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.
Riding: 4 to 6 hours riding a day
Horses: Arab crosses, Huzul mountainponies, 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: rural guest houses.
Group size: max 8
Season: April to October
Horses: The horses used for these rides are locally bred and characteristic of the area. Their breeding includes Hungarian Gidrans, Arabs, Semigreu (a Lipizzaner-Ardennes cross) some locally bred Lipizzaners, and Huzuls, a historic and robust breed unique to the Carpathian mountains. They range from around 14.2hh to 16.2hh and are sensible and well adapted to the terrain. English general purpose and endurance saddles are used and saddle bags are provided. Most of the horses are ridden in snaffle bridles but some may be ridden in Pelhams. 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 each ride is slightly different. You will experience life as the locals live in the villages and at traditional guesthouses. The first night and the last two nights are usually spent at Miklósvár in houses which your host, Tibor, has re-built with great care and attention to detail. Each room at Miklósvár is different with lovely antique furniture and woodburning stoves, typical of the region, which are lit in the winter. Depending on availability at Miklósvár, you may also stay in a typical Transylvanian farmhouse belonging to HRH Prince of Wales at Zalánpatak, which has been restored in similar fashion. Other nights are spent in rural guesthouses in villages, equivalent to 'B&Bs', usually staying with a family - the group may not all stay in the same house but may be split between 2 or 3 families. 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 a corridor, through the kitchen or downstairs. Most bathrooms have showers rather than baths but are clean with plenty of hot water. Rooms are usually twin bedded and if you would like a single room then this is possible although cannot be guaranteed.
|Rates 2017||6 nights - £895
(£1045 including transfers from/to Bucharest airport)
No single supplement is charged on the ride but please note that single rooms cannot be guaranteed.
Rates include - 6 nights twin accommodation, all riding, guiding, equipment, meals and wine with dinner.
Rates exclude - international flights to Romania, transfers from / to Bucharest, personal medical insurance (compulsory), visa fees, extra drinks, extra sightseeing during the ride and any tips you wish to leave.
Dates 2017 / 2018
3rd to 9th September
Itinerary in brief
|Day 1||Arrive Bucharest airport and transfer either by car or by train and car to Miklosvar. Meet your guide for dinner, overnight at Miklosvar guesthouse.|
||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 (Prince Charles' farmhouse). Say goodbye to the horses and transfer back to Miklosvar for the night.|
||Breakfast and transfer by car to Bucharest airport (4 to 5 hour drive) arriving in time for your return flight.|
|Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on tel (+44) (0)1837-82544 / 825440 for further information, detailed itineraries, dates and answers to questions.|
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. Easy Jet, Ryan Air, Blue Air and Wizz Air also fly from regional UK airports to Bucharest.
From Bucharest we can either arrange transfer by private vehicle to Miklosvar where the ride begins, or there is the option of taking the train to Brasov and transfer by car from there to Miklosvar. Transfer costs are approximately £150 per person return, assuming 2 people travelling together by private transfer.