The Transfăgărășan Highway was once voted by Top Gear as the most beautiful road in the world. Driving the Highway definitely is a top experience while in Romania. The winding road brings you over mountaintops, past lakes and incredible views.
Although I don’t fully agree with Top Gears opinion of the Transfăgărășan being the most beautiful road in the world, I can’t deny it sure is one hell of a drive. And an absolutely stunning one of that (by the way, one of the most beautiful roads I ever drove in the world is the Siddharta Highway, from Pokhara to Lumbini in Nepal).
The Transfăgărășan Highway is a 90 kilometres long and extremely winding road crossing the Romanian mountains. The highest point the road brings you to is on 2042 metres. Build back in the 70’s under commission of Ceaușescu, the road was meant to give easy access to military in case of an invasion. Obviously it owes it’s name to the Făgăraş Mountains the road goes over.
Nowadays the road is not used by military, but by people who want to explore the extreme beauty of Romania. Seriously, this is one of the most surprising countries I have ever been to. The extreme road with it’s uncountable huge bends is most definitely one of the most fun roads to drive in the world. Not a boring second during this two hour drive. On top of the mountain you will find a lake, with some cabins for snacks and drinks around it. And the most breathtaking views you can find of this road.
Rent a car in Romania
Renting a car in Romania is fairly cheap and easily doable. Just make sure to rent in town and not at the airport if you want to keep a low budget. I rented a car for €16 a day, which was by far the cheapest option I could find in Timisoara, and only got it for this price because I rented for 9 days. For one day, count on about €24. Of course gas is on your own costs. Sometimes you pay extra for kilometres, something they don’t mention and the contracts often are in Romanian, so make sure to check that beforehand. You will need a drivers license for at least 3 to 5 years and pay a deposit, the amount depending on the car (I paid €150).
Best time to drive the Transfăgărășan Highway
One thing to keep in mind while planning your trip to the Transfăgărășan Highway is that the road is not always open. Sometimes weather conditions don’t allow you to drive up and during the winter months the road is completely closed. You can check if the road is open on this website.
How to get to the Transfăgărășan Highway
Driving up from the north like I did, you will see the Făgăraş Mountains dooming up in front of you before you have even reached the highway. It’s pretty difficult to miss, so to say. The Transfăgărășan is road number 7C, running between Sibiu and Curtea de Argeș. All you have to do is take care you don’t accidentally take road E81 when coming from Sibiu.