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Join Equus-Silvania for a high-quality horseback riding holiday in one of the most amazing areas of Europe! On this holiday, you will be stunned by the gorgeous meadows, hills, and forests of Romania as you ride on your horse. More than just a vacation, Equus-Silvania also invites you to learn about several large conservation programmes in the Carpathian Mountains and the hills of Transylvania.
During this vacation, you will stay at Equus Silvania for most of the nights. Equus Silvania is a horse riding center, built in 2004, which combines local traditions with the Western standard. The center has a new, tasteful, and modern guesthouse with private bathrooms and offers mainly organic food from its garden, chicken, turkeys, and pigs, or from the surrounding farms. The horses of Equus Silvania are Arab and Shagya-Arab, Kisberi, Gidran, and other Hungarian breeds. This mixture offers a suitable horse for everybody from calm horses for the lesser experienced to fast and fiery horses for the demanding rider. But all horses have the stamina and are used to the mountains.
You will do a 2-night trip up into the mountains with overnight in tents in a spectacular setting on your fifth night.
You will be picked up at Henri Coandă International Airport (OTP) in Bucharest and transferred through the spectacular mountains to the guesthouse in Sinca Noua. Upon arrival after approximately a three hours drive, you will receive a welcome drink, a great dinner, and you will spend the evening with the staff of Equus Silvania to prepare the week.
After breakfast, you will be shown around the farm and introduced to the horses. Soon, you will take off for a first ride along the meadows and through the forests at the foot of the mountains. The hills offer a fantastic view over the area and the meadows invite for some first trot or canter. You will be stunned by the variety of wildflowers and you might already come across tracks of bears or wild boar. There are lots of possibilities for canters over the meadows. You will enjoy your lunch breaks on the beautiful meadows with spectacular views and return in the afternoon back to the stable.
After dinner, you will have the choice to watch video presentations about the research and conservation projects, which the Prombergers have carried in recent years. You might also opt to spend the evening at your willow pavilion on the open fireplace or have a drink at the bar. One evening, you will have the possibility to visit a hide in the forest, not far from Equus Silvania where the chance to see wild brown bears is very high.
Today, you will give the horses a rest and experience the true history of Transylvania. You will leave Sinca Noua and drive for about two hours through sleepy villages to the north until you reach the medieval town of Sighisoara, one of the cultural centers of the Transylvanian Saxons.
Thereafter, you will continue to the village of Viscri with its famous fortified church (one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites) from the times of the invasion of Turks. It is just a gravel road, which gets us the last 10 kilometers to Viscri, a settlement of the German minority, founded 900 years ago. In 1990, most of the villagers have left to Germany, but a small number of people stayed to continue their traditional life. Prince Charles, who visited the village many times, is a great admirer of the village.
Later, you will be served a traditional Saxon meal with food from the gardens and home-made wine and plum brandy. Thereafter, you will visit the fortified church, stroll through the village, and return back to Sinca Noua until the evening. Your guide is passionate about the history of Transylvania and once you have spent the day there, you will be as well.
The 50 kilometers roundtrip will lead you through the endless forests of Transylvania, home of the large carnivores. You will pass through forests and cross the beautiful mountain meadows. Here, you will have the possibility for some long canters and arrive in the afternoon in an area, where people’s life has changed little since the Middle Ages. Their little mountain farms are still being worked with oxen or horses where people lack even for facilities such as running water or electricity. The camp is being set for you at one of these farms with a fantastic view around. You will enjoy a rustic dinner cooked at the campfire and have a long evening around the fire to tell stories.
If you don’t fancy camping out in tents, Equus-Silvania is happy to pick you up after dinner (20 minutes walk is necessary) and drive you to the guesthouse for the night and back again the next morning.
In the next morning, you will pack your stuff and ride along the forest trails and roads through the wild forests of Transylvania. In this gorgeous forest, you can enjoy the spectacular view over the Carpathian Mountains and tracks of wolves or bears that are commonly found along the trails. In the afternoon, you will arrive back at the guesthouse.
On your last ride for the week, you will ride for about three hours in a loop around Sinca Noua through wild forests and beautiful meadows where you can enjoy the canters and the great scenery. You will back for a late lunch and to continue in the afternoon by minibus to the nearby Bran Castle, which is commonly known as the Dracula’s Castle. However, you will learn that the history is much more exciting than the legend.
After breakfast, pack the luggage and back to Bucharest.
Due to weather conditions, the order of the programs might change. Also, please note that Equus-Silvania reserves the right to change the program as long as it doesn’t change the character of the trip. If rain would not allow a full day of riding, you will be offered with alternatives. Moreover, please note that the two-day trip with overnight stay depends on the weather conditions. In case of bad weather, Equus-Silvania reserve the right to change the two-day trip into two single day trips with overnight at the guesthouse.
Right in the middle of Romania, only 50 kilometers west of Brasov, lays Sinca Noua (New Shinca), which is a picturesque village between the Persani Mountains in the northeast and the Fagaras Mountains in the west. The Sinca River flows from Poiana Marului via Sinca Noua into the River Olt, which reaches the Danube after its journey through the Carpathian Mountains.
The first inhabitants of Sinca Noua moved to the area in 1762 from Sinca Veche (Old Shinca), some 10 kilometers further North. It was about 80 families who were hiding in the deep forests of the Sinca valley to escape from forced Catholicism and military service in Maria Theresia's army. They settled near an old orthodox wooden chapel that was built in 1572 and is still a very important site for the community.
Today, Sinca Noua is inhabited by 1,800 people, the majority being of Romanian ethnic. Their main occupation still is agriculture and livestock breeding but in the recent past, people often leave for a few months a year to work abroad.
People in Sinca Noua are very friendly people who are still deeply rooted in their traditions. Especially in winter, during Christmas Eve and St. John's Day (January 7th), this becomes obvious: the whole village, young and old, participates to the festivities of the two-week long "Turco". Also, weddings are still celebrated the old way by the people in Sinca Noua - for three days and three nights with little breaks.
Sinca Noua gains its picturesque quality with sheep, goats, horses, cows, and water buffaloes jamming their way through the main road every morning and evening to the communal pastures outside the village. In the beautiful surroundings, you can also easily find tracks of wolf, bear, lynx, wild boar, or red deer, and with a little luck, you might even see one of them.
This curved mountain range divides Romania from northeast to southwest and lies on a distance of more than 900 kilometers. It ends at the "Iron Gates", where the Danube crosses through the mountains and separates Romania from Serbia. The highest peaks reach over 2,500 meters and are mainly located in the Southern "Transylvanian Alps". In the eastern and northern Carpathians, several high, rocky mountains also break through the forested hills. In the east and southeast, the Carpathians border on the hills of Moldova and Dobrogea and in the south and the east, they border on their foothills. All these adjacent hills range between 500 and 1,000 meters.
Over the centuries, the land-use around the villages was characterized by arable farming in the valley bottoms, small plots of hay meadows and large pastures, allowing for a high degree of biodiversity in the cultivated landscape. During communism, the land was nationalized and the small-scale farming gave way to large cooperatives. After the revolution, the cooperatives were dissolved again and the land was restituted to the former owners but the agricultural production almost completely collapsed.
Since then, most of this land is used as pastures by shepherds that often do not even live in this region and unfortunately overgraze the pastures or destroy the old oaks and fruit trees. Despite intensive governmental support for these rural areas, the social and economic decline of the region could not yet be averted.
Equus Silvania uses mainly locally produced food in their kitchen. People in Sinca Noua generally do not use pesticides or artificial fertilizers, and the livestock is still kept the old way, that is, outside on the pastures. Their own vegetable garden delivers fresh onions, salad, zucchini, etc. Other food such as milk, potatoes, lamb, and veal is bought from the farmers in the neighborhood. Pork, chicken, turkey, all cold cuts, and eggs are from their own production. Equus Silvania is getting particularly famous for their home-made hams, sausages, and bacon.
Following meals are included:
Under normal conditions, Equus-Silvania can offer you a trip to a hide in the forest where there is good chance to observe wild brown bears, foxes, or possibly even wolves from a hide. This is, however, a service from the Forest Administration and will charge you 30 EUR per person.
Henri Coandă International Airport
Please book your flight to arrive at Henri Coandă International Airport (OTP). Transfer from the airport is included. Equus-Silvania will pick you up from the airport..Please make sure you arrive in OTP the latest at 16:00 and do not leave the following Saturday earlier than 14:00 to cope with bus transfers.
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