Transylvania is a region situated in the central part of Romania, Eastern Europe. It is the land beyond the forest (from latin trans=crossing; silva=forest). The name itself shows that the land is perfectly covered with valleys, hilltops, beautiful forests and mountains – some of them taking the riders and their motorbikes above the three line rewarding them with stunning views.
All this sounds very nice, but there is nothing more exhilarating than the roads that lead there:
1. Transfagarasan Road
Connecting Muntenia (southern part of Romania) with Transylvania, by crossing Fagaras Mountain, Transfagarasan Road ride takes the motorbike riders up to 2042 m in altitude on a perfect ribbon of asphalt road, built just like a race track, a Mecca for motorbike riders today. It was constructed during the communist regime (1970-1974) under the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu to ease the access of the troops. Due to the high altitude the road is open only 3-4 months/year, generally from June 15 until October 31, depending highly on the Weather conditions. In the summer time the road tends to be crowded, with its peak in the weekends.
The riders should start the ride from south to North (from Curtea de Arges to Cartisoara), this way the view of the entire road unfolding in front will be thrilling. Also they should start riding early in the morning (about 08:00 AM). This way they will lose the crowds and be able to really get the feel of a unique road with bends to last for a lifetime. Attention should also be directed to the gas tank as there are no gas tanks on this road, the riders should fill up before starting the ride.
2. Transalpina Highway – known as the Kings Road, linking the town of Sugag in Transylvania with Novaci, crossing Parang Mountains in the central Carpathians. With its highest peak at 2145m in Urdele Pass, the road takes the riders to the clouds in a ride to remember. Pine forests, traditional sheepfolds where visitors are offered the traditional “balmos” (food cooked by the sheepherders), great views and plenty of road bends and hairpin curves. Just as Transfagarasan Road, better to be ridden on week days or in the morning to beat the traffic. Attention should also be directed to the gas tank as there are no gas stations on this road, the riders should fill up before starting the ride.
3. Transbucegi Road – third highest mountain road in Romania, Transbucegi is a narrow asphalt road leading to Bucegi Plateau in Bucegi Mountains. From the Plateau walks to the Sphinx and Babele (famous rock formations shaped by the wind) can be explored. The Walk to the Sphinx can take up to 45min. It is important for the riders to keep in mind that they need to walk back to the motorbike as well which will add to the relaxing walk in the nature some more time.
Recommendation: The riders interested in great views that can only be reached with a bit of walking are advised to bring comfortable walking shoes and to leave the motorbike boots locked on the motorbike. Also water and a chocolate bar for energy are recommended.
4. Sunset Mountains in the Western Carpathians offer you great rides, one of them – Transursoaia Road. From DN 1 in the city of Huedin the road snakes up to the Dark Hill along Belis Dam and Belisului Valley to the village of Horea. 80 km of asphalt on a narrow mountain road offering some great riding, amazing views and traditional stops on the road, carved in wood by the locals.
Short deviation: in Rachitele area – the Vail of The Bride Waterfall, 30m of waterfall attracting visitors from all over the world.
From May to October, depending on the weather. Caution is required as there are sections of narrow areas. Best to be ridden during the day as the mountains will reward the riders with spectacular views.
5. The Rich History
Transylvania has everything, from great winding roads to medieval churches and fortified medieval citadels. History buffs should not miss Cluj Napoca – home of Saint Michael’s Cathedral, Europe’s Youth Capital in 2015, Sighisoara Medieval citadel – the birth place of “Vlad The Impaller” (also known as Dracula), the medieval city of Brasov home for the Black Church, the medieval city of Sibiu – former cultural capital of Europe in 2007, place for the “Redbul Romaniacs” off road competition, Bran Castle – also known as Dracula Castle in Transylvania, Rasnov Medieval Citadel with a 360 degrees Panorama over the surrounding mountains.
6. The food and drinks
Transylvania is a melting pot regarding the cultures and the food they brought to the region.
Hungarian, Austrian, Turkish foods are all traditional in Transylvania: 4 mititei (grilled skinless sausages) with fries and mustard washed down with a glass of local beer is Transylvanian understanding of fast food. Slow food and very slow food is also served in Transylvania, long late dinners on a terrace in the middle of a charming medieval town is something that any visitor should experience. The price of good wine and beer is ridiculously inexpensive compared with other countries.
7. Fly & Ride Transylvania, Romania
The riders can come with their own motorbike and enjoy the Carpathian experience.The best part of it is that no matter where the riders are coming from they can enjoy a motorbike adventure in Transylvania with no fuss on fly& Ride bases. Cluj Napoca Airport is the biggest in Transylvania, Romania and it welcomes flights from all over the World, low cost or not. If the riders choose to fly here they can still enjoy a 2wheel adventure by renting a motorbike. A fleet of 11 BMW motorbikes, the GS range is available for rental in the city of Turda (40 km away from Cluj Napoca Airport). They can rent BMW motorbikes 650cc, 800cc or 1200cc, recent year of fabrication. GPS and motorbike gear is also available at the motorbike rental shop in Turda (Transylvania, Romania). Maps can be found almost in each gas station and the staff at the motorbike rental company can offer recommendations on where to ride.
Romanian currency: leu
1 euro = 4.4909 lei
1 USD = 4.1260 lei
1 litre – about 5 lei (1.2 euro)
Alcohol and driving:
Zero alcohol tolerance. Should the riders like to immerse in the beer and wine culture they should do it after a riding day.
50 km/hour in cities unless instructed otherwise.
100 km/hour on national or European roads
130 km/hour on highways
For money the visitors can choose ATMs or the exchange offices (“Casa de Schimb Valutar” in Romanian). ATMs are available in every big city. For the exchange offices, visitor should choose the ones that do not charge a commission.
English, Spanish or German speaking Romanians can be found. However we recommend learning a few words in Romanian just enough to thank someone for a well done service.
Wear bright reflective gear to be visible. When overtaking, make sure that the drivers have acknowledged your intention.
The riders should be safe and remember to have fun and to enjoy the Transylvanian experience!