If you are on vacation in Romania between June and October, the Transfagaras Scenic Road is an amazing and unforgettable driving experience.
In the morning we leave Bucharest and drive towards Curtea de Arges, the former capital of Wallachia. The town`s strongholds were rebuilt in the 14th century. Visit to The Episcopal Church (the monastery) which is a recreation of the original built in 1512 -1517 by Prince NeagoeBasarab (rebuilt in 1875 – 1885).
Next stop is to Poenari Fortress, the real Castle of Dracula. Standing on a cliff but now in ruins – this is known as the real castle of Vlad the Impaler. This castle was property of Vlad III the Impaler. Vlad earned his nickname by impaling, torturing, burning, skinning, roasting, and boiling people who did things that displeased Vlad; stealing, lying, and adulterous relations. In this way Vlad kept his people in order and taught them that stealing would not be tolerated in his lands. Bram stoker`s Dracula was based on his personality. When you look up on the mountains you can see his fortress on the top of a high and remote cliff. It will take 1480 stairs before you reach the top, but the view is certainly worth the effort. (Takes approx. 30 minutes). The Transfagarasan Scenic Road runs through the Arges River gorge.
Once you arrive to the top of the castle you will find that it is surprisingly small; one third has collapsed down the mountainside in 1888. Entering through a narrow wooden bridge, you come across the crumbling remains of two towers within; the prism shaped one was Vlad`s (Dracula`s) residential quarters. From here, according to the legend, The Impaler`s wife flung herself out the window, declaring that is better this way than be captured by the Turks, who were besieging the castle. Legend has it that Vlad himself escaped over the mountains on horseback.
We follow the road further north, and reach Vidraru Lake. This lake is a man-made reservoir retained by a dam. The dam is 165 meters high, 305 meters long and holds 465 million cubic meters of water. When the dam was completed, it ranked 5th in Europe and 9th in the world. In an average hydrological year it can generate approximately of 400 GWh/year. Transfagaras Road runs over this dam.
As you continue you will see a waterfall and some great scenic spots. Eventually, when you`re near the top of the road you will see the tunnel under the Paltinu Ridge. When you leave the tunnel you are at the highest point of the Transfagarasan, Balea Lake.
Balea Lake is a glacier lake with clear, icy water. It`s surrounded by mountain peaks. The first European ice hotel was built here in 2006. Since then it`s constructed here every year in December with ice from the frozen lake. Since the road is closed during winter, it can only be reached by cable car from Balea Falls. Usually the hotel remains open until it melts in April.
When you go down on the northern side of the road, you can see the sharp descent and the hairpin turns. In good weather the road is almost entirely visible.
Along the way to BaleaCascada (fall) you can see the cable cars gliding up and down the mountain. In winter, when the road is blocked by snow, this is the highest point you can reach by car. There are some great viewing points here.
While descending, views of rocks, jagged edges and meadows are replaced with dense pine forests. The road ends a few miles further North. If you are on vacation in Romania between June and October, the Transfagarasan Scenic road is an amazing and unforgettable driving experience for drivers and bikers.
GENERAL INFORMATION & TERMS:
We kindly request our guests to be ready 10 minutes before departure.
We grant 30% discount for children below the age 7
All tours are escorted by English speaking licensed guides.
For guided tours in other languages a booking should be made 72h before departure. Extra fee for tours in other languages:25 EUR/per/tour.
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