Best Motorcycle Roads Romania
Sunset Mountains in Transylvania (Romania) hide many treasure roads and amazing natural sights. Ride towards Ordâncușii Canyon, Călineasa Meadow and Scărișoara Glacier. A captivating journey that uncovers some of the most beautiful landscapes in the west of the country.
Begin the adventure in the morning from the village of Gârda de Sus, preferably during the weekdays, to avoid the crowds that form on the weekend. From here, Ordâncușii Canyon is just a stone’s throw away.
Ionele’s Gate Cave
At a crossroads, turn right towards Poarta lui Ionele Cave.
Located on Ordâncușa Valley at 835m in altitude, Poarta Lui Ionele Cave should be visited in springtime or during summer after torrential rains, when the water level rises. This is when an underground river forms inside the cave and the waterfall and turquoise underground lake can be admired.
Continue to Ordâncușii Gorges, some of the narrowest gorges in Romania.
The canyon is about 2.5 km long and the road you are riding on is between 4 and 6 m wide. The road is made of concrete. The bridges that cross the gorges are made of concrete slabs with small sections of gravel, easy to cross on two wheels.
The high, calcareous walls are closing in, giving the impression that you are passing through a gateway to another world. Sunset Mountains are another world. As you pass through the gorges, you cross forested lands on the same narrow, concrete road. In some areas, the road has small cracks through which nature shyly regains its rights. The area is rich in vegetation, and the shade will keep you cool.
The traditional pastoralism in Apuseni
A road on the right takes you on the Bihor Mountains to Călineasa Meadow.
The narrow road, having the width of a traffic lane is well indicated and paved. 5 km of narrow, tight turns leads you to 1300 m altitude. Large meadows open impressive views over the mountains of Vladeasa, Gaina Peak or Bihor.
Once here, you are surprised by number of wooden shacks and the sheepfolds, risen like mushrooms after the rain. These over 100 wooden structures are the summer residence of the inhabitants of the villages nearby. Every year, in the spring, the nearby villagers move up to Călineasa Meadow with the animals. They stay here, up on the mountain until autumn. They live in simple houses, built of wood, having with them only what is strictly necessary.
Here in Călineasa Meadow, in the middle of a natural fairy-tale setting, a small wooden church was erected. Here come to pray those who spend a few months / year up in the meadow.
Make a stop next to the church, try a balmosh (traditional food of the area) or a slab pie with cheese and explore. The area promises many off-road trails. Should you have the right motorcycle – fun is guaranteed. If unpaved roads are not your passion continue the adventure to Scărișoara Glacier Cave.
Turn back and ride the same road for about 5 km. At the crossroads turn right towards the Scărișoara Glacier. The narrow road takes you riding down to 1165m in altitude. This allows you to peek at the beautiful traditional haystacks built in the middle of open meadows along the route.
Scărișoara Glacier Cave is a speleological reservation and a natural monument. Famous for its 3,000-year-old glacier, Scărișoara Cave is visited by hundreds of tourists. Climb down the metal stairs and enjoy the cool air. Visit the Great Hall and the Little Church in the lighted cave.
Returning to Gârda de Sus will delight you. The narrow road descends on a section of asphalt, a single tight bend without visibility. The mountains will reward you with spectacular views.
The landscapes of the Sunset Mountains are full of brilliance and colour: forests, mountain flowers, clear waters, caves, and serenity.
Once in Gârda de Sus you can spend another night in the area, or you can resume your journey with Geamăna – the flooded village of Apuseni.
Distance: about 37 km
Road quality: narrow, with tight turns, paved in 2014
Motorcycle model: all motorcycle models can ride this route
Experience in riding on tight turns is required
Photo Credit: Alex Palfi