Day 1 (D)
Arrival at Cluj Napoca airport. Meet the local driver and transfer to the Equestrian Centre in the Ilva Valley for 1 night’s accommodation. Diner.
Day 2 (B, L, D)
Ride down to the nearest village, Lunca Bradului and riding through it head up into the mountains of Calimani, part of the Eastern Carpathian mountains. The ride continues into the Fintinel basin, then crosses a few meadows and finally arrives at the camping site. Overnight – camping in Capatina Meadow, at 900m altitude.
Day 3 (B, L, D)
After breakfast mount up and head towards Rastolita Basin, crossing a mixed area of forest and meadows with fabulous views looking over to the Calimani and Gurghiu mountains. After a relaxing ride enjoying the view, you’ll descend a fairly difficult track to the Rastolita Valley. Then take the road to North on the Valley until you pass by the dam in construction through the forest and come out on a different road. Continue North and stop in the Meadow of Gura Scurtului.
Overnight – camping at Gura Scurtului, near a forestry road.
Day 4 (B, L, D)
After breakfast set off on another beautiful day’s riding, on Scurtu Valley, reaching the meadow of Poiana Lunga, which at 1300m is the highest point of the day. Continue downhill to Lake Colibita. On the way pass by a little pond called The Fairies’ Pond. Overnight – camping next to Lake Colibita, in a house of a local peasant. – swimming in the lake!
Day 5 (B, L, D)
After breakfast ride down and through the village of Colibita then take the Izvorul Lung Valley to reach Terha Pass at 1470m altitude [here we witness the ruins of the 1st WW trenches of the Austro-Hungarian army who kept up the Romanian and Russian army]. From here descend along the Dorna Valley until you reach Vorova Valley. Take this valley up East and reach the next campsite. Overnight – camping by the riverside along Prislop Valley.
Day 6 (B, L, D)
After breakfast depart from the campsite toward Tamau Peak (1862 m) reach the beautiful rock formation called ”The Red Stones”. Then short ride through the meadow where the pic-nic is. After the picnic take a path down the edge of the Calimani National Park border.
Overnight – camping by the riverside, at the border of the Calimani National Park
Attention: you have to dismount 2 times and walk by the horse on a torrent. First to reach the Tamau Peak through juniper bushes and then to descend after picnic to the border of the National Park
Day 7 (B, L, D)
Ride towards Calimani Mountain, the biggest volcanic cone in Europe. Then cross a former sulphur mining site, a small mountain village, which was abandoned 15 years ago but which is undergoing an ecological process of reintegration to nature. Continue riding up to the volcanic plateau and then descend to Ilva Valley. Continue along a forest road to the lodge for a further nights’ accommodation.
Day 8 (B, L)
After breakfast depart by vehicle towards the charming Saxon town of Sighisoara, a UNESCO world heritage site, with its imposing medieval citadel, overlooking the entire Tarnava Valley. Visit Sighisoara, lunch in here, and then transfer to the Sambata de Jos Stud, a farm of Lipizzans which was founded back in 1992; nowadays, the farm stretches over a total area of 40 ha (of which 30 ha of pasture and 10 ha of arable land and grassland).
Accomodation in the city of Brasov, to the Hotel Casa Wagner 3*.
Free time in the evening (dinner not included).
Day 9 (B, L)
Breakfast at the hotel. 2 hours free time for shopping in Brasov.
Visit of the Bran Castle, a national monument and landmark in Romania, and commonly known as Dracula’s Castle. Depart towards Cluj Napoca and stop on the way for lunch to the traditional inn “Hanul din Ardeal”. Arrival to Cluj Napoca and walking tour of the city. Overnight to Hotel Transilvania 3*. Free diner.
Day 10 (B)
Breakfast and transfer to the airport
Intermediate upwards. These rides are suitable for confident novices as well as more experienced riders. Riders generally should be able to control a quiet horse in open spaces at walk, trot and canter. We try to match groups to a similar overall level of riding ability. The rides take place over a variety of terrain, including mountains, and do involve some fairly steep climbs and descents. Whilst the horses are sure-footed and sensible, these rides generally are not suitable for very nervous riders. It is, of course, possible to dismount and lead one’s horse down the steeper descents. If you are in any doubt, do not hesitate to contact us to discuss the suitability of these rides to you. Hours in the Saddle4 to 6 hours per day. Weight restrictions a general weight limit of 100kg (15st7lbs) applies to this ride.
Children. This ride is suitable for children aged approximately 12 years and upwards, provides that they are experienced riders and have sufficient personal maturity. Romania is a very child-friendly country, and makes an interesting visit for young people as well as adults. All children below 18 years must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is an experienced rider, and who takes personal responsibility for the conduct of children in his or her charge at all times. In general, the centre tries to organize separate rides for one or more family groups riding together. Non RidersNon-riders are welcome and can travel in the support vehicle.
Horses and Tack. There are 17 horses, most of them Romanian Sport Horses, a local breed descending from the anglo-arabians and a few local crossbreeds which have been adopted along the way, each of them with their fascinating story..
Western, English GPs and endurance saddles are used on all horses.
Accommodation. The lodge, where 2 nights and the penultimate are spent, is located right outside the mountain village of Lunca Bradului, in the Ilva valley. The lodge was originally built as a holiday home, but over time, it has been adapted to suit the guests’ needs with ensuite bathrooms and central heating. Once on the trail accommodation is under canvas. Facilities are basic, although mattresses and sleeping bags are provided. There is always a stream for washing and whilst water can be heated over the fire, this is a time consuming exercise and you would need to heat your own water. Toilet facilities are limited to a bush. The final night’s accommodation is in a 3 star hotel in twin rooms with en-suite facilities.
Food & DrinkFood. in this rural area is mostly organic and locally grown with numerous regional specialties. Breakfast can include eggs, cheese, cold meat, bread, butter, jam, milk, tea, and coffee. Lunch is generally a picnic during the ride, with sandwiches, biscuits, and fruit. Dinner whilst camping is a one-course meal cooked over an open fire. Romania has a strong home tradition of vegetarian and vegan cookery so vegetarians are well catered for, although it is essential that we are told at the time of booking.