best roads to ride
TransSemenic Road, Romania
Cross Semenic Mountains on one of the most sinuous mountain roads in Romania. The road snakes up to 1000m in altitude on a section of never-ending twists and turns and reveal one of the most picturesque regions in the west of the country.
Mysterious caves, dense forests, and clear waters lakes
You can begin your adventure from East to West from Saltina-Timis to Resita on a 40 km winding asphalt road. Ascending to Gărâna you ride along Three Waters Lake. The lake was formed by damming 3 streams: Brebu, Grădiștea și Semenic. The landscape is fascinating, and the local architecture is unique, specific to alpine German villages. Nestled on the ridge of a hill close to Three Waters Lake, Gărâna is known for the architecture of the place. Every year Wolf Hill hosts in a fairy-tale décor The Jazz Festival.
International Wood Carving Park Gărâna – Wolfberg
As you leave Gărâna behind and continue riding towards Văliug, your eyes are caught by peculiar wooden creatures visible on the Hills. In pursuit for inspiration, international artists arrived in Gărâna and carved in wood, impressive monuments that can be seen today in open air here in Banat Mountains. As mythical characters, the wooden sculptures standing 3 meters tall, seem to protect the secrets of the place.
Once you reach the top, close to Văliug you discover Gozna Lake. This Lake is one of the most famous in Banat Mountains. The lake is ideal for sailing, tanning, and fishing. In one word: relaxation. Wooden platforms, sunbathing areas and an enchanted view opens as soon as you stray from the main road.
The first moment where you scratch your helmet and ask where to go is in Văliug. There is no indicator to show you the direction towards Resita. After a shout in the helmet to the locals relaxing on a terrace, we find out the direction. For Resita you take left and the road continues sinuous and electrifying crossing a deep, dense forest on twists and turns and twists and turns……
Giant Monsters and flooded villages
The Road to Resita rewards you. Trough forests, hills, and valleys you catch a glimpse of Secu Lake. A whole community was evacuated for the dam to be built. Therefore, the legend says that mysterious things keep happening here. Stories with monsters and giant fish are told every day. During summertime, on dry season, the lake waters decrease revealing the cross on top of the Church of the flooded village.
Once you reach Resita do not miss out on a visit to the Steam Locomotive Museum. The location exhibits 16 locomotives dating from various production periods. The Steam locomotive named Resicza is one of the first three steam engines ever built in the city (1872-1873). It was recovered from the city of Campia Turzii in 1961, where it was stationed on a manoeuvring train track and it showed today right in the front of the museum.
The road construction of TranSemenic has been finalized in 2014. The asphalt is in a general good condition, with small potholes here and there, just enough to remind you that you are still in Eastern Europe.
It is not the highest mountain Road in Romania (as Transalpina Highway) and certainly not as famous as Transfagarasan Road, but it delights you with never-ending twists and turns and with picturesque countryside that make the trip to Semenic worth your while.
Itinerary: Slatina Timis – Brebu Nou – Gărâna – Văliug – Reșița
Kilometres: 40 km, all asphalt
Attention required for: stray dogs – the riding pleasure can end suddenly when in a curve, a stray dog scared by a car on the road decides to jump on your lane
Gas Stations: We only found one gas station open on the road. Have some cash with you as in the mountain area, the gas stations do not charge credit cards.
Photo Credit: Alex Palfi