Adventure Country Tracks Romania is a wonderful offroad /onroad Adventure through some of the most spectacular sceneries of Romania.
It starts in the beautiful mountainious region of Maramures, at the lovely farm Iz de Maramures close to the provincial capital of Baia Mare and loops through the region of Siebenbürgen/Transsylvania with its´ beautiful mountains and fascinating history, lovely people offering places to stay in local rural pensions all along the way serving the local specialities. Starting through forest roads and mountain roads close to the border to Ukraine, it meanders through some of the most historic and fascinating places of this region, leading the rider high up into the mountains up to more than 2000 meters, featuring some severe weather conditino changes, temperature and altitude changes,. The Track is connecting via the famous Transalpina Road crossing the so called Transsilvanian Alps and the Strategica towards the Transfaragasan. With the first and the last being paved and touristy, the Strategica is mainly dirt and gives the rider depending on the weather several challenges. Switching permanently between spectacular curvy roads and adventurous offroad tracks this 5 or more day Adventure can end near the capital Bukarest. Be sure that this is one of the last Adventures in Europe riding through wolf and bear country, so be careful when camping out.
WARNING: The route starts close to the border to Ukraine, so please be aware of “border traffic” and possible checkpoints, do not cross the border illegally and do not ride off the tracks and roads (gravel or tarmac).
Sometimes the track gets so close to the Ukrainian border that your cell phones will connect to Ukrainian networks which can get very costy, so better put them in flight mode! Also there may be border police around in offroad vehicles who are usually pleased about a brief chat with moto adventurers!
Following some nice and flowy back country roads, we leave the asphalt at Borsa. The first real offroad section takes us along a scenic river and up into the forests of the Maramures Mountains. The first mountain pass in the outback will rewards us with an amazing view and phantastic riding. The grounds are rocky enough to ensure grippy riding even in the wet. A small river crossing will also be no problem, even in heavy rain (as we encountered on the scouting tour)
We leave the forests alongside a beautiful river to finish the day off on nice country roads that will take us over the spectacluar Rarau Mountain and to Vatra Dornei, where it is easy to find a place to spend the night.
Starting with a smooth dam ride alongside the river, we dig deep into the forests. Scenic landscapes and well maintained gravel roads await us, so the going offroad will be generally faster and easier than the day before. Mind you: when it has been raining, some flat earthy sections of the trail will turn muddy and slippery, so adventure is – as always – just around the corner!
A long day ends at Sighisoara, one of the seven towns (=”Siebenbürgen”, seven castles) of Transilvania that were founded by German settlers in the 12th century. Sighisoara has a beautiful old town to visit and if you take a stroll, you will come across the truly creepy house in which Count Dracula is said to have been born!
Most of it will be easy going on flowy gravel roads that can get a bit dusty on dry days, so keep your distances when going in larger groups! Halfway through the day, passing the Olt river on a little roll ferry sets a charming highlight. Negotiate a good price with the friendly Gypsy family that runs the ferry and you may think of the old Chris de Burgh song: “Don´t pay the ferryman… until he gets you to the other side”
The track continues through little villages where you will every now and then have contact with one of the many dogs that run around freely in Romania. Just take good care, go slowly and don´t ever kick or attack them. Most are just as excited about the cool motorcycles as you are and want to follow you a bit, barking in sheer excitement. The final third of the track leads through some of the most amazing and spectacular mountain scenery of this ACT… hopefully in good weather, to enjoy the views there and in the 1200m high destination Mărișel.
The highlands around Mărișel are extremely beautiful on a sunny morning and so is the trail that leads once again into the forest and soon comes across a river that can either be crossed twice or ridden alongside on the gravel road. Following the trail we move south with a spectacular view at the mountain ridge where the final day is going to take place
In the afternoon, the trail takes a big sweep west, around the town of Alba Iulia, first on a fast overland road, then moving south and east again on tiny country roads and offroad. The day ends in or around the town of Sugag, at the entrance to one of the best mountain roads overall: the Transalpina.
Once again we hope you´ll have a sunny morning when you move up the extremely flowy and grippy asphalt of the Transalpina that touches Oasa Lake and its dam and leads to the highest pass of the Southern Carpatians, the Pasul Urdele at 2145m. You can go there and have a great look around, but the track actually leaves the Transalpina some kilometers before, to follow one of the most spectacular and scenic offroad bits in Romania: the Strada Strategica.
The Strategica is an old WW2 military piste that provides you with amazing riding and panoramic views. Not far after leaving the Transalpina you´ll come across a meadow that is often slippery, so take good care there. And not far after that, you´ll have a splendid view to your left, down on a lake. The road continues east and at km 23 offers you a choice: if you like a good challenge and if the weather is dry, you just continue the Strategica that becomes more difficult, with ridges and washouts that demand some offroad experience and courage. Otherwise turn right at the km 23 intersection and leave the Strategica by its easy exit through the forests and the village of Ciungetu. Both options take you back to the road that leads to Valea Măceşului and Voineasa.