At the heart of the Transylvanian Mountains, this comfortable trail ride will take you to the land of the legend of Dracula.
From the lodge at the foot of the Calimani National Park, this trail ride crosses the dense forests of the Transylvanian Mountains, which inspired the legend of Dracula. And it is in the footsteps of this legend that you will discover the particularly well-conserved flora and fauna of the region and ride through history via the locals’ traditional way of life. At the end of the trip, a visit to the beautiful Saxon town of Sighisoara will allow you to appreciate the cultural and historical richness of this country that is in the process of reaching its full potential.
This trail ride is also an ecologically responsible holiday. By participating in this trip, you will be helping the owners of the lodge to continue their conservation work (see details in accommodation).
|24/05/2013||02/06/2013||1,390 € 1240 €||Comfort||2||Book now|
|07/06/2013||16/06/2013||1,340 € 1140 €||Bivouac||2||Book now|
|21/06/2013||30/06/2013||1,340 €||Bivouac||2||Book now|
|05/07/2013||14/07/2013||1,390 €||Comfort||2||Book now|
|19/07/2013||28/07/2013||1,340 €||Bivouac||2||Book now|
|02/08/2013||11/08/2013||1,390 €||FULL||1||Book now|
|16/08/2013||25/08/2013||1,340 €||Bivouac||2||Book now|
|30/08/2013||08/09/2013||1,390 €||Comfort||2||Book now|
|13/09/2013||22/09/2013||1,390 €||Comfort||2||Book now|
|27/09/2013||06/10/2013||1,390 €||Comfort||2||Book now|
This holiday in Transylvania is also possible as a horse riding tour alternating nights at a bivouac camp and a guesthouse for departure dates of 8th and 22nd June, 6th July and 3rd and 17th August.
The price decreases for groups of 5 riders or more booking together for the same ride.
Included in the price:
Not included in the price:
* Prices calculated according to currently known rates, subject to availability of flights departing from Paris, limited places available. For departures outside Paris, we can suggest flights, usually at the same rate. At the time of booking, if there is no flight availability at these prices, we will propose an alternative which may incur an adjustment in prices.
**Applicable for individual participants booking alone (to be reimbursed if a second participant books for the same holiday)
Caval&go/ SARL CHAGRITAS AVENTURES reserves the right to adjust its prices in order to take into account varying transport costs and exchange rates applicable to the trip in question, or increases in price of certain services at the destination (such as the entry price at certain tourist attractions). See general terms and conditions of purchase.
Day 1. Arrival in Romania - Cluj Napoca Airport – Night at lodge
Flight from Paris to Cluj Napoca Airport in the north of Romania, in the Transylvania region. We will be welcomed by our driver and then there is a transfer of around 3 ½ hours to the lodge which is located at the foot of the mountains in Calimani Park – a pleasant journey through the wooded mountains of Transylvania. We will settle into the lodge and meet our guide who will go through the itinerary for our trail ride in Transylvania with us. Before dinner we can enjoy the lovely setting of this large chalet surrounded by a garden and a stream, while we wait for the horses, who roam around freely, to arrive. Night at lodge.
Day 2. Lunca Bradului - Rastolina – Horse Riding Trail – Night at lodge
In the morning, after a delicious breakfast, we will meet our horses and then set off for our first day of riding in Romania. From the lodge, we will ride through the neighbouring village of Lunca Bradului and we will then ride into the Fintinele Valley with its undulating landscape of meadows and forests. We will be able to see the trenches dug by the Germans during the Second World War to protect themselves from the Russian Red Army. In the afternoon we will ride down the Mures Valley to reach the village of Rastolita where we will leave our horses to rest for the evening. We will return by car to the comfort of the lodge for a tasty dinner and relaxing night.
Day 3. Rastolita - Colibita Lake - Horse Riding Trail – Night at Guesthouse
We will be impatient to get back in the saddle in the morning for our ride to Colibita Lake. Our trail ride will take us along the old paths over which farmers would have taken their herds to reach higher pastures. We will be able to admire beautiful views over the Calimani Mountains throughout the day, which will come to a marvellous end as the sun sets over the lake. Dinner and night at a guesthouse near the lake.
Day 4. Terha Pass – Borgo Pass - Horse Riding Trail – Night at Dracula Hotel
After breakfast we will set off on today’s leg of our trail ride in Transylvania along the river that flows to the lake, to then ride up the Terha Pass (1470m). We will walk the last kilometre before the pass to relieve our horses for this difficult ascent. We will continue along the ridge to arrive at Borgo Pass in the evening. As well as offering a spectacular view over the Transylvanian Mountains, this pass is also known for its link with the legend of Dracula, as it is here that the Bram Stoker’s famous story begins. Dinner and night in this mythical place at the Dracula Hotel.
Day 5. Tanau Pass – Red Rocks - Horse Riding Trail – Night at Guesthouse
We will leave the hotel after a good breakfast and will ride through the Dorna Valley to Vorova Valley. We will then ride up to the top of the Tamau (1862m) and continue along the ridge to the interesting geological formation of the Red Rocks. We will stop here for our picnic lunch before continuing on our trail ride to the gates of Calimani National Park. We will stop for the evening at the village of Gura Haitii. Dinner and night at guesthouse.
Day 6. Calimani National Park – Sulphur Mine - Horse Riding Trail - Night at lodge
Our itinerary takes us today through Calimani National Park to the lodge. First, we will discover the surprising landscape of this former sulphur mine with its immense yellow cliffs surrounded by mountains. We will then continue along the wooded paths, through the mountains to Ilva valley where our lodge is located. After this full day of horse riding, we will be able to enjoy relaxing at the comfortable lodge and a delicious dinner.
Day 7. Bear Valley - Horse Riding Trail - Night at Lodge
Today we will set off on horseback through the Ungurasul Valley, a small valley that is home to a number of bears. We will have great fun trying to track their footprints and will maybe even be lucky enough to spot some from afar! Dinner and night at lodge. This day can also be scheduled for the first day of horse riding, on day 2.
Day 8. Sambata de Jos - Sighisoara – Night at 3* Hotel
After breakfast we will leave the lodge and the horses to take the road to the south (around 3 hours journey time) to visit Romania’s largest Lipizzan stud farm at Sambata de Jos. We will have lunch at Fagaras and then will take the road for an hour to Sighisoara, a charming little Saxon town with colourful houses, founded by the Saxon Colonies of the 14th century. Its medieval citadel that overlooks the Tarnava valley is classed as a UNESCO world heritage site. Free time in the evening to stroll through the alleys of the fort and for dinner. Night in a 3* hotel in the citadel.
Day 9. Sighisoara - Cluj Napoca - Night at 3* Hotel
We will continue our visit of Sighisoara in the morning, going up the bell tower which is also a little history museum. We will also go past the house where Vlad Dracul was born. We will then set off to Cluj Napoca (around 2 ½ hours journey time), the former capital of Transylvania, which is today a young and lively town. We will visit the old town and then you will have free time to stroll around or have a drink on one of the cafés' terraces. Free time in the evening and for dinner. Night at 3* hotel.
Day 10. Cluj Napoca - Airport
Breakfast at the hotel and then transfers to the airport according to your flight times.
The itinerary for this trail ride in Transylvania also exists as a tour, with alternate nights at a bivouac camp or a guesthouse.
See "Extensions and other activities" for more details.
N.B: This programme is subject to change depending on weather and other unpredictable circumstances.
The horse riding programme takes place in the mountains over sometimes difficult terrains and riders must be prepared to spend long days in the saddle, mostly at the pace of a walk.
The lodge owns 17 horses that live outdoors around the lodge for most of the time. They go in to the stables twice a day to be fed and groomed.
The horses are of various sizes and breeds, but most are Romanian sport horses born at the lodge, cross Anglo-Arabs and Hutzuls, the local horse breed. They are calm and sure-footed and will ride over all types of terrain.
English saddles and endurance saddles.
American saddles available, if you prefer.
RIDING ABILITY & PACE
This trail ride in Transylvania is open to intermediate and advanced riders who are capable of controlling a horse outside over large open spaces. The ride advances mostly at the pace of a walk over mountainous land, and with some good trots and canters as soon as the terrain allows for it. The terrain is varied, going over river crossings and uneven land, which sometimes requires the riders to dismount.
The length of the horse riding days varies between 4 and 6 hours with a long day of 7 hours on day 6. This day can be shortened by 2 hours by returning by vehicles for the last stretch.
Children over 12 can join in on this trail ride providing they are experienced riders with the stamina to ride for several hours and they know how to control a horse outside over varied terrain. All children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an experienced adult rider who is responsible for the child for the duration of the trip.
We can also organise special trips for families with days that are adapted to the age and ability of the participants.
Maximum weight of rider: 100 kg
HORSE RIDING GUIDE & SUPERVISION
Your horse riding guide Aurel, who goes by the name of Relu, is incredibly kind. He has been trail riding for years in Romania and was trained from a young age in France by a highly esteemed trail riding teacher.
He will look after you at all times and loves to cook food to eat around the fire while strumming his guitar.
Marius, who, alongside your guide, will accompany you on all rides, is a professional horse rider and takes care of the horses at the lodge all year round and trains the youngest ones. A rather reserved character, he is considerate and helpful and will assist you and your horse whenever necessary.
ROMANIA in the region of Transylvania
10 days, 9 nights, 6 days horse riding
Passport valid for 6 months after arrival in Romania or ID card for EU citizens.
No vaccines are necessary to enter Romania. However, it is advised that you are to date on your vaccines (tetanus, polio, hepatitis B, diphtheria) and the vaccine against hepatitis A is recommended.
2 - 8 riders maximum
Cluj Napoca or Targu Mures
MEALS & ACCOMMODATION
The lodge is located in the Ilva Valley at the heart of the Transylvanian Mountains. It is on the edge of the village of Lunca Bradului, and can be accessed by a small forest path that continues to Calimani Park. The lodge was originally built as a family holiday home and is a large wooden chalet that has been re-equipped over the years to suit the needs of the guests. The stables are next to the lodge, and there is a large room that can welcome up to 35 people, under the four bedrooms, where there is a billiard table and a bar. All bedrooms are equipped with a modern bathroom with hot water, bath and shower, and some are even big enough to dance in! The chalet is clean and comfortable and has a rustic-style décor.
You will spend 4 nights here – 2 at the beginning of your stay and 2 at the end.
The owners of the lodge have created an ambitious nature conservation programme. The lodge’s central heating is provided by chopped wood. Solar panels have recently been added and in the summer they are used to heat water, thus saving 4 adult trees per year (pines and oaks). They buy surplus hay from their neighbours. Household waste is recycled and the centre tries to extend this practice to the villagers. They help and encourage the ecological organisation that cleans the Ilva and Mures Valleys of plastic bottles and abandoned waste from picnics. By participating in this trail ride, you will help the centre to buy pastures on which they can plant new trees every year.
During the ride, you will stay 2 nights at a comfortable and cosy guesthouse and one night in the 3* Dracula Hotel. At the end of the trip, you will spend a night at a charming 3* hotel ideally located in the center of Brasov, Hotel Casa Wagner 3*.Before your departure, you will spend your last night in Cluj in a comfortable 3* in a good location, Hotel Transilvania 3*.
For meals, you will have the pleasure of eating fresh and organic produce, which mostly comes from the neighbouring village, and you will sample some very good local specialities.
Breakfasts are hearty with eggs, cheese, ham, sausages, bread, butter, jam, milk, coffee and tea. The tea is generally a red berry tea, but if you would like black tea, flag this up (there is some at the lodge but not necessarily at other places). During the trail ride, there are picnics for lunch, with sandwiches, biscuits and fruit. Special meals for vegetarians can be prepared, as can meals for other dietary requirements
You will be welcomed at the airport by the driver and welcomed to the lodge by the owner who speaks English and a little French.
You will be accompanied on the trail ride by Relu, who speaks English and French, and who knows the region perfectly and will take great pleasure in sharing anecdotes about his country and culture with you.
You will also be accompanied by Marius, a professional horse rider who looks after the horses and will help you take care of them, too.
During the visits, you are accompanied by a guide who has a wealth of knowledge on the history and culture of his country.
At the lodge, a cook will prepare tasty and hearty meals for you.
Your luggage will be transported every day to your accommodation.
Romania has a continental climate with well-defined seasons.
Winter is cold and experiences snow fall, and as such it is more pleasant to trek in spring or summer.
In summer the average temperatures are 22-24°C but temperatures can rise to around 30°C.
In the mountains the weather can vary rapidly from sun to rain or hot to cold, particularly in the evening.
At the begining of spring, in the mountains, the trail can be subjet to snow and we may have to change our itinerary. In September, in Romania, you can enjoy a real Indian Summer.
For this full comfort horse trail ride, you don’t need to bring any specific equipment apart from your horse riding equipment and clothes for the trail.
Don’t forget the essentials:
ELECTRICITY & PHONES
The voltage and the plugs are the same as in France (220v and 50 Hz). There are plug sockets in each place of accommodation.
There is not always a good signal for mobile phones in the remote mountains but you can connect to a phone network at least once a day. For more information, see Phones and Internet.
This holiday in Transylvania is also possible as a horse riding tour. The horse riding itinerary is largely the same, with some changes as the riders do not return to the lodge between the first and last days of the ride.
Accommodation alternates between a bivouac camp for days 2, 3, 5, 6 (4 nights), a guesthouse near the lake for day 4, and nights at the lodge for the first and last day of the ride (days 1 and 7). The programme for visits and accommodation is the same from day 8 onwards.
The dates for this trip are 8th – 22nd June, 6th July and then from 3rd-17th August
Price details in the “Departures and Prices” tab
The horse rides can be organised for groups or families, with different itineraries, for different lengths of time, according to the level of ability of each participant and their fitness levels, particularly if there are children. Non-riders are welcome to follow the ride and join the riders at each leg. Before or after your trail ride, you can extend your trip by one or more days to discover even more of Transylvania or other regions of Romania:
We can help you create a personalised programme with car hire, an itinerary, hotel reservations, etc. contact us for more information.