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The Transfăgărășan, pronounced transfa-gara-shan, is the second highest paved road in Romania. Also called the DN7C, the road is 90 km (55.9 mi) of elevation changes, twists and turns running North-South through the Carpathian Mountains --aka the FÄƒgÄƒraÈ™ Mountains. The road connects the historic regions of Transylvania and Wallachia. This motorcycle route from Sibiu to PiteÅŸti is 200 km (124.3 mi) of riding in 5 hours. Follow the route to the start of the Transfăgărășan just South of CârÅ£iÅŸoara where the joy riding begins.
Start in Sibiu, a city of 155,000 people, located in Transylvania 282 km (175.3 mi) Northwest of Bucharest. The old city of Sibiu was ranked as the 8th most idyllic place to live in Europe by Forbes magazine in 2008. The area is the most visited in Romania and holds some of the best preserved historical sites in the country dating back as far as the 13th century. While in Sibiu, a trip to the Brukenthal National Museum will give you a chance to learn about the history and arts of Romania. For more information on what to see, where to eat and sleep in Sibiu see: http://www.turism.sibiu.ro/index_en.php
From Sibui you head Southeast to CârÅ£iÅŸoara. To get there go through the town of VeÈ™tem and head East at the first roundabout. You'll pass through the towns of Bradu, Avrig, Porumbacu de Jos and Scoreiu until you reach the Intersection of E68 and DN7C, riders will turn South here. The TransfÄƒgÄƒrÄƒÈ™an starts now. A few minutes down the 'garasan sits the town of CârÅ£iÅŸoara and is the last proper settlement before the challenge and excitement of this road begins. This section of the route is 78.8 km (49 mi) and takes you to the Vidraru Dam and Poenari Castle.
The Vidraru Dam is 166 meters (544.6 ft) high and the arch spans 305 meters (1000.7 ft), the dam has a water reservoir of 465 million cubic meters (16.4 billioncubic feet) and is known as Lake Vidraru. The Vidraru Dam made an appearance in the first episode of series 14, in the BBC TV show Top Gear. The three presenters slept in their supercars overnight while on their way to find the world's best driving road in Romania only to wake up in the shadow of colossal Vidraru Dam.
From Vidraru Dam to Poenari Castle, continue over the Dam Arch then ride Southbound on DN7C for 4 km (2.5 mi). Located on a hill just South of Vidraru Dam are the ruins of Poenari Castle, the fabled home of Vlad III of Wallachia --Vlad the Impaler-- or to many, Dracula. Unlike the Dracula themed Bran Castle located in Bran, BraÅŸov, Romania, Poenari Castle is the real deal. If you're a history lover who enjoys a peaceful walk amidst the beautiful ruins of Dracula's real home, the more authentic Poenari Castle is the place to be.
Photo credit: www.vampires.com
From Poenari Castle to Curtea de ArgeÅŸ continue South for 26.5 km (16.47 mi) and you'll pass through the towns of Corbeni, Rotunda, OeÅŸti, and AlbeÅŸtii de ArgeÅŸ.
Curtea de ArgeÅŸ has been the capital of Wallachia since the 13th century. This municipality of 32,500 people on the ArgeÅŸ River is home to several beautiful sites including a 16th century monastery at The Cathedral of Curtea de ArgeÈ™ and many other medieval churches.
From Curtea de AgreÅŸ to PiteÅŸti continue on the DN7C South for 37.3 km (23.2 mi).
PiteÅŸti is the capital and largest city of ArgeÅŸ and is home to 148,000 people. Each year during springtime, PiteÅŸti is host to the Simfonia lalelelor --the "Tulip Symphony". Tulips were introduced locally in 1972, when around 3,000 bulbs were planted here. PiteÅŸti consequently acquired a reputation as a tulip-growing area, and the flower-themed festival was first organized in 1978. For more information on what to see, where to eat and sleep in PiteÅŸti see: http://www.primariapitesti.ro
The ride on the TransfÄƒgÄƒrÄƒÈ™an is breathtaking; it is no wonder Top Gear named it the best driving road on Earth. Steeped in history, the Transylvanian area of Romania is fascinating with innumerable things to see and experience. Immerse yourself in riding the 'garasan's 200 km (miles) of twisties from Sibiu to PiteÅŸti in a day and do it again in the opposite direction the next. Enjoy the ride, EatSleepRIDE!
Also called the best driving road on Earth by Top Gear, click here to see the Stelvio Pass, the previous title holder: