Sightseeker – scenic riding tour

May-October 

5 days/ 6 nights

1050,00 €

Our trail for all horse and nature lovers who love a challenge and who can sometimes travel with minimal luggage. Our 4-day trail ride across the peaks of the Eastern Carpathians. Over hill and dale it goes to remote areas, to the farmers in the Gyimesi valley, to lonely huts and across the main ridge of the Carpathians.This short tour gives you an up-close look at the life of the Csangos hill tribe in a land where time seems to have stood still. You climb peak after peak of the Harghita Mountains on the backs of our brave horses and ponies and you will encounter small and large challenges along the way, which you have to overcome together with your four-hoofed friends.
This trail is ridden with a pack horse, as our night camps are partly inaccessible by car in the wilderness.The pack horse is saddled together in the morning after breakfast. Due to the circumstances, all fellow riders must take part in taking care of the horses (feeding, watering, etc.).
At a glance
  • 5 riding days / 6 overnight stays
  • trial riding day around the farm, followed by a 4-day trail ride through the wild, pristine Carpathians
  • Daily rides with a duration of 5-7 hours
  • Optional extension day can be booked (70 euros per person)
  • Reliable, sure-footed horse and the necessary gear
  • Experienced, English speaking guide
  • rich breakfast and warm, local dinner
  • Local, alcoholic beverages are included
  • 1 picnic a day
  • 3 overnight stays on our ranch in an oven-heated double- or multibed room
  • 3 overnight stays in different guesthouses and mountain huts
  • Adventurous off-road drive to our ranch
  • Hot Pot: wood-heated tub with warm salt water included
  • Free and safe parking spaces
  • Discount for groups possible on request
  • Maximum group size is 10

Come with us and discover remote and hidden places on horseback!
5 days days trail ride in unspoilt nature.

Tour description

1st day:

After your arrival in Gheorgheni, we will take you on an adventurous off-road ride: In our van we will take you to our Hipparion Ranch, which is remotely located in the Eastern Carpathian Mountains. With a little luck we might spot a deer, a capercaillie bird or even a bear. Once you have arrived on our ranch, you can unwind after your long journey by immersing yourself in the warm salt water of our Hot Pot. After having familiarized yourself with our horses and moving into your room, our cook Brigitta, will indulge you with an original Szekler dinner, in our rustic log cabin.

2nd day:

After breakfast we go for a test ride today. Today you will get to know your horse and the equipment. It goes to the main ridge of the Carpathians. Enchanting views await us. We lead the horses back steeply down into the valley before returning to the local farm on a small romantic path through a stream, forest and fields.

In the evening we sit down again over dinner and discuss the most important points of our adventure in more detail.

After the meal, as always, the sauna and hot pot are ready. The next few days will be long and also challenging for the muscles, so that you can really spoil yourself today.

Riding time: about 4 hours

3rd day

Early in the morning we meet for a strengthening breakfast in our rustic dining log house. On the surrounding natural meadow, we search our four-legged companions.

After that it starts; we first climb the main ridge of the Carpathians. It goes steeply uphill to the foot of the “Red Stone” (approx. 1500 m), where we take a first short break. Then we get to the so-called “White Meadow” via stony paths and the Hasmas National Park, which is named after the countless white limestones and rocks.

With a bit of luck we will meet the semi-wild herd of Csango horses, which occasionally invite us to gallop together across the wide meadow.

Then we dismount and lead our horses past the “Black Garlic” down to the village of Haromkut. The path is rocky and steep, the descent takes about 45 minutes.

At the beginning of the village we mount our ponies and ride through the idyllic village at a brisk trot.

Our host for today, István, lives with his family at the edge of the village. While Maris prepares a traditional dinner, we have time to visit a geological phenomenon in the village: a warm spring whose temperature never drops below 4 degrees, even in the coldest days of the Harghita winter. The geologists still wonder why. 

Then we go to the village pub, where the landlady can offer us either a cool beer or freshly milked cow’s milk; this family also runs a farm with its own cheese dairy.

While the cows are being milked next door, we join the locals at the table, enjoying our beer and the atmosphere in this beautiful place. Completely without WLAN, completely happy and also a bit tired.

Riding time approx. 5 hours

 

4th day:

Freshly rested and after a hearty breakfast served by our hostess Maris, you will be back on the horses. First of all, we also ride through the Romanian part of the village.

Then it goes to the meadows of the village, where the countless sheep and cows of the farmers graze during the day.

A wonderful gallop awaits us, then we go into the picturesque Ilja Gorge. We ride through this magical forest with its steep gorges for about 2 hours.

Finally we reach the Ilia Pass at 1170 meters. Up here we see many dairies and in summer (June-September) numerous shepherds who move across the wide plains with their animals.

Sometimes half-wild horses cross our path. In the summer the horses live free on the alpine pastures and are only in autumn rewatched by their owners and brought down to the villages for pulling trees out of the forests.

Again we climb high up and are rewarded by the view from the ‘Öcsem plateau’ (1707 m). If the weather allows it, we can spot the ‘Fagarasch’ mountain range on the horizon, where the highest summits of Romania are located. Before we can reach our destination and sleeping place for today (the Lonely Store Lodge), we have to manage the challenge of hiking down the steep paths of the shepherd stone. An especially adventurous and slippery task after a rainfall. Good thing we have our reliable, waterproof hiking boots with good soles. 

Aranka, our hostess for this night, awaits us at the Lonely Stone Lodge. For years she and her husband Zoli welcome tired hikers at the hut in the middle of the Hasmas national park. This scenic place can only be reached by foot or horse. Also the dinner, breakfast and the ‘after-ride-beer’ was carried up by packing horses. We will be sleeping in bunkbeds in oven-heated rooms. 

Riding duration: 6-7 hours (depending on the weather and group)

5th day:

The third day of riding starts with a hike downhill to the Olt-river. We mount the horses and ride on the plain of ‘Fekete Rez’ (1568 m). Through thick spruce forests we ride down to the village Marasfö. A loving family renovated their farmhouse for guests and we are welcomed on the terrace by our hostess Katalin. The small pension has three bathrooms, and we can wash off the dirt of the last days with a hot shower. 

Riding duration: 6-7 hours (depending on the weather and group)

6th day:

Our last day begins with a ride through the village and back to ‘Fekete Rez’. On forest paths we climb up to ‘Lok Nyereg’ where we have our lunch break and let the horses graze next to the alpine dairy. Refreshed we discover bear tracks along our way through the valley of Balan. Very near to our route are the grounds of a reintroduction program for orphaned brown bears. The last passage uphill is steep, but our horses know, they are near home and give their best. The first that are sensing our homecoming are our dogs. Now, also the human residents of the Ranch know we are back and we cheer to the successful trip with homemade blueberry liquor. 

After releasing the horses on the meadow, you can spent the time until dinner in the Hot Pot or in the hammock, letting the experiences of the last days sink in. Maybe, at the dinner table with a glass of good wine, the conversations will inspire you to already plan a new riding vacation? 

Riding duration: 5,5 hours
 
7th day:

If you want, you can book an extra day on the farm and relax to your heart’s content today. Sauna, hot tub, sleep in, just enjoy the atmosphere on our romantic and unique mountain farm.

Otherwise you have a hearty breakfast and after this we will drive you to Gheorgheni, from where you will start your individual journey back home.

Requirements: 

Good to very good physical condition required. The horses have to be led downhill very steeply in passages.

You should be experienced in all paces (walk, trot, gallop)  You should be able to independently control your horse. 

Packing: 

Good hiking/trekking boots, high quality rain gear, head lamp, sleeping bag and warm clothes

You will receive a detailed packing list after signing up. 

Important notes: 

Weight limit for this tour: 85 kilos (190 lbs)  

Exceptions only after personal agreement, please contact us in advance!

– vegan meals are not possible on this trip

-In special cases vegetarian, lactose free and gluten free meals can be provided. Please be aware that the meals will be simpler and the diversity reduced. Only possible with a declaration before arrival. 

Changes in the program can occur depended on the weather

Tour dates

2024:

19.- 25.05.2024

09.- 15.06.2024

23.- 29.06.2024

12.-18.07.2024 *few spots left

11.- 17.08.2024 *fully booked

25.-31.08.2024

08.- 14.09.2024

22.- 28.09.2024

06.- 12.10.2024 *fully booked*

20.- 26.10.2024

Book the Sightseeker tour