fot. z archiwum przewodnika

Where The Bears Go

Romania

1150 

The Southern Carpathians are a magical land of wild nature. Wolves and lynxes live here and deep in the primal forests the kings of European forests, brown bears, walk secluded paths. We set off to the Romanian mountains to track the traces of these unique animals and experience pristine nature. We will gallop through meadows and forests, visit nearly forgotten villages of local shepherds and enjoy the beauty of Transylvania.
The tour is center-based, and in addition to horse riding a sightseeing day is planned to visit some of the most interesting spots of Transylvania.

 

  • Days overall
    8 days
    Days in saddle
    5
  • Group size
    6
    Available
  • Standard
    for the picky (comfy acommodation and delicious food))
    Luggage
    no limit kg
    Food
    local cuisine, vegetarian and vegan available
  • Skills
    walk, trot, canter

The Southern Carpathians surround the Transylvanian Highlands with an arc. There, at the foot of the mountains, lays a sleepy village of Șinca Nouă. Quite often one is more likely to see a ladder cart on the road than a car, and people live according to the rhythm of nature. There are virgin forests all around and their only inhabitants are wild animals.

This tour is a center-based one. We spend most of the nights at our permanent base, the equestrian centre at Șinca Nouă. It’s a wonderful, atmospheric place run by ecologists and nature researchers. Thanks to them, we can watch and experience pristine nature from the saddle and, what’s even more important, without interfering with biodiversity or disturbing the natural habitats of wild animals such as wolves, bears and many other species.

We ride mainly Arabian horses, Shagya angloarabs, as well as Kisberi horses and Hungarian half-breed horses (Furioso). All the mounts are energetic and eager to go forward, but at the same time they are well-balanced and respond to slightest signals from their riders. The length of the daily parts will be tailored to the group’s preferences, but is usually around five hours of riding plus a break.

In addition, sightseeing is planned. We will see the old town of Sighișoara, the fortified church of Viscri (both UNESCO World Heritage sites) and the Bran Castle.

For horse welfare reasons, the weight of the riders is limited to 90 kg.

What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • 6 nights in an equestrian centre of a nice standard
  • 1 overnight stay in tents on the trail (an overnight transfer to a guest house can be arranged for those wishing to skip tents)
  • All meals (we use organic products, mostly homemade or from trusted local farms)
  • Transport from Bucharest airport to Șinca Nouă and back
  • English-speaking pilot/guide during the entire tour
  • Horse with full tack and equipment
  • Entry tickets to local attractions visited during the tour
  • Tourist insurance covering high-risk sports
What is not included in this tour?Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
  • Flight tickets to and from Bucharest
  • Optional: observing Carpathian fauna in a natural setting (€30, paid on site)
  • Optional: tips for guides and tour staff
  • Optional: donation of €40 to the Carpathia Project (restoration of natural areas in the Southern Carpathians)
  • Optional: single room supplement (upon earlier request and if available, €84 per week, paid on site)
  • Personal expenses (souvenirs, extra snacks from shops, etc.)
  1. Day 1 Arrival in Romania

    Participants fly in to Bucharest or arrive by car. There are direct flights from many places in Europe, imosrtly arriving between 1 PM and 3 PM. Depending on arrival times, but usually not later than at 4 PM a minibus will pick up all riders from the airport and drive to Șinca Nouă. The road takes about 3 hours. After settling in the guesthouse all riders will have a welcome dinner together.

  2. Day 2 Green meadows

    After breakfast, the group takes a tour of the center. In addition to the stables and pastures we get to see the organic farm. Vegetables and fruit are grown and animals are raised there making the centre almost self-sufficient and the food healthy and very tasty. Next, we meet the horses and go for a ride. The trail leads through meadows and forests growing at the foothills of the mountains. We will admire the landscape and the variety of wild flora and fauna. You may be able to track down the first prints of wild boars and bears. There are a couple of good spots to trot and canter. Lunch is planned mid-ride, in the the nature. At the end of the day, we return to the center where dinner will be already awaiting us. The evening can be spent outside by the fire or in the cosy lounge, and the hosts will be happy to tell you about the ecological projects related to the wildlife of the Southern Carpathians that the resort is a part of.

  3. Day 3 Tracking bears

    Once again, we set out to penetrate the foothills of the Southern Carpathians. We will gallop through blooming meadows and track wild animals in the surrounding forests. We eat lunch surrounded by nature, enjoying the magnificent mountain panorama. In the afternoon we return to the center, and in the evening an optional trip to a forest hide is possible for those who would like to. The chance of seeing bears in their natural habitat is quite high there. Occasionally, wolves also make an appearance.

  4. Day 4 Transylvania

    On this day, the horses rest and the group set off on a car tour of Transylvania. The road will take about 2 hours, we will travel along local roads leading through sleepy Romanian villages. Our first destination is Sighișoara, a fairytale town from the Transylvanian Saxon era. Today it is home to one of the best-preserved medieval town complexes, and one of the main attractions is the home of the (in)famous Count Dracula. We then continue our journey to the Viscri, one of the seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Transylvania. We will visit the legendary fortified church from the 12th century, and have lunch. In the evening, we return to Șinca Nouă.

  5. Day 5 Forgotten villages

    After breakfast, we leave Șinca Nouă and head into the wilderness of the mountains on horseback. In addition to abundant forests and flowered glades, we will encunter nearly forgotten mountain villages. We will also have the opportunity of peeping into the life of the local people, which has changed little over the last centuries. We’ll have lunch on the way and in the evening we will arrive at a campsite near traditional local farms. We will spend the evening and a part of the night sitting around a campfire and admiring the stars above. We will sleep in tents, but a transfer to the guest house for the night can be arranged upon request (you will have to walk to reach the car road, which will take about 20 minutes).

  6. Day 6 Southern Carpathians

    After a night in nature, we saddle up the horses and continue on our way. The majestic Southern Carpathian Mountains are all around us, with the Transylvanian Highlands at their heart. In many places the trail passes through viewpoints where we will be able to enjoy panoramas and the beauty of this parts of the Carpathian mountains.  Gradually, the trail will lead towards Șinca Nouă and we will reach the our center in the afternoon.

  7. Day 7 Dacula's Castle

    This is the last day of horse riding. There will be lots of cantering through meadows and mountain glades. In the middle of the day we will return to the center, say goodbyes to our horses and have a delicious lunch. Then we set off by car to the Bran Castle, known as Dracula’s castle! As you will find out during the tour, the legend doesn’t quite coincide with the historical facts, but a legend is a legend 🙂 In the late afternoon we will return to the center and hold a farewell dinner together.

  8. Day 8 Farewell to Romania

    After breakfast a minibus will pick up all participants and head to Bucharest, to the airport.

The guide might modify the route according to weather conditions and group's riding skills
fot. z archiwum przewodnika
fot. z archiwum przewodnika
fot. z archiwum przewodnika

The center-based ride in Romania is a high-standard tour meant for those riders who enjoy more confy conditions. We stay overnight in an equestrian centre, in comfortable rooms with bathrooms. We have access to wifi, electricity and hot water. Clean bed linen and towels are also provided. Although the standard rooms are double and triple, it is possible to arrange accommodation in a single room by prior arrangement. The additional cost is EUR 84 per week.

According to the programme, one night is spent outside the center. A bivouac is planned for that day, but  those who are not comfortable with tenting, we can organise a transfer to the guest house in the evening and back in the morning. You will have to walk to the road by car, which takes about 20 minutes.

Traditional Romanian dishes are quite calorific. However, the cooks masterfully combine regional cuisine with healthy eating principles. They use almost exclusively organic ingredients, mostly home-made or from trusted local farmers. You will be able to taste homemade meats, fresh vegetables and fruit from center’s own gardens, with many spieces and flavours also coming from local production. A range of spirits, organic wines, beers from local breweries and homemade liqueurs are also available.

The organisation of the entire trip is based on the principles of responsible tourism. The center, being a part of an decade-long ecological project supports local people and the region and put special attention to caring for the nature and environment in the mountains.

 

Equipment

We use universal, versatile English-style saddles and endurance type saddles, suitable for long-distance endurance riding. The stirrups are wide and allow for stable leg support. for some of the horses we use brest collars and tail docks. Horse pads are equipped with pouches, but it is a good idea to keep valuables (documents, money, phone) with you, e.g. in a weist bag.

Saddles are traditional, and we also use a bridle.

Please note that a riding helmet is obligatory for this tour. You can bring your own helmet or use the ones available on site.

What should you take with you?

This tour in Romania is center-based. We spend most of the nights in a comfy guesthouse. One night is
Wyprawa w Rumunii to rajd gwieździsty. Większość nocy spędzamy w stałej bazie wypadowej. Dodatkowo zaplanowany jest jeden biwak poza ośrodkiem, wówczas transport potrzebnych bagaży jest zapewniony. W trakcie dnia zabieramy ze sobą tylko najpotrzebniejsze rzeczy.

  • passport or personal ID
  • cash, in RON lub EUR
  • electronic devices, e.g. camera
  • sunsceen
  • insect repellent
  • your personal riding equipment (helmet, clothes, gloves, etc.)
  • raincoat / waterproof jacket
  • flip-flops for showering
  • sleeping bag (for one night)
  • small backpack (for sightseeing day)
Date Trip Status Price Spots  
13 April 2024 - 20 April 2024
Available
1150 
1
27 April 2024 - 4 May 2024
Full group
1150 
0
11 May 2024 - 18 May 2024
Full group
1150 
0
25 May 2024 - 1 June 2024
Full group
1150 
0
22 June 2024 - 29 June 2024
Full group
1250 
0
6 July 2024 - 13 July 2024
Available
1250 
1
20 July 2024 - 27 July 2024
Available
1250 
3
3 August 2024 - 10 August 2024
Full group
1250 
0
17 August 2024 - 24 August 2024
Available
1250 
1
31 August 2024 - 7 September 2024
Full group
1250 
0
21 September 2024 - 28 September 2024
Full group
1250 
0
5 October 2024 - 12 October 2024
Full group
1150 
0
19 October 2024 - 26 October 2024
Full group
1150 
0
2 November 2024 - 9 November 2024
Available
1150 
1