ABOUT THE SOUTHERN CARPATHIANS

Nestled majestically in the heart of Romania, the Southern Carpathians, often referred to as the Transylvanian Alps, stand as a testament to nature's grandeur. They are the second highest group of mountains in the Carpathian Mountain range (after Tatra), reaching heights of over 2,500 meters. This mountain range, with its rugged peaks and enchanting landscapes, is a haven for adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike. Among its many wonders, two roads, the Transfăgărășan and the Transalpina, wind their way through these majestic peaks, offering two challenging yet rewarding climbs for any cyclist.
Often hailed as one of the most spectacular roads in the world, the Transfăgărășan is a triumph of engineering that traverses the Southern Carpathians with breathtaking audacity. Stretching over 90 kilometers, this winding serpent of asphalt ascends to an altitude of 2,034 meters, making it the

second-highest paved road in Romania. Conceived in the tumultuous years of the Ceaușescu regime, the road was built as a strategic military route but has since evolved into a bucket-list destination for avid road trippers and cyclists. With hairpin turns and alpine landscapes, cyclists experience a transformative journey, from dense forests to crisp mountain air.
As if one weren't enough, Romania offers yet another spectacular alpine route—the Transalpina, aptly nicknamed the King's Road. Having a rich history, with origins dating back to the Dacians, an ancient Thracian people, the road cuts through the Parâng Mountains, and reaches an elevation of 2,145 meters, earning the title of the highest road in Romania. Unlike the Transfăgărășan's dramatic ascents, the Transalpina is a more gradual climb, allowing travelers to soak in the stunning scenery at a leisurely pace.

ROUTE

DAY TO DAY

We will meet you at Sibiu or Cluj airport and transfer you to your hotel in Sibiu. Upon arrival, those who brought their bicycles can assemble them, and we will take the boxes to the storage place. If you choose to rent a bicycle from our partners, you will have the chance to get used to it. In the evening, you can explore the town and have dinner in one of the many restaurants in the historical centre.

The tour begins from the town with a pleasant ride on a forested cycle path, providing ample time to get accustomed to the bikes before venturing into the countryside. The first part of the day takes us through the Saxon settlements around Sibiu, and after 45km, we'll have a well-deserved lunch break at the Orangery located in the park of Avrig’s Brukenthal Palace. Following a winding road climb, revealing the majestic range of the Făgăraș mountains, we enter the Hârtibaciu Valley area with its rolling hills, one of the last intact rural medieval landscapes in Europe. Dinner and the night await us in one of our favourite accommodations, Veseud 11.

   Guesthouse: Veseud 11

TODAY'S RIDE

Approximately 93 km (58 miles) with 870 m (2,850 feet) of climbing

This is the day of an epic climb. We warm up by riding from Veseud to Cârțișoara, the starting point of Transfagarasan. The thirty kilometers of climbing take us from the lowlands to the second-highest altitude reachable on the road in Romania. Starting in the plains, we cross a coniferous forest, enter alpine pastures, and conquer the Transfăgărășan with 25 hairpin turns and breathtaking views of the Transylvanian Alps. At the top, the Bâlea glacial lake, nestled at an altitude of 2040 meters in a glacial cirque guarded by majestic rocky peaks, unveils its beauty. After lunch at Ceaușescu’s former mountain hut, we prepare for a magical descent on the southern part of the Carpathians. The spa and wellness facilities at Hotel Posada will be a well-deserved reward after such a day.

   Hotel: Posada Vidraru

TODAY'S RIDE

Approximately 119 km (74 miles) with 2,540 m (8,330 feet) of climbing

This serves as a transition day between the two main climbs of the tour, but it's no less interesting. We officially leave Transylvania, as crossing the mountains brings us into another historical province of Romania, Wallachia. The south face of the Carpathians, called Subcarpați, is not as steep as the north face and is covered in lush forests. Another 100km of enjoyable riding awaits until Colțești, where we will spend the night.

   Hotel: Hanul Vatra

TODAY'S RIDE

Approximately 102 km (63 miles) with 1,230 m (4,035 feet) of climbing

It's time for the second significant climb of the tour, the highest road in Romania, known as the Road of the King. With origins dating back to the Dacians over two millennia ago, this road was asphalted for the first time between 2009 and 2015, now opened for tourism. Crossing the Parâng mountains, it takes us up to 2145m altitude. After crossing the highest point, we continue about 20 km with spectacular views before stopping for the night at Obârşia Lotrului (1350m).

   Guesthouse: Hanul Haiducilor

TODAY'S RIDE

Approximately 89 km (55 miles) with 2,665 m (8,740 feet) of climbing

Today is the day we return to Sibiu and close the 520km loop. Although two short climbs await us, it will mostly be a downhill road, crossing a pastoral landscape known as Mărginimea Sibiului. The main occupation here is growing sheep, and the cheese they make is sold in markets all around the country. Although they don't go as far as the Ukrainian Carpathians nowadays, transhumance persists, a continuous tradition for generations. Back in Sibiu, we will stop at the same Mercure Sibiu Arsenal Hotel where we started.

TODAY'S RIDE

Approximately 119 km (74 miles) with 1,530 m (5,020 feet) of climbing

We will transfer you to Sibiu or Cluj airport, in case you have booked your departure today, or assist you if you continue your holiday in Romania.

PRICES

€2990 per person for groups of 2 people
€2430 per person for groups of 3 people
€1930 per person for groups of 4 people
€1790 per person for groups of 5+ people

Single supplement - €240

Deposit - €200

What is included?
  • English-speaking local guides
  • Helmet
  • All accommodation and meals
  • Fruits, nuts, snacks, and water during riding
  • Assistance car
  • Car transfer on the first and last day to/from Sibiu or Cluj airport
Not included
  • Bicycle
      • we recommend bringing your own road or gravel bike
      • we can assist you in renting a bicycle from one of our partners in Sibiu

SELF-GUIDED

We are ready to organize this tour as a Self-Guided tour on request. Pricing will be customized to accommodate the level of support you desire—whether it involves a dedicated assistance car, luggage transfer, bringing your own bike, or needing our assistance to rent one locally. Group size and specific requirements will be key factors in determining the overall cost.

Please contact us, and we will build an offer for you.

ACCOMMODATION & FOOD

GUESTHOUSES

Accommodation is provided in double or single rooms with private bathroom. The heart filled hospitality of our hosts will make you feel at home everywhere we’ll spend the night. All hotels and guest houses are unique and have beautiful gardens in which you can relax after a day’s riding. Swimming pools and SPA are available at Mercure Sibiu Arsenal and Posada Vidraru. For single rooms there’s a single occupancy supplement.

FOOD & DRINK

Delicious and tasty locally sourced food is cooked by all hotels and 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 accommodation. Vegetarian options are also available upon request, and any other dietary restrictions will be respected. 

LUNCH & COFFEE BREAKS

Lunch is included in the tour package, featuring freshly cooked meals and coffee served at a carefully selected venue in the middle of each day. Additionally, an assortment of fruits, cereal bars, energy gels, isotonic drinks, and water will be available throughout the ride. We understand that each group may have specific dietary preferences, and we are more than happy to tailor our offerings accordingly. Kindly inform us of any relevant details or preferences before the tour commences.

MORE INFORMATION

7 DAYS & 6 NIGHTS - 5 DAYS OF RIDING

DIFFICULTY: 5/5

AVERAGE DAILY DISTANCE

104 km (64 miles)

AVERAGE DAILY ELEVATION

1,770 m (5,800 feet)

TOTAL DISTANCE

522 km (325 miles)

TOTAL ELEVATION

8,840 m (29,000 feet)

TERRAIN: HILLY / MOUNTAINOUS

The terrain is challenging and climbs can range from three to 30 kilometers in length at a variety of grades. The routes include an average of two to three climbs per day. For the elevation profile and for the number of kilometers/miles covered on a daily basis, see the day to day itinerary.

None of the roads on this tour are national, ensuring low to medium traffic. However, the renowned mountain climbs might experience increased tourist activity on weekends in July and August. The entire 522km route is on asphalt, making it well-suited for road bikes.

* At times, for 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.