Horseback riding is an integral part of the traditional Carpathian scene and the naturally gentle Icelandic horse provides excellent riding opportunities. The rolling hills of the Harghita Mountains with its fresh streams, rich wildlife and dispersed mountain villages provide a great setting for getting to know the Icelandic breed or for those looking for a relaxing riding week in nature.
The Icelandic Horses' gentle, friendly disposition and calm manner make them a delight for anyone to ride, while their unique gaits provide a remarkably smooth way to travel over rugged or snowy terrain, making long hours in the saddle more comfortable.
The tour’s base is located outside the small mountain village of Izvoare, amid the forested hills of the Harghita Mountains. The daily riding program is varied, beginning with a tölt lesson for novice Icelandic Horse riders and continuing with 25-40 km daily rides on forest roads, up to great viewpoints, through pastures, dense pine and beech woods and along river valleys. The pace is dictated by the terrain with certain opportunities to tölt, but it is also tailored to the group’s riding skills. A second guide may join the group if there are more than four riders, so that more experienced riders are not restricted by slower riders. There are times when you will need to lead your horse due to the rough terrain.
This riding programme is available from April-June and September-October, and each season adds its own specifics and beauties to the tour experience. There is often snow on the ground at the beginning of April, with a few crocuses and snowdrops poking their heads through the bare patches, whilst in May everything is growing so fast you can almost see the grass growing and the leaves bursting forth. This is the time when the forests become alive and you can enjoy the wide variety of bird songs as the breeding season starts. The end of May and June are perfect for those looking for the wildflowers blooming. The beautiful Narcissus fields at the end of May are one of the many attractions of the region. From mid-September to mid-October you can experience the raw power of the deer rut, forests dotted with wild edible mushrooms and breathtaking autumn foliage.
This is also a fantastic holiday for accompanying non-riders, who can book alternative tours and activities whilst the riders are out on the daily rides. Whether they choose to spend their days hiking or snowshoeing, biking, birding, fishing, skiing or joining other guided tours in the area, there are professional staff to guide them on their Carpathian escapes. If you are fond of wild animals or nature photography you can visit the 400 ha wildlife park right next to your accommodation which is home to different species such as red deer, roe deer, elk, mouflon and wild boar. The park is kept in its natural state and with the exception of minimal fencing and access roads, the natural landscape, flora and fauna are left undisturbed.
At the end of your day spent exploring the wild beauty of the region, you and your companions will love the convenience of returning to this boutique lodge based in the heart of nature. If you’ve been horse riding all day or just walking in the surrounding mountains, step into the soothing shower. With a drink from the hunting bar, warm up in front of the fireplace and admire the mountain view.