Romania was a closed communist country until the fall of communism more than 30 years ago. It remains a relatively unknown land for tourists yet it is destined to become one of the most popular in coming years. There is no better time to ride and explore this magical land before mass tourism arrives.
The diversity of Romania is one of its charms. Our tour is designed for you to experience this unique aspect to the fullest. You will ride through the last remaining primeval forest in Europe. It covers a vast 28% of the country. One of the last bastions of large carnivores in Europe. Romania is one of the very few European countries in which the bear, the wolf, and the lynx have never disappeared. Travel through fairytale landscapes packed with picturesque villages, medieval fortresses, traditions, and customs preserved like nowhere else. Here, you will come in contact with a lifestyle long gone in the rest of the continent. Experience blissful summer riding through valleys where you will see farmers using traditional farming methods that have not changed for centuries.
Further north is the magical, time-forgotten Maramures region famous for its Unesco-protected wooden churches and villages. Maramures also has the last great steam train to pass through a mountain forest in Europe, a romantic and unique experience. There are two famous mountain passes linking north and south Romania, a motorcycle rider’s dream.
Transalpina (Route DN67C) winds through the highest motorable mountain pass in Romania, the Urdele Pass, rising over 2,000 meters above sea level. It boasts some steep switchbacks and tremendous views of the Southern Carpathian Mountains. Riding the high passes of Transalpina, you’ll travel through a vast, untouched mountain country and see nomadic shepherds walking alongside their animals. Wild donkeys frequent some sections of the Transalpina looking for treats from travelers.
The second is Transfagarasan (Route DN7C), another breathtaking mountain road. This 150-kilometer road crosses the Fagaras Mountain range pass was built under the order of the dictator Ceausescu who feared attack from the north and needed a way to speedily move his military north. Transfagarasan is an awe-inspiring route offering multiple hairpin switchbacks and dramatic mountain scenery. The British Top Gear team described it as, “the best driving road in the world.”
To the east, Romania offers you long white sandy beaches and the warm clear water of the Black sea. With food and cold drinks served to your sun lounger, it’s the perfect place to relax after a few days of riding.
Transylvania is known for its legends. The Dracula legend was based on Vlad Tepes, a medieval ruler of Transylvania who was notorious for being ruthless. He was known locally as “Vlad Dracula”, “Dracula” meaning “son of the dragon” or “son of the devil” in Romanian. Centuries later, Irish writer Bram Stoker wrote his famous novel “Dracula”, where the local folklore tales and history blended creating a myth of a vampire. Thus the legend was born, and to this day, Transylvania and the Bran Castle are associated with Dracula. Whether you believe in vampires or not, Bran is a beautiful, picturesque mountain town you will visit.
Throughout your tour you will experience the warm hospitality of the Romanian people, stay in beautiful medieval towns and sample the delicious Romanian cuisine and wine. Diverse and unspoiled, we take you back in time. Discover Romania with us.
|TOUR OPERATOR||Big Bike Tours|
[Airport options: Sibiu (SBZ), Cluj-Napoca (CLJ) 180 km, or Bucharest (OTP) 290 km]
|DEPARTURE TIME||The tour will start at 8.30 am. Please be informed, that you arrived at least one day before the tour started in Sibiu. We recommend two days before the tour start.|
|RETURN TIME||The tour will finish about 4/5 pm back in Sibiu, so if you like to fly back the same day to your final destination, you can catch easily any flight from Sibiu after 6 pm and from Cluj-Napoca after 8 pm|
|GEAR||We recommend bringing your gear to be the most comfortable. BUT we also offer helmets, jackets, gloves, and knee guards (European high-quality brands in many different sizes). Please be informed, that we do not offer boots and trousers due to hygienic reasons.|
Please be informed, that we offer the best cost-benefit ratio for motorcycle touring in Romania. You can completely focus on your holiday, the adventure, the riding, and unseen Romania. Come ride with us – the real deal!
Sibiu – Sebes – Cluj Napoca – Breb – Targu Neampt – Focsani – Constanta – Brasov – Curtes de Arges – Sibiu
(Distance: about 2,400 km / 1,500 miles )
Day 1. Sibiu - Transalpina – Sebes (233 km)
We start the day immediately in the action with fantastic mountain views. We ride the 55 km stretch heading south on gentle scenic roads following the river Olt to allow you to become familiar with your bike. After a short coffee break, we head west through the foothills on a smooth curvy, and flowing route through Voineasa and towards the southern end of the mighty Transalpina. The Transalpina is over 100 km of continuous hairpin bends and sweeping curves with incredible scenery left and right. A challenging variety of corner-carving delights. On our way up you will see wild donkeys. We will stop for photos and for you to take in the vast scenery. We then stop for lunch on a beautiful terrace overlooking a gorge. The menu offers traditional Romanian dishes as well as international cuisine. After lunch, we start to descend off Transalpina and head towards the medieval town of Sebes where we will spend the night.
Day 2. Sebes – Apuseni National Park – Cluj Napoca – Country Hotel (223 km)
After breakfast, we ride north to visit the Town of Alba Lulia and the Traseul Celor Trei Fortificații (three fortifications), where three forts were built on top of each other over two millennia.
From there we head west on fast, flowing curvy roads towards the spectacular Apuseni mountains. After a coffee stop where you can sample the local Langos, a type of Romanian pie, we enter the Apuseni National Park, riding through incredible, unspoiled scenery. Nothing has changed here for hundreds of years. Watch how the farmers use their horses for almost every task. Keep an eye out for the deer, wild boar, wolves, and the occasional bear that roam this area. As we exit Apuseni National Park we will have lunch at a rustic restaurant in the hills then continue east through gorgeous countryside to our country hotel near Cluj Napoca – our final destination for the day.
Day 3. Country Hotel – Cluj Napoca – Turda Salt Mine – Breb (276 km)
Today we visit the incredible Turda salt mine. Included in early 2018 on the US magazine Smithsonian’s list of “subterranean wonderlands”, Salina Turda is one of the country’s most spectacular tourist destinations revealing Romania’s underground wonders, and probably one of the most beautiful such places in the world. It houses a theme park, to give you an idea of the size. This has to be seen to be believed.
We then ride north towards the forgotten land of Maramures, probably the prettiest region in Romania. You won’t see communist blocks of flats or factories here. You will only ride through gorgeously unspoiled traditional farmland and forests on the rolling hills. Valley after valley glowing with natural beauty.
This area is home to some of the last remaining wooden churches and dwellings in Europe. Time has stood still here, giving you the unique chance to ride through a land unchanged for centuries. Only a few are protected by Unesco so now is the time to visit before they disappear for good. Prepare for some breathtaking twisties as we approach our destination for the day: Breb. Breb is a tiny, truly authentic Romanian village. Here you will experience how life used to be hundreds of years ago. The warmth and smiles as well as the delicious fresh food will be an unforgettable experience.
Day 4. Breb - Barsana Monastery - Prislop Pass - Targu Neampt (316 km)
After breakfast, we say goodbye to charming Breb and head east through the timeless rural scenery stopping at the charming Barsana Monastery where you will see the famous wooden churches, famous in this region. Then we head through logging towns and then up and over beautiful Prislop Pass. Dense forest views in every direction. Switchbacks give way to fast-flowing, traffic-free roads along the valley floor. The Ukrainian border is very close on our left side. We follow the scenic roads heading to Targu Neampt our destination for the day
Day 5. Targu Neampt - Bicaz Gorge Targu Sucuiesc - Lepsa - Foscani (Winery) (343 km)
After an excellent breakfast, we ride south through rural farmland. Moldavia is to our left. We head West to discover the stunning Bicaz Gorges. They are famous for their immense 300 meters of limestone rocks towering over narrow roads and passes. The road that slices through the Bicaz Gorges (Cheile Bicazului) is among Romania’s most stunning and spectacular. We take a break at the cool mountain restaurant called “Oxygen” to allow you to take in this amazing scale of the scenery.
Our lunch stop is at the historic & pretty market town of Targu Secuiesc where each tiny lane off the market square once had its cottage industry, shoemaker, pottery, leather shop, or toolmaker.
The afternoon ride is on the exhilarating DN2D mountain road to Lepsa. Perfect tarmac and minimal traffic, perhaps the odd bear on the side of the road admiring your riding.
This undiscovered route leads us to our destination, a gorgeous, award-winning winery. The perfect place to relax and reflect on the day’s ride.
Here mountain bikes are available to explore the extensive vineyard. Take in the amazing 100 km spectacular views in all directions. There’s also a swimming pool, gym and games room available. Of course, enjoying wine-tasting and great fresh food, with new friends, on the terrace is the order of the day.
Day 6. Foscani (Winery) - Ferry Galati - Costanta (305 km)
Today we are leaving the mountains and heading towards the Unesco protected Danube Delta and the holiday beaches to the south. We will jump on the ferry and take a short trip across the Danube. On our way to the sandy beaches, we cruise among rolling hills, through gypsy villages full of beaming kids urging you to rev your engine as you pass. After our lunch stop of traditional Romanian food, we continue to our final stop, the fascinating resort town of Constanta, a fascinating mix of communist beach town and modern development. Enjoy the long white sandy beaches and welcoming waters of the Black Sea. Seafood and cold beers are waiting for you.
Day 7. Rest day in Costanta (Beach)
A well-earned rest day today. If you are feeling adventurous the Unesco protected Danube Delta is to the north. Boat trips are available to see the vast array of wildlife and incredible natural beauty. At Constanta, jet skis are available to rent. Perhaps take a Lime e-scooter and explore the beachfront or simply lounge on the beach with cold beers and food served to your lounger from one of the many beach hut bars. There are also lots of great bars and restaurants to choose from near the hotel.
To the south, there`s the undiscovered hippy party town of Vama Veche, just before the border with Bulgaria.
Today is your day to freely explore, or do nothing but relax.
(Laundry services are available here)
Day 8. Costanta - Brasov (Transfer Day) (404 km)
We leave the beach and ride west back to the Transylvanian mountains heading for the beautiful city of Brasov. As we return to the mountains we will take a scenic twisty route through this densely forested area full of mountain streams and green valleys.
After freshening up at the hotel we take a walk through the Piatra Mare (big square) and after a delicious al-fresco dinner explore the medieval streets of Brasov. In particular the 14th century Gothic, “Biserica Negra” or Black Church with its six-ton bell, the biggest in Romania. Craft shops and delicious ice-cream stalls await you.
Day 9. Brasov – Bran Castle - Campalung - Valea Cu Pesti (170 km)
Leaving the beautifully preserved Transylvanian town of Brasov we head south, our first destination is one of Romania’s most popular attractions. We will visit Dracula’s Castle perched on a huge rock in the middle of the charming town of Bran. Narrow winding stairways lead through some 60 timbered rooms, many connected by underground passages, which house collections of furniture, weapons, and armor dating from the 14th to the 19th centuries. There’s a small market nearby where you can purchase your Dracula/Transylvanian souvenirs.
After a traditional delicious lunch at a nearby restaurant, we leave Bran and ride the knife-edge mountain ridges with breathtaking views around every corner. Sample the delicious honey & local cheeses on sale at the viewpoints. This section is super picturesque.
Further on we will visit the impressive Vidraru dam. Part of Romania’s hydroelectric network. We then arrive at our charming and secluded hotel overlooking Lake Vidraru.
Day 10. Valea Cu Pesti – Transfagarasan - Sibiu (141 km)
This is a spectacular riding day full of incredible mountain road riding through untouched forests rising up and over the peaks. Today you ride the famous Transfagarasan. The spectacular road The British Top Gear team described as, “the best driving road in the world.”
Super fun flowing curves lead to hairpin bends and loops as we gain altitude. We will stop for you to get the perfect pictures and take in the breathtaking glacial valley views.
Sample the delicious cinnamon rolls or BBQ meats available along the route. As we continue we will pause to see Balea glacial lake and Cascada (waterfall) Balea.
The ride down the mountain pass is equally majestic and fun to ride as we head back towards Sibiu.
Before we reach our final destination of Sibiu we stop for a refreshing drink at the historic Brukenthal Palace. Modeled on the Palace of Versailles in France, it’s a beautifully relaxing spot to reflect on the day’s experience.
Tips for Riding in Romania
Large capacity motorcycling is still a relatively new concept in Romania compared to other EU countries. The drivers here are not so biking aware so ride with that in mind. They are however generally very pro-motorcycles and will move over for you if they see you.
Your tour leader will brief the riders during the tour when necessary on safety information, road conditions, weather, etc. You will be prepared for the days riding ahead each day.
Horses and carts are a common mode of transport in rural areas and are permitted on all roads except the motorways. They do not have indicators and they stop anywhere they like. The best way to ride the rural narrow roads is slow in and fast out so you are prepared for anything around the corner.
There are no speed cameras out of the main cities but the police are often in the towns and villages watching so we ride through at legal speeds to respect the people living there and it is a great opportunity to see how the locals live as you ride through.
Speed limits (kph) are 130 for highway, 110 for B-roads, 100 for approaching a city, and 50 in built-up areas but bikes can do 80 kph where it says 50.
Road quality- Romania has roads that change in quality more often than you would see in the other EU countries. Therefore ride according to the conditions and be observant. Your tour leader will lead the way and regulate the speed, etc.
Your stuff on the bike is very safe compared to most EU countries. In some poorer villages, you should remove anything valuable if you are away from your bike so as not to tempt the locals.
Romania has zero-tolerance drinking and riding policy. That means no alcohol during the riding day until the bikes are parked up for the day. The penalties are extremely severe.
Cards are accepted in all main gas stations and minimarts, but you need to keep some cash in Romanian Leu for the odd occasions where they don`t take cards, tips, etc. Rural areas do not have any ATMs so use the ones in the bigger towns we stay in overnight.
In gas stations, you fill up first then pay after. It is self-service. The pump color is green for unleaded 95 or 98 octanes. Snacks and cold drinks, as well as clean toilets, are found in all main gas stations.
Cows in Romania know which village house they live in and what time to come home after the days munching grass. For this reason, you will often see cows wandering around unattended in the streets near the villages at certain times of the day.
Sheepdogs are trained to be very loud and rush at you if you are seen as a threat to the flock. The best tactic is to speed up and lose them or maintain a straight line and just ignore them until you are clear. They will only follow so far as they won’t go too far from the flock.
If you see broken leafy branches in the road, there is a stranded vehicle ahead so slow down and be alert. The driver put them there to warn oncoming traffic.
Summer heat is normally quite temperate but temps can reach 36 degrees now and again. Make sure you have sunscreen and drink plenty of fluids during the day. A hat is a good idea to have available.
Good quality sunglasses or a visor is a must for riding safely, especially when the sun is low in the sky.
Depending on your riding gear make sure you have a thermal layer for colder temperatures at the higher altitudes or early in the mornings. A waterproof and windproof layer or jacket is advisable. Summer-style riding gear is the best, just make sure you can add or remove layers as the conditions change.
Full face helmet is strongly recommended as well as good quality gloves and riding boots.
A pair of comfortable walking shoes is advisable as a few of the sightseeing activities have some walking involved.
Finally the words “Drum Bun” you will see as you exit all the towns and villages mean “Have a good trip!!”u will!!
Day 1. Sibiu – Transalpina – Sebes (233 km)
Day 2. Sebes – Apuseni National Park – Cluj Napocia – Country Hotel (223 km)
Day 3. Country Hotel – Cluj Napoca – Turda Salt Mine – Breb (276 km)
Day 4. Baia Mare – Barsana Monastery – Prislop Pass – Targu Neampt (316 km)
Day 5. Targu Neampt – Targu Sucuiesc – Lepsa – Foscani (Winery) (343 km)
Day 6. Foscani (Winery) – Ferry Galati – Costanta (305 km)
Day 7. Rest day in Costanta (Beach)
Day 8. Costanta – Brasov (Transfer Day) (404 km)
Day 9. Brasov – Bran Castle – Campalung – Valea Cu Pesti (170 km)
Day 10. Valea Cu Pesti – Transfagarasan – Sibiu (141 km)