Experience Transylvania's historical landscapes of endless rolling hills adorned with wild flower meadows, forests and tiny villages, set against a backdrop of the Carpathian mountains. The trails take you across unmarked terrain, over hills and through forests, connecting small villages with a multitude of tracks which are only used by horses and carts and shepherds.
A unique element of these rides is the standard of accommodation, which is glorious compared to some of the more rustic options in Romania. You spend nights at the private retreat of HRH King Charles III and in Kalnoky Castle or beautifully renovated cottages that are part of Count Kalnoky's estate. A couple of nights are also spent with villagers so that you can fully experience Romanian hospitality.
The Kalnoky family set up their first formal regiment of Hussars in 1741 and horses have always held an important role for them. Local Szekler people even claim to be descended from Attila and the Huns! The current stables contain a number of breeds including Shagya Arabians, Lipizzaner, and cross-breeds which are well suited to the terrain. There is little road work, except when you pass through small villages, and there are plenty of opportunities for trots and canters across open grassland.
This landscape is unspoilt and almost untouched by tourism, with open pastures full of wild flowers, varied scenery and wonderful views. There is also much to see of cultural interest, with many people still using horses for ploughing fields or pulling carts. In spring and early summer the ground is scattered with wild flowers; in August and September the hayfields are harvested and the countryside is busy with horse-drawn carts; later in September and October the forests are full of colour with the changing seasons.
The history of the area is also interesting and your guide will take pleasure in explaining everything to you. Each evening you'll take a walk on foot through the villages to visit local churches, monuments, water mills etc to learn about their way of life now and in the past.
Cathy visited this ride in May 2022 so is happy to answer any questions you may have.