With infinite twisting bends and a rollercoaster of abrupt ups and downs, this stunning road over the mountains unravels scenic landscapes and epic emotions. It evokes the raw thrill of exploration and discovery, by crossing ridges and valleys, while sometimes touching the clouds!
Representing an ancient shepherding trail, Transalpina was not paved until the First World War, considered strategically important. There is always something special about driving through the high roads in the mountains, and the Carpathians of Romania have plenty of fascinating journeys to offer. Reaching the highest altitude for a road in the country, the Transalpina, also known as the “King’s Road”, truly is one of the most exciting and unforgettable experiences in the country. The road crosses the Carpathian Mountains, connecting the historical regions of Transylvania and Wallachia. More precisely, it links the towns of Novaci in Gorj County with Sebeș in Alba County, for a total length of about 130 km, filled with countless emotions.
Transalpina is among the most beautiful and memorable high mountain roads in Europe. Starting from the south, the road begins in the town of Novaci, famous for its sheepherding tradition. It begins to ascend quickly in a series of tight turns and bends that require some driving skills. After about 18 km, it reaches the mountain resort of Rânca, extremely popular for winter sports. We can find several excellent ski slopes during winter and plenty of accommodation options in Rânca if we wish to stay for longer in these mountains. The road starts ascending abruptly towards the conical Păpușa Peak, reaching its highest altitude in Urdele Pass, at 2132 meters. Panoramas are opening up everywhere, with deep glacial valleys and distant wooded ridges, with sheep herds and donkeys that welcome us along the way. This section of the road is truly challenging, with a series of tight upwards and downwards hairpin bends that are deemed to make any driver anxious. Crossing several high alpine ridges, it begins to descend again towards the Lotru River Valley, where it intersects another road that crosses the mountains from east to west.
It is also known as the “King’s Road”, as it was traversed and inaugurated by king Carol the Second of Romania, after being redeveloped in 1939!
First, the Transalpina follows the lush valley of Lotru River, surrounded by tall ridges from all sides and offering a few options for accommodation. It then starts to ascend again, first peacefully between the dense pine forests, but quickly begins to twist as it reaches new heights. The lake of Oașa is an essential stop along the way, an artificial lake surrounded by marvelous landscapes and the starting point for several hiking routes. Oașa Monastery can also be found on the other side of the lake, a spiritual oasis in the middle of nature. Located on a valley between the mountains of Șureanu and Cindrel, it was founded around the wooden church that was moved here after the construction of the Oașa dam and lake. Today, it also features a beautiful new church and is renowned for its intellectual monk community. Further along towards the end of the journey, the smaller artificial lake of Tăul Bistra offers a new exceptional opportunity for admiring spectacular scenery. Descending from the mountains in a few kilometers, the views begin to widen and the first villages start to appear along the valley. Transalpina Mountain Road truly is an existential experience, more than just a feast for the eyes. We can certainly get to feel the grand design of nature and the spirit of the wilderness during a trip along this special route.
ACCOMMODATION ON TRANSALPINA ROAD
PARANG LODGE 3*
9.3 Rating from 760 Reviews!
Located in the center of the Rânca Mountain Resort, along the Transalpina Road, this amazing lodge offers excellent rooms with private bathrooms, a restaurant, a bar, a shared lounge and great views of the mountains!
HAIDUCILOR INN 3*
9.0 Rating from 441 Reviews!
Located in the middle of Parâng Mountains in a charming valley, this superb inn is the perfect stop along the Transalpina Road. Surrounded by mountains from all sides, it features perfect rooms with all facilities and a delicious restaurant!
TRANSALPINA LODGE 3*
9.1 Rating from 249 Reviews!
Located along the amazing alpine road, this lodge features unforgettable views of the surrounding mountains. It offers great rooms with perfect amenities, including private bathrooms, a shared kitchen and barbeque facilities!