This tour is all about the legendary road which crosses the highest mountains of Romania, linking Transylvania and Wallachia, two of the country’s historic provinces. Built in just 4 years, at the beginning of the seventies, as a strategic objective and as an escape route over the Făgăraș mountains, in case of a Russian invasion, it is now a marvelous piece of civil and military engineering. The decision to build the road was taken by Romania’s former communist dictator, Ceaușescu, after the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia, by the soviet troops, in which Romania refused to take part.
The Transfăgărășan, often considered one of the best roads in the world, will not disappoint. The amazing views of the Fagăraș Mountains offered by each of the 25 hairpin turns, the glacial lake at the top of the climb and the thrills of managing every curve while descending will linger in your memory forever. Due to the heavy snowfalls during winter the road opens officially on the 30th of June each year and closes on the 1st of November. Depending on how warm the weather is in June we could climb earlier than the 30th on a car free road, so keep this in mind when you are planning your trip.
DAY TO DAY
The tour starts from Sibiu with a pleasant ride on a forested cycle path, which will give you plenty of time to get accustomed to the bikes, before making our way into the countryside. We will spend the day cycling through the Saxon settlements around Sibiu and our first stop and visit will be at the hilltop fortress of Cisnădioara, which offers a splendid panorama of the surrounding villages and of the Făgăraș mountains. Shortly after we will visit the impressive fortified church of Cisnădie, protected by a double wall. Later on we’ll have a well deserved refreshments break at the Orangery located in the park of Avrig’s Brukenthal Palace. The day will finish with a winding road climb, which will reveal one more time the majestic range of the Făgăraș mountains, and with a beautiful descent to our first guesthouse in Nucet. You will love the lush garden where you can relax with a glass of lemonade or a beer while waiting for our first dinner together.
Approximately 54 km (33 miles) with 480 m (1,600 feet) of climbing
Today we will get closer and closer to the mountains, admiring their imposing peaks for a good part of the ride. We’ll enter the Hârtibaciu Valley area and its rolling hills, which is perhaps the last intact rural medieval landscape in Europe. It will be a very interesting day with great cycling, as we venture deeper and deeper into the countryside, and two visits at historic sites. We’ll ride to the village of Hosman to discover its fortified church and then in the second part of the day we will cycle through a very wild and spectacular hilly area, where a series of ups and downs will prepare us for tomorrow’s Transfagarasan climb. Before reaching the accommodation in Cârțișoara, beautifully located at the foothills of the mountains, we will visit Europe’s easternmost Cistercian Abbey located in the village of Cârța and built at the beginning of the 13th century.
Approximately 55 km (34 miles) with 380 m (1,240 feet) of climbing
This is the day of an epic climb. Thirty kilometers of climbing will take us from the lowlands to the second highest altitude reachable on road in Romania. We will start cycling in the plains, cross the coniferous forest, make our way into the alpine pastures and after 25 hairpin turns and countless breathtaking views of the Transylvanian Alps, as the mountains are nicknamed, we will conquer the Transfăgărășan. At the top of the climb, the mountains and the road will give up their last secret, the Bâlea glacial lake located at an altitude of 2040 meters in a glacial cirque guarded by majestic rocky peaks. After catching our breath at Ceaușescu’s former mountain hut, built on the side of the lake, we will get ready for a magical descent on the same way we came up. The thirty kilometers ride down the mountain will be equally rewarding and awesome as the climb.
Approximately 60 km (37 miles) with 1,540 m (5,050 feet) of climbing
After breakfast you will be transferred by car back to Sibiu.
ACCOMMODATION & FOOD
Accommodation is provided in double or single rooms with private bathroom in small and cozy village guesthouses. The heart filled hospitality of our hosts will make you feel at home everywhere we’ll spend the night. All guest houses are unique and have beautiful gardens in which you can relax after a day’s riding. For single rooms there’s a single occupancy supplement.
Food & Drink
Delicious and tasty locally sourced food is cooked by all guesthouses. Breakfast and a three course dinner are included in the tour package. The traditional Romanian spirits like plum or sour cherry brandy are complementary on the house while drinks like wine and beer can be bought separately at each guesthouse. Vegetarian options are also available upon request.
Lunch & coffee breaks
Lunch is included in the tour package and in most of the days we will break for a freshly cooked lunch and coffee at a special venue, where other activities are included as well. A packed lunch is provided on the other days and whenever refreshments breaks are needed we’ll make it happen, as your holiday will be enjoyed at your own pace. Fruit, cereal bars and water are available anytime.
AVERAGE DAILY DISTANCE
56 km (35 miles)
AVERAGE DAILY ELEVATION
800 m (2,624 feet)
169 km (105 miles)
2,400 m (7,874 feet)
TERRAIN: HILLY and MOUNTAINOUS
Transylvania is hilly and surrounded by mountains. That’s why any trip in this region implies some climbing, but the effort will be lavishly rewarded by the wonderful landscapes, colourful flower meadows and tranquil villages where life flows at a very slow pace. Every day there will be some short and rolling hills and a climb which will require more effort to conquer. But don’t worry as the descents are always beautiful and rewarding. For the elevation profile and for the number of kilometers/miles covered on a daily basis, see the day to day itinerary.
On all our tours we aim to find quite secondary roads, so that you’ll fully enjoy your vacation without the noise of big and busy roads. On this particular tour we only cycle on asphalt.
* At times, from various reasons, the routes, the activities listed in the daily breakdown or the guesthouses we sleep in may slightly change. Our guides will always try to replace them with similar or higher standard services in order to provide the same trip experience.
€740 per person for groups of 2-3 people
€590 per person for groups of 4-6 people
Single supplement - €60
Deposit - €120
For the scheduled tours the price is €490per person regardless of the number of participants.
What is included?
- English-speaking local guides
- Fully equipped bike
- All accommodation, meals and snacks
- Sandwiches, fruits, nuts, snacks and water during riding
- Assistance car
- Car transfer in the last day to Sibiu
- Tickets and donations