Meandering between and through Romania’s Transylvanian Alps, the Transfăgărăşan is neither for the weak of heart nor for vehicles weak of centripetal force. Anyone interested in maneuvering the road’s 60 miles worth of racetrack-worthy twists and hairpin turns is in for a wild ride.
Constructed in the early seventies, the road was part of a military strategy to enable easy access across the Transylvanian Alps in the case of Soviet invasion. Romania never had to put the road to its original, intended use, but the road remains as one of Europe’s highest paved roads. Exceeding one mile in altitude at its highest point, the Transfăgărăşan is quite the scenic route that attracts tourists and driving enthusiasts alike.
While the road provides a route to some of Romania’s most famed hot spots (the scenic natural landscape and the castle home of Vlad III the Impaler, the prince who inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula, to name a few), it is a landmark in its own right.
Take the fellas of BBC’s Top Gear, who declared the Transfăgărăşan the best road in the world. Unless you’re interested in a few others of Romania’s driving destinations, skip to 6:17 in the video clip below for the good stuff. Watching them drive, with their tops down and smiles wide across their faces, will send chills down your spine and waves a jealousy through your veins. A real rush of automotive adrenaline.
Photo by Tomak Malkoski.