Transalpina Highway is the highest road in Romania, and lovers of thrills and engines call it the most dangerous road.
The Highway traverses four counties in Romania – Gorj, Vâlcea, Sibiu, Alba – crossing the Parâng Mountains from south to north. The highest altitude is reached on a segment of about 20 km (12 mi), in Vâlcea County, passing a short distance from the peaks of Dengheru (2,084 m), Păpușa (2,136 m), Urdele (2,228 m), Iezer (2,157 m), and Muntinu (2,062 m).
The beginnings of this path are unclear. Some sources claim that it was first built by the Roman legions during the wars with the Dacians, which is why it is listed on the history maps as the “Roman strategic corridor IV”.
What is certain is that this route, known as the “Devil’s Path”, was originally a mountain path, used by shepherds from the Border of Sibiu to cross the mountains with sheep herds in Wallachia. Given the lessons of the First World War, King Charles II wanted to have at his disposal a strategic road for mountain artillery, pulled by horses, which could be traveled by troops moving between Wallachia and Transylvania. The restoration works decided by the king took place between 1934-1939. King Carol II also attended the inauguration of the road in 1939, accompanied by the future King Michael I, as well as Prime Minister Gheorghe Tatarescu. They traveled the entire route of the road in an off-road vehicle, with King Charles II at the wheel. After the inauguration, the road was known as the Royal Road or the King’s Road, which replaced the popular name of the Devil’s Path.
The last rehabilitation of the road took place in 2013, but it was not completed, so the section between Voineasa and Obarsia Lotrului is officially declared a construction site, being allowed to travel only between 7-20 hours, and the maximum speed is 30 km / hour.
How to get there
To get to the Transalpina Highway from Bucharest, the best way is to take the A1 motorway to the industrial town of Pitesti (best known as being the place where Dacia cars are made), after which you will go to Ramnicu Valcea, Horezu, Novaci, Ranca .
Although Transalpina, in itself, is a great tourist attraction, Ranca is one of the most beautiful ski resorts in the country. It has three ski slopes all equipped with ski lifts; one for beginners positioned on Cornestul Mount and equipped with night instalation positioned in the center of the resort, and one for advanced who continues over the top. The third is a babyski positioned at the entrance to the resort equipped with a night instalation. The authorities are currently working on the 4th part. Ranca also has a chairlift that serves three ski slopes located at the foot of Papusa Peak. The ski season begins in November and ends in May.
At Ranca and in the areas around the resort, the air currents favor paragliding. Papusa Peak, Magura Peak, Cerbul Peak are just some of the locations used by paragliding enthusiasts.
Do you like Transalpina? Read an article about Transfagarasan – the most beautiful road in Romania