Romania Driving Ideas Guide
Romania is a dynamic country rich in history, arts and scenic beauty offering some of Europe’s best-preserved medieval towns. The Carpathian Mountains (Transylvanian Alps), is a major feature in this mysterious landscape, where you will find ancient legends, rare species of wildlife and at least 4,000 caves of which many can be explored.
Even though Romania is one of the largest countries in Europe, most of the popular tourist destinations are a relative short drive apart. Romania is a unique travel experience, and a very affordable destination, waiting to be discovered.
Discover the land of castles from Bucharest to Brasov
Spend at least a day exploring Bucharest, the capital. The city's unique charm can be best observed in the area known as Lipscani, which consists of a jumble of streets between Calea Victoriei, Bucharest's oldest and arguably most charming street, and the Dambovita River. Don’t miss the fantastic local cuisine on offer here.
A wonderful day drive from Bucharest is the 166 km to Sinaia and Brasov. Sinaia, also known as ‘The Carpathian Pearl’, is the oldest and most famous mountain tourist resort in Romania. It is especially suited for forest hiking in breathtaking scenery.
En route, take a short detour at Predeal to the village of Bran, to visit the 14th century Bran Castle. Brasov is a town that has retained its medieval atmosphere. Some sightseeing highlights include Brasov Fortress, Franciscan Monastery, old Saxon architecture and citadel ruins. For a panoramic view of Brasov and the surrounding Carpathians Mountains take the cable car to Postavarul Peak in Poiana Brasov.
Go with the flow of the mighty Danube River - ’The King of the European Rivers’
Another great drive from Bucharest follows the Danube river along Romania's southern border. The Danube enters the territory of Romania at the famous Iron Gates (Portile de Fier) and ends its 1078km journey through the country in the Black Sea. Here it forms one of the most spectacular wetlands in the world - the Danube Delta - a unique 5400 square km wildlife reserve.
Among the many sights worth visiting, near or along the Romanian section of the Danube River, are the ruins of the Roman bridge at Drobeta, Topolnita Cave and the Iron Gates Dam. Make this a leasurely day drive from Bucharest to the Delta, but allow enough time to stop and explore along the way. The full route will take a number of days.
Transfagarasan mountain road (7C): the world's best road trip
Transylvania is home to some of Europe’s best-preserved medieval towns, featuring Sibiu with its cobblestone streets and pastel-coloured houses, and Sighisoara, adorned with a hilltop citadel and secret passageways. Tiny shops offer antiques and fine handmade products by local artisans and artists.
The 90km Transfagarasan mountain road (open only in summer) is one of the most spectacular roads in the world. It runs through the Fagaras mountains, a part of the Transylvanian Alps connecting Transylvania with Muntenia. The Transfagarasan starts at Brasov, near Pitecti and follows the valley of the River Arges. Rising to 2134m, the road then slowly descends to Cartisoara in the Olt valley, where it ends. At the highest point, near Balea-lake, is Romania’s longest and highest tunnel.
Passing through the Arges River gorge and beyond the last village, Capataneni, you'll see a road sign to Poenari Castle (Dracula’s Castle). The ruins of this fortress are on top of a high cliff. Dare to climb the 1480 stairs to the top - the view is certainly worth the effort and the best I-was-here-moment to share. Having crossed Romania, driving this famous road is a fitting way to end your trip.
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