If you ever go to Romania the Transfagarasan Road & Balea Lac should be on your to-do-list. These places are one of the most spectacular sights in Romania. The best way to get here is from the town of Sibiu, in the heart of Transsylvania. Stay in this small but really nice town for several days and visit Balea Lac and the Transfagarasan as a daytrip!
The Transfagarasan is a road through the Fagaras mountains in the middle of Romania and was built during the communist period for fast military access in case the Sovjets would invade Romania. This road plus Balea Lac is one of the coolest places I’ve been to. There are tours available to see the road and the lake but it’s also possible to ask a taxidriver to take you there. This option is a good one if you’re taking the trip with 3 or 4 people and should cost no more than €75 for the way to the lake and back (half a day, waiting time included). Between the end of october and the mid june the highest part of the road is closed due to snow but it is possible to get to the lake by cable car.
Balea Lac is the lake on top of the Transfagarasan Road. There’s no way you can miss this lake, follow the road and you’ll find it. Unfortunately the road is not open all year, only from the 1st of July until the end of October. The lake, however, is reachable even if the road is closed. If you’re taking a self-arranged daytrip by taxi, the taxidriver will drive up the Fagarasan Road until the starting point of the cable car. The cable car to and from the lake will cost you about €12 (€6 each way). In may and june the weather in Romania is usually not that bad but there will still be snow around the lake, that’s something to keep in mind when doing a daytrip to Balea Lac. Also something to keep in mind: the altitude of Balea Lac is 2000 metres which can cause nausea, shortness of breath and headaches. Some people might not have these issues but I did! It wasn’t that bad but it wasn’t comfortable either.
Looking for cheap accommodation in Sibiu?
There are several hostels with not just shared rooms but also private ones. The hostel I liked the most is Smart Hostel, small, friendly staff, cheap, breakfast included and is located on Pasajul Scarilor, the street with the arches! Other hostels which you can choose from with good locations are Old Town Hostel (located on the Piata Mica, next to Delis) and PanGeea (located next to the main square called Piata Mare).
If you have more to spend on accommodation I’d recommend Casa Luxemburg, 3-star hotel and probably the most famous hotel in Sibiu. It’s located on the Piata Mica (the smaller square) and is surrounded by good restaurants and cafes.