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Romania - 3 Week Carpathian Wilderness Expedition
A unique and remote expedition ride through the Carpathian Mountains in Romania.

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Horse Riding Holidays Romania – 3 Week Carpathian Wilderness Expedition

PRICES & DATES top

3 Week Carpathian Wilderness Expedition: Price 2021

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  • 21 Nights/3 Weeks – $3,415
    • GBP: 2,500
    • EUR: 2,909
    per person sharing

Note: Rates are subject to daily exchange rate fluctuations, please refer to our ‘Terms & Conditions’ for full details.

Included – All riding, your guide, full board accommodation and drinks with meals including local alcohol, use of wellness facilities (hot tub), luggage transport, saddle bags, plus transfer from Gheorgheni to the mountains and back.

Excluded – International flights to Romania & tips.

3 Week Carpathian Wilderness Expedition: Dates 2021

19th September – 10th October, 2021

Getting There
Nearest airports are Cluj Napoca, Sibiu, Targu Mures or Bucharest.

From all airports you can reach the destination by train – you can find all connections at www.cfrcalatori.ro/en/ Enter “Gheorgheni” as the destination.

A prior reservation is usually not necessary, tickets can be purchased cheaply on site.
The prices for the single ticket range from approx. 70-80 lei (approx. 15 euros) for regional trains to 120 lei (approx. 26 euros) for express trains.

If you have difficulties finding train connections, we can help.

Transfers
We can also organize transfers from all airports:

Bucharest airport: 160 euros each car / route, maximum 4 people, approx. 5-6 hours, 350 km
Cluj Napoca airport: 110 euros per car / route, maximum 4 people, approx. 4 hours, 220 km
Targu Mures airport: 85 euros per car / route, maximum 4 people, approx. 3 hours, 130 km
Sibiu airport: 110 euros per car / route, maximum 4 people, approx. 4 hours, 220km

Remember our Horse Riding Holidays GUARANTEE. You won’t find these Horse Riding Holidays (or any of our Horse Riding Holidays) at a lower price through any other source… and if you do we will refund the difference.

SUMMARY OF THE TRIP top

Three weeks of glorious horseback riding through the most remote wilderness of the Romanian Carpathians. Pure nature, spectacular landscapes, mysterious primeval forests: The idyllic Székely Land combines the wilderness of the Eastern Carpathians, the beauty of rugged mountain passes, narrow riding routes, mysterious spruce forests and rural hidden campsites. There is also a stop along the way to watch and observe the local brown bears in their natural habitat. It is the diversity of the landscape and the untouched nature that make this 22 day expedition an unforgettable experience, which every riding adventurer should not miss!

In rural Romania, time seems to stand still. Traditions have a high value in the daily life of the population; shepherds still freely roam over the wide alpine pastures with their sheep and farmers use horse-drawn carriages to bring in wood and hay.

At night, you will spend 4 nights at the ranch, 5 nights in a tent under the starlit sky and 12 nights in small, friendly family-run guesthouses, you will get to know the hospitality of the Szeklers, who will spoil you with local delicacies.

Trip Highlights

  • 18 riding days / 21 overnight stays
  • Trail-ride of 450 km through the wilderness of the Eastern Carpathians
  • Daily rides with a duration of 4-7 hours
  • Reliable, sure-footed horses
  • Experienced, English speaking guide ⁃ 3 rest days with cultural trips
  • 2 hot meals a day
  • 1 picnic a day
  • 4 overnight stays on our ranch in an oven-heated double- or multibed room
  • 5 nights of camping
  • 12 overnight stays in different guesthouses
  • Adventurous off-road drive to our ranch
  • Bear watching
  • Hot Pot: wood-heated tub with warm salt water included – fabulous for aching riding muscles!

Your Hosts

Nestled high up in the Carpathian Mountains, at 1250 meters, this idyllic ranch at the heart of Transylvania helps you get away from it all.

All year round, the horses roam freely through the lush mountain meadows surrounding the ranch. Csaba from Romania and Katrin from Germany as well as their hard-working staff, are always striving to provide our guests with an unforgettable experience in the great outdoors.

Csaba
Born in the Székely Land and raised in the Carpathian Mountains, Csaba is the founder of Hipparion. Growing up in the mountains has instilled a deep-rooted love for the outdoors and horses within him. At the age of four, Csaba accompanied his grandfather taking the carriage to the mountains to supply the local workers with food and to transport wood from the forests to the valley down below. Thus, his journey began exploring the Carpathians and fostering a strong connection with the horses. As a young boy, Csaba started to ride horses with the intention to treat the latter fairly and with respect.

After having done an agricultural internship in Germany, he first started to work as a professional rider in Hungary before completing his studies in Tourism Management at the University of Cluj-Napoca in 2015.

In the Carpathians and Transylvania, where the adventures run, Csaba is familiar with every path, as well as the locals and is keen to share many good stories and his knowledge about the regional culture with you.

Katrin
Originally from the South of Germany, Katrin was raised in a rural environment and started to ride from her early childhood on. After having obtained her degree in violin studies, she worked as a violinist, devoting eight years of her career to music. However, her passion for horses, adventure, the outdoors and Csaba brought her to Transylvania in early 2017.

THE RIDING top

Horses – They are cross bred Lipizzaner horses with native horses. They are sure-footed and can safely find their way in difficult mountain terrain. They range from 14hh to 16.2hh.

Level of Riding & Pace – Intermediate plus riders only. You will be riding for 4 – 6 hours a day, therefore you do need a good level of fitness and you should be able to canter under control in open countryside.

Tack – English style using remodelled German saddles from the Wehrmacht. They have been developed into comfortable long distance saddles with handmade leather saddlebags. The bridles are local bridles with snaffle bits and there is also the option to ride bitless.

Weight Restriction – 90 kg / 14 st / 200 lbs.
Heavier riders can also visit, but please advise first as we need to make sure we have the bigger horses available up to 120kgs.

Group Size – Maximum 12.

ACCOMMODATION top

The Ranch
Picturesquely situated at 1250 meters in the heart of the Eastern Carpathian Mountains, the ranch allows you to get away from it all! Without any mobile phone reception and far away from civilization, you can relax and fully enjoy the silence and the spectacular nature around you.

All rooms have a small bathroom with running warm water.
There is log style cabin called Tiny House, which was completed in 2020 and offers space for up to 4 people and is equipped with a private bathroom and a 2-person bathtub.
There is also the main guesthouse, an original Csango farm house from 1910, offers space for up to 16 people. The comfortable, oven-heated rooms are furnished in the rustic style that is typical of Romania.
And also a camp site, about 200 meters from the main buildings, which offers you the opportunity in the warm summer months to sleep in the middle of nature under the stars and sit with other guests around the campfire in the evenings and wake up to birdsong in the mornings. There are outdoor showers in the forest within easy walking distance.
Also for your relaxation and comfort after a hard day riding, is the Hot Pot, a spacious bath barrel filled with salt water which accommodates 6 people and invites you to relax in the evenings. Immersed in the pleasantly warm water and with a glass of wine, you can enjoy watching the sunset whilst chatting about your day in the saddle.

Whilst staying at the ranch you will be surrounded by their herd of Hungarian grey cattle which roam the meadows around the farm together with the horses since 2020. They are an ancient breed, very slowly growing Hungarian steppe cow, which is threatened with extinction. The peculiarities of the “szürke marha”, as they are called in Hungarian, are their exceptionally long horns and their ability to adapt to harsh climates, so that they are able to live free-range at the ranch all year round.

Tents
On this trail you will be given your own tent, which you will be given instruction on how to put up – they are pop up and easy to use. You are also provided with a sleeping mattress, but you must bring your own sleeping bag and pillow. You can also bring your own tent.

Food
Meals are taken in the log home dining room. In the mornings and in the evenings, you will enjoy regional delicacies which are freshly prepared each day by their kitchen fairy cook, Brigitta.

The food is of high organic standard and locally produced. Brigitta’s cooking has a Romanian, Hungarian, & Armenian influence.
Breakfast is usually several different types of home-made salami, sausages and cheese, as well as different types of homemade jam, several homemade chutneys, home baked or local breads. There is one or two hot dishes and including eggs and pancakes.
Lunch is picnic style, bread, salami, cheese, vegetables, fruits and local chocolate.
There is some late afternoon cake, tea and coffee after your ride.
Dinner is usually soup to start followed by a main dish, fresh fish, local meat, pizza from their own pizza oven along with fresh vegetables, salads.

Most dietary requests are accommodated, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Intolerant etc, please just ask.

Horse Riding Holidays like our 3 Week Carpathian Wilderness Expedition are part of the Zara’s Planet collection of Horse Riding Holidays Romania.

Please Ask About

  • Add on a city break in Bucharest

SAMPLE ITINERARY top

1st Week

After your arrival in Gheorgheni, we will take you on an adventurous off-road ride: In our van we will take you to our Hipparion Ranch, which is remotely located in the Eastern Carpathian Mountains. With a little luck we might spot a deer, a capercaillie bird or even a bear. Once you have arrived on our ranch, you can unwind after your long journey by immersing yourself in the warm salt water of our Hot Pot. After having familiarized yourself with our horses and moving into your room, our cook Brigitta, will indulge you with an original Szekler dinner, in our rustic log cabin. After having enjoyed a hearty breakfast on the next morning, we will go on a short ride to discover the area around our ranch. This will allow you to get to know your horse and the equipment.

Once we’ve returned at our ranch, we will discuss our upcoming adventure and you will receive a short instruction on how to set up the tents. In the evening, our bath barrel filled with salt water will allow you to relax while enjoying the ravishing sunset. On your third day our pack trip begins. In our first week you will get an insight into the nomadic lifestyle of the local shepherds and farmers. While riding along the main ridge of the Carpathians, you will enjoy the spectacular beauty of the valley below you. We will be spending the nights in tents at beautiful campsites which are far away from any civilization.

The green mountain plateaus will repeatedly invite us to canter. We’ll let the week end at Lake Sfânta Ana, which is the only volcanic crater lake in Eastern Europe, and spend the night in a cozy guesthouse. On our first rest-day, we will take a much deserved hot shower, drink the crystal-clear water of the famous healing spring and visit the beautiful Lake Sfânta Ana. In the evening a very special highlight awaits you: During a bear observation, you will get to see native brown bears in their natural habitat.

2nd Week

The fragrant and deep forests of the Harghita Mountains will mark the beginning of our second week. As we ride through the narrow gorges of Varghis, we’ll pass several cultural sights: Our route takes us past a well-known iron foundry, famous for creating the first cannon of the revolution in 1848. Suddenly, the landscape will change: the deep, shady forests and high mountains are going to give way to an idyllic, open and hilly landscape.

We’ll stop to visit a ranch for Arabian horses. After a long riding day, we’ll visit a waterfall, where we can refresh ourselves. We’ll spend two nights in a beautiful old farm and take a ride to a local fishery, where we’ll enjoy the freshly caught trout. Light beech and ancient oak forests will guide our way to the volcanic Hargita Plateau, where we’ll have a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains. On our rest day, we’ll visit a traditional pottery in Korond and relax in a small spa. We’ll be sleeping in charming rural guesthouses.

3rd Week

All through our last week, we’ll be accommodated in rustic and traditional guesthouses. Our way will be leading us further over the Hargita Plateau and through colourful lush mountain meadows, as well as dense primeval forests. In the tranquil village of Varsag, we’ll get to experience how the traditional wooden shingles are made. On a carriage ride through the idyllic village we’ll visit an old mill and a waterfall. After this eventful rest day, we’ll get back into the saddle of our four-legged friends and ride away from the tranquil country life and into the wilderness of the forests in the Harghita Mountains. Off the beaten path, we’ll come through enchanted landscapes, where animals such as deer, capercaillie birds, lynxes, wolves, wildcats and bears roam. Our long journey will be about to come to an end.

The Hipparion Ranch will welcome us with its steaming hot pot and a roast lamb from the oven. The last day will end with a trip to the legendary Murder Lake and the spectacular Bicaz Gorge. In the evening you’ll get to celebrate your wild adventure on a big farewell and with traditional tunes.

 

DESTINATION MAP top

Zara’s Planet Horse Riding Holidays Guarantee:

All our horse riding holidays hold a price guarantee. We believe in your piece of mind on price when you book one of our horse riding holidays and will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.

If you are having trouble finding exactly the right horse riding holiday for you from our horse riding holidays collection, please contact us directly using the form below and tell us in your own words what you would like to do and we will use our extensive knowledge to make sure we find that perfect horse riding holiday.

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Romania Holidays Testimonials

Kate Kellaway on Transylvania Trail, Romania

This was a trail ride – but 'trail' does not describe its exhilarating pace (although speed is always dictated by the weakest rider in the group). The riding in Romania is sensational, with uninterrupted miles of pasture and woodland. No gates, no fences. On the first day, we headed north up to a ridge with

Kate Kellaway Guardian Newspaper