You can do it in one day (about 7 hours drive), but it would be great to spend a night at Balea lake to have time for some brief hikes around it.
There's not much point in taking a cable car ride - it goes practically along the Transfagarasan from Balea Cascada to Balea Lac, you're going to do that section anyway by car.
Poienari citadel is definitely a must see.
Thank you so much 'alterme' for your quick and helpful reply. Have you any idea how I can book at Cabana BaleaLac? They don't seem to answer emails. Are they closed for winter, do you think?
They're open all year long. You could try to book by phone (0040745072602), though usually one can find rooms even without reservation (except on weekends).
I am sorry to ask in this thread at such a later date, but it is about the same place, the Transfagarasan Highway. I have searched and searched for bus/coach tour over the Transfagarasan with no succes through Google. I was trying to find a bus service which would run from either Pitesti or Curtea de Arges to Sibiu during the open season for the Highway as I am coming over in August-Sept 2012.
Hoping that you can assist me and thank you for your time.
Mick from Australia.Edited: 3:13 pm, December 02, 2011
Hello Mick ,
from October to June it's closed every year , so careful when you plane yout trip.
About those buses , there is a problem. The transport there it's a mess , I suggest you should rent a car, it's much better , and you can spend more time to enjoy the beauty . In the summer time , when it's opened , there are some minibuses (microbuze - that's the romanian word for them) but they are private firms, they don't have a regular hour ....
Also I sugest , other type of tripping ... you can take this turistinfo.ro/curtea_de_arges/activitate-de-… , they are a private firm that is making tours that cover about all there is to see there (includes even a boat ride :) ).
Doesn't tell a price , but i hope a collegue from Romania can call and get all the informations we need.
Have a great day.
Adrian.Edited: 6:18 am, December 03, 2011
Regular tours over the Transfagarasan are practically non-existent. As far as I know there is just one bus that does a sort of day tour starting from Bucharest on a few summer Saturdays (Bucharest > Pitesti >Curtea de Arges > Transfagarasan > outskirts of Sibiu > back to Bucharest via the Olt valley; see http://is.gd/6LkF0D ).
Your other options are to organize a custom tour by car (usually pricey), rent a car (from about €20) or hitchhike (very easy, especially on weekends).Edited: 6:31 am, December 03, 2011
Thank you so much for that; much appreciated.
I was going to originally go in May-June, but changed it to August-Sept for that very opening months reason. And I was trying to avoid hiring a car for two reasons: one is that when you drive, (especially on the Transfagarasan I presume!) one would be looking at the road, not the view and also in Australia we drive on the left hand side of the road, whereas Romania is right hand side.
I will be staying in Curtea de Arges as I wish to go up to Poienari Fortress; that was my original reason for the trip to Romania. But, the more I delved into the history Romania the more places I wish to see; thus 5 0r 6 weeks there and I will still only see a bit of it in my wanderings!
Once again, thank you so much for your help.
And thank you very much for your help, too.
Between Adrian and yourself you have given me helpful information to work on. To see that part of Romania I was thinking about train from Bucharest to Targoviste (Princely court and the Tower), bus to Pitesti and then on to Curtea de Arges (Monastery) then to look at Poienari Fortress. With what you say I might be able to pick up transport of some kind from there for the Transfagarasan.
In this link i found a while ago is how a traveller got to Poienari by catching a bus that goes from Curtea de Arges to Arefu and getting off the bus when it turns off the highway to go to Arefu and then "footing" it to Poienari.
So, i can get to Poienari; all I have to do is get the rest of the way!
If you happen to hear of any more info about this kindly post it if you have the opportunity.
Thanking you for your help.
Mick in Australia
Yes, there are several minibuses daily from Curtea de Arges to Capataneni, the village at the southern end of the Transfagarasan (some of the minibuses go on westwards to Arefu but you need to get off in Capataneni).
From there it's about one hour walk along the Transfagarasan to Poenari fortress.
Thank you very much for your help and information here.