Carpathian Mountain Trails riding holiday in Romania - Far and Ride
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Carpathian Mountain Trails, Romania


So, in summary, this is a very good operation running very good trips on a variety of routes in the area. I would recommend the trip to friends or family, and all future trips will be judged against this trip in terms of quality of service, horses, equipment and food. I doubt others will beat what Csaba and Kinga offer, especially if (like me) you value not having a fixed minute by minute itinerary, being free to assist with basic activities around the camp and relax once everything is set up, and being in a remote countryside location that really is like nowhere else Iíve ever seen.

Jack Moon, Read review
It was excellent. The scenery was wonderful and I thoroughly enjoyed the company of everyone on the ride. It was a challenging but rewarding experience. I loved it when we would come out of the forest into an opening and get a panoramic mountain view. Also, because there were only 3 of us on the tour, in the last guesthouse we went on a cart ride whilst getting hay for the horses, which was gorgeous.

Clara K


Type of horses:

Szekler (home-bred Carpathian horses) and Lipica cross breeds

Nature of horses:

Calm, well-balanced, uncomplicated and tough.

Height of horses:

14 - 16 hh

Weight limit:

90kg / 14 stone

Tack type:

English style tour saddles and modified army saddles, with simple snaffle bridles. The team here have designed their own saddlebags.


Travel Advice

Please ensure you read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice before you travel.

Ride Description

This destination offers pack trips through the Eastern Carpathian Mountains of Romania exploring Székely Land, a historic area lying within the famed region of Transylvania. The region offers beautiful, varied scenery ranging from high mountains to rolling hills, wild forests and open meadows. The land is primarily unfenced as shepherds still move their flocks through the countryside like in times gone by. These rides lead you through these charming landscapes and untouched nature, avoiding asphalt roads, encountering the local Székely people who live in the valleys and hills. They are easy-going rides which are mostly of a slower pace due to the terrain but with lovely canters through the open meadows. They are the ideal rides for those who love to relax and enjoy nature whilst also experiencing an authentic taste of the country they are visiting. A true escape from the hustle and bustle of busy daily life and time to enjoy magnificent scenery and great camaraderie from horseback.

These riding adventures are hosted and guided by Csaba who fell in love with the mountains at the age of four whilst adventuring with his grandfather. He was taught the basic rule of having respect for horses and nature, something he lives by as he guides visitors through this unspoiled region. Csaba is helped by Katrin who shares his love of the countryside and the horses. She transports the luggage when necessary (if it's not on a pack horse!) and takes care of the cooking, with a focus on organic produce as much as possible.

The final and most important members of the team are, of course, the horses! The horses here are primarily homebred - they take part in the tours when they are foals as they follow their mothers, resulting in horses who are very sure-footed, calm and well-balanced. Pack-horses carry all your belongings and are a highlight of this ride. All of the horses live out as a herd when not working and offer a relaxed, peaceful ride through their native lands.

Please note that all these trails include some walking on foot whilst leading the horses over particularly tricky terrain.

See Programmes.


Food & Accommodation

Accommodation depends on which programme you choose but may be in rural guesthouses, simple tents or the homes of local people. Some trails include a variation but in all cases the accommodations are quite simple as these are adventurous mountain trails.

Breakfasts and dinners are primarily stews of some sort, cooked on a campfire, whilst lunches are picnics eaten out during your riding day. This is hearty, traditional fare, quite simple but tasty and filling.

Alcoholic drinks are not included in 2019, but in 2020 local beer, wine and schnapps is included.



These pack trips are suited only to riders.


Further Details

Languages: English, Romanian, German.

Health requirements: General good health and fitness recommended - these are adventurous mountain rides and you may need to walk and lead your horse or manage in inclement weather.

Age limit: 12+

Tuition: No.

Included: Accommodation, meals, riding and equipment.

Not included: Flights, airport transfers, travel insurance, alcohol, tips.


Travel Information

We recommend flying into Cluj Napoca or making your way to Gheorgheni by train, but transfers are available from the following airports:

Tirgu Mures (Targu Mures): 135km, 115 EUR each way per car (4 people)

Cluj Napoca: 230km, 135 EUR each way per car (4 people), transfer time 4 hours

Sibiu: 230km, 135 EUR each way per car (4 people), transfer time 4 hours

Bucharest: 330km, 195 EUR each way per car (4 people), transfer time 5 - 6 hours

Pick-up from Gheorgheni train station is 35 EUR each way per car (4 people) and the journey is about 20km.

Airport: Tirgu Mures

Alternative Airport: Cluj-Napoca



Salt Route Mountain Trail (Comfortable)

Explore the mountains and valleys where salt was mined and follow ancient paths on which the salt was transported down to the river, spending your nights in local farms and guesthouses. Marvel at your horses ability to climb steep paths but also gallop across open pastures and discover the beautiful views and landscapes of this corner of Romania.

Day One:

After being transferred from the airport to Gheorgheni, in the afternoon, you set off on a jeep along trails through the forest to the ranch (15km). You arrive in time for dinner with your guides where you will have a safety briefing and learn about the trail you are about to embark on. Overnight at the farm.

Day Two: Kovacs Peter to Izvorul Muresul

After breakfast you are allocated your horse for the trail and will be shown how to pack your belongings and help load the pack horses. Set off riding away from the ranch to Kovaks Peter and on to the Olt River spring where you stop for a break and to allow the horses to rest. You then ride a steep ascent up Soveto mountain and onto Sipos mountain where you stop for lunch at its peak (1,568m). There are great views of North Harghita from here. After lunch, descend to Loknyereg along a long wild path until reaching your destination - a small village called Izvorul Muresul. Here you spend the night on a farm where you lovely host will pull out all the stops to make sure you have a good rest.

Day Three: Izvorul Muresul to Liban

Say goodbye to the farm, ride through the river and cross the Maros river. You will find yourself amongst the wild and densely forested woods of Harghita - here you may find evidence of bears, such as their tracks or peeling bark on trees.  Ride up to the peak of Csik Magasa (1,153m) and continue onto the mountain Osztoros (1,384m). Stop for a break at a special place with fantastic views across the basin of Gheorgheni, the basin of Ciuc, the mountains of Giurgiu and the main ridge of the Carpathian Mountains beyond. After soaking all this in, you descend along wild paths to your small, charming guesthouse.

Day Four: Liban to Ivo

Set off riding over the mountain saddle of Liban and climb upwards until reaching your lunch spot at the Devils Swamp. After lunch, ride onwards to the peak of Ferto (1,589m) which offers beautiful views of the rocks of Nagy Hagymas. From the vast plains of Ferto you descend to the River Ivo where you find your accommodation in a special place called "To The Fairy Garden" in Irigyvesz.

Day Five: Ivo to Szekelyvarsag

Once again say goodbye to your hosts and head to the Harghita plateau where you can open up your horses and enjoy some canters and gallops. At the edge of the plateau you can catch a glimpse of Zetelaki reservoir. Cross the Sikaszo stream into the southern part of the Gorgenyi Snowy Mountains and an ancient forest. Continue to the farming lands of Szekelyvarsag where you overnight in a guesthouse.

Day Six: Szekelyvarsag to Putna

Today starts with a 1km hike to the grave of UzBence before saddling up and exploring the farmland and village of Szekelyvarsag. After fully discovering the area you find the salt mine paths which lead to Putna. You will discover the history of the region and come to understand some of the efforts which were required in bringing the white gold down from the mountains. Overnight in a guesthouse.

Day Seven: Putna to Kovacs Peter

An early start this morning as you leave the guesthouse behind and head across a pasture until reaching a labyrinth of streams which lead you towards the Gyergyo basin. There are plenty of opportunities for some short and fast canters where the terrain allows as you head towards the Maros river. This was the destination for the salt from the mines and where it was loaded onto river vessels. There is time for a short break and the horses can drink from the river before setting off for another great gallop through the river basin and back towards the mountains. Your final ascent takes you back to Peter Kovacs and the farm.

Day Eight:

Say farewell to your horses and guides and transfer back to the airport for your flight home.

Accommodation: All nights are in guesthouses or local houses/farms with your hosts.
Minimum group size: 3
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: You need to be a capable rider in all paces in the outdoors. There are opportunities for canters and gallops where the terrain allows, but also some steep ascents and descents.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 8 days / 7 nights / 6 riding days of c. 6 hours riding each day. Total distance of the trail is approximately 170km.
Departure dates: 2020: 23-30 May, 30 May-6 June, 13-20 June, 20-27 June, 27 June-4 July, 25 July-1 August, 8-15 August, 26 September-3 October, 3-10 October, 10-17 October.
Pricing: 2020:

£980 per person sharing

Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding.

All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Carpathian Pack Horse Trail

Spend two weeks discovering the magical Hargita mountains on horseback, with spectacular mountain landscapes. Ride through ancient pine forests, wide and wild meadows and onto rocky cliffs and steep rock paths. See local farm workers tending to their pastures and camp in remote locations far from civilisation.

Day One:

After being collected from the airport and transferred to Gheorgheni, you will travel by 4x4 to the horse ranch, a journey of 15km. Here you will have dinner and meet your guides, who will run through a safety briefing with you and discuss the upcoming trail.

Day Two: Kovacs Peter - Fekete Rez

After breakfast and horse allocation, you learn how to load the pack horses and set off on your trail. Your first stop is at the river Olt where the horses can drink before starting the steep climb through the snow-covered Havasok mountain and onto Sipos mountain. The majority of this journey is within forest but your lunch stop is on the peak of Sipos Mountain (1,568m) which offers great views towards North Hargita. After lunch, descend to Lok ridge and follow a long, wild path to the plains of Fekete Rez where you set up camp beside some pastoral quarters.

Day Three: Fekete Rez - Ordog Lake (Devil Lake)

Leave the puzsta/plains behind and descend to Marosfo, where you cross the Maros river and head into the mountains of Hargita. Climb to the peak of Csik Magasa (1,153m) and then continue uphill to Osztoros (1,384m). Stop to admire the spectacular view across the basin of Gyergyo and snow covered mountains of Gorgenyi to your right and the Csiki basin and mountains to your left. Upon reaching Olyves peak you turn towards the main Hargita ridge and follow a winding path downhill to your camp near Ordog Lake. You can take a walk to the swamp whilst your dinner is cooking over the fire.

Day Four: Ordog Lake - Madarasi Hargita

Today is the hardest and longest day of riding as you ride on Hargita's highest peaks - Ferto Teto (1,589m) and Madarasi Hargita (1,801m). Your midday break is taken on Ferto's wide pastures from where you can see the Hagymas mountains and, in the distance, the cones of Dancuras and Likas. After lunch, descend to the Ferto ridge where you find a carbonated water source which you can fill your bottles with. Continue into the vast pine forest of Hargita where you may see tracks left by bears or tell-tale scratchings on the trees. Your camp is situated near a mountain stream on the ridge between Madarasi and Rakosi Hargita.

Day Five: Madarasi Hargita - Talabor

Ride through Rakosi Hargita (1,756m) until arriving at Hargita Furdo where you stop for lunch beside a small pub. Descend to Tolvajos peak, cross the main road and then set off galloping across the Talabor puszta (plains) towards your nights camp.

Day Six: Talabor - Mitacs

Leave your camp and trot towards the Szent Imrei Budos Furdo (Saint Emeric sulphur baths) and into a vast pine forest and then onto Kakukk mountain (1,557m). From here the landscape changes and pine forests give way to beech forests. Your campsite is on the Mitac plains near some pastoral quarters.

Day Seven: Mitacs - Bixad

Continue riding through beech forests until reaching Nagy Piliske (1,374m). After passing this peak you reach a beautiful belvedere where in the distance you can see the Csukas mountain (1,954m), Nagykohavas, Keresztenyhavas (1,800m), Bucsecs (2,505m), Kiralyko and Fogarasi mountain (2,500m). Leave the main ridge and cross the river Olt to enter the Bixad basin where your guesthouse is situated.

Day Eight: St Anna Lake - no riding

Today is a rest day for the horses and a chance to visit St Anna Lake. The lake was formed in the crater of a former volcano called Ciomatu which last erupted thousands of years ago - it was the last active volcano in Eastern Europe. The mineralisation in the lake is extremely low and so the water purity is close to distilled water. Within the twin crater there is also a swamp called Mohos which is very beautiful. The entire area has now been declared a natural reserve. Return to your guesthouse in Bixad.

Day Nine: Bixad - Pap Mountain

Start riding uphill to Bolondos peak (1,082m) from where you will already notice how near you are to Budos Mountain because the air is full of the smell of sulphur. Riding alongside it you will see Buffogo swamp and then arrive at Geczi which offers beautiful views of Haromszek basin and the distant mountains of Menere, Haromszek and Csukas. Clamber through the steep, nook and cranny paths of Kozteto (1,087m) to reach the sub-ridge of Csiki and then ride alongside Cecele peak (1,173m). Here there are flat lands which invite you to canter. Stop for a break at Nyerges peak and then continue through flower-filled pastures to your camp at Pap Mountain (1,165m).

Day Ten: Pap Mountain - Oralla

Set out from camp through the meadows and pastures, with Csiki basin on your left with the Hargita behind, and Kaszoni basin on your right, with the Nemere towering overhead. At Botsarka you join the main ridge and enter another vast pine forest. Overnight in tents again.

Day Eleven: Oralla - Konyak

Leave Tomotok behind you and ride towards the side of Szello which offers views of the Szepviz reservoir. You are now entering the Csango region where you will ride alongside structured pastures and meadows where domesticated animals graze and hard-working Csango people tend the land. Ride past the snow covered mountain of Poganyhavas to your night camp at Konyak (Stone Neck).

Day Twelve: Konyak - Terko

Start the day by leading your horses down from Utasalj peak to Tunel hilltop where you can see the csango pastoral quarters. You will see their pastoral activities as you ride from Naskalat to Terko. From the barren Naskalat you will have a great view to the Gyimes main valley, Hidegseg stream, Gyimes Bukk and the Tarhavas and Hegyeshavas looming behind. Overnight in tents.

Day Thirteen: Terko - Poiana Alba

Today you will reach the rocks of Hagymas which you will have been able to see from afar earlier in your journey. On arriving at Ocsem peak (1,707m) the landscape opens up to the north horizon where you can see the Nagy Hagymas (1,792m), Fekete Hagymas (1,777m) and Csalho's imposing rocks. Lead the horses down a steep rocky slope to Egyes Ko (1,584m) and stop for a break beside an icy water source. Re-mount and set off on a power canter across Poiana Alba's plateau which is laced with tarns. Set up camp close to an esztena (pastoral quarter).

Day Fourteen: Poiana Alba - Kovacs Peter

Depart camp and ride to Voros Ko where you descend to Jahoros Pusztaja and then ride through a labyrinth of valleys to arrive back at the horse farm. You will notice that the horses know they are close to home!

Day Fifteen:

Say farewell to your horses and depart to the airport for your flight home.

Accommodation: Ten nights of camping in tents and four nights in guesthouses with several beds in each room.
Minimum group size: 6
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: You need to be a capable rider who is fit for long hours in the saddle. There are opportunities for canters where the terrain allows, but also some technical sections which are steep and challenging. You will have to lead your horse over some sections.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 15 days / 14 nights / 12 riding days of c. 6 hours each day. Approximate distance of the trail is 330km.
Departure dates: 2020: 11-25 July
Pricing: 2020:

£1889 per person sharing

Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding.

All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

On Bear's Land

This shorter tour which includes three days of riding in different directions from the same place, plus a two day trail, is suitable for all abilities of rider, even novices. You ride into Nagy Hagymas national park, visiting the dolina's of Fehermezo, the vertical caves (zsomboly), precipices and cliff edges. There is also an opportunity to visit the bear re-wilding centre.

Day One:

Arrive in Gheorgheni in the afternoon and then transfer to the horse farm in a 4x4 vehicle. Over dinner you will learn about the week's adventures ahead of you.

Day Two:

After being allocated your horse for the week you set off riding to the Olt Source and then to Meggyes Edge and the Magas Bukk which stands at 1,455m. Return to your farm for the night.

Day Three:

Set off riding towards the Meggyes peak (1,504m) and after a steep climb you arrive on top of the main ridge of the show-covered Gyergyo mountains. From here there is a wonderful view to Csalho (1904m), Kiscohard (1345m), Gyilkos (1408m) and Kelemen (2100m). Continue riding towards Csofronka (1607m) where it is possible to open the horses up for a long canter through the Tunzeria pusztalya (pasture) for those who are capable. Arrive at your overnight accommodation in the wilderness.

Day Four:

Ride on the Voros Ko side of the mountains and head down to Jahoros pusztaja where you wind your way through the valley until returning to the horse farm.

Day Five:

Ride from the horse ranch to the Olt source where you stop to water the horses before climbing a steep path up through the snow-covered Soveto mountains to reach Sipos mountain. A large portion of the journey will be through forest. Stop for lunch on the peak of Sipos mountain (1568m) which offers fantastic views towards the North Harghita. Your return route leads you on a wild path where, if you are quiet, you may be lucky enough to spot deer or even bear.

Day Six:

Ride through the Pongrac peak (1321m) and follow the route of the "little railway" along the side of the Dancuras.

Day Seven:

After breakfast you are transferred to the airport for your flight home.

Accommodation: All six nights are in guesthouses which have rooms containing multiple beds. Five nights are at the horse farm and one night out on the trail.
Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: All abilities can be accommodated on this ride. There are some opportunities for canters for those with experience, but most of the route is at a walk due to the steep terrain.
Type of ride: Centre based with trails
Total riding time: 5 riding days, 4-5 hours riding each day
Departure dates: 2020: 4-11 July, 1-8 August, 15-22 August, 22-29 August, 17-24 October.
Pricing: 2020:

£711 per person sharing

Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding.

All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.