Travel Guides, Albums - Romania

Fagaras Mountains

If we had to put it in just a few words, than the Transfagarasan (DN 7C) is just the road that passes through Fagaras Mountains (the highest mountains in Romania – Moldoveanu peak – 2544 meters) and that connects Walachia and Transylvania. Accommodation in Transfagarasan But in fact Transfagarasan road is more than that. It is the road that climbs to the highest altitude in Romania, 2042 meters, in the Glacial Hollow Balea.


Transfagarasan is the most famous road in Romania, with differences of altitude and many curves that represent a challenge for both cars and drivers.

It has two traffic lanes of 92 kilometers long. Because of the countless turns, the average speed is maximum 40 km per hour. Along this route there are 27 viaducts and bridges, and the longest road tunnel in Romania – 887 meters, that passes through Paltin Mountains, from Capra to Balea Lake. The ventilation of the tunnel is made naturally, thanks to the extremely powerful currents. The traffic lane inside the unlighted tunnel is only 6 meters wide and there is a one meter broad pavement.


Transfagarasan road.

Tourists who would like to “venture” on the Transfagarasan Road are advised to climb it from South to the North. Romania’s most famous road runs from Arefu village (at km 61 of DN7C) in the county of Arges, to the county of Sibiu, somewhere near Cartisoara village (at the crossroad with DN1).


Transfagarasan road.

The landscape is fantastic, and the differences of altitude and the curves represent a challenge for both cars and drivers. Unfortunately, because of the weather conditions, Transfagarasan Road is opened for only a few months every year, usually from July until October.

The most important tourist attractions are Vidraru Lake and Vidraru Dam, which is one of the greatest in Europe, then Poenari Fortress (built in the time of Vlad Tepes), Balea Glacial Lake and Balea Waterfall.


Transfagarasan road.

How it bas built

Transfagarasan was built between 1970 and 1974. A brief presentation with numbers might be difficult to follow, but for those who have the patience to read it is worth saying that about 3 million tones of hard rocks were dislocated, 830 transverse works and 290 000 cubic meters of masonry were made for building those 92 kilometers of road. For building the Capra – Balea Tunnel there were excavated over 41 000 cubic meters of rocks. There were also used 20 tones of dynamite, 3 573 tones of cement, 89 tones of concrete steel, 24 000 of anchors, 129 tones of brazed nets, 14 200 square meters of encasements, 1750 meters of concrete tubes, 4 100 meters of pipes, 50 tones of metal composites, 6 900 cubic meters of grit, 6000 cubic meters of gravel, 3 000 tones of crushed rocks and 740 lighting lamps.


Tunnel on the Transfagarasan road.

Some of those who worked at the construction of Transfagarasan, nowadays retired, speak about the sacrifices that were made for the road that leads to the sky. Before its construction, it was impossible to cross the mountains, not even on horseback. But it is said that once, before becoming president, Nicolae Ceausescu stopped by Arefu village and the idea of a road that passed through the mountains crossed his mind. During the construction a lot of men lost their lives, like in Vidraru’s case. Unfortunately the documents didn’t keep these numbers. But the survivors say that it is about a hundred of human sacrifices. Many of those who died weren’t even found in the precipices in which they had fallen. It is also said that when the tunnel was built, the miners who were in charge with the planting of the explosive were hanging on each other, in groups of 20 or 30, not to be thrown by the strong wind into the precipice.


Fagaras Mountains – Transfagarasan road.

A story that has been spreading from mouth to mouth refers to a monk named Nectarie. After the construction of the Transfagarasan road, he climbed it by his car, a Trabant, up to Capra, where he was caught by an avalanche. He left the car at Capra, and he threw himself on the snow, being carried by the “wave”. It is said that he remained alive, while his car was found after 6 months, when the snow melt away.

Album Greeting from Romania with Love

Balea Waterfall and Balea Glacial Lake


Balea Waterfall – Transfagarasan.

Balea Waterfall, located in the Fagaras Mountains, is one of the most famous waterfalls in Romania, is at an altitude of 1234 meters and the water falls from 68 meters.

Balea Glacial Lake is a real monument of nature (formed in a glacial circus), is 360 meters long, 240 meters broad and 11 meters depth. Situated at 2 034 meters of altitude, the lake is between the Defileul Oltului (Olt Canyon) and the foot of Piatra Craiului Mountains. It is accessible by car during the summer, and the rest of the year by a cable car from the “Balea Cascada” chalet.

Since 1932, the lake and about 180 hectare of land around it were declared scientific reservation. It must also be mentioned the fact that the first ice hotel in Eastern Europe was built near the lake in 2006.


Balea Lake Chalet and Balea Glacial Lake are located at an altitude of 2034 meters.

On summer one can practice boating on the lake, while on winter one can skate, play hockey or curling on the frozen surface of the lake. One can also climb down from the Waterfall by skiing, on a 10 kilometers route with a 600 meters difference of altitude.


Paraul Capra Chalet – Transfagarasan.

Accommodation possibilities

There are many accommodation possibilities, from camping places to boarding houses and chalets. It is certain that booking must be done in advance because they are booked for the entire year.

“Valea cu Pesti” (Fish Valley) Chalet
Located on the East side of Vidraru Lake, at an altitude of 870 meters, the chalet was one of the protocol places used by Nicolae Ceausescu. Nowadays it has 18 dwellings, meaning 45 accommodation units.


Complex Capra – Transfagarasan.

“Cumpana” (Sweep) Chalet
It is located on the West side of Vidraru Lake and has 88 accommodation units, a restaurant for 100 persons, a disco, a sport field, a pool that floats on Vidraru Lake on summer. One can also rent from here all sorts of amusement devices to use on the lake, and can take the passenger steamship (for 100 persons) that goes to Casa Argeseana (Argeseana House) and “Valea cu Pesti” (Fish Valley) Chalet.


Cascada Chalet – Transfagarasan.

Dracula Boarding House
Dracula Boarding House is located on Transfagarasan route, at about 6 km far from Vidraru Dam and 1 km far from Poenari Fortress. It has 20 rooms, parking lots, terrace, its own restaurant and bar.

“Paraul Capra” Chalet
Capra Tourist Complex is located at an altitude of 1585 meters and has 52 accommodation units in 26 double rooms and a restaurant for maximum 80 persons.

Cascada Chalet
It is located at the foot of the Balea Waterfall, at an altitude of 1234 meters. The chalet has 80 accommodation units, an all included restaurant, a day bar and, on demand, a conference room.


Balea Lake Chalet – Transfagarasan.

Balea Lake Chalet
Balea Lake Chalet is located on a half-isle that goes into the Balea Glacial Lake, at an altitude of 2034 meters. The present chalet was rebuilt in 2000, because the old one had been destroyed in a fire in 1995. On its three floors there are double rooms, rooms with four, six or ten places and also apartments. It has its own restaurant and facilities for renting sport equipment, baby sky and scooters.

Paltinul Villa
The villa is located on the border of the Balea Lake, at an altitude of 2044 meters, and has 26 accommodation units in double rooms, rooms of four and an apartment. Accommodation in Transfagarasan One can also rent sport equipment, and professional mountain assistance is ensured as well.


On the terrace at Balea Lake Chalet – 2034 meters..

Fagaras Mountains – Transfagarasan road.

The funicular that climbs over Transfagarasan to Balea Lake Chalet.

Fagaras Mountains – Transfagarasan road.

Transfagarasan road.

Transfagarasan road.

Bridge on the Transfagarasan road.

Tunnel on the Transfagarasan road.

23 Responses to “Fagaras Mountains”

  1. putem trece transfagarsul la10.10.14?

  2. It is officially open!

  3. Looking forward to the Tranfagarasan Highway next year. Visit Romania every year, involved with an Aid to Orphans Convoy.
    This Highway is normally open July – October weather permiting ofcourse.
    Enjoy the trip.

  4. Hi David, U mentioned scenic roads, so pls can you mentioned which and where?


  5. saw top gear, want to ride it, is there any motorhome parking on route for overnight stay?

  6. Anyone done this road on a motorcycle and what are the temps like in September.
    I’ve done several pretty good roads/scenic routes around Europe and this is now high on my list.

  7. its so disappointing, that this wonderful natural refugee gets destroyed by so many ugly buildings…. some are really nice and done by heart, but most look like in the 80s in eastern germany.
    and why are tourists, lumberjack and also the “tschoban” so incapable to carry their waste back with them???
    plastic bottles and cans everywhere…

    damn it.

  8. Just returned from Romania on Oct. 11th. I had to convince my wife to make the drive over the Transfagarasan road, but with the kind help of the owner of Roberts Hotel in Sibiu, I was able to convince her. She was enamored with the scenery and declares the drive on of the top mountain trips she has ever done. The scenery is spectacular, the road is just scary enough to be thrilling, and the autumn foliage was a gift in technicolor. We recommend this drive in the autumn, but any season would be a treat. I am from Wyoming, so mountains are my natural habitat, and believe me, this drive is worthwhile.

  9. Hi! My son, Michael is a 6th grader in NY, he loves to tell and write stories about Romania where he lived for a while and goes on vacation. He is proud to be a Romanian, at school he wants to present Romania every time he gets the chance. He never saw Transfagarasan, but he read about it. His last project at school was about Transfagarasan. He can’t wait to see it with his own eyes!

  10. I’ll stay in Cluj napoca next month, from 02/10/09 to 12/10/09, is open the road? You can tell my if i can drive some part of the routh.

  11. Hi! Very nice this page! How many hours are necessary to drive from N-S the road? From the E68 road to Curtea de Arges…
    I’ll stay in Transilvania next week, from 15th to 22th of september… is open the road?
    Ciao! Mariano

  12. I cycled over this Transfagarasan road in the summer of 1992 and it was one of the highlights of my trip from Germany to the Black Sea. I have enjoyed the mountains and this magnificent road with hardly any traffic and tourists. This road must be the best kept secret in Eastern Europe.
    Does anybody know whether a map or a guide book exists about the Transfagarasan? Please let me know.

  13. they say they will open it on 1st July cos even now at the end of May was snowing there!
    so good luck!

  14. Who knows when the road will open for car traffic this year? I want to travel the road on may 1st. Any thoughts?

  15. I would say it’s too cold. Even if you are lucky and it’s sunny and around 20-25C, the water would be still ice-cold, as Balea Lake is a glaciar lake.

  16. Can you swim there in the summers? Or is still too cold? Se poate merge la inot, sau prea frig?

  17. Hello! Has anybody been in October? What’s it like then?

  18. Hi Jan,

    I’ve been there in June (and on other occasions)..I must say it was fab !

    Best place to be lodged is Balea Chalet( ), Paltinu Chalet is very nice as well..There are other nice locations (like Capra Chalet,recently refurbished) but the first two are built at over 2000 m which makes it cooler !
    Cheers and enjoy !
    Try to do some trekking…the landscapes are brethtaking

  19. Hi Irene,
    I want to go there this summer, I would be grateful for some useful informations, mainly about accommodation, what is the best place to be lodged? I would like to do one day trips to mountains (8-10 hours), could you recommend me something?
    Thank you

  20. Mountains are mountains, really, once you have seen them and traveled in them and hiked over them, as I have. And beautiful views grow wearying, actually, though the fresh air is always nice. Nature itself is not the END but the BEGINNING.

    Thus, I would rather spend a week in Bucharest at cafes discussing the Living Idea with my Romanian friend Corina-Magdalena Buliga and her fiance than a month at Paraul Capra Chalet getting sunburn or frostbitten or bitten by ticks.

    Ronald Schleyer
    Mankato, Minnesota USA

  21. It is like magic. It brings back many childhood memories. I loved it when I was there. Whish I can go back with my family to expirience the same.

  22. Hi
    I can tell you that it is so beautifull, you have to go. It is cheap,

  23. Beautiful place. I would love to go there walking and hiking with great friends!

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