Besides famous and international Transfăgărăşan mountain pass, there are some amazing roads in Romania that wait for you to discover them. Being paved or dirt roads, requiring 4WD or just normal street car, with amazing views or hiding at big altitude in deep forests, they all have something to offer.
Sometimes you follow a road for its beauty, sometimes for what you will find on your way and other times you just go for the feeling.
Here is a top of my favorite roads in Romania, most of them I have tried and the others and on my list.
1. Transfăgărăşan (Road 7C)- the best road in Romania
It is consider one of the most amazing road in the world. It has it all – the adrenaline, the view, the wow, the story, the history. On the other side, it is overcrowded and this can ruin everything.
The name comes from “trans” + “Făgăraş” which means over Făgăraş Mountains.
On the way you find a lot of other places to visit like: Bâlea Waterfall, Bâlea Lake, Caprei Waterfall, Vidraru Lake.
The road is usually very good, but there is always the element of weather. It can rain or get cloudy really fast. Add the element of human nature – in weekends it is so crowded that a line of cars is kilometers long, and you can not move further, or even worst, get stuck in the tunnel.
Advice: if you want some adrenaline and something amazing and unique, don’t miss Transfăgărăşan Road, but you have been advised not to come during weekend (Friday to Sunday).
Keep in mind that the road is opened from the beginning of June to end of September.
Official name DN 7C and it connects Bascov (Argeş) to Cârţişoara (Sibiu) running approx. 150 km.
I know you will not understand this, but it is better to cross from Transylvania to Muntenia (from North to South) , than the other way around. The Transylvanian side is more spectacular, and it has a greater impact when you go up from this side.
2. Transalpina Road (Road DN 67 C)
This is actually the highest road in Romania. While it is wilder and the drive on the plateau is longer, it can not beat Transfăgărăşan at the wow factor. But still, it is amazing and I would add relaxing.
You really get that feeling of mountain experience, you have time to feel the chill, and you definitely have more panoramic view points.
3. Transrarău (Road 175B and 175A)
Transrarău is a road crossing Rarău Mountains (as the name suggests) in Bucovina area. It connects the Chiril to Pojorâta.
Transrarău reaches 1400 meters altitude and it is a paved road, but be careful because from Chiril there is only one lane for both directions, while from Pojorâta there are 2 lanes. My recommendation is to go from one side to the other, just keep in mind this one lane issue.
The official name of the road is 175B and 175A.
Transrarău itinerary on Toura
4. The Boilers Canyon Road on Danube River (Road 57)
We drove on the Serbian side of the Danube Canyon on our return from Albania, but the Romanian side is just as beautiful. You can see our itinerary on Toura in the last day
5. Transbucegi (Road 713)
Even though the name suggests, the road does not cross a mountain, it just goes up to the top. But it is not any mountain, it is Bucegi, one of the most spectacular and mysterious mountains in Romania.
The road will take you to the Piatra Arsa and from there yo can reach Babele and Sfinx and the Cross.
Because this is the access road to Pestera Hotel, probably it is open all year round, so if you want to have some winter experience, you should try it.
6. Bicaz Pass (Road 12C)
Bicaz Pass is amazing because it is carved in Hăşmaşu Mare Mountains at 1256 m and created the famous and amazing Bicaz Gorges.
7. Culoarul Rucar Bran (Road DN73)
This road is not famous for the altitude or the dangerous bends, it is more about the winding roads with the mountains on each side, different scene every turn and passes the famous Bran Castle.
The mountain pass between Rucăr and Bran it is one of those roads that is amazing in any season
On the left and right of Rucar – Bran Pass you have a lot of touristic villages and a lot of places to see. Villages like: Moeciu, Magura, Fundata, Bran, Pestera, Sirnea, Rucar can offer some of the most amazing views and accommodation. I think Bran area is the second most appreciated area for holiday after Prahova Valley.
What I find most interesting about this place is the 2 seasons alternations visible with the naked eye.
Also you have places like Bran Castle, Dambovicioara Gorges, Dino Park, Rasnov Citadel, Rasnoavei Gorges, Prapastiile Zarnestilor, Valea Cetatii Cave and also some mountain trails in Piatra Craiului and Bucegi Mountains.
8. Drive on the shores of Lake Bicaz (Road DN 15)
Lake Bicaz is a man-made lake on Bistriţa River, close to Bicaz Gorges. The road DN 15windes on the sores of the Lake Bicaz, passing through some very nice villages. We had the chance to see an amazing sunset from here.
9. Cheia Pass (Road DN 1A)
Bratocea Pass or Cheia Pass (1263 m)- in Ciucaş Mountains. It is an alternative road connecting Bucharest to Brasov, it is less crowded than the famous Prahova Valley and in my opinion it is also more beautiful and wild. It is also known as Cheia – in translation “The Key” because of the hairpin road that resembles a key. A stop here is more than welcomed , even a picnic would be great.
10. Road to Poiana Brasov (DN 1E)
The road starts from Braşov and winds up into Postăvaru Mountains to Poiana Braşov – one of the most famous ski resorts in the country.
The road offers some amazing views over the old city of Braşov .
11. Prislop Pass
Prislop Pass is a mountain road between Rodnei Mountains and Maramures Mountains reaching 1416m altitude at Prislop Monastery.
The Road connects Maramures to Moldova (from Borsa to Carlibaba) and it is a very wild area with amazing view over the surrounding mountains.
12. Trasursoaia (Road 1R)
Transursoaia is a mountain road in Apuseni National Park, connecting Albac with Belis and passing through some amazing remote villages in the area.
13. Prahova Valley / Predeal Pass (Road DN 1)
Prahova Valley is the most touristic road in Romania. What should take 2,5- 3 hours from Bucharest to Brasov, sometimes can take 6 to 8 hours due to road blocks, especially on weekends.
Valea Prahovei has Bucegi Mountains on one side and Baiului Mountains on the other side. Bucegi Mountains are one of the most spectacular Mountains in Romania, one place covered in mystery and strange phenomena. Bucegi is also home for Babele and Sfinx monuments .
Prahova Valley is home to the most popular holiday destinations in Romania with different cities and attractions.
Cities on Prahova Valley that worth visit Sinaia, Busteni, Predeal, Azuga.
There are also some amazing castles: Peles Castle and Cantacuzino Castle and the 120 years old winery at Rhein&Cie in Azuga.
There are a lot of options for winter sports and also for summer hiking. You can use the cable car in Busteni or Sinaia, or the chairlift in Sinaia.
Also nearby is the Transbucegi Road taking you in the hearth of the Bucegi Mountains.
14. Jiului Gorges (Road DN66 / E79)
The Road takes you into the Gorges created by River Jiu and creates The Defileul Jiului National Park
15. Olt Valley (DN 7 / E81)
From all the roads in Romania, this it is probably the busiest one. Due to the lack of highways in Romania, this is the main road to go from Bucharest to the west of the country and the Europe. You will find a lot of trucks speeding here, often there are accidents, but don’t let this discourage you.
16. Petrosani – Obarsia Lotrului – Voineasa (Road DN 7A)
This road crosses the famous Transalpina Road at Obarsia Lotrului, but it offers different kind of scenery. The road starts in Petrosani, then you poass Jietului Gorges and Waterfall.
From here the road takes you high on the mountain, reaching Obarsia Lotrului and crossing roads with Transalpina.
Then you reach Voineasa Lake.
17. Mestecanis Pass (1096 m) (Road DN17 / E58)
Mestecanis Pass is the road to Bucovina, to this timeless place where life has it’s undisturbed rhythm and where beauty is taken for granted.
18. TransSemenic (Road DJ 582)
TransSemenic is the road crossing Semenic Mountains. We started from Resita, then the road takes you high on the plateau where you see a wood carving exposition.
From the DJ 582, you make a right on DJ582 E to a mountain resort and to reach the Semenic Peak.
After this little hiking trip you stop in Garana Village – one of the most beautiful villages in Romania.
And one last stop is at the Lake Trei Ape – in translation “three waters”.
Transsemenic it is not a high altitude road, so no dramatic cliffs, gorges, bird’s eye view, but instead it has a very calming effect, a very serene state of mind. We even stayed one night here at the “La Popasul Cerbului” very close to Semenic Peak, and the views are just amazing.
19. Road through Dâmbovicioarei Gorges (Road DJ 730)
Dâmbovicioarei Gorges are an amazing canyon carved in the rock by Dâmbovicioara River.
20. Mușat Pass (Road DN 2D)
Road DN 2D is crossing from Transylvania (Targu Secuiesc) to Moldova (Vrancea) crossing the National Park Vrancea . The most interesting part of the road is Ojdula – Gresu – Lepsa.
21. Buzau Pass – drive on the shores of Lake Siriu (DN 10)
The road starts in Buzau and passes the mountains into Brasov. The first stop should be at muddy volcanos – a place so unique, that is does not look from this world.
A short hike away from DN 10 road you will find Pruncea Waterfall.
The true gem of this road is Lake Siriu.
You can visit “Valea Zimbrilor Vama Buzaului” sanctuary one of the few aurochs sanctuaries in Romania.
One last stop you can make on the road to Brasov is Prejmer Fortified Church.
Buzau Pass (DN 10) it can be done in any season, we prefer spring and autumn beauces it it an area with a loft of fruit trees that bloom in spring and a lot of forest to be intoxicated by autumn colors.
22. Tihuta Pass (Road DN 17 / E58)
Tihuta pass in a mountain pass between Bârgău Mountains and Călimani mountains that reaches 1201 m altitude.
The road starts in Vatra Dornei and just before starting the ascend you can stop for a walk in Poaina Stampei Peat Bog.
After passing Piatra Fantanele, you can make a detour to Lake Colibita
23. TransApuseni (Road DJ 108 C / DJ 763)
This is an off road itinerary that passes Apuseni Mountains. We did it with a small car (Volkswagen Golf), but it has it’s challenges.
As you leave Rachitele on this adventurous road, you can stop first at Bride’s Veil Waterfall.
Then the road starts to go up to Doda Pilii on 2 lanes, which become one and at some point the asphalt just stops. Around Padis the road is again with asphalt, and as you go down, you have on your right Crisul Pietros River with some amazing blue water.
TransApuseni is one of the most amazing roads in Romania, specially for those who are looking for a wild area with some spectacular views.
24. Zărneşti – Măgura – Peştera – Moeciu de Jos (DN 112G-58)
Few of the roads in Romania go so fast to such an amazing view.
Magura and Pestera are 2 villages settled on a hill top and surrounded by 2 mountains: Piatra Craiului and Bucegi. The views are amazing , and the road surprising at every turn.
I have to mention that the road between Magura and Pestera can not be done without a 4×4 car, but don’t loose your hope. You can visit with a small car either one of them. For example you can go from Moeciu de Jos to Pestera and back on asphalt road (with one lane), or you can go from Zarnesti to Magura and from there back on a dirt road accessible to small cars. Just do not attempt to go between the 2 villages with a small car because the road is very steep and the water has created deep ditches.
As you start the ascend from Zarnesti, you can have a hike in Prapastiile Zarnestilor – an amazing gorge at the foothill of Piatra Craiului Mountains.
The road to Magura from Zarnesti is accessible with any car .
One you reach the top, you can enjoy the amazing view.
25. Dobruja Gorges (Road DJ 222)
This is the only road in Constanta County to be included in this Top 50 Romanian Roads to drive. The road passes through the Dobruja Gorges.
26. Gutâi Pass (Road DN 18)
27. Baia de Aramă – Valea Cernei – Herculane (Road 67 D)
Before starting this road trip you can make a detour to God’s Bridge at Ponoarele – the second largest natural bridge in Europe – and some amazing clints.
The road starts to go up with view over Mehedinti Mountains. Then you go to down to Cerna Valley.
You can make a detour on Road 66A to Corcoaia Gorges.
Then the road will go side by side with Cerna Valley until you reach Baile Herculane.
28. Oraviţa – Anina – Reşiţa (Road DN57B, DN58)
The road takes you through National Park Cheile Nerei and National park Semenic-Cheile Carasului.
The first stop would be at Bigar Waterfall, classified as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world.
In Resita you can walk in the outdoor museum of steam locomotive .
29. Zarnesti – Poaina Marului – Sinca Veche (Road 73A)
Poiana Marului is one of those villages nestled on the hills with amazing 360 view over mountains.
On the road you can stop to see the Viaduct at Sinca Noua, the temple at Sinca Veche or the water mill at Ohaba.
30. Oituz Pass (Road DN 11)
A mountain pass between Nemira Mountains and Vrancei Mountains that reaches 866 meters altitude.
31. Tuşnad Pass (Road DN 12 / E578)
Tusnad Pass is a low altitude pass (640 m) in an area with many post-volcanic activity.
32. Bucin Pass (Road DN 13B)
After passing Bucin Pass , you arrive in Praid and Sovata, and you can visit Salt mine, Salt Hill and Sovata Lakes.
33. Road to Târsa
34. Borsec Pass / Creanga Pass (Road DN 15)
You can stop in Tusnad for some spring water or for a nice walk.
35. Trei Movile Pass and Ciumarna Pass (Road DN 17A)
This road takes you in the heart of Bucovina.
36. Ghimeş Pass (Road 12A)
37. Road to Plaiul Nucului (Road 203K)
38. Casin Pass (Road DN 11B)
39. Mureșul Superior Gorge (Road DN 15 / E578)
40. Şetref Pass (17C)
41. Neteda Pass (1039 m)
In our itinerary we went from Surdesti to Plopis, where we saw 2 of the UNESCO Wooden Churches, from there to Cavnic on road DJ184and from there to Wooden Church in Budesti and to the picturesque village of Breb on road DJ 109F.
you officially enter the magical land of Maramures, a place where people are as kind as the food they pun on your table and where the arts and crafts are well kept. When you are in Maramures, you simply know it.
42. Paltinu Lake and Doftana Valley (Road 102I and 101S)
The road starts from Campina on road 102 I, then you reach Paltinu Lake, then from Tesila you take road 101S to Secaria and then Comarnic. This road has some dirt road portions, but nothing you can not do with a small car.
43. Olt Pass / Spring of River Olt (DJ 125)
You pass Mesteacănul Dam an you go up on a dirt road to the spring of River Olt, one of the biggest rivers in Romania. This is one of the off road itineraries I was telling you about.
44. Vâlcan Pass (Road DJ 664)
This is a new project in Hunedoara County to cross Vâlcan Mountains at an altitude of 1621 m between Vâlcan and Schela. The road is only half paved.
45. Road to Biertan and the hilly area of Sibiu (Road 14, road 141)
The road starts in Sighisoara – a UNESCO site and the only inhabited medieval fortress in South-East Europe, then you head to Biertan Village. From here you pass Transylvania hills until you reach SIbiu and ASTRA Museum.
You can find this itinerary on the third day of our Autumn Trip in Transylvania46.
46. Tulcea – Murighiol – Sarichioi – Babadag
this road will take you at the edge of Danube Delta. You get a glimpse of the landscape and an idea of what it can be. But don’t miss the chance to visit the hearth of the Danube Delta for a few days.
The itinerary should start at the Traditional fishing village Museum. From here on you would start to see more deltaic imagery.
47. Cota 1400 Sinaia (Road DC 134)
Road starts in Sinaia and takes you up to altitude 1400.
48. Huta/Fargău Pass (Road DN 19)
You start the road in Sighetul Marmatei where you can visit the Memorial.
Next stop is at Merry Cemetery from Sapanta.
49. Belis Dealu Botii (Road DC 121)
The road takes you on the shore of Belis-Fantanele Lake
50. Sinaia to Targoviste (Road DN 71)
How are the roads in Romania
Romania is lacking in highways and high speed roads, but the scenic roads in Romania are not in short supply. With so many hilly and mountainous geography, the spectacular is just a turn away.
From all the roads in Romania, I appreciate the most the ones that are wild and undiscovered.