Riding Holidays in Transylvania-equestrian tourism in the land of Dracula

One-week Ride

Moving-on Trail Ride

This is the standard itinerary available from the beginning of April to the beginning of November. Around 5-6 hours are spent in the saddle daily and a variety of terrain is traversed as you travel through wild hills and forest landscapes. The villages are situated at 450-600m, the hills reach 700-900m. This whole region is called Erdovidék, or “Woodlands”, and has been looking very much the same for the last centuries.

Day 1 (Sunday)—Arrive at Sfantu Gheorghe (Sepsiszentgyörgy, Saint George) in the afternoon at Hotel Park, where your guide will welcome you and you will enjoy a hearty dinner, followed by a night’s rest at the hotel.

Day 2 (Monday)- Transfer to the riding centre at Valea Crisului (Sepsikoröspatak, “Round Brook”), 7km by car. The ride starts climbing slowly onto a ridge, where we are heading north on high pastures with magnificent views stretching to the high Carpathian Range. We leave the villages of Kálnok and Zalán to our right below us down in the valley, meet shepherds and their flocks on the pastures and at the end of the day we descend through the forest to reach Malnas Bai (Málnásfürdo, “Raspberry Baths”), where the riders stay for the night as guests of a local hunter’s family (bathrooms might have to be shared). Once a thriving spa with plenty of mineral water springs, this village has typical wooden turn-of-the-century Transylvanian spa architecture, although now in a rather rickety shape. Riding time: 5 hours.

Day 3 (Tuesday)—We climb back north-westerly into the deep forests of the Hatod region, where 6 villages share the same woods (hatod = “one sixth”). We travel along a quiet forest track, alongside which bear traces are sometimes to be found. We descend on gentle grassy slopes to the Batanii villages (“Big Bacon and Little Bacon”) to reach our accommodations in village houses at lovely “Little Bacon” where we shall have common dinner. The villagers here are known to be especially hospitable and friendly, and before dinner will take pride at showing you their still functioning watermill and traditional looms. Riding time: 4 hours.

Day 4 (Wednesday)—We head northwest through the village of Herculian (Magyarhermány), then through forests and farmland, to climb up to Szép Arca (“Pretty Face”) hill on the southern slopes of the Hargita Range. Wide views open out on distant Barót and Olt Valley. We descend northwest into the Kormos (“Sooty”) valley, where Romania’s ex-Dictator Ceausescu had his private hunting villa. The river is teeming with trout, the wet meadows have beautiful wild flowers. Ceausescu’s villa is now the ‘Kormos’ hunting lodge where you will be accommodated and have dinner (or in the neighbouring forestry’s house during hunting season). 5 double rooms en-suite with French beds (no twins). Riding time: 5 hours.

Day 5 (Thursday)—We turn south down the Kormos Valley on a long ride along the lower slopes of the hills, passing the villages of Filia/Erdofüle (“Forest’s Ear”) and Biborteni/Bibarcfalva where we will have a refreshing sip of sparkling mineral water which is bottled there. We continue on the slopes offering many a chance for cantering, into the valley of the river Olt to reach Miklósvár, and our guesthouses (or a guesthouse of similar standards nearby in the rare case of limited availability, and eating on the Estate). Riding time: 6 hours.

Day 6 (Friday)— From Miklósvár, we return to Koröspatak crossing the hills and brooks. This trip was very common for many a generation of the Kálnoky family who had to ride often between the two villages, where their two manors are. This part of the region is particularly rich in game as there is no road or village for 25km. Arriving at Koröspatak, you will be transfered back to Miklósvár by car for your last night at our guesthouse. Riding time: 6 hours.

Day 7 (Saturday)—Depart after breakfast, or adding on a few days of relaxation and tours based at Count Kálnoky’s Guesthouses in Miklósvár http://www.transylvaniancastle.com/Itinerary.html