Transfagarasan Road (national road 7C) is the best way of crossing the Fagaras Mountains (Transylvanian Alps) with a car.
After the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, Ceausescu, being afraid of a Soviet invasion, ordered the building of a strategic road, allowing the transfer of troops and munitions from one side of the Carpathians to the other. The construction of the road took more than 4 years, from March 1970 until the 20th of September, 1974. Transfagarasan was built mainly by the army, the human and material costs being enormous. The road, inaugurated by the dictator, is uneconomic for goods transportation but is a fascinating tourist route, representing throughout summers the most impressive and spectacular way of crossing the Carpathians. The 2-lane road starts in Curtea de Arges and arrives after 30km at Vidraru Dam, the point toward “The Road of the Sky.”
The dam, built in 1966, represents one of the biggest hydrological constructions in Romania. Located between the rocks of the Frunti and Albinei Mountains, the dam is 166m high, 307m long and 100m deep.
The road continues toward the glacial Capra Valley, passing by Capra chalet and Capra waterfall. Through a tunnel, the road pierces the main ridge of the Fagaras Mountain, reaching Balea Lake, the biggest glacial lake in Fagaras. From here the road goes down to Cartisoara village, passing by Balea waterfall. Cartisoara village is located 50km east of Sibiu.
Closed from November to July because of the heavy snow, Transfagarasan road, with its splendid landscapes, crosses the central area of the highest and widest mountains in Romania. A journey on this road for about 130km (from Curtea de Arges to Cartisoara village) will be unforgettable. In 2009, the famous team of Top Gear experienced the trip, and Jeremy Clarkson called it “the best road in the world.”