Transalpina – take a drive above the clouds

If you like adrenalin and unique places, then probably a trip on Transalpina is the kind of experience you are looking for. The road has been officially opened again although it has the “under construction” status, so the necessary restrictions should apply.

Transalpina is the road that is situated at the highest altitude in Romania, as well as in the whole Carpathian chain, both in Romania and abroad. The highest altitude it reaches is 2145m in the Urdele Pass. Transalpina crosses the Parang Mountains from N to S, linking Transylvania and Oltenia, going in parallel with the Olt Valley and Jiu Valley in between which there are the two villages Saliste in the Sibiu County and Novaci in the Gorj County.

The name of the road comes from the Latin “Transalpina” (the country beyond the mountains) as Tara Romaneasca (“The Romanian Country” – a former region of Romania) used to be called in the old Latin texts and on the old maps. It is also called “The Kings’ Road” because king Carol II inaugurated it himself together with the Royal Family in 1938 after its completion together with the Royal Family.

Although it’s situated at a higher altitude and it is said that it’s more beautiful than the Transfagarasan road, it is still less known because even if it’s considered a National Road, it has never been asphalted before 2009.

Transalpina has been built by the roman armies on their way to Sarmisegetusa, paved by King Carol II after 1930 and rehabilitated by the Germans during the Second World War after being forgotten for centuries. Nowadays it offers spectacular views and a challenging drive for the adrenalin enthusiasts.

The fact that it has been forgotten and it has become very hard to drive on helped Transalpina keep its wilderness and special charm untouched, unlike many other places in Romania. It is one of the only roads in Romania where you can actually drive up to the clouds and even above them.