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The picturesque route through valleys and gorges of the Romanian Carpathian Mountains

The topic of motorcycle routes in Romania usually focuses on the Transalpina and the Transfăgărășan road, which are listed in almost every ranking of the best routes in Europe. But not only these routes attract so many motorcyclists. It is enough just to drill into map of this country. You will see the rolling ribbon of roads, cutting through the mountain passes, forests, canyons and valleys filled with the river meanders. All that lives up the spirit of adventure.

When we had been planning our expedition to the Balkans, in Romania we were supposed only to pass the Transalpina and head to Serbia. But it turned out that already in Hungary, our rear tyre started to tear on the whole perimeter (Mitas E-08 – totally new, bought before the departure). It was very unsettling, but just thanks to this problem, we not only rode through the Transalpina, but also the Transfăgărășan road and other excellent Romanian roads. All of them, when trying to buy new tyre somewhere. Mitas was tearing more and more and still with the shiver on the neck, we were getting to know more and more interesting gorges, valleys and passes of the Romanian Carpathian Mountains.

This way, we got to know the group of Serbian motorcyclists, who were going home from the Transfăgărășan road. They offered their help with the purchase of the tyre in their country. The best part of the route that we covered together in Romania started from the southern side of the Transfăgărășan road in Curtea de Arges, and finished in Petrosani.

 

See a short movie from this road:

 

 

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The route from Curtea de Arges to Petrosani

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| km
The Valley of Olt river: 45.293124, 24.293561
Bradisor dam: 45.354989, 24.104733
The Groapa Seaca pass: 45.413229, 23.591337
The valley of Jiu river: 45.410571, 23.482933
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The Valley of Olt river
Brezoi, Vâlcea County, Romania
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Bradisor dam
Brezoi, Vâlcea County, Romania
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The Groapa Seaca pass
Brezoi, Vâlcea County, Romania
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The valley of Jiu river
Brezoi, Vâlcea County, Romania

 

Through the valley of Olt River

The route is 175 km long and it can be divided into 3 stages. The first, it is a part of road from Curtea de Arges to Brezoi town. You ride through the picturesque part of the gorges of the Olt River – Turnu Roşu Pass. This gorge joins Transylvania with Wallachia. It has been important communication route since ancient times, because the Roman legions traveled across this route, marching to Dacia. During the ride, Cozia Mountain range, covered with forest, arises on the horizon. The views are beautiful, but also heavy traffic with huge amount of TIR lorries.

 

Gorge in Romania
The water body on the dam against a background of the Cozia National Park

Przełom Czerwonej Wieży

Droga w dolinie rzeki Aluty

Przełom rzeki Aluty

Przełom rzeki Aluty

Przełom rzeki Aluty

 

Through the valley of Lotru River

The road no. 7A is a second stage of route. This road leads through the valley of Lotru river from Brezoi to the crossroad with the road 67C, which is the famous Transalpina. The road climbs through the Latoritei Mountain range along the river, on which there are built dams, that create amazingly charming water bodies, surrounded by the mountain summits. In this part of the route, you can admire 3 dams built in the seventies and eighties on the Lotru river. The first that we came across is Bradisor. A bit further, there is a smaller one – Malaia, and while riding further, we came across the dam by the artificial Vidra Lake.

The traffic isn’t heavy in this part of route, at least it wasn’t in 2013 when we were there. Romania is changing very fast now. Roads, that were only metalled in the past, now there are covered with asphalt and the places that were visited by small amount of visitors, become open for everyone. On the Transaplina and Transfăgărășan road, we noticed that the Romanians like having picnics by the picturesque roads. We saw whole families, who were spending their weekends this way.

 

Bradisor dam in Romania
Bradisor dam

Rumunia motocyklem

 

Through the valley of Jiu River

The last stage of the picturesque route through the gorges of the Romanian Carpathian Mountains is a part of road through the valley of Jiu River and Groapa Seaca pass. The beginning of this stage is a ride through the crossroad, that cuts the Transalpina and heading Petrosani between the mountain summits of Sureanu and Parang mountains. With many bends, the road climbs to the maximum height of 1575 m a.s.l. And then falling, it changes also the landscape and from the mountain road turns into fabulous gorge with the thin road and Jiet River that flows charmingly along the road. There is a minimal traffic on this part, the road is winding and rich in beautiful views.

 

The Groapa Seaca pass
The Groapa Seaca pass (1575 m a.s.l.)
The valley of Jiu river
The valley of Jiu River

Dolina Jiu

Dolina rzeki Jiu

Dolina Jiu

See full gallery of Romania »

 

 

Info about route:

Lenght 175 km
Start / end Curtea de Arges / Petroszany (Petrosani)
Surface Different surface, mostly asphalt of good quality, sometimes short metalled parts
Hazards Here and there a sand on the asphalt
Traffic Heavy on the road to Brezoi, then minimal
Attractions on the way The water dams
Max altitude 1 575 m a.s.l.

 

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Follow Joki:
A digital nomad, he likes being on the road, enjoys open, uninhabited spaces. At the same time, Joki keeps track of technological inventions and willingly tests gizmos in the field.

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