It very quickly became clear, Romania is a ridiculously fun place to ride a monkey bike. The whole country is covered in dirt tracks and unpaved roads which make it the ideal place to let rip on a tiny bike.
Romania is also home to the Transfagarasan and Transalpina highways, epic slithers of road strewn across the Romanian landscape like a plate of dropped spaghetti. Jeremy Clarkson once proclaimed the Transfagarasan as “The best road in the world”, not that we care, it’s just that he did…
And sure, you could grab yourself a multi-million pound supercar and shred up the highways like that curly haired twat, but that wouldn’t give you access to the miles and miles of demanding off-road terrain the Monkey Bike just hates to love.
Horse-drawn carts. Wild bears in the forest. Shedloads of incredible off road driving. The famous Trasfagarasan highway.
One of our very few European adventures, The Monkey Run Romania is probably one of our most underrated events, only true adventurists know just how good it is.
Enroute you’ll drink Țuică and eat cabbage rolls. You’ll veer wildly towards the Berca Mud Volcano, stare longingly at Bran Castle (or Castelul Bran) and squeal with childish excitement as you realise that you, yes you, will be riding on the Transfagarasan Highway.
Take it from us, this is a truly awesome adventure.
The Monkey Bike
The Monkey Bike is the essence of genius in slightly unreliable machine form. Driving this miniature design marvel will incite the full spectrum of emotions from delirious driving joy to utter despair.
They’re quite slow but feel fast because your arse is already nearly on the ground. That also means it won’t hurt as much when you fall off. Which you probably will.
They are lightweight and nimble; handy when you have to push it up the odd mountain here and there. They even have an expedition-ready luggage rack over the rear wheel which can easily hold your wallet and maybe your keys. In summary: completely unsuitable and therefore perfect for old school adventure.
The run starts in Sighetu Marmatiei, up in the North, by the Ukrainian border. It ends in the Transylvanian town of Deva, somewhere in the middle of the country. The location of the finish gives you the chance to explore whichever corner of the land you choose.
You may have noticed that there is a little bit more tarmac than we’re used to here at The Adventurists, but don’t be fooled. Your unroute in Romania shall not only offer some of the most incredible asphalt roads in the world, but some truly demanding off road trails that will challenge every ounce of you and your trusty steed.
Seriously, they’re pretty tricky.
The Monkey Run was born in Morocco, an amazing place that’s a budget flight away from Europe.
After many hundreds of happy souls returned from Morocco grinning like lunatics, we concluded that monkey bikes were the ultimate form of transport. We took them to Peru, then decided it would be nice to find the gnarliest roads in Europe.
Everyone who has off-roaded in Romania will agree, we’ve found them.