside this period. From Sibiu you start on road DN1 / E68 in the direction of Brasov and shortly after Scoreiu turn onto road 7C in the direction of ‘Cascada Balea’. The route is about 66 km long and takes about one hour and a quarter.
At the end of the road you arrive at a parking lot with a view of the waterfall ‘Cascada Balea’. Here you can decide whether you want to hike to the waterfall or take the gondola passing the waterfall to the Paltinu, a ridge of the Carpathian Mountains (2050 m). For a trip up the mountain you should ware warm clothes, as it is still very cold there even in May.
Why should you keep the bears in mind when making your decision ?!
The day before our trip to Transfagarasan we were in the Zarnesti Gorge. At dusk you could hear the bears roaring from afar – maybe the wolves were howling too? No idea, at the thought of walking through the forrest to the waterfall, my children and I had a rather queasy feeling. My husband then calmed us down and said that bears don’t get where people are.
Well, less than five minutes later we made this acquaintance on the Transfagarasan road:
The bear was quite peaceful, just crossed the street and then disappeared, but nothing and nobody would have made me hike to the waterfall.
With the gondola over the serpentines of the Transfagarasan
So we took the gondola up the mountain. The one-way ticket was around 6.50 euros for adults and around 3.50 euros for children. There is space for 15 people in the gondola, so at busy times queues are likely.
The ride up the mountain makes up for it completely – first you pass the waterfall and then you float over the serpentines of the Transfagarasan. There was still snow in many places – at the end of May though!
What can you expect on the Paltinu at an altitude of 2050 meters?
Up here you can first enjoy the wonderful view on the valley and the winding mountain road and then walk the few meters over to Lake Balea.
The managed Balea Hut is located on a small peninsula in the middle of the glacial lake, surrounded by the magnificent mountain panorama.
Is a trip over the section of the Transfagarasan recommended?
Of course, a drive over the entire Transfagarasan would have been very nice – through the wonderful landscape of the Southern Carpathians and the highest tunnel in Romania. However, since I don’t tolerate the serpentine ride very well, the ride over part of the cult road and the onward journey with the gondola was perhaps the better alternative for me and in any case very varied.
We really enjoyed this day and I can wholeheartedly recommend this excursion.
As always, this was an unsponsored amount.
You can of course also find charming accommodation for your vacation in Transylvania at Charming Family Escapes. With or without children, there is definitely something for you:
And other highlights for a successful holiday in Transylvania, I have compiled for you here: