Transylvania Bike Tour | Bike Paradise


I feel each biker has a couple of roads on their bucket record. The Transfagarasan in Romania is one such street for me.

I knew about this street properly earlier than the three stooges of Prime Gear made it well-known by calling it (in Clarkson’s voice) the “Biggest street on the planet” and I had booked to go there very long time in the past however harm (non bike) cancelled that journey. I’m extra conscious now days that a few of these locations are simply hype however I’m going for a glance anyway. The journey is the vacation spot.



It was a 30 hour journey from Sydney to Warsaw because of flight delays and stopovers. I flew Vietnam Airways in Premium Financial system but it surely’s premium solely in title. 2-4-2 seating in a 787. Evaluate that to Qantas premium structure of 2-3-2 in an enormous A380. Possibly I’m sounding like a snob however after flying 100’s of instances in sardine seating I’ve merely reached the tip of my tether and can pay further for room or not fly anymore.

After a lot wanted sleep in Warsaw I took a practice to Zory to satisfy a good friend and fellow rider who graciously put me up and took a while off to indicate me round.


Very first thing I did was to go to Auschwitz-Birkenau. The WW2 Nazi focus camp that’s positioned in Poland. You must guide, entry is by tour solely however they’ve some tickets each hour left over for individuals who can’t entry web and thus we have been capable of arrive and be a part of a tour.

Took all the things I needed to stay composed on this tour. The dimensions of the camp, the cruelty, the variety of folks exterminated, the evil is past comprehension. One factor stays in my head, the tour goes for 3 hours and my keep there was longer then most individuals who have been executed upon arrival.

I additionally toured the gorgeous rocky panorama of Adrspach in Czech Republic then joined a tour visiting one among an enormous community of secret underground bunkers Hitler was developing the place rocket weaponry was being labored on which might have modified the result of the battle.

Wcoclaw has a fantastic metropolis centre

I had a beautiful time in Poland because of the folks I met and stayed with.

The Trip

I begin the journey in Krakow Poland. My bike for this tour is the common-or-garden Honda CB500X, a mannequin I’ve rented many instances in Thailand. I principally select it as a result of it’s least expensive and that was identical right here. Bike rental for a mid measurement mannequin like this in Poland will not be costly but Krakow continues to be shut sufficient to the Alps or Adriatic coast to launch your tour from so give it a thought.

Day 1. Poland, Slovakia.

A little bit little bit of GPS navi confusion to start out any journey is at all times on the playing cards. The very place I don’t want that’s exiting large metropolis however normally precisely the place this may occur and right this moment was no exception. Thankfully I knew the title of most important metropolis to the east I used to be driving in direction of so merely adopted indicators and as soon as out of town stopped at a Macca’s for breakfast and to reload my route.

I used to be operating MyRoute App navigation on cellphone in pocket to my bluetooth headset at identical time with equivalent route however the app appears horrible. It’s quantity may be very low making it unimaginable to listen to as soon as I used to be transferring. It additionally appears unable to proceed previous a waypoint skipped though this can be a characteristic promoted (and sorely wanted on cellphone navi apps) Thank the celebs I introduced my Garmin. 14 yr previous and nonetheless higher.

After my late breakfast I might catch up a little bit as 140kph is the authorized pace for highways in Poland. Locals appeared to be doing 160kph. Appeared actually quick to me after Aussie roads. In case you have a CB500X then get the identical display screen this one has by Puig it really works beautifully.

Then some backroads within the scenic south east of Poland. I didn’t {photograph} a lot right this moment as my ETA blew out with a few roads closed requiring detours however plenty of fairly villages with fascinating church buildings and inexperienced rolling hills.

Crossing the border to Slovakia it too is kind of scenic and stuffed with Skoda automobiles being the place they’re made.

Tonight I had a pleasant dinner at close by Italian restaurant at a low worth as was my older lodge room. I do know tenting and having 1000’s of {dollars} in gear may be very common now however I desire to spend my cash to have a sizzling bathe at finish of every day and a dry room to sleep in at night time.

Day 2. Slovakia, Hungary, Romania

I had learn numerous instances that the Transfagarasan was good however you needed to journey too many unusual roads to achieve it. I suppose I might say right this moment was not essentially the most thrilling roads nonetheless it was nonetheless fascinating as my first time to go to Hungary after which Romania.

Bikers spot on route 79 Slovakia
Good trying view tower I discovered when planning todays route
Broad view over Slovakian vineyards

Two days, 4 currencies. Fortunately cashless is catching on and I’ve been in a position to make use of my bank card virtually each store. Nevertheless I’m carrying some money simply in case.

Small cities in Hungary

Large site visitors jam on the Romanian border. I used to be initially within the lane for ‘different passports’ however truly you need to use the EU passport lane with an Australian passport. Took me an hour to clear the border. Then the timezone modified an hour later in Romania so my early end evaporated however the climate is nice.

Two litre beers for about $4.00 Australian.

I visited the Merry Cemetery in Sapanta Romania. The tombstones are brightly painted with pictures describing the individual buried.

I’m staying in a fantastic condominium tonight in a city that’s near Ukraine.

Fairly streetscape of Sighetu Marmatiei city Romania which my condominium was a couple of minutes stroll from.

Determined to arrange one thing easy within the condominium tonight for dinner with some good wine from Moldova I discovered in grocery store and mirror on how lucky I’m to have crushed most cancers and for now have the ability to once more do what I like – bike touring.

Day 3. Romania

I used the superb website online Moto Route to plan my journey in Romania. It’s is a weblog and free finest roads information for Romania and right this moment that planning paid off.

Many picket church buildings on this area.

Fog within the hole – good day to comply with. Alberta farmers saying. Past that ridge to my left is Ukraine.

Romania within the mountains may be very scenic and wonderful driving too. At present started on the town however quickly moved to the mountains and the roads have simply been nice.

This street supplied nowhere to photograph it however was an excellent mountain climb.

Happening the opposite aspect the street opened to supply nice views.

In the midst of these mountains was a pleasant cafe I had discovered on google maps when planning the route and was delighted right this moment when I discovered it in actual life and to eat a scrumptious gentle lunch there.

One other wonderful mountain street! Romania actually delivers right this moment. Very good.

And the curves preserve coming.

It is a aspect Romania which I’ve not seen revealed a lot by different riders. Nearly 300km of steady good bike roads right this moment.

I’m discovering my routes on this tour a little bit demanding. Round 340-360km a day is simply too lengthy for me now. I used to be going to hire a brand new BMW R1250RT for this tour which might have made the miles simpler to cowl but it surely was 3 times the worth so my low cost charlie nature kicked in and I went with the CB500X.

Stopping to photograph this bridge I met a pair who had a member of the family in Brisbane Australia. All the time a small world.

Not the Italian lake district, that is nonetheless Romania.

I rounded out the day driving this deep gorge which jogged my memory of the cross island freeway in Taiwan. Superb day of driving.

Day 4. Romania.

I had the selection of visiting Dracula’s fort however I’d relatively give attention to driving the mountains. I’m sufficiently old to know what I like and want solely please myself. There’s loads of fascinating different historic buildings alongside my route every day to fulfill.

The Romanian fuel station chain known as Rompetrol has been a pleasant discover for me. They’ve some first rate contemporary meals and good espresso and normally a pleasant separate quiet space to eat.

However I can’t sit nonetheless for lengthy right this moment as a result of I’m shut now to one of many most important roads of this journey.

The primary half of the Transfagarasan ascent (northern aspect) will not be not like many different mountain passes. It was pretty new hotmix and I acquired a pleasant run with few automobiles. Above I’m stopped earlier than the a lot photographed excessive part the place the mountain has it’s personal local weather. The street zig zags straight up into the clouds.

Mid method photograph cease

There’s many viewpoints within the higher part all with bikers taking photographs. I’m capturing in misty low clouds with a cellphone so that is the very best I can do however I’m actually joyful to have good climate and the street open. It may be already closed with snow in September.

The southern aspect was vibrant sunshine however not as photogenic.

The street follows a lake shoreline after this and is a really tight twisty journey for appreciable distance earlier than you drop down additional once more.

Somebody is constructing a Dracula themed lodge on the route.

Nicely that’s one large bucket record merchandise ticked off and tonight I’m staying in a beautiful lodge on the southern finish of the cross with fairly a couple of different riders.

Day 5 Romania.

The climate continues to be holding for me and right this moment I’ve one other well-known street, the Transalpina which by all accounts is significantly better than the Transfagarasan.

Construct it and they’ll come exists in every single place. Some man has constructed a type of the wrong way up phantasm theme parks in the midst of nowhere and painted all of the timber to get passing automobiles consideration (however automobile park was empty).

Lastly I managed to have a picnic lunch on this tour which is one thing I like doing every time doable. Right here I’m half method up the Transalpina from the southern ascent which wanted a drone to {photograph}.

The street climbs additional then there’s a spectacular excessive plains part.

Actually a spectacular street that I’m not capable of seize in addition to I’d have appreciated however I hope you get the thought.

I didn’t efficiently photograph the northern first rate (once more wanted a drone). It was very good however then what I feel makes the Transalpina probably the greatest bike roads on the planet is the following bit a forest and lake part which is a further 100km of properly surveyed curves with low site visitors.

This when mixed with the mountain passes and the higher excessive roads combines to make the Transalpina probably the greatest rides I’ve skilled on the planet – it’s in my prime 5 roads which isn’t one thing I say with out cautious consideration. It provides all the things a rider might want for in very beneficiant servings with low site visitors. Put it in your record. There are some good lodges on the route within the alpine village and within the lake space to north. If I used to be returning right here I’d keep an additional day proper there on the Transalpina.

Day 6 Romania.

At present had much less good roads. I’d not name my route unhealthy nonetheless the morning half might have been improved.

I used to be skirting round a mountainous area as a result of the fascinating route there Google confirmed as gravel and I used to be probably not to journey that on a motorcycle just like the CB500X with street tyres. Really I’m not to journey gravel a lot in any respect frankly. I did all that when youthful on gentle weight moto-x bikes objective made for dust that could possibly be slid round and jumped and crashed with none care so driving large street bikes on twin objective tyres now that you need to child so they continue to be rideable at days finish doesn’t attraction to me.

There was nonetheless some good roads and extra picket church buildings after which late afternoon I loved a superb curvy street instructed by the motoroutes web site.

My closing night time in Romania is within the city of Oradea. It has a fairly metropolis centre and I loved an awesome pizza at very affordable worth. Meals and drinks are fairly reasonably priced in Romania. The folks have been all pleasant and I feel it’s an underrated vacation spot.

Day 7 Romania, Hungary, Slovakia.

My luck run out with the climate however I can’t complain, it has been wonderful summer time like days for all of the roads I got down to journey in Romania on this tour – how fortunate was that!

I dodged gentle showers till lunch then tried to take a seat out heavy rain at a fuel station relaxation space however the Windy app confirmed there was no wind motion and the rain was not going anyplace so nothing for it however to place my rain liners in, my neck gator on and hopefully journey away from it.

I discover internal rain liners in jackets can maintain however internal liners in pants at all times fail the place your bum sits on the seat. I feel the sitting strain stops the Gore-tex from respiration thus working and right this moment I felt my bum was quickly moist and the water then works it’s strategy to different decrease physique elements. Thankfully it was not too chilly and I used to be right that I’d journey out of the rain as soon as away from the mountains but it surely was a gradual sloshing affair for a couple of hours.

My so known as water proof Eagle Creek bag leaked like a sieve right this moment. I don’t know how a lot water might get inside when solely the zipper is supposedly not waterproof. After which my internal baggage leaked so I ended up with all the things moist. Should do higher job of this in future, get some rubbish bin baggage like I utilized in Japan and put the entire bag inside one.

I’ve a wonderful condominium to get issues dry tonight within the very fairly Slovakian metropolis of Banska Bystica.

Pretty metropolis centre.

Day 8 Slovakia. Poland.

My route out of Slovakia into Poland was very good driving. Nation roads like above then curvy mountain roads.

Nevertheless my routing throughout the border in Poland was not so good. There’s many really helpful bike roads on this mountainous area which is likely one of the common locations for Polish riders however I didn’t know the city of Zacopane is insanely common vacationer vacation spot and can be gridlock with automobiles.

I elected to chop a few of todays route because the roads round Zacopane have been at a standstill with site visitors. It’s a stunning area nonetheless however in hindsight I might have deliberate higher. Nice driving all afternoon till I used to be fairly near Krakow the place site visitors ramped up however not a troublesome return of the bike.


Again in Krakow I’ve a weekend to relaxation up. Krakow is tremendous touristy city. Filled with Brits that flew over on finances airline tickets and so many 20 yr previous digital nomads in each espresso store moaning about life.

Good alternative then for me to remain in my condominium and knock out this journey report over a wonderful bottle of wine or two.

I loved driving Romania however I have to say folks drive actually aggressive on this a part of the world and there was not often a second to loosen up whereas driving as at all times some lunatic tailgating and passing at breakneck pace.

One thing I used to be serious about whereas on this tour was how a lot I miss the calm of driving Japan and which different international locations have let me really feel at peace whereas driving. Maybe I’m beginning to worth that feeling extra and looking for much less the sensation of journey. Possibly only a case of too many km per day this journey.

I have already got a couple of different rides booked (six truly!). My subsequent vacation spot is Georgia which I anticipate will current me with a couple of challenges however is a rustic I wished to journey sooner relatively than later.