Hasmas Wilderness riding holiday in Romania - Far and Ride
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Hasmas Wilderness, Romania




Programme


• Nomadic Mountain Trail

 

Horses



Type of horses:

Local bred Carpathian horses.

Nature of horses:

Calm natured, hardy and ideally suited to the challenging terrain.

Height of horses:

14hh - 16hh

Weight limit:

100kg / 220lbs / 15 stone 7 lbs

Tack type:

Mainly continental saddles, but there are two western saddles for those who prefer.

 

Weather



 

Ride Description

The Hasmas mountains and national park are embraced by the Carpathian mountains and one of the hidden gems of Europe. The all-encompassing silence, extensive forests and pastures which cover the mountains, together with the rich wildlife, conjures up a world which has been seemingly long forgotten.

These riding tours start from the 1,200m high Kovacspeter ridge where scattered summer shelters can be found. The mountain tracks that you follow cross steep hills and ridges, dropping down into deep valleys. These mountains are rugged and range from 1,000 - 2,000m in height, with pine forests encasing their slopes and pastures on the lower levels - these meadows will invite you to canter for long periods! Time in this area has appeared to stand still with people still living and farming as they did 100 years ago - you may see them working in traditional ways, using scythes to cut hay and horses to pull the carts.

These trails are perfect for adventurous riders who are seeking a true off-beat and authentic experience. You ride local Carpathian bred horses, such as the Hutzul, which are small but incredibly hardy and very suitable for the rocky and varied mountain terrain. Their owner is a local man who has been running trails in the mountains during the summer months for many years and knows the area intimately - he will be able to introduce you to local families and their way of life. He is accompanied throughout by an English speaking guide who will open up this magical region for you.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

These trails offer a true wilderness experience, with 6 nights of tented accommodation. 4 nights are spent in the campsite at the ranch, with access to shared bathroom facilities and 2 nights are spent out in the wilderness, with tents set up in a picturesque location. Camping equipment is modern and high quality, with tents large enough to sleep 2-3 guests, or smaller dome tents perfect for those who would rather have their own space. Lightweight sleeping mattresses are provided, but not sleeping bags and liners.

*On request, and depending on availability, it's possible to upgrade to a basic shared bedroom in the summer hut at the ranch on nights 1, 2, 5 & 6. A small supplement of 50€ (EUR) per person is payable locally on arrival for this. Please contact us if you wish to request a room for these nights.

All meals are included and will contain local specialities and traditional homemade meals.

Breakfast is usually a buffet which may include salami, sausage, Jam, cottage cheese, eggs, mushrooms, tea, coffee and vegetables. Some of the items will be hot and others cold. Lunch is usually a picnic on the trail whereas dinner will be a hot meal which may be traditional Romanian or Hungarian fare. On some evenings in camp, the team will grill and bake freshly around the campfire.

During the summer months, it's possible to pick wild raspberries and blueberries, as well as certain types of mushroom, such as Chanterelle and Porcini, in the forest.

 

Activities

This is purely a riding trail and non-riders cannot be accepted.

 

Further Details

Languages: English spoken.

Health requirements: Good general health and fitness - you will have to dismount and lead your horse on occasions.

Age limit: 14 years and upwards.

Tuition: No.

Included: Accommodation, meals, riding and Bucharest airport transfers.

Not included: Drinks, flights, travel insurance and extra activities not mentioned in the itinerary.

 

Travel Information

Return Bucharest airport transfers are already included in the price of your stay. It is approximately 4,5-5 hours by car from Bucharest to the start of the trail. We ask that all guests aim to arrive in Bucharest by 4 pm at the very latest in order to factor in the long transfer time.

Cluj-Napoca is a little closer (at 3-3,5 hours transfer time) and guests may prefer to arrive here instead. Alternate transfers can be organised at no additional cost, for 2 or more people.

Airport: Bucharest

Alternative Airport: Cluj-Napoca

 

Programme


Nomadic Mountain Trail



A 6-night trail ride through the wilds of the Carpathians, riding locally bred horses, you will discover the pine forests, pastures and creeks hidden in the mountains. Guests joining this tour should be of an adventurous nature, prepared to camp in tents and to ride locally bred horses who will safely navigate the often difficult terrain. At times, it will be necessary to dismount your horses and either lead them or allow them to navigate their own way up steep banks, through dense forest or over challenging ravine crossings.

Please note that the following is an example itinerary and this may change due to circumstances beyond the organisers control.

Day 1:

Arrival to Bucharest airport by 4 pm. You will be met at the airport by a driver who will transfer you to the small mining town of Balan (roughly 4,5 - 5 hours). In the village, you will be met either by a 4x4 vehicle, or a traditional horse and cart and transferred the remainder of the way to the base ranch located high in the Kovacspeter ridge (approx. 14 km). This route is not accessible by just any vehicle!

On arrival, you will have your first chance to meet the horses and take a look around the family ranch, as well as discussing the programme for the following day with your guide and translator.

After a warm welcome dinner cooked by your host family, you will spend the first night in tents at the campsite.

Day 2:

Following a wholesome breakfast and the chance to get acquainted with your horses again, you will enjoy an easy first ride to the source of the Olt river. A chance to test your knowledge and your partnership with your new mount. Along the way, you will learn all about the legends which surround this river. Your horses will be able to take a refreshing drink of water and riders will have the option to visit the home of a local hermit. From here you will continue along the trail to the Sóveto creek, following a long steep path through dense pine forests. Stopping in a small glade, riders will enjoy a light lunch of traditional Romanian produce whilst the horses content themselves with a pick of grass. From this point, you will be able to see the mountain ranges which will be your destination for the following days riding.

After a well-deserved rest, you will remount the horses and continue to ride along an alternate route back to the ranch. This evening a campfire grill will await hungry riders.

Overnight in tents at the campsite.

Riding: 10km, c. 3-4 hours.

Day 3:

After another hearty breakfast, you will help the guides to prepare your horses and pack your saddlebags ready for the next two nights in the wilderness. Saddlebags will be limited to 5kg per person, so essential kit only!

Today you will be headed to Fehérmezo (translated literally as the "White Glade") and will ride along the main ridge of the Hasmas mountain range. Fehermezo is the largest Karst plateau in the Hasmas mountains and is located at 1460 m above sea level (a.s.l). In order to reach the plateau you will need to ride over the Meggyes peak (1504m a.s.l.), Ló-havas (1677m a.s.l), Cofránka peak (1508m a.s.l) and across the Tunzeria pasture. Here you can enjoy long gallops on forest roads, meadows and extended mountain pastures where summer shelters, sheep flocks, cows and horse herds can be spotted roaming free.

Depending on the time you reach the pasture, you may be able to catch the evening sheep milking at one of the mountain sheepfolds.

Once at Fehermezo you will set up your camp and prepare the evening's meal in a traditional Hungarian cooking cauldron, over the campfire. Spectacular sunset views and discussion of the day's events are sure to follow!

Overnight in tents.

Riding: 14 km, c. 5-6 hours

Day 4:

After a camp breakfast, you will prepare the horses for the day and set off in the direction of the highest of the peaks on the Hasmas mountain range. At 1792m a.s.l, the Hasmasu Mare (or Nagyhagymas) peak offers fabulous views of the villages and pastures nestled in the Ciuc valley below, out towards the Tarcau, Ciuc, Hargita and Calimani Mountains, as well as the rocky outline of the Ceahlau Massif beyond. Moving south, you will drop down the mountain some way and visit one of the most frequented hiking huts in this range; the Lonely Stone (Cabana Piatra Singuratica in Romanian) situation just shy of 1504m a.s.l. The hut was originally built in 1932 and marks the intersection between the Nagyhagymas (Hasma Mare) and Ocsém mountain hiking routes accessible only on foot (or on horseback).

From the hut, you will loop back around the mountains to return to your campsite for another tasty campfire dinner.

Overnight in tents.

Riding: 12 km, c. 5-6 hours.

Day 5:

After a picnic breakfast, you will pack up the tents and load everything into the ranch's horse cart ready to head off. Today you will say farewell to the plateau and head down from the mountain range, back to the home ranch in Kovacspeter. The trail will take you past the Veres-ko Massif (at 1589m a.s.l) then descend the steep forest paths following the Vas river to the Meggyes valley. Passing over a small mountain ridge, you will eventually spot the ranch base, where a hot dinner will be waiting for you!

Overnight in tents at the campsite.

Riding: 10 km, c. 4-5 hours

Day 6:

Following a wholesome home cooked breakfast, you will set off on your ride today towards the Magas Bükk Massif (1416m a.s.l). The massif forms part of the Giurgeu mountain range which leads down to the town of Gheorgheni in the east. The terrain on this day will be very varied with small creeks, pine and beech forests, as well as many mountain pastures.

You will return to the ranch in Kovacspeter for your last night.

Riding: 13 km, c. 5 hours.

Day 7:

One last tasty home cooked breakfast before there is a chance to say goodbye to your horses, hosts and the mountains. You will then load your belongings into the 4x4 vehicle (or horse-drawn cart) which will be waiting to take you back down to Balan. From here is it a long transfer by private car back to Bucharest for your flight or other onward travel plans.



Accommodation: 4 nights in tents at the ranch and 2 nights in a temporary tented camp on the trail. (Optional upgrade to rooms at the ranch at an additional cost and depending on availability).
Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: Intermediate riders and above; must be capable riding over varying terrain and comfortable at all paces. It is often necessary to mount/dismount without help on the trail and to climb steep tracks and banks.
Type of ride: Centre-based, with a short 2-night trail.
Total riding time: 5 days riding, c. 3-6 hours.
Departure dates: 2018: 13-19 May, 3-9 June, 12-18 June, 21-27 June, 1-7 July, 10-16 July, 19-25 July, 7-13 August, 16-22 August, 2-8 September, 16-22 September.
 
Pricing: 2018: £841 per person (sharing)

Price includes 6 nights tent accommodation, all meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day, 5 days of riding and return Bucharest airport transfers.