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Doftanei ValleyThe Transbai is a road which unveils the pure nature of Baiului Mountains, in its true wilderness.  Along its 38 kilometers, it crosses rich forests and quiet hills, consisting in stunning serpentines and displaying spectacular sceneries. The Transbai connects three important tourist attractions: the Azuga and Busteni resorts on Prahova Valley and Valea Doftanei commune. The roads unite in the Baiului Mountains' alpine meadow, near Cazacu Peak, at an altitude of 1753 meters.

Similar to the Transalpina and the Transfagarasan in what concerns its landscapes and heights, the Transbai is built on an older road, which was used in the past by wagoners and shepherds.  Presently, the road is especially popular with off road drivers, for whom the more difficult road portions are genuine challenges. After it is asphalted, it will become a jewel of the Romanian mountains, rivaling with the other alpine highways.

Lake Paltinu - Doftanei Valley

TransbaiThe Transbai starts from Doftanei Valley, a particularly picturesque area and it traverses a few kilometers on the Prislop Valley. Along the Doftana River, the low hillocks blend in the mountainous landscape, forming a scenery of perfect beauty. Several mountain massifs, unique and impressive through their wilderness, spread in the north of Campina town: Orjogoaia, Zanoaga, Baiu Mare, Baiu Mic, Unghia Mica and Unghia Mare, the last being shaped as an Egyptian pyramid. At the foot of these mountains, Lake Paltinu is a delightful oasis of relaxation and quietness, attracting a great deal of tourists. From the shores, you can admire the mountain crests and the surrounding green forests, encouraging you to go hiking, fishing or simply enjoying a calm day in the middle of nature. Close by, you will find the Doftanei Gorges, whose walls form a tunnel for the communal road.

TransbaiOn this portion, the Transbai unveils the splendid rural scenery in the TeÅŸila-Trăisteni Depression to the tourist. The houses spread on the hills, the gardens, the orchards, the meadows and the hay-fields, the springs and the fountains with clear, cold water turn this area into the perfect destination for relaxation. From here, the road climbs up smoothly, unveiling the beauties of this mountainous universe, then it goes through narrow serpentines up to Peter’s Mountain. The open hills, covered by pastures and the round peaks dominate the landscape.  There are many tourist routes in the area, and both beginners and experts can venture on the trails. Near Cazacu Peak, the highway ramifies towards the two resorts on the Prahova Valley, namely Busteni and Azuga.

The alpine meadow in the Baiului Mountains welcomes you with a surprising palette of colors, given by the wild thyme, the red fescue, the bilberry or the cranberry.  From the altitude of the four peaks, out of which two are over 1800 meters (Baiutul Peak – 1826 m and Baiul Mic Peak – 1834 m), the view generously opens over the fascinating Bucegi Mountains.

Busteni - Azuga

Transbai mapFrom Prahova Valley, the Transbai starts from two different points.  The road from Busteni has as starting point the Poiana Tapului neighborhood, followed by the forest route to Culmea Zamorei. You will see numerous sheepfolds in this area, where you can taste shepherds' dishes or listen to pastoral stories. From Azuga, the route traverses the inferior slopes of the Sorica and Cazaci ski tracks, and it covers 2 km of the Azuga Valley, finally reaching the Cazacu Valley. After a few spectacular serpentines through the woods, the Transbai reaches the top of the two ski tracks, on Urechea Peak. 

The Baiului Mountain trails are especially traveled through by those who love authentic natural sceneries, by those who value the wilderness of the mountain peaks and crests. The mountain routes have a medium difficulty and capture the genuine beauties of the massif. However, there are no chalets or shelters for the tourists to spend the night at the altitude; camping is the only option. Mountain-bike, off road or enduro fans are delighted to drive on the still unpaved road or with the panorama offered at every curve. You can recapture the harmony, the peace and the greatness of these virgin places which have managed to maintain their purity.

The Transbai is a narrow though quite accessible road, which can be crossed with a high ground clearance SUV. It facilitates not only the visiting of Azuga and Busteni resorts, but also hikes up to the Baiului Mountain plateau or access to the ski tracks. Along this road you will discover bright green meadows, quiet hills, numerous panoramic points and breathtaking serpentines.

[An article written by Andreea Bertea]