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 Transylvania Ride is quite varied. You will experience life as the locals live in the villages and at traditional guesthouses. The first and fourth nights are usually spent at Miklósvár in houses which your host, Tibor, has re-built with great care and attention to detail (the first 3 nights of the Combined Riding & Culture are spent here). Each room at Miklósvár is different with lovely antique furniture and woodburning stoves, typical of the region, which are lit in the winter. The last 2 nights are generally in a typical Transylvanian farmhouse belonging to HRH Prince of Wales at Zalánpatak, which has been restored in similar fashion (the last 3 nights of the Combined Riding & Culture are spent here). Other nights on the Transylvania Ride 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 a single supplement will apply, aalthough a single room cannot be guaranteed every night.
|Rates 2018||Transylvania Ride (6 nights) - Euros 1385
Combined Riding & Culture (6 nights) - Euros 1145
Single supplement - 30 euros per night, payable locally.
Rates include - 6 nights twin accommodation, all riding (5 days on Transylvania Ride; 3 days on combined ride), guiding, equipment, meals and wine with dinner, and transfers from / to Bucharest by private vehicle (based on 2 or more travelling together).
Rates exclude - international flights to Romania, personal medical insurance (compulsory), visa fees, extra drinks, extra sightseeing during the ride and any tips you wish to leave.
Itinerary in brief - Transylvania Ride (please enquire for Combined Riding & Culture itinerary)
|Day 1||Arrive Bucharest airport and transfer by private vehicle 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 south west along gentler slopes, with good chances to canter, and into the Olt river valley to reach Miklosvar where the night is spent in the Miklovar guesthouse.|
||Ride east today through forested hills and valleys to reach Zalanpatak. The night is spent in a typical farmhouse belonging to HRH Prince of Wales.|
||Breakfast and set off riding back to the stables at Sepsikorospatak with picnic lunch en-route. Say goodbye to the horses and transfer back by vehicle to Zalanpatak for the final 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 you will be met and transferred 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.
As mentioned above the cost of transfer between Bucharest Otopeni airport and the start / end of the ride at Miklósvár / Zalánpatak are included in the price, assuming 2 or more guests travelling together. If just one person is travelling, there will be an extra charge of approximately 195 Euros.