Last summer, in August 2022 and in August 2021, I had unforgettable experiences traveling to one of the most beautiful places in Romania: To Transalpina, or Transalpine.
You probably heard stories about the landscapes in Romania and amazing sceneries, some unique in the world.
In this post, you will take a trip with me between the clouds. Literally.
My natal town is less than 40km from Transalpina Road, also known as DN67C. It’s a beautiful road, 148km in length connecting Sebes in the north with Navaci in the south. All road is gorgeous, but the crown jewel is about 30km of road, which makes this one of the highest roads in Romania, with the highest point in Urdele Pass of 2145m.
In this post, I want to share my experience with you covering the jewel of the crown, the 30km of Transalpinean Road, from DN67C Intersection at Obarsa Lotrului with DN7A (as marked in the below picture) to Ranca Station (and ski resort). As marked between the blue lines, this road is about, as mentioned before, 30km in length and goes up to 2145m in Urdele pass.
Also, the 30km road which goes through the Urdele pass is closed for about nine months a year due to extreme snow heights. The snow completely melts about at the end of June or July, and the road would be again covered in snow from mid-September – the beginning of October all the way to next year’s end of June or July.
Because of this, the road would be accessible only during the hottest months of summer.
To go with a car to Urdele Pass, you need to ensure that your vehicle does not have any mechanical problems as there will be a long road going up, abrupt, and with many curves. Small-engine cars may have issues going up this road—at least in the direction coming from Sebes.
As you go up, you will enjoy many cone forests up to a height of about 1500m above sea level. As the temperatures drop extremely much (from 35-40 degrees Celsius during summertime to a maximum of 16-20 degrees at peak height), there would be no forests or tall trees above a threshold point.
As you continue your journey to the top, the landscape becomes legendary as there is nothing to obstruct your view to see all the mountains and hills on a range of tens of kilometers.
A few hundred meters before the Voineasa center (as you come from the Sebes side), you will be able to see a small lake on your left (which is frozen most of the year). I am not sure if this is a glacial lake or not, but the landscape with the lake is impressive.
Here are two photos of the lake and the landscape.
Only by looking at these two images I can feel a strong chilly wind blowing up the crest of the ridge. If you drop an empty bag, this will fly straight up.
But the interesting fact is that a few hundred meters after passing the Voineasa Centre, another landscape comes into the scenery, and there was no wind at all.
I was even able to lift off my drone. (more about that later).
No more than 200 meters from Voineasa Centre, there are two open land fields where you can freely park your car and enjoy the ultimate landscape experience.
The above image was captured from that point and is the landscape to see on the left side.
As well, the below image is another panoramic shot of the landscape you see on the right side. Do you see those thick clouds? We are going to have a walk through them later.
On the place with these two fantastic landscapes you see, I was stationed for a few hours, having a barbeque with my family and my partner. It was an incredible experience to stay there and feel the fresh chilly mountain air, where the temperatures around Romania were topping 40 degrees Celsius; I was chilling at around 16-17 degrees.
To continue sharing my experience in Transalpina, after the barbeque, we continued the road. The road continues into the valley from the land fields and goes up the other mountain straight into the clouds (and above).
The interesting point is that once I got to the edge of the clouds, I could see a dozen cars parked everywhere possible, even one way of the road being blocked, only for people to enjoy the amazing clouds where you can literally touch them and go into them.
The clouds were so thick that, once in them, you could not see anything around. It is like the thickest fog you will ever go into. But no, it is not fog; those are fully formed clouds. The altitude remains above 2000m.
In the vicinity, there is a sheepfold. What a beautiful place to be…
There are no words to describe such an experience with the clouds. It’s amazing when you travel on a plane, and you get straight into clouds, but to be there, to feel the fresh air and literally get into them, it’s a divine experience.
And that’s me, Gabriel Mihalcea, taking photos of the clouds (I’m so silly) – This image was captured by my partner Andrea and sent to me for this post.
Furthermore, we continued our trip and descended, where the road went straight into the clouds for a few kilometers, and we had to travel at a low speed because the visibility was nearly zero.
We were unable to stop into the clouds for more pictures, but I have one after we left (just before getting with the car into the clouds); You won’t see much through it.
Once we went below the clouds, we found a parking space, and I was able to capture another panoramic image, where we could beautifully see Ranca Town. About nearly the whole town is made of hotels, motels, chalets, etc.
That is a beautiful tourist attraction, particularly during the winter, at the Ranca ski resort. The road may be accessible all year round up to that point, coming out from the Novaci direction.
I don’t have much information about the ski resort as I’ve never been there. Can you believe this? I missed out so much with such unique places to visit in Romania and relatively not far from my home… I missed out so much…
But I don’t want to end this post here. There is so much more I want to share. Up until this point, I shared my experience in a timeline manner.
Now, I want to share a few more things.
To follow up on the Urdele pass, I launched my FPV drone and filmed a bit on the land field I was on. Unfortunately, it’s a bit difficult to upload some videos here, but I embedded them from YouTube.
In the meantime, I also captured some screens with the scenery seen from my drone.
The below image is from my drone at the edge of the clouds, located about 2 kilometers on the right side of the land field, as seen in the panoramic image describing the location as such.
Voineasa Center can be seen at the very end of the road in the following two images. It is about the highest road point with a large restaurant and shopping stalls on the side. In both images, it’s barely visible, but the idea was to share the stunning landscape.
Do you remember the road which goes into the clouds? Here is a drone shot of it.
And in the last drone picture, if you can see from the center of the image to the left, there is a small red dot – that is our family car and is the first field platform you can stop and enjoy the view. At the corner of the road, if you notice, you can go straight forward on the ridge of that mountain, which is a large field you can camp in.
Furthermore, on a related note, I do have a few drone footage uploaded on YouTube from Transalpina (captured with my FPV drone) and two cinematic videos I had created.
They are not the best, but still, as that is part of my trip, I want to share them here, just in case you love this location and you want to see more of it, from another perspective.
All of the above videos are recorded by me, Gabriel Mihalcea (Lovelyscape), in Transalpina, Romania.
Well, I think I am about to come to the end of this post. I hope you did enjoy reading it, and it was my full experience. I could write more, but I don’t want to bore off anyone. I do have more travel experiences to share, including on Transfagarasan, which is considered one of the most beautiful roads in the world.
Just to point this out, I took all the photographs and videos, lovelyscape (Gabriel Mihalcea), on my trips to Transalpina, Romania, in August 2021 and August 2022- Except the one image which was captured by my partner of me with the clouds.
Thank you very much for reading this and supporting me in my journey here. I wish you all the best, and more will be shared soon. Take care and stay safe!
This post was originally written and published by me, Gabriel Mihalcea (lovelyscape), on PeakD and then updated and reuploaded here