The road of General Antonescu
Twists and turns, deep ravines and mountain peaks in a fairy-tale decor – a motorbike adventure in the Sunset Mountain having as road companion Zamolxis Realm. Ride the motorcycle on The Road of the General – a strategic, military route built in 1940 to ease the access of the Romanian Army to Cluj-Napoca.
You can start your journey in Cluj Napoca riding towards Somesului Rece Valley. Once you reach Maguri Racatau Village a narrow asphalt road opens to the right.
The road has been manually bult by the inhabitants of the hamlets in the region, mostly old men, women, and children at the order of General Antonescu in 1940. Although those days the rocks were transported with the ox drawn carts and the pickaxe was the main working tool, the stone road was built in three years.
Known as The Road of the Marshall, The Road of the General or The Road of the Slaves, the old stone road is today completely paved.
Starting from Maguri-Racatau and ascending to Marisel, you are accompanied all the way by charming landscapes over Semesul Rece Valley, Zamolxis Realm and Racatau Gorge. Riding on the ridge of the mountain up to 1250m gives you the view enjoyed by the eagles.
Your motorcycle journey here gives you the feeling that you are flying over Gilau Mountains. Amazing views accompany you every mile you ride, and the scent of the nature does not leave you for a second.
Gentle peaks covered in a fresh green, open an untamed image over Racatau Gorge. Racatau Valley has formed during the years a deep ravine, one of the few wild gorges in Sunset Mountains. Crossing the canyon is an adventure as there are no footpaths or roads, and you must cross it through water or on rocks.
The gorge has been declared a protected natural area back in 1994 and includes Zamolxe’s Realm – a zoological reservation with many animal species.
Do not let yourself totally swiped away by the remarkable landscape. The road bends must be ridden very carefully. The road is narrow, without emergency shelters or Belview points. Rarely two vehicles can pass at the same time without having to give way and the parapets and indicators are completely missing. If you find the right place, pull over on the side of the road and enjoy the painting made by gods.
Țâcla Gavrii – Belleview Point
The inhabitants of the region call Țâcle the mountain peaks, and the land where Țâcla is situated belongs to Gavra Family. Therefore, the place is called Țâcla Gavrii. Special to this peak is the stunning height that seduces you with breath-taking views.
In the deep valley you see Zamolxis Realm and the land of the Bears. They are the only ones that dare to climb down there. If you want to access Țâcla Gavrii ask the villagers and they will be glad to guide you. You will need to walk about 20 minutes, so change in more comfortable shoes and put your motorbike boots in the top box.
Winding Roads and captivating lakes
Once you reach the intersection with road 107P, keep right. The route continues through the forest riding twists and turns along Tarnita Lake. Even if you ride during a hot day, the lush vegetation will cool you off. Increased attention on the road is needed. After the rainy season, many sections of this road are partially covered by sand and gravel. This can offer you an unpleasant surprise.
If time allows and you like hiking, change the motorbike boots with something more comfortable and climb to Lucaci Stone or Dan’s Stone. You will be rewarded with a captivating panorama over Tarnita Lake.
Continue your journey on Somesul Cald Valley to Cluj-Napoca. This trip will leave you with memories to put on the mantelpiece and to keep into your soul.
Road type: asphalt
Distance: the new paved road Măguri Răcătău – Mărișel – 12 km. The rest of the distance depends on the route you choose to get here.
Motorcycle type: all motorcycle models can ride this road
Access: from Cluj Napoca or Turda to Maguri Racatau or Marisel
Time to spend in the area: 1 or 2 days, depending on your time and the activities you would like to enjoy in the area.
Photo Credit: Alex Palfi, Cabana Tarnita