If you’re visiting Romania between June and September take this full-day drive from Bucharest on the Transfagarasan Road. You’ll pass through river gorges and along the tops of cliffs, and marvel at the spectacular scenery. See the real Dracula castle!
What to Expect
You’ll leave Bucharest in the morning on a full-day drive that takes you along the Transfagarasan Road through the Arges River gorge and into the Carpathian Mountains.
See Curtea de Arges, the former capital of Wallachia. The town`s strongholds were rebuilt in the 14th century.
Stop at the Poenari Fortress, standing high on a cliff. The fortress, known as the real castle of Dracula, is now in ruins. There are 1,480 steps to reach the top, but the view after the 30-minute climb up is certainly worth the effort. When you reach the top you’ll find that the castle is surprisingly small. One-third of the fortress collapsed and tumbled down the mountainside in 1888.
Follow the road farther north and you’ll arrive at a waterfall and some particularly scenic spots. Eventually you’ll come a tunnel under the Paltinu Ridge. When you exit the tunnel you’ll be at the highest point on the Transfagarasan, at Balea Lake.
This is a glacial lake surrounded by mountain peaks. The first ice hotel in Europe was built on the site in 2006. Since that time it’s rebuilt every December with ice from the frozen lake. Since the road is closed during winter, it can only be reached by cable car from Balea Falls. Usually the hotel remains open until it melts in April.
Continuing on, you'll end up in Cartisoara, where you can visit the Cistercian monastery. The road ends a few miles further north.
- Transport by car/mini-bus
- English-speaking guide/driver
- Fuel and parking fees
What's Not Included
- Meals (approximately EUR 12/person)
- Entrance fees
- Video and photo fees