Day trip to Transalpina

Welcome to Alba Iulia, The Other Capital.
Visit the largest citadel in Romania.
Transalpina road
Transalpina road by Bogdan Mujescu under Creative Commons license
Transalpina road
Transalpina road by Raoul Pop under Creative Commons license
Transalpina road
Transalpina road by Dan Marinescu under Creative Commons license
Transalpina road
Transalpina road by Paula Francos Anllo under Creative Commons license

It is the highest causeway in Romania, reaching its peak altitude of 2145 m in the Urdele mountain pass, and crosses through four counties – Gorj, Valcea, Sibiu, and Alba – cutting across the Parang Mountains from south to north. While it is known for a fact that its origins go back in time hundreds, if not thousands of years, there are no clear records about how it was first built.

There are some scholars, though, who believe it to have been built as early as during the Roman wars against the Dacians, as historical maps exist that seem to mention it as the “IV Roman strategic corridor”. In its more recent history, its strategic importance was acknowledge by king Carol II, who had it rehabilitated between 1934 and 1935 – and which earned it the name of The King’s Highway – and, a few years later, by Nazi Germans too, who made further improvements to the road for military purposes.

Transalpina road is the most elevated road in Romania and in the entire chain of the Carpathian Mountains, both in the country and beyond, reaching a maximum altitude (2145 m) in the Urdele Gorge. Although more elevated, older and arguably more impressive than Transfagarasan, the Transalpina is less known in comparison the former. Though it is classified as a national road DN 67C, it was not until 2009 that it was properly paved. The road built by the Romans connects the two Romanian traditional regions Transylvania and Oltenia.

Transalpina was paved with stone by King Charles II of Romania after in the 30s and rebuilt by the Germans in the World War II, after which it was forgotten by the Romanian authorities. Because it was left in a state of disuse, it became difficult to travel with regular cars. That is why the road remained untouched, thus preserving the wilderness and a certain charm. It is among the few roads in the country where you can reach the clouds and even go beyond. Transalpina is open between June and October, unless meteorological conditions prevent it. Nearby attractions: Sureanu Ski resort, one of the newest ski areas in Romania, opened for public in 2009 in the Sureanu Mountains in the county of Alba.

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