Transalpina Highway (DN67C), at an altitude of 2,145 meters (Pasul Urdele), is the highest altitude road in Romania. The other high altitude road in Romania is Transfagarasan.
With a length of 146 km, it goes trough the Carpathian Mountains, connects the towns of Novaci and Sebes and crosses in total 4 counties: Valcea, Gorj, Sibiu and Alba.
Some sources say that the original mountain road was built by the Roman legions during the wars with the Dacians to conquer Sarmizegetusa (the capital city of Roman Dacia) at the beginning of the 2nd century. It was also the shepherds’ road, called „The Devil’s Path”, where sheep were brought for the winter period, on the Wallachia undulating plains. But afterward, the road was forgotten.
This magnificent road was rebuilt under King Carol II and during World War II by German troops, and it is called ”The King’s Road” by the Romanians. In 2007, a public works project set out to modernize the Transalpina Highway by paving the roads and making it easier for tourists to enjoy the highest altitude highway in the country. The construction was finally completed in April of 2012.
Furthermore, a story has it that Nicolae Ceauşescu had the Transfagarasan Road (DN7C) built during the communist regime just to surpass the Transalpina.
When to visit Transalpina highway?
The best period to visit this amazing mountain road is during summer when all of its sections are open. For safety reasons, Transalpina, just like its brother-road Transfaragarsan, has a few areas closed during the cold winter months but it can be closed anytime when the access is not cleared of snow. Nevertheless, if you are interested in having a unique and exciting experience, and if your schedule allows it, you should try and visit the region in mid/late autumn.
This is when all the trees change the pigmentation of their leaves so you will be in for an explosion of beautiful colors, as the setting will be painted in shades of brown, orange, yellow, red, copper, etc.
What you might not be aware of is that the road possesses a unique characteristic: it can take you close to the clouds, and even beyond them – that is how high it goes.
Sureanu Ski resort, one of the newest ski areas in Romania, opened for public in 2009 in the Sureanu Mountains, county of Alba. The 11 ski slopes are found under two of the highest peaks in the Sureanu Mountains: Sureanu Peak (2,059 m) and Patru Peak (2,103 m).