Transylvania, one of the most unspoiled regions in Europe, is situated in the southeastern corner of the Carpathian basin in Romania.
The populations of wolves, brown bears, lynx, roebuck and boar are said to be the greatest in what remains of the European wild.
Starting around the 12th century (under an ancient agreement with Romania’s Hungarian conquerors) the Saxons built a series of ‘Seven-cities’ or Siebenbürgen, what amounts to fortified ‘islands’ protecting their homes, farms and churches from everyone from the Mongols to the Ottomans.
The Saxons largely fled Romania after the collapse of the Ceausescu regime leaving everything behind them. It is a delicate business, but the villages are gradually being restored and the old houses are being renovated according to the traditional building techniques. Owing largely to the old farming practices, Transylvania also preserves an ancient and man-made biosphere that sustains cultivation and managed wilderness in rare harmony. Horses still plow the fields, pull hay carts and the food is still grown in small traditional farms.
Thanks to unfenced and uninterrupted miles of pasture and ancient woodland the riding in Romania is superb.You will be able to experience traditional village life and be introduced to the folklore, culture and hospitality of the region. You will have the opportunity to visit impressive fortified churches guided by the traditional ‘key-keeper’, spend time with artisans, including farriers and charcoal makers and on occasion meet with farmers and shepherds along the way as they go about their daily work. We spend five days riding out from Villa Abbatis Equestrian Center, located in Apos, an old Saxon village and we spend one night in the village of Veseud. The horses are a mix of well-trained Lippizaner and sport horses. The pace of riding is dictated by the group. There are many opportunities for trotting and cantering in this environment.
Please note: The outfitter retains the right to change the itinerary or sequence of the ride according the weather conditions and any unforeseen circumstance
Departure & Return Location
Date and Rates
May 01-08, 2022
The traditional stables and your home for the week is nestled in a traditional Saxon village. It’s all very cosy and personalized and before long you will feel like a member of the extended family.
Traveling on horseback to various Saxon villages you will experience a region formerly known as Siebenbürgen, a series of ‘Seven-cities’ built by the Saxons, fortified ‘islands’ protecting the homes, farms and churches from everyone from the Mongols to the Ottomans.
Your guides who were born and raised here, are very invested in this region and besides being excellent horse-people will introduce you to all the wonders: the history, the people, the folkloric traditions, music and lifestyle of the region. Hearty. organic home-cooked meals are also the order of the day.
Depending in the season you will have the hayfields exploding in bloom in the spring and early summer or the atmosphere of the fall when the beech and oak trees are ablaze with color and mushrooms abound and the land is preparing for the winter ahead. Siebenburgen is one of the most authentic and unspoiled corners of Europe.
We spend six days riding out from the horse centre located in Apos and we spend one night in the village of Veseud. The horses are a mix of beautifully kept, well-trained Lippizaners, and sport horses and are ridden in high quality English tack. There are many opportunities for trotting and cantering in this environment but you can also dictate your pace.
Fly (or take the train) to Sibiu, Romania. Transfer to the Villa Abbatis Equestrian center in Apos where we have dinner and hear about the week ahead. Villa Abbatis Equestrian Center, is located in Apos, an old Saxon village 55 km away from Sibiu.
After breakfast we take some time to aquaint ourselves with our horses in the manége, before heading out of the village to ride across rolling hills and beautiful lush valleys until we reach Biertan (Birthalam). This village is a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back to the 13th century, making it one of the oldest villages in Transylvania. Biertan is also home to the most important fortified church in the region that was also the seat of the evangelic bishop. We will have lunch at Unglerus restaurant, surrounded by medieval cavalry armor and then take a stroll over to the church, where we will also have the opportunity to learn a little bit more about the history of the Saxons in the region. In the afternoon we ride back to Apos.. Dinner and overnight in Apos . All dinners at Apos are prepared by a village family only using locally grown organic produce. (6 hours riding)
After breakfast we ride along the medieval merchant’s wine trials towards Richis (Reichesdorf). This was the wealthiest medieval village in the area, due to its famous wineries. We will be given a tour of the very impressive fortified church. after which we will enjoy a picnic lunch or a lunch with a local family. The landscape with its wide, sweeping valleys, rolling hills and peaks will give us the opportunity to ride through a variety of terrain. We return to Apos and after a tasting of local wines, we settle down for dinner. Overnight in Apos. (5 – 6 hours riding)
After breakfast we ride towards Copsa Mare (Gross Kopisch) village and we will circumvent the forests, in order to ride though the large, open landscapes, We will also be able to observe how some of the farmers are still working the land and how they go about cutting the grass or making haystacks depending on the season and time of day. On more inclement days we can also return to the forest for a comfortably shielded ride under the canopy. After lunch we ride back to Apos. Dinner and overnight in Apos. (6 hours riding)
On this day we prepare a small overnight bag as we will be spending the night in the village of Veseud. We mount our horses after breakfast and head towards Veseud that is known for its apple orchards. At lunch, we can also sample one of the best apple pies in the region. The trail takes us through ancient beech and oak forests that eventually open up to reveal spectacular views over the Hartibaciu valley and the villages beyond. Our destination in Veseud is a beautifully restored Saxon manor house where our hosts await with a three-course lunch made from their farm grown produce. After lunch, we can take a walk around the village and visit the fortified church, enjoy some leisure time and prepare for dinner. Dinner and overnight in Veseud (4 hours riding)
After breakfast we take a lovely meandering trail back to the village of Apos. Lunch will be served in Apos at the farm and in the afternoon we have the chance to relax. In the evening local musicians will join us around the fire with live music and a special barbeque dinner. Overnight in Apos, (4 hours riding)
After breakfast we will head towards Stejerisu (Probstdorf) village and visit the well-preserved church, where one of the last remaining members of the Saxon community will welcome us to a palinca (schnaps) and a speck and cheese tasting up in the church tower and share some stories about life in this village. Lunch is prepared by another remaining Saxon resident who prides herself in only using old family recipes. After lunch we ride back to Apos . Farewell dinner and overnight in Apos. (5 – 6 hours riding)
After breakfast transfer to the airport for departure flights