One of the most exhilarating and rewarding routes you can ever take on a bike is to journey to Romanian and go ride around the Transfăgărășan Highway deep in the picturesque counter of Romania. It should be on a rider's bucket list as something to experience and the good thing is that as it is located in an affordable part of Eastern Europe and it makes for an incredible holiday too. Getting there, especially if you ride, can be just as much fun considering you’ll get to go through France and the Alps plus the North of Italy and Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina to get there or alternatively you could invest in a fly hire deal to make sure that you have a bike at the end of the trip.
What is about the place that draws people?
The route was made famous by Top Gear as part of their places to tour. Clarkson himself declared it the best road in the world. The road itself has quite a bit of history. It was built in the 1970’s by the Romanian Army to allow it quick access to the more mountainous areas of the country for defence. The height of the road reaches some of the highest points in Romania and it flows through the mountains snaking its way around the regions of Wallachia and Transylvania and there are some names that will sound familiar to most people as being the home of the legend of Vampires. The road creates a pass through the Făgăraş Mountains that links these to regions of Romania. The idea was that the military would have a quick straight route through rather than going around the Mountains, which split the country in two or use the river passes that an aggressor could easily block and attack. Although the route is no longer needed for military operations it does give the tourist the chance to ride one of the most interesting and challenging routes a rider can experience in Europe.
The main reason the road is so popular is the shear variety of bends, corner and tunnels it throws up for you to navigate. There are also some lovely straight, if hair-raising viaducts to negotiate too. It is 56 miles in length but that seems a lot longer as you ride along and almost double back on yourself. One other thing to remember is that there is no point trying to ride it in the month of Novembers through to May due to snow (yes that does include the Spring time which shows how high the road is!). The best time to go is during the warmer months when you go kitted out in your hot weather motorbike jacket and enjoy the beautiful sunshine.
The most interesting feature though is that the route takes in one of the most famous sites in Transylvania and a place that has embedded itself into not only the folklore of Romania but the world. It’s the home of Dracula, or at least the inspiration for his home plus it has been used in films. Visit Poenari Castle if you dare!