The Transfăgărășan Highway was nominated by Top Gear as the best road in the world. This road is located in Romania in the region between Transylvania and Wallachia. This is Romania’s second highest road and has a peak elevation of 2,042m. This road is only open in the summer months and during daylight hours. The full length of the highway is 90km long as it traverses through several mountains. The pass is located near Lake Balea at the high altidue and is an amazing drive. The layout of the road is spectacular with amazing turns and sweeping turns akin to a race track! The scenery is spectacular with great views surrounding the road. The surface of the road in this section is smooth and wide and has been maintained well. Unfortunately I did not get clear weather during my visit but it was still a memorable drive. If you have seen the Top Gear episode in which they visit this road, you may be mistaken into thinking the entire highway is as illustrated in the show. In reality the mountain pass is 10 kms long which has the smooth surface and ‘spaghetti’ like turns. The surface of the remainder of the highway is deteriorated with potholes and bumps in which you would be lucky to do 50kph. It’s the same road which the hosts complain about at the beginning of the show being in poor condition. Lake Balea is also a major tourist and local attraction in Romania, therefore there is a lot of traffic on the mountain pass even on a week day. During my visit, the last 2 kms leading to Lake Balea was literally a car park from the direction of Cartisoara, as this is the quickest route to get to Lake Balea. There is minimal traffic if you approach this road from the direction of Curtea De Arges but you would need to drive 85kms on the deteriorated section of the highway. The deteriorated section of the highway has great scenery and the layout of the road is actually good with tight hairpins, but it’s a pity the road surface has not been maintained. Overall this pass is an amazing experience and should not be missed.
Speed: 60 kph
Length: 10 kms (Pass)
Overtaking: Not many overtaking opportunities.
Direction: Towards Curtea De Arges