Great Carpathian Trail Ride

Transylvania Romania: (IT-RORT04)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/romania_transylvania_carpathian_ride.aspx

Introduction
Transylvania Romania
Pure nature, spectacular panoramas, mysterious forests…

The idyllic Szekler country unites the wilderness of the Eastern Carpathians, the beauty of the rugged mountain passes, small riding trails through mysterious spruce forests and the romantic dreaminess of hidden campsites. It is the variety of landscapes and the originality that make this horse-riding holiday an unforgettable experience that should not be missed in any trail-riders life.

Here, in rural Romania, time seems to stand still. Traditions continue to be part of the daily life: shepherds live with their animals on the vast mountain pastures, people get around towns and villages in horse-drawn carriages...
Get acquainted with the Szeklerian hospitality while staying in small, friendly family guesthouses and let yourself be pampered by the local cuisine. Some nights will also be spent camping surrounded by beautiful mountain landscapes.

One of the highlight of this trip is the bear watching experience during which you will see (with some luck) the local brown bears in their natural habitat.

Accomodation

Accommodation
This is a progressive ride so all nights are in different locations.

Description
Overall, the accommodations are rustic in remote locations with true immersion into the local culture. On this adventure, you will spend 5 nights in a tent under the starlit sky, 4 nights at the ranch and 12 overnights in small, friendly family-run guesthouses where you will get to know the hospitality of the Szeklers, who will spoil you with local delicacies.
In all guesthouses, bathrooms are shared and all include hot water as well as flushable toilets.
Wi-Fi internet is almost never available and there are no laundry facilities.

Guesthouse (Ranch) near Kovács Péter
You will stay in our 120 year old rustic log cabin that used to be a Csango farm. The traditional architecture was kept. It is hidden in the middle of the nature, far away from civilization. There is no electricity, no internet and no cell service here. The accommodation is simple and guest can choose to stay in shared rooms inside the log cabin or in a Mongolian yurt. Facilities are shared and there are flushable toilets. A fireplace keeps the house warm and the wood-heated outdoor showers provides a special experience.
In the evenings, you can relax in our warm, saltwater-filled bath barrel while enjoying great views of the surrounding mountain.

Room Occupancy
Single rooms are not available.


Meals
All meals are included with this trip and you will have the opportunity to taste local Romanian dishes.
Alcoholic drinks are not included, but guests are welcome to bring their own if they want.

We serve 2 warm meals (rich breakfast and 2-course dinner) & a saddle bag picnic for lunch everyday.
The ingredients used for our dishes are of sustainable, ecological and regional origin.
Our vegetables and fruits come from the weekly market in Gheorgheni. Cheese and milk are supplied to us by the neighboring farmers and the meat comes from animals that were allowed to grow up in peace on the lush meadows. No antibiotics, no genetic engineering, natural food and happy animals!
We also use trout from nearby fish farms, wild boar and deer products from the nearby forests.
Finally our self-collected porcini mushrooms, chanterelles and blueberries also contribute to a colorful, biologically oriented cuisine.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to vegetarians & vegans and we are always trying very hard to put together a varied menu for you! We also cater to guests with food intolerance or allergies; just let us know if you have any dietary restrictions at the time of booking.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Horses
The horses are mostly crosses between Lippizans and indigenous breeds (Szekler horses & mountain ponies). We breed our own horses. All are calm, mentally balanced, not overbred or nervous, and live in freedom without any kind of force or negative pressure.
At a very young age, our horses already learn how to proceed securely on broken, slippery and rocky land since they take part on the tours following their mothers.
The studs are kept on the pasture, so their nervous system is stable and calm and they are glad to fulfill their daily tasks.
We start training our horses when they are 4-5 years old and mostly all of them can be used under saddle or as pack-horses.

Tack
Our saddles are comfortable, remodeled, German military saddles that have been specially developed for a high level of comfort for riders and horses over long distances. If required, our guests can get a lambskin seat cushion for their saddle.
The self-designed, leather saddlebags are made by hand and are used to safely carry the guests’ belongings while on the trail (max. 8 kg).
The saddlebags and the packs were modified in order to enable the packhorses to follow the team, even at a canter.

Riding Gear
Some of our guests do not want to give up their usual equipment during their holidays. It is okay to bring your own stirrups, saddle cushions, reins or your own tent. Please, let us know in advance!
However, riding with your own saddle is not possible for the benefit of our horses. Our horses wear saddles that are specially tailored to their individual back shape.

Weight Limit
Out of consideration for our horses, our weight limit is 90 kg. However, some exceptions can be made depending on various factors – please inquire

Tour Leader
Csaba’s love for the mountain, horses and riding tour started in his childhood. He feels most at home when he can be close to horses and nature. He knows the trails inside and out, even the most isolated tracks. I also know many of the locals there.

Insurance
All participants must have their own insurance to take part in this trip.

Solo Travelers
Solo travelers and women traveling alone should feel safe while travelling through Romania. Although public transport is slower than in Western Europe, it is safe and our guests have never had any problems in the past.

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

First week
In the first week, you get an intimate insight into the nomadic way of life of the simple shepherd and cowherd.
Along the main ridge of the Carpathians, you can enjoy the spectacular beauty of the valley below, with an impressive rock landscape.
The nights are spent camping in beautiful natural locations far from civilization
The riding pace is rather slow, but the green mountain plateaus always invite to brisk gallops.
This week-trail ends at Lake Santa Ana, a unique crater lake located 950 meters above sea level.
On a well-deserved rest day, take a hot bath, drink the crystal-clear water of the famous mineral spring, visit the lake of Santa Ana and in the evening a very special highlight awaits you: a bear watching experience.

Second week
The second week is characterized by the deep, shady forests of the Harghita Mountains. You will ride through the gorges of Varghis, where you will enjoy several cultural attractions.
The route passes a legendary iron foundry, which became famous for producing the first cannon during the Revolution.
Then the path leads through the gorge, where you can visit the cave of Almasi. We ride through the Homorod region, where we will spend the night in 3 beautiful Szczecin villages "Zetelaka", "Farkaslaka"
and "Enlaka".
During our rest day, we visit a pottery workshop in Korond and relax in a small spa center.
The accommodations this week are in small, charming, rural inns.

Third week
During the last week of our adventure, we cross the volcanic plateau Ghiurghiu, and pass through a village where wooden shingles are still made using traditional methods.
On the Harghita Plateau, we meet the herd of an ancient Hungarian cattle breed and then return from the peaceful country life back to the wilderness of the Harghita Mountains.
You will get to explore paths that few tourists get to see, leading through enchanted landscapes, where animals such as deer, deer, capercaillie, lynx, wolves, wildcats and bears roam thrive.
The end of your journey is getting closer and you might not want to leave!
The accommodations for the last week are all rustic, traditional pensions and inns.


Rates and Dates for Great Carpathian Trail Ride

Rates include:

Accommodations, All meals, 18 riding days and cultural excursions on rest days & Transfer from/to Gheorgheni
For camping nights, sleeping bag, tent and matress are provided

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    202022 day ride, AP€2900$3280
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.13

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2020 Transfer is included from Gheorgheni train station 0 $0
2020 Transfer from Bucharest airport (330km) at set times, per car (1-4 ), per way
This is a "Group Rate" - to be paid locally
160 $185
2020 Transfer from Cluj-Napoca airport (230km) at set times, per car (1-4), per way
This is a "Group Rate" - to be paid locally
110 $125
2020 Transfer from Sibiu airport (230km) at set times, per car (1-4), per way
This is a "Group Rate" - to be paid locally
110 $125
2020 Transfer from Targu Mures airport (150km) at set times, per car, per way
This is a "Group Rate" - to be paid locally
85 $100

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2020 08/29 - 09/19 22d / 21n 22 day ride, AP 3 /12 Reserve

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Gratuities, Alcoholic drinks & Airport transfers

Other Info
Meeting: Gheorgheni
Airport: Targu Mures - Transilvania International Airport
Transfer: Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca airport, Targu Mures airport, Sibiu airport, and local hotels

Climate:
                                            Miercurea Ciuc area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

29

34

45

57

67

72

76

76

68

57

43

31

Average Low Temperature (°F)

11

14

23

32

40

46

49

47

40

32

25

16

Average High Temperature (°C)

-1

1

7

14

19

22

24

24

20

14

6

0

Average Low Temperature (°C)

-12

-10

-5

0

5

8

9

8

4

0

-4

-9

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

5

5

5

8

10

11

10

9

6

5

5

6

Source: NOAA


Seasons

Romania has a temperate climate with 4 distinct seasons.
Spring and autumn are cool and pleasant; making May, June, September and October the best months to visit.
Summers are hot from July to August and winters are harsh and very cold between December and March, with snow falling throughout most of the country.
Spring and summer are the wettest seasons, but rain can be expected throughout the year.

What To Bring:
Here is a summary of the necessary equipment for your holiday with us:
- Walking shoes - comfortable and run in shoes that are waterproof. Please NO rubber boots, sneakers, western boots or riding boots. Since we have to negotiate stretches on foot in the mountains, sometimes over scree / unpaved roads and through water, good footwear is absolutely necessary!
- Rain trousers - waterproof and large enough to be pulled over riding gear and shoes quickly and easily.
- Raincoat or rain jacket (no soft shell)
- Headlamp - Please also think of a few spare batteries!
- Riding helmet - if this is difficult to bring, this can be borrowed from us. We recommend our guests wearing their own riding helmets.
- Sunscreen
- Power bank
- Towel
- Water bottle
- Bathing suit
- Enough plastic bags to protect clothes etc. from getting wet.
- Personal medication (a standard version of the most important drugs and wound care as well as emergency medications for allergies, etc. are taken with us on the rides)

Please note:
The luggage should not weigh more than 8 kg, as we may transport it on the packhorse or with us in the rear saddlebags.
Our rear saddlebags are big enough to carry the most important things  such as spare clothes and personal medicines (each bag measures 35 x 30 x 12 cm).
Rain gear, drinking bottle, day food and camera can be stowed in the front saddlebags (20 x 17 x 10 cm each).

Clothes for arrival and departure, important documents, etc. can be left theft-proof on the farm.


For the nights that are spent camping, a good quality sleeping bag is required as it can cool down in the mountains at night (up to 10 degrees Celsius). Once packed, the sleeping bag should not be too big as we may have to fit it in the rear saddlebags.
All camping gear for your camping overnight is provided, including plates, knives, forks, spoons and cups and glasses, tents and mats.

It is suggested that you do not bring your good leather riding boots with you, but rather a rubber pair as it can be quite wet in places.
 
This list is only a guideline for you

 

Travel documents and Voucher
Personal Travel Insurance
Flight tickets
Passport
Visa (check with your consulate)

 

RIDING GEAR
Riding breeches
Tall Riding boots (preferably rubber or waterproof).
Riding helmet
Riding gloves
Hat (with chin strap) for sun protection
Rain coat

 

PERSONAL CLOTHING
Jacket or sweater for cool evenings
Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts
Jeans
Shorts
Underwear and socks
Pyjamas
Bag for dirty clothes
Trekking boots/ comfortable shoes
Swimsuit
 
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING
Personal Toiletries
Insect protection
Personal medications
Sore cream (for an emergency)
Sleeping Bag
Handkerchiefs
Adapter for electric appliances
Camera and extra batteries
Belt pack
Address book and pen (for postcards!)
Sun glasses with strap
Sun tan lotion and lip balm
Hair dryer - none available at accommodations!