TransBucegi Road – from Hell to Heaven

Exactly 1 year 10 days 23 hours and 20 minutes ago, I saw the death with my eyes….. literally. It was almost 9 pm and we were heading to Pestera, coming from Sinaia. When the most terrible fog I’ve ever seen (and believe me I’ve seen quite a few) surrounded us right on top of Bucegi Mountains. At first you could have seen a meter in front of the car, but within minutes a milky fog made it very difficult to see 5 centimeters ahead. Not even the best car in the world or the most advanced lighting systems don’t mess up with Mother Nature. It was the first time in my life when I blocked. Imagine us driving on top of the mountain surrounded by fog, hauls on both sides of the road and barely seeing anything. Continuing blindly ahead or turning back the car on the winding foggy road ….none of the ideas was better. We were on TransBucegi road, the third highest road in Romania, after Transalpina and Transfagarasan.

transbucegi gps

If there was something that could save us, it was a miracle. Alex glued his chair to the wheel and drove the car following the line from the middle of the road which was barely visible. I pulled myself together and I noticed that GPS was still seeing the road, and also Google Maps route was visible on my mobile. And I heard myself speaking: take a turn to the right, afterwards take a left. After a few minutes –the longest of my life, the road began to descend and fog to spread out until it became acceptable and we arrived safely at the hotel.

The next day, we visited the amazing Ialomita cave-monastery to light a candle and thank God that we are still alive.

In order to return home, we had 2 options through the middle of forest via Moroeni or on the same hell road. Speaking with the locals, we understood that history could repeat on any of them, so we chose to face our fear and return on the same route, this time at noon on a bright sunny weather. And we weren’t sorry. We discovered one of the most beautiful road in Romania!On Transbucegi Romania

It was totally different than the ones we’ve beaten before. A feeling of joy and happiness surrounded us. Like we were in paradise. It’s hard to describe it in words. It was WOW! I think the best would be to go to see it … a SUNNY day :). And until then, live each day as if it was your last! This is how we do it since then.

Transbucegi view

Transbucegi Road Romania

Since we discovered it, we returned to Transbucegi a few times in different seasons and it always wows us. It’s only a few hours from Bucharest and we usually go on weekends. If you are looking for mountain trails and fresh air, this is for you. We have been testing accommodation in the area over the years, and although the offer is not very rich, I hope our experience will help you.

The best accommodation option in Transbucegi is the Pestera Hotel, at 1610 meters altitude, surrounded by mountains all around. The hotel has 4 stars and the rooms have been recently renovated and upgraded. It has a swimming pool and the breakfast buffet is delicious. Also, the restaurant has amazing dishes. It’s pretty hard to find free rooms last minute, so book ahead.

Another hotel where you can stay in the area, also with a swimming pool is the Belmont hotel. We haven’t stayed there, but the reviews on Booking seem to be very good. If you don’t find any place available, you could try to stay in Sinaia – it’s just one hour drive to Transbucegi.

But how do you get to Transbucegi?

Transbucegi road is also called DJ713 and it makes the connection between Sinaia and Bucegi Mountains Plateau. It is easily reachable from Bucharest (3 hours) or from Brasov (2 hours). There is also another way to get there from Bucharest via Moroeni, driving on a bumpy, but picturesque road, in the middle of the forest, but just if you have a 4X4 car. In the summer, this is our favorite drive.

What you can do on Transbucegi?

Besides driving on Transbucegi road, don’t forget you are in the middle of Bucegi Natural Park. So, take some long walks in the middle of the nature.

The easiest one is from Bolboci Chalet to Tatarului Keys on the old road that surrounds Bolboci Lake. A few sandwiches, water and chocolate, plus plenty of fresh air, and an emerald green Bolboci Lake guarantee you a wow day in the middle of nature.

Another route could be from Bolboci Chalet to Podu cu Florile. Twice we started it and twice the rain made us return to the car. We hope that this year we will do it completely.what you can do on transbucegi road

You can also climb by foot (or by cable car) to Babele and Sphinx (famous huge rock formations). Or you can take the hiking trail from Babele to Hotel Pestera under the cable car. The road has a medium difficulty to climb, we did it with a 5-year-old child. One more stop, another promise of a hot chocolate at the chalet… and we arrived in about an hour and a half.

You have longer hikes from Piatra Arsa Chalet: Piatra Arsa – Babele – Sfinxul – Omu Chalet or Piatra Arsa Chalet –  Caraiman Chalet- Crucea Eroilor.

What else can you do on Transbucegi apart hiking trails or driving? Near the Pestera Hotel you have the Ialomicioara Monastery and next to it the Ialomicioara Cave. Don’t miss them!

Bolboci Lake, Scropoasa Lake, Turbaria Laptici, Tatarului Keys and Zanoagei Keys are other natural attractions not to be missed on Transbucegi. For sure, you won’t get bored a few days here.

 If you are planning a vacation here, try to book a hotel in Bucegi National Park (Pestera or Belmont hotel). If you are planning to spend just one day, it’s best to book accommodation in Sinaia (it’s just one hour drive to Transbucegi). In Sinaia you’ll find accommodation for all pockets and preferences, from apartments to boarding houses and hotels. Our favorites in Sinaia are the International Hotel (4 *) in the middle of the city and the Bastion Hotel (3 *) very close to Peles Castle. We stayed at both and the services were ok, but I am convinced that you can find other very good options here.

It’s good to know that Transbucegi is usually open all the year (actually it’s closed just a few days in the winter when it’s heavily snowing), so it’s a very good option for passionate drivers when Transfagarasan road (the best road in the world) and Transalpina road (the highest road in Romania) are closed.

See you on Transbucegi!

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