Legendary Transylvania (one week, progressive ride)

General info

This one-week horseback riding vacation offers you the genuine feeling of freedom living the life of a wayfarer.

On the first morning we leave our horse riding base in the village of Kiskede, and we travel every day to a new location. Usually we spend 4-6 hours on horseback, with a midday break and picnic lunch, riding around 30 km a day. You will spend the nights at selected partner guesthouses, the rider’s luggage is transported by service car to the next point.

During this vacation, you will spend every day and every night at a new place, riding through endless meadows and on beautiful forest tracks.
Located in the center of the country, in historical Transylvania, you will have the chance to explore the delightful countryside, where most people still live like they did centuries ago.

This is the best way to explore the traditional villages, to meet local people and to get to know their traditions, dances and customs. . During the ride you also get in touch with the local wildlife. We will pass flocks of sheep and herds of cattle, being part of the agricultural tradition that is still part of the everyday life of Transylvania.

The riding

During this vacation, you will ride our well-trained, sturdy and forward going Hungarian purebred sport horses (Shagya-Arabs, Gidrans, Kisberi, and Lippizans). The horses have lots of staying power and are used to different types of terrain.

The horses are ridden in English tack. We have custom-made saddles, fitted individually for each horse, produced by a saddler manufacture. Five days of riding, 4-6 hours a day in the saddle is common for this vacation. On day 5 we let the horses rest, and an excursion is organized for you.

The riding is a mix of paces to suit the actual terrain condition and is fast in places. This vacation is only suitable for good intermediate to experienced riders who are confident in all paces. You must be able to handle a horse at speed in a group situation and be comfortable riding over rough terrain. Some natural obstacles also need to be negotiated. You also need to be healthy and physically fit.

Since our Hungarian horses are smaller than the average warmblood, the weight limit is 90 kg. For security reason, we recommend the wearing of hard helmets.

Activities / Events

In addition to the horse riding trips, you will meet local people, explore the Transylvanian dances and parts of the regional culture. Also some traditional craftsmen will be visited on our tours.

After reaching our destinations in late afternoon or early evening, you can go mountain biking or hiking: The surrounding hills offer plenty ways for individual adventures in the great outdoors. Excursions with traditional horse carts are also great fun. Wildlife and bear watching can also be organized. (If you are interested, please let us know in advance.)

Accommodation / Food

During your vacation, you stay in our partner guesthouses.

This vacation includes 7 nights with 5 days of riding, and one day of rest. The tour usually starts on Sunday and ends Sunday the following week.
Our meals are prepared from local vegetables, grown by small farmers in the village. Meat and milk also usually comes from regional farms. During the tours, we will take our breakfast at the guesthouse, lunch is served along the way. This can be the from saddle-bag, or if possible, we organize lunch at guesthouses or interesting places where local specialities are served. Dinner is our main meal, back in guesthouse.

Vegetarians and vegans are welcomed, please let us know your requirements at reservation.

Itinerary

Please note that the following itinerary is our base line. Weather conditions, unpredictable natural or other obstacles can change our route. Also the order of villages we visit might vary.
We have the distances and riding times measured and scheduled. Based on the riders abilities, for your safety and comfort, the guide can decide to shorten or alter the initial route.

Day 1

Arrival at Cluj Napoca Airport, where you will be collected mid-afternoon. Transfer to our riding base/ partner guesthouse is a journey of about four hours. After arriving at our partner guesthouse, we get to known each other and have dinner. A short briefing also takes place.

Day 2

After breakfast you will be picked-up and transferred to our horse riding base (aprox. 5 minutes), where you will be introduced to our horses and every rider gets the best suitable horse for the week. We spend some time here, usually a short ride in the arena is also needed.

Preparations done, we head to our first destination Firtosváralja, a charming village, where we arrive in the evening. On the way, we have a lunch break at a barn guesthouse, where our food is prepared by local ladies.

We spend the night here in a nice, traditionally built guesthouse. On our way, we cross several villages and we also spend some time there. Locally produced food and drinks will be tasted, traditional craftsmen and some monuments will also be visited.

The view is extraordinary: The Transylvanian landscape and the green hills stretch out endlessly in front of us. You will see no cars and hear no traffic noise or city sounds . What you might see instead: deer and rabbits, maybe some cute foxes. For the evening, regionally produced dinner and some folk program is awaiting us.

The ride is a mix of walk, trot and occasionally canters. During the day, we spend approximately 4-4,5 hours in the saddle, riding around in total 25 km.

Day 3

The second day of riding, and also the longest riding day of the week. After breakfast we tack up and head to Székelyvarság, the biggest scattered settlement in the county, its area being 76.69 km². The name Varság was first mentioned in 1598. In 1888, it was recorded as Varság-tisztás but the place was not inhabited until the end of the 19th century, when summer dwellings for villagers were built here.

Sixty percent of its area is covered in forest with a great biological diversity. The local fauna includes rabbits, foxes, bears, wolves, lynxes and a lot of rare species of birds. During the summer, raspberries, bilberries, blackberries, wild strawberries and several species of mushrooms can be picked.

This is a great place for horse riding. After a long day on horseback, local food at the guesthouse is awaiting for us.

Day 4

We spend the day at Székelyvarság, go for some short rides and visit local landmarks, such as the ruins Tartód castle and the Csorgókő falls.

There are plenty of places to see, to experience the natural beauty of the region from horseback is simply wonderful.

Day 5

After an easy day, we are heading for Ivó today. Our trail moves along forrest roads, vast meadows and horse cart paths. We are surrounded by the untouched nature and the endless sky. The ride is a mix of walk, long trots and only occasionally canters.

The highlight of this day is the ride through the Wildlife Park of Ivó, where our guests can see the life of red deer, fallow deer, mouflons and wild boars in their natural habitat. The tour is conducted by experienced tour guides. The 320 hectares park nestles between rolling hills and river valleys at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains.

The tour ends with the tasting of special locally prepared products. For the evening, ususally we also organize some events, like wine tasting, or something like that.

Days 6-7

From the morning of day 6 on, we are heading back to Kiskede. The next two days we ride through hills, small villages, and forrest tracks in order to get back to the starting point, our horse base camp. Both days we have lunch breaks, and for the evenings we have guesthouses reserved with bathrooms and toilets.

Usually we also visit local people, who, because of their craftsmanship or just because they represent so well the local people, deserve to be looked at.
On day 7, in the late afternoon, we arrive at Kiskede, the place we started our tour a few days ago. We say good bye to horses and thank them for the work during the week.

A festive “Good bye” dinner will be a great way to spend our last evening together and to share all the adventures of those past days.

Day 8

Based on your flight schedule, after breakfast you will be brought back to Cluj Napoca Airport for your journey back home.