Since we're running cycling tours on the Transfagarasan here at Martin Adventures, I'm really interested in finding out when does it open and, of course, close. The Transfagarasan has its own functioning rules that state when this road is operational every year.
The Transfagarasan Highway closes every year on October 31st. According to the sames rules, the Transfagarasan Highway opens again on July 1st.
Is the whole Transfagarasan Highway closed?
No. The Transfagarasan Highway is 90 km long and out of that, only 25 km are closed every Winter until Summer. Check the explanation below.
OPEN between Bascov (km. 0) and Piscu Negru (km. 104)
CLOSED between Piscu Negru (km. 104) and Bâlea Cascadă (km. 130+800)
OPEN between Cabana Bâlea Cascadă (km. 130,8) and DN 1 (km.152)
Why is the Transfagarasan Highway closed seven months a year?
That's a great question. Of course there are other roads in Europe and in the World that are higher than the Transfagarasan (2.100 meters) that don't need to be closed. The reason is that the Transfagarasan is not safe in winter. Basically, there aren't enough snow and avalanche protection systems and it would be dangerous to attempt driving the road during winter.
Does the Transfagarasan ever open earlier?
Yes. And there are two sides of this answer.
First, the official one. There are cases when the snow melts before the 1st of July so the authorities start preparing the road when they have this opportunity. After this, they make an on-site inspection and decide to officially open the road earlier then July 1st.
And second, the unofficial one. Now, of course, the locals, who are interested in using the pass as early as possible, try to get to the other side even when the road is not yet officially opened by the authorities but it's still usable because well, the snow melted.
To sum up, technically, you could drive, cycle or walk on the Transfagarasan before 1st of July in two cases:
- the authorities decide to open it before the standard opening time
- on your own risk if the road is usable
Who decides when to open and close the road?
That's the mission of The Road Infrastructure Management National Company. They actually have an English website with some useful information.
How will I now when the road opens?
Got more questions about the Transfagarasan Highway? Let me know in the comments below.