Bucharest – Curtea de Arges – Poienari – Vidraru – Balea Lake
Meeting at 8:00 am at your hotel from Bucharest, we stop after 2 hours at one of the most beautiful monasteries in Romania. Curtea de Arges Monastery was built in the XVI century and reconstructed between 1875 and 1885. Here you will learn about the myth of Manole and you’ll see the tombs of King Ferdinand, King Carol I, Queen Maria and Queen Elisabeth. Built in the Byzantine architectural style, with Moorish arabesques, the building resembles a mausoleum.
The challenge of the day will be climbing 1480 steps to admire Poienari Fortress and the Arges Valley. The real fortress of Vlad Tepes is located on the top of the mountain. By the view worth the effort. Built around 13th century was repaired and consolidated by Vlad the Impaler, making it one of his main fortresses.
We start crossing the Fagaras Mountains on the “best road in the world” (Top Gear – BBC) at Vidraru Dam, the biggest arch dam in Romania. Completed in 1966 on Arges river, the dam was built with the primary purpose to produce hydroelectricity. The dam’s height is 166 meters, the arch length 305 meters and it can store 465 million cubic meters of water.
Transfagarasan Road is open only during summer time. During winter time, we can go only to Capra Chalet. The road was built between 1970 and 1974 during the rule of Nicolae Ceausescu as a response to the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union. They used 6.000 tons of dynamite and 40 lives were lost. It is the second-highest paved road in the country after the Transalpina, climbing to an altitude of 2,042 meters. It is a winding road with long S-curves and sharp descents. Near the highest point, at Balea Lake, the road passes through Balea Tunnel, the longest road tunnel in Romania (884 m). The Transfagarasan was featured in a segment of the British TV show Top Gear, in the first episode of Series 14 (November 2009). Jeremy Clarkson proclaimed that the Transfagarasan was “the best road in the world”.