These rides take place in Transylvania, in central Romania, not far from the town of Brasov, and are based from Korospatak which was the centre of the Kalnoky family’s country estate. The rides are run by Count Tibor Kalnoky and his wife Anna and are a trip back into the past, to a wonderfully unspoilt horse-drawn rural society that has scarcely changed in generations. The forested hills are home to bears, wolves and deer and there is a great variety of bird life. The region you visit is Sekler country, an area settled by the Hungarian army centuries ago, where Hungarian is still the most widely spoken language. Medieval Saxon villages established in the 14th and 15th centuries are a famous feature of the region, and there is time to visit some of these. The 6 night trips are run from set dates during spring, summer and autumn months. Family rides can be organised and non riders are welcome.
Winter short breaks with riding and visit to a hide for bear watching are possible between October & March
Riding: 4 to 6 hours riding a day
Horses: Arab crosses, Huzul mountain ponies, and other local crossbreeds.
Pace: moderate/slow due to terrain but chance for some good canters on most days.
Riding ability: intermediate and above.
Weight limit: 90 kg (14st 2lbs).
Accommodation: 2* / 3* hotels, rural guest houses.
Group size: max 8
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The horses are locally bred ponies along with Arab and Lipizzaner crosses. Their breeding includes Huzul, unique to the Carpathian mountains, and some locally bred Lipizzaners and Arabs. They range from around 14.2hh to 16.2hh. They are keen and spirited, adaptable and well suited to the going. They are also of calm temperament and sensible to handle.
This is a trip for those wishing to experience Romania's unspoilt countryside and unique culture. Rides are normally limited to a maximum of 8 guests.
Hours: There is usually between 3 and 6 hours riding a day, broken up with rest stops and a break for lunch.
Pace and experience required: These rides are for intermediate riders and above. The horses are spirited but well behaved. The pace is moderate overall and there are good chances for trots and canters every day.
Accommodation on the ride is quite varied and you will experience the life the locals live in the villages. Rural guesthouses in villages are roughly equivalent to ‘B&Bs’ and you are staying with a family. They are simple but clean and well maintained, with inside plumbing, bathrooms and loos, hot water and central heating. Bathrooms are often shared and may be along the corridor or through the kitchen. Most bathrooms have showers rather than tubs but are clean with plenty of hot water. The first night is often spent in a farmhouse at Zalanpatak, owned by the Prince of Wales, and last two nights are usually spent at Miklosvar. Your host, Tibor, has restored the houses at both Zalanpatak and Miklosvar with great care and attention to detail. Each room is different with lovely antique furniture and woodburning stoves typical of the region. Rooms are twin bedded and if you would like a single room then this is sometimes possible although cannot be guaranteed.
6 nights - £ 895
|Season||April to October|
You will need to fly to Bucharest for this ride and we can arrange meeting / transfers from there. Romanian Airlines (Tarom) or British Airways both fly daily direct from London Heathrow to Bucharest with fares from around £300 per person return including tax.
From Bucharest we can either arrange transfer by private vehicle to Zalanpatak where the ride begins, or there is the option of taking the train to Brasov and transfer by car from there to Zalanpatak. Transfer costs will depend on group size but are approximately £135 per person return, assuming 2 people travelling together by private transfer.
Itinerary in Brief
|Day 1||Arrive Bucharest airport and transfer either by car or by train and car to Zalanpatak. Meet your guide for dinner, overnight Zalanpatak in a farmhouse belonging to Prince Charles or at Miklosvar.|
||Transfer to the riding centre at Sepsikorospatak and meet the horses. Set off riding north up onto a ridge with magnificent views of the high Carpathian mountains. Pass traditional villages and meet shepherds and their flocks in the high pastures. Descend through the forest to the village of Malnas Bai where the night is spent.|
||Ride in a north-westerly direction into the forests of the Hatod region where you may see bear tracks along the quiet forest paths. Picnic lunch then descend gentle grassy slopes to the villages of Batanii (Big Bacon and Little Bacon) where the night is spent in village houses.|
||Continue riding northwest through the village of Herculian and climb the Szep Arca hill on the southern slopes of the Hargita Range with wonderful views of the Barot and Olt Valleys. Descend into the Kormos valley where Romania’s former dictator Ceausescu had a hunting lodge. Night at a villa in the Kormos valley.|
||A long ride heading south along the Kormos Valley passing the villages of Filia and Biborteni. Continue along gentler slopes, with good chances to canter, and into the Olt river valley to reach Miklosvar where the night is spent in one of the village guesthouses.|
||Breakfast and set off riding back to the stables at Sepsikorospatak with picnic lunch en-route at Zalanpatak. Say goodbye to the horses and transfer back to Miklosvar for the night.|
||Breakfast and transfer by car to Bucharest airport (4 hour drive) arriving in time for your return flight.|
|Contact us on 01837-82544 for further information, detailed itineraries, dates and answers to questions|
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