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Romania - Carpathian Wilderness Trail
A unique and remote camping trail ride through the Carpathian Mountains in Romania.

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from £1,825 or €2,100

Horse Riding Holidays Romania – Carpathian Wilderness Trail

PRICES & DATES top

Carpathian Wilderness Trail: Prices 2021

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  • 14 nights – $2,518
    • GBP: 1,825
    • EUR: 2,165
    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.

Carpathian Wilderness Trail: Dates 2021

18th July – 1st August 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

Complete freedom, adventure, around the campfire, enjoying the simple life and sleeping under the starlit sky: a stunning 2-week camping and riding trip through the wilderness of the Romanian Carpathians.

On this extraordinary adventure, we explore over 330 km of the volcanic Harghita Mountains. The trail-ride will take you to the beautiful main ridge of the Carpathians with untouched primeval forests, spectacular mountain views and blooming meadows as far as the eye can see. Our route leads us around Lake Sfânta Ana, which is the only volcanic crater lake in Eastern Europe. We will camp at natural campsites, far away from any civilization. Your food is cooked on a pot over a fire in the great outdoors and your belongings are carried on a pack horse. The evenings end socially aroud the campfire with guitar music, a lot of singing and good conversations. On our 6th day we will let our horses enjoy a much-deserved break. Meanwhile we will visit a cave, a spring, the beautiful Lake Sfânta Ana and watch the native brown bears in their natural habitat. This is the perfect trip for anyone seeking a true riding holiday adventure at the heart of rural Europe!

Trip Highlights

  • 12 riding days/ 14 overnight stays
  • Trail-ride of 330 km through the wilderness of the Carpathians
  • Reliable, sure-footed horses
  • Experienced, English speaking guide
  • 2 hot meals a day
  • Local, alcoholic beverages are included
  • 1 picnic a day
  • 3 overnight stays on the ranch in an oven-heated double/or multibed room
  • 3 overnight stays in a comfortable guesthouse
  • 8 nights of camping
  • Adventurous off-road drive to the 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 Carpathian Wilderness Trail 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 Day
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 settling into your room and meeting the horses, our cook Brigitta, will serve up a delicious Szekler dinner, in our rustic log cabin.

2nd Day
Trial day: After a hearty breakfast, 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. We will be riding through small mountain streams and pass through vast meadows in order to reach the summit of Mount Magas Büc. Once we’ve reached the peak and had lunch, we will return to our ranch. Here, you will receive a short instruction on how to set up the tents. Our bath barrel filled with salt water will allow you to relax while enjoying the sunset after another delicious dinner.

Duration of the ride approx. 2 hours

3rd Day
Our great adventure begins: The first riding stage slowly leads us uphill. We will follow a small path, which will lead us to a clear stream, where we will have the opportunity to water our horses and refill our water bottles. Continuing to ride uphill through dense spruce forests we will reach Mount Sípos (1568m). Once we reach the summit, we will stop for lunch and enjoy the breath taking view of the Harghita Mountains. Nourished and full of energy, we will ride to the plateau which will be our campsite for the night. Once we’ve set up our tents, we will prepare dinner together and share some good stories at the bonfire.

Duration of the ride approx. 3.5 hours

4th Day
After a hearty breakfast from the cauldron we will descend from the plateau. Once we’ve crossed the Mures River the picturesque Harghita Mountains will stretch out in front of us. Before having our lunch break, we’ll ride up to the next summit (1153 metres) so that we can enjoy the breath taking view over the Gheorgheni Basin and the Görgenyi Mountains. We will then ride towards the Devil’s Lake. On a remote clearing nearby, we will set up our camp for the night. While our dinner is boiling in the pot, we’ll refresh ourselves in the cold mountain stream and visit a hot spring.

Duration of the ride approx. 5 hours

5th Day
Today is the longest and perhaps also the most strenuous day of our tour, as we will be riding up to the two highest peaks, Fertö (1589 m) and Madarasi (1801 m). We will be exploring mountain passes, flowering meadows, enjoy panoramic views and fragrant forests, in which we often find fresh bear tracks. Moreover, we will be spending the night in a beautiful mountain guesthouse 1700 meters.

Duration of the ride approx. 6.5 hours

6th Day:

Via Rákosi Hargita (1756 m) we will be reaching the village of Bad Hargita, where we will stop to have lunch. In the afternoon, wide, puszta-like plains are going to await us. The latter are ideal for quick canters. Today, we will be spending the night at an idyllic camp site, with numerous herds of cows and sheep and a beautiful mountain view.

Duration of the ride approx. 6 hours

7th Day
In the morning, we’ll be riding past the peat bog of Lucs. At a fast trot we will then be reaching Szent Imrei only to continue our route in the direction of Mount Kakukk (1557m). Here you will observe a sudden change in the landscape. The pine forests through which we have been riding so far are replaced by beech forests. Today’s campsite is close to a traditional alpine hut, where we will learn how the shepherds milk their sheep. Also, we’ll have the opportunity to taste the fresh cheese.

Duration of the ride approx. 6 hours

8th Day
We will be riding over a steep ridge with breath taking views of the surrounding snow-capped peaks, which are up to 2500m high. In the afternoon we’ll cross the river Alt. Once we have arrived at a cozy guesthouse, near Tusnad Fürdö, we’ll enjoy a much-deserved hot shower and enjoy a tasty dinner on the terrace.

Duration of the ride approx. 6 hours

9th Day
Today, we won’t be riding, we will give the horses a well deserved day off. After a visit to Lake Sfânta Ana, the Devil’s Swamp and a sulphur cave, we will head off to watch brown bears in their natural habitat. We will be spending another night at the guesthouse near Tunsnad Fürdö.

10th Day
After a tasty breakfast, we’re going to get back onto our horses. We’ll ride through some small, tranquil villages which are situated near to Mount Büdös. This area is very sulphurous……………….smelly!! Our journey will take us along the Buffogó Moores and up into the mountains where we’ll reach a plateau where we will canter over its extensive meadows. Close to a beautiful spring and among the shepherds, we’ll be setting up our camp for the night.

Duration of the ride approx. 6 hours

11th Day
We’ll be leaving our campsite via colourful meadows and heaths and enjoy the spectacular view of the mountains surrounding us. In order to get to the next campsite, we’ll be riding through mystical pine forests. Close to a clear mountain stream we’ll set up our tents and go out and collect the firewood we need for the night.

Duration of the ride approx. 6 hours

12th Day
Today’s ride will take us to cultivated pastures and farms. Steep ridges and rocky cliffs will be surrounding us, as we’ll marvel at the beautiful view of the Csiki Basin below us. We will spend the night in a tent next to an old farm and watch the farmers as they bring in the harvested hay with the horse-drawn carriage.

Duration of the ride approx. 5.5 hours

13th Day
Our adventure will lead us through numerous herds of sheep and across colourful meadows. A vast plateau surrounded by mystical cliffs and limestone formations will be our campsite for the night.

Duration of the ride approx. 5 hours

14th Day
On our last day in the saddle, we’ll be riding up some steep mountain peaks (1700m). Occasionally we’ll have to dismount in order to climb up some tricky stretches. Our reward will be a wonderful canter along the Fehérmezö Plateau. Once again, we’ll be able to enjoy the scenic view of the Harghita Mountains as we make our way back to the ranch. Waiting for you is a farewell party with some traditional music and stuffed lamb from the oven. You’ll enjoy your last overnight stay on the ranch.

Duration of the ride approx. 7 hours

15th Day
The time has come to say goodbye. After a hearty breakfast, we will drive you to Gheorgheni, from where you will start your individual journey back home. And the hope you return again…………..!

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