- Fortified Citadels
- Transylvanian Saxons
Having some days off work is always tempting to get on the road and escape from the daily routine. This time was about a 3-day road trip in the Carpathians; Bucharest – Sinaia – Brasov – Sighisoara – Sibiu – Transfăgărășan. Enjoyable from a multi-perspective view!
Our first stop was in Sinaia. Located in Prahova valley and less than 2 hours drive from Bucharest, it turned to be one of my favorite places in Romania. Many things to see and do. For sure don’t miss Peles Castle.
This time we didn’t stay a lot in town since we preferred to get a bit of hiking in Piatra Arsa, Bucegi Mt. Trail was quite crowded but really easy.
We had lunch in “Cutitu D’Argint” close to the castle; The policy of the restaurant is simple: Eat as much as you can! Alternatively you can lunch in “Snow”. Also, “Tucano” is highly recommended for a coffee stop.
Brasov is one of the seven Saxon walled citadels (Siebenbürgen) in Transylvania. Only an afternoon to spend so we headed straight to the old town. Pretty lovely walk along the alleys and numerous cafes and restaurants.
An excellent choice for wine and dinner the “Terroirs Boutique du Vin“. Also, really decent and healthy breakfast in “Bistro del Arte“. Both of them highly recommended.
Heading to Sighisoara from Brasov it’s hard to miss (and you shouldn’t!) Rupea Citadel, one of the oldest archaeological sites in Romania. Take a stroll within the fortress, and I am pretty sure you will feel its historical vibe.
Not long after Rupea, we reached Sighisoara another medieval Saxon fortified city dated back to Dacian times. Designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, this perfectly intact 16th-century gem with nine towers and cobbled streets merely is captivating and feels like time traveling.
Worth mentioning that it is, also, the birthplace of Vlad Dracula, also known as Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler).
On the road to Sibiu another really short stop to check out one more of the fortified cities, Medias.
Sibiu was the largest and wealthiest of the seven walled citadels of the Transylvanian Saxons. More cozy and picturesque maintains a distinctly German feeling.
Once again straight to the old city center; all around the “Piata Mare”. Enjoyable and exciting stroll and ample choices for rest.
Exceptional lunch at “La Cuptor” and perfectly located stay in “Hotel Marabella“.
The road was built for military purposes at the initiative of Romania’s last communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu. This dynamite-forged (6.000 tons!!!) road connects two of Romania’s historic provinces Transylvania and Walachia crossing the Făgăraş Mountains.
Top Gear named it as “the Best Driving Road in the World”, and we met many people who got there to test their limits in luxurious Porsche and Ferrari up to bikes. I guess everyone wants a taste of it.
Expect to reach the maximum altitude of 2042 meters at Bâlea Lac, a none-the-less fantastic scenery. Be aware that the road is closed on a 27-kilometer section for 8 months of the year, winter and spring, due to avalanches, rockfall, landslides, etc.
All in all, it was a fantastic experience. With no more days to spend available, we had to skip lots of stuff (castle’s visits, hiking, etc.), but this was only the beginning.
- Avoid weekends; Traffic jams are pretty commons!
- Use the “TPark” app.