This ride is available from the beginning of April to the end of October. Around 5-6 hours (20-25km) are spent in the saddle daily and a variety of terrain is traversed as you travel through wild hills and forest landscapes during the 65km long trail. The villages are situated at 450-700m, the hills reach 800-900m. This region is called Erdővidék, or “Woodlands”, and has been looking very much the same for the last centuries, including its ancient villages. At the beginning of your stay, you will enjoy one day at the count's estate to tune into this unique environment before your 3-day ride. At the end you will spend one day relaxing at the prince's retreat, tucked away in the hills.
Day 1 (Sunday)
You will arrive at Miklósvár / Miclosoara after being transferred from the airport/station.
The village of Miklosvar was part of the Kalnoky family estate and the old hunting manor is on the edge of the village - now The Museum of Transylvanian Life. It is the oldest village of Szeklerland, documented as soon as AD 1211. The area was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire and became Romanian during the 1st World War. A number of the traditional houses in the village have been carefully restored in order to preserve their original Transylvanian charm and character and accommodation is in these guesthouses. The cottages are situated within spacious gardens, with storks nesting on nearby rooftops.
Take a look at the guesthouses here.
Day 2 (Monday)
Discover the estate and its craftsmen who will help you create your own Transylvanian crafts item which you can take back home. Then, the cooks will help you make our traditional Szekler 'Chimney Cake' over open fire. Your own cake will be served for desert or tea. The local blacksmith will show you how he beats hot iron into shape in the old smithy.
The rest of the day will be spent at the renaissance manor which has recently been restored. Discover its interiors which reflect lifestyles of past centuries. Have tea on the southern terrace sheltered by the manor's towers and ancient elmtrees, discover the english park or relax at the pond or the formal garden.
Meet your guide or Countess Anna Kálnoky to discuss about the horses you will be riding during the tour.
Day 3 (Tuesday)
Transfer to the riding centre at Valea Crisului (Sepsikőröspatak, “Round Brook”), 45 min. by car. The ride starts ascending onto a ridge with a good canter, where we are heading west on high pastures with magnificent views stretching to the high Carpathian Range. We will meet shepherds and their flocks on the pastures and at the end of the day we descend into a meandering valley to reach the picturesque village of 'Middle Ajta'. From there, a short journey over the hill will lead us back to Miklósvár. Pre-dinner drinks in the Stone Pub, then dinner in the wine cellar.
Riding distance & time: 25km, 6-7 hours.
Day 4 (Wednesday)
We leave Miklósvár and head east along forests and pastures, passing through Szárazajta / Aita Seaca (‘Dry’ Ajta village), to ascend the ridge above Zalánpatak valley. Wide views open out on the distant Carpathian mountain range. We descend southeast to the village of Zalánpatak / Valea Zalanului, which was part of the Kálnoky family estate as the region's first glass manufacture and now harbours H.R.H. The Prince of Wales's private retreat. Several traditional houses in the village have been carefully restored, where you will be accommodated for the next 3 nights. Before dinner, you will have a walk in the evening on the Prince's estate to watch wildlife venturing out onto the meadows at sundown. Riding distance & time: 21km, 4-5+1 hours.
Day 5 (Thursday)
From Zalánpatak, we return to Kőröspatak crossing the hills and brooks. This trip was very common for many a generation of the Kálnoky family who had to ride often between the two villages. It is a medium ride through spectacular surroundings with wonderful views from the high pastures. After crossing the ancient village of Kálnok, the final canter will reach the ruins of the old tower above Kőröspatak. Before reaching the stables, you will dip the horse's legs in the little stream crossing the village. You will be transferred back to Zalánpatak guesthouse with a stopover at the local spa 'Raspberry Baths' for a refreshing dip in mineral water (bring your swimming gown!). Riding distance & time: 19km, 4 hours.
Day 6 (Friday)
Relax at the Prince's retreat with the villagers by carving your own walking stick from hazel branches, helping to make hay, discovering the tiny village museum or going to the bear-hide in the evening. It's the perfect place to unwind after 3 days in the saddle!
Day 7 (Saturday)
Departure after breakfast. You can also add a few days of relaxation and discovery based at Count Kálnoky’s Guesthouses in Miklósvár or at the Prince’s retreat. You will experience more about the region by choosing the all inclusive package, with corresponding activities in Miklosvar or Zalanpatak, at the Prince’s retreat.