Type of horses:
Hungarian Warmbloods (unshod)
Nature of horses:
Fit, strong and forward going
Height of horses:
95kg (Approximately 14 stone 13lbs), although there are some higher weight carrying horses available.
Traditional Hungarian saddles which are very comfortable and secure, but some English and Western ones are also available. (Guests may not assist with tacking up).
The Great Plain of Hungary covers some 45,000 square kilometres and makes up half of the country's territory but is home to only about a third of the population. In 1920 there was a big drainage programme because up until that time, the area was marshy. The large drainage channels are a major feature of the landscape. You will ride in the Southern Puszta or Great Plain which lies between the Danube and Tisza Rivers. Just to the south is Serbia and the largest city in the region, Szeged, is an important artistic and cultural centre.
The sandy soils of the Puszta are a reminder that this area was once a sea many thousands of years ago. In recent years, a national programme has been introduced to irrigate the plains and render them better suited to farming. Now, the landscape is divided into small farms and broken up by pine, poplar and acacia forests which were reintroduced as part of a initiative to further help the removal of surface water from the plain. You will also experience beautiful deserted steppe, wondrous lakes and meadows filled with a whole host of interesting wildlife, from bird life to large mammals such as deer, wild boar and even golden jackal.
The people of the Puszta still farm in the old way producing meats, vegetables, fruit and wine for their own and their neighbours' consumption. This is still a landscape of self sufficient farming, a way of life which has been wiped out in many places in Europe. During the holiday you will be based at a beautiful restored traditional farmhouse and you will ride out from here each day if you wish, following a different route each day, heading in a different direction with no need to worry about obstacles such as roads of hedges. The land here is quite flat and open, but this is perfect for long canters and there is a tremendous variety of scenery to be witnessed along the way.
Your Swiss-Austrian hosts have been organising riding holidays in this region for over ten years and have an excellent reputation for their hospitality and attention to detail. The horses and guides here are definitely first class.
It is also possible to book shorter breaks, with 4-5 hours riding a day. Full moon night rides are now also offered, approximately 2 days before or after a full moon.
Natalie from Far and Ride visited this destination in November 2015 and would be happy to answer any questions you might have about it!
Standard room accommodation, each night, is at the traditional Hungarian farmhouse, adjacent to the horse stables and surrounded by fruit orchards, (mulberry, cherry and walnut trees). The farmhouse has been sympathetically restored to replicate the traditional 'tanya' of times gone by. The unique architecture is complemented with a tremendous attention to detail. The rooms are furnished with an eclectic mix of antiques from across Europe. The farmhouse has some great Hungarian features, simple but with an unexpected level of luxury. There are two double bedrooms and one twin in the main farmhouse, each with en-suite facilities. There is also a double room and a twin room with one bathroom in a separate self-catered guesthouse about 20 metres away if required. There is a small swimming pond to cool off during the summer months and a Finnish sauna in the garden.
Alternatively, luxurious accommodation is provided within one of 7 fixed tent "Yurts". Divided into categories of Superior, De Luxe and Luxury, this accommodation gives the opportunity to dive into the world of the Akhaian and their conquest of Hungary. All the yurts offer separate living and sleeping areas, as well as state of the art facilities, minibar, TV and free Wi-Fi. En suite bathrooms, with bathtub and shower, each yurt also has a private terrace, with table and chairs or sun loungers. These yurts have recently won the 2016 award for Mindful Design from PURE Life Experience.
The restaurant and dinning area are located in the central lodge, in close proximity to the yurt accommodation and only 50 meters from the guest farmhouse. There is also a Lounge Bar in the lodge which is open all day long and guests may drop by for tea, coffee, drinks and snacks, as well as to use the free wifi.
Meals are prepared by the on-site cook. Most of the ingredients are grown at the farm or produced by local farmers. Great care is taken to provide guests with delicious and authentic Hungarian meals which are often eaten outdoors. Home made sausages, hams and local cheeses feature in many meals along with seasonal fruits. Although Hungarian cuisine is famous for its rich and heavy meals, here they do their best to offer a variety of lighter dishes. Vegetables and fruits are served with every meal and lean meat dishes are also on the menu. A choice of selected wines from different well known wine regions of Hungary is available to accompany your meal, as well as Hungarian Beers or soft drinks if you prefer. For the adventurous there is a seemingly endless variety of locally made fruit liquors to try!
The lodge is located in one of the richest wildlife areas in Hungary, with a great variety of birds and mammals, as well as a whole host of other smaller critters. Within the lodge grounds there is a natural filtered outdoor swimming lake, as well as beautiful gardens to relax in. The on-site wellness centre offers restorative massage sessions, as well as a large variety of health and beauty treatments, or perhaps a session in the wood-fired sauna.
For those after a more active pursuit, there are many extra activities are available from the lodge, including fat bike hire, archery, horse drawn carriage rides, visits to the local historic town of Szeged, game drives in the Puszta plains to see deer, boar and jackal, as well as culinary events and visits to the Eurasian buffalo reserve nearby (which can also be done on horseback). This area is also very well known for hunting, with huge numbers of great game available including roe and fallow deer, wild boar, pheasant, hare and rabbit. Special packages for hunting are also available throughout the autumn and winter season.
Your hosts are more than happy to make suggestions and help you to book certain activities. Visits can be arranged to the capital of Budapest, if you wish to extend your stay for a few days. You may also like to visit the National Memorial Park and go to local markets, feasts and festivals, including traditional horse fairs, at specific times of the year.
Languages: English, German and Hungarian.
Health requirements: Riding fit and able to control a forward going horse.
Age limit: Generally 14+ for riding.
Families with younger children can be accommodated through private tour bookings, where riding can be tailored to the individual needs.
Included: Full board accommodation, WiFi, horse riding, folklore evening (for a minimum of 3 booked guests).
Not included: Drinks, flights, transfers, travel insurance and other activities at the lodge.
Several airlines fly into Budapest. They include Ryanair who fly from Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Stansted. British Airways fly from Heathrow and Aberdeen. EasyJet fly from London Gatwick and Luton. Wizzair fly from Luton and Jet2 from Manchester, Leeds & Edinburgh.
We are happy to arrange airport transfers for you (all costs will need to be paid direct to the lodge, on arrival):
Airport transfers 1-3 people (max waiting time 10-15 minutes): €144 each way
Airport transfers 4-8 people (max waiting time 10-15 minutes): €216 each way
Budapest hotel transfers 1-3 people: €164 each way
Budapest hotel transfers 4-8 people: €236 each way
Alternatively, you may wish to take the train from Budapest to Szeged from where we can arrange for you to be collected at an additional cost of 48€ each way, for a car of up to 3 people (€60 each way for a car of 4-8 people).
The following is an outline itinerary for riding at the lodge. Although you can arrive and depart any day, below is an example of the sorts of things you will experience during your stay, on a day-to-day basis.
If you have booked a transfer, you will be met by your driver at Budapest airport or arranged meeting location.
It is a 1.5-2 hour drive from the airport to the lodge, taking you through the Hungarian Southern Great Plain. Near the end of your journey, you will depart from the tarmac roads and follow sandy lanes to the wonderful natural seclusion of the lodge. On arrival, you will be shown to your accommodation and receive a tour of the onsite dining establishments and wonderful stables to meet the horses. There is usually no riding on arrival day, but if you arrive early in the afternoon, there may be an opportunity to take advantage of a short ride, should time allow.
In the evening, you will enjoy a typical Hungarian meal at the onsite restaurant.
A Typical Day:
Usually, your ride will depart soon after breakfast, when you will be given the opportunity to enjoy some of the radial routes which can spread in any direction from the central position of the lodge. You will ride for around 2-3 hours, with the ability to enjoy the secluded openness of this region. Get acquainted with the sure footed, untiring Hungarian Warmblood horses as the take you along seemingly endless tracks, meadows, pine and acacia forests. No fences or hedges will block your path. Rides are tailored to suit the needs of the group, so the speed of the ride will be dictated by the least experienced member.
Lunch will be prepared for you at the lodge's restaurant or at a number of hand selected establishments, which have been chosen for their inclusion of traditional Hungarian foods in their menus.
In the afternoon, you will enjoy a pleasant short ride in the surrounding area and may be able to witness the wonderful forests and varied landscapes that are also available in the Puszta region. You might spot some local wildlife, including hare, roe deer, fallow deer or wild boar. Perhaps enjoy some fast riding, with a long canter across the rolling plains - the horses are bound to show you what they are made of.
Dinner will be taken back at the lodge, either in the restaurant, or on the terrace when good weather permits. From your dining vantage point, you will be able to enjoy the splendid views over the horses paddocks, to the surrounding country beyond. On a Wednesday, a traditional folklore and hungarian music demonstration will be held where more than 3 guests are in attendance.
Full-day Riding Tours:
To the Buffalo Reservation in Mórahalom - This is the longest of the day tours; riding across the plains you will witness some of the most beautiful scenery this region has to offer. Lunch is a delicious picnic enjoyed from the observation platform above the protected wetlands at Mórahalom. The wetlands are a natural home to herd of wild water buffalo - which you will be given the opportunity to view in their natural habitat.
To the Fishing Lake at Ruzsa - A lovely medium length ride which takes you deep into the woodlands of the Puszta and many opportunities to witness the local wildlife - wild boar, roe and fallow deer, fox, jackal and hare. Toward noon, you will arrive at the grand lake, where a local fisherman will have prepared you a traditional, fresh, fish soup known as "Halászlé". The afternoon will offer time to relax at the lakeside, before enjoy some fast gallops back to the lodge.
To the Farm Museum - A fast riding tour, which will take you through the agricultural land, past crops of tobacco and grain. The farm museum is located close to the Serbian border, and includes a diverse collection of farming tools and utensils which document the region's ancient agricultural past. Lunch will be a traditional farming meal of lard bread, sweet paprika and seasonal vegetables. In the afternoon you will enjoy long, fast canters through oak forests and expansive meadows, in time to enjoy afternoon tea back at the lodge.
Following the hoof prints of 19th century Highwaymen - Ride to discover the former - now drained - wetlands which were the ideal route for bandits and highwaymen in the 19th century. Toward the end of the ride, you will pass the legendary 'Rózsa Sándor Trees' - used by bandits to conceal themselves from the authorities. Finally, you will end your day with a visit to the Rózsa Sándor commemorative house in Ásotthalom in order to learn more about this famous folk lore hero.
To the Nature Reserve - A quest to the local nature reserve in order to find rare species of birds, beetles and wild orchid, along the Ásotthalmi "Csoda Rét" (or "Miracle Meadow"). The park was founded by the Austrian Emperor Francis Joseph I and Queen Sissy.
After breakfast, check out will be at 10am. If you have booked a return transfer to Budapest airport, you will be met by your driver, at the lodge.
Short Breaks - Short breaks are available, but subject to availability.
Full Moon Rides*:
At full moon periods, night rides can be offered (+/- 2 days of a full moon). *there is a surcharge for this ride, it is not included in the package deals.
|Accommodation:||Standard rooms and suites are available within the lodge, alternatively, there is accommodation in luxury yurts, within the lodge grounds, or private lodge residences (self-catered)|
|Minimum group size:||1|
|Maximum group size:||8|
|Ability description:||Intermediate and experienced riders will get the best from this ride. Must be able to control a forward going horse at canter and gallop.|
|Type of ride:||Based with trails|
|Total riding time:||4-5 hours per day|
|Departure dates:||2017: Dates to suit between the 18th March and 8th January 2018.|
2017 (available from 18th March until 8th January 2018):
Ride Package charges:
Lodge Room (shared) per person, per night: £178
Lodge Room (single occupancy) per night: £203
Superior Yurt (shared) per person, per night: £241
Superior Yurt (single occupancy) per night: £292
De Luxe Yurt (shared) per night: £270
De Luxe Yurt (single occupancy): £317
Luxury Yurt (shared) per night: £304
Luxury Yurt (single occupancy): £355
Non-riding partners can be accommodated, please contact the office for detailed prices and availability.
All prices include specified accommodation, with all meals, 4-5 hours riding per day, for riders and a 1.5 hour introductory ride on arrival day (if arrival before 2pm). An evening of traditional Hungarian music is also offered when groups of 3 or more guests book to stay for a minimum of 7 nights.
Prices do not include flights, airport transfers, travel insurance, drinks, local tourist tax (at 1,33 per person, per night; to be paid direct at the lodge) or any other extras not specified.