The ride from Sibiu to Paltinis has a special place in my cycling history, as it was the first real climb I did, back in May 2019 – here you can read about my experience at that time. Long story short – it was a lovely but though climb that I did not manage to finish. Fast-forward one year later, in June 2020, I climbed all the way to the top at a quite steady pace.
As a side note, this climb is part of the UCI-ranked “Sibiu Cycling Tour” that will take place this year on July 23-26 in Romania – more details here.
Route in a nutshell
Distance: 55 km | Elevation gain: 1,000 m (max elevation 1,400 m)
Route: Sibiu – Rasinari – Paltinis and back
The climb to Paltinis is surely an attractive option because of its proximity to Sibiu – you can enjoy the benefits of a beautiful and big city (plenty of options for yummy food, delicious coffee, sightseeing) and also the quietness of the mountains.
This time around, my husband and I drove from Bucharest to Sibiu (4h drive) in the morning and then managed to ride all the way up to Paltinis and get back to Sibiu before sunset (including a meal close to Paltinis). Not bad at all!
Sibiu – Rasinari
From Sibiu you can follow the bike lane toward the Astra Museum, and then continue on quiet state roads to Rasinari. I detailed about this section on my previous post – check it out for details.
Rasinari – Paltinis
After Rasinari there is a false-flat climb of approx. 10 km until you reach the beginning of the Paltinis climb. The bending roads are between hills, with little / no shade.
Now we get to the famous climb – 8 km with an average of 6,5%. You will be enchanted by the scenery and the winding roads, and there are enough opportunities to take amazing pictures as souvenirs 🙂
The final section of the climb is much more accessible, with some rolling hills and false-flat areas. A well deserved recovery after the tough climb!
After the relaxing part you get to THE spot – Paltinis – the highest resort in Romania (1,440 meters). Yes, this time I made it to the top!
During the long descent you can enjoy the mountains’ views to the fullest! Keep in mind it can get windy up there, so a wind jacket will come in handy. Now you have a better view of how much you’ve actually climbed – time for a self pat on the back 🙂
Late lunch stop on the way back
As you might imagine, we were starving by the time we got to the bottom of the climb. With still many kilometers until reaching Sibiu, we decided to fill our tummies with a well-deserved meal at the restaurant where we also stopped the last time. Grilled fish and polenta, here we come!
This time I did not use a rental (as back in 2019), but instead opted for my own bike – Canyon Endurace CF SL Disc – it proved an excellent choice for me 🙂
If you would like to rent a bike for this climb from Sibiu, my go-to rental place is Light Cycling.
‘Till next time … happy riding!
PS: I am so grateful to my husband for taking all these lovely pictures – thank you!