self-guided horse back riding trip 

New: horse back riding lessons: see below

dates can be chosen free between 1 May and 31 October

at the guesthouse in Stana
Mihaela often guides the the first day, here nearby Stana.
 in Rachitele
Dariana guesthouse in Scrind
guestroom in Poiana Horea
The waterfall in Rachitele
Mihaela with her typical Hungarian saddle. This saddle is a copy from the authentic saddles the Huns and Magtars used during the middle ages.
Ludovico, the owner of the stables is ethnic Hungarian. The Hungarians are master horse riders. On the first of May they offer a folk spectacle with games to the public, here Ludovic catching rings.

The trip is made in the Apuseni Mountains. This is a plateau with the highest peaks up to 1860m. It is a karst region, this means that the mild green valleys sometimes host wild gorges and hundreds of caves. The tracks are well chosen, so you don’t go up and down all the time. Most of the trips go over green meadows along the forest. Because the Apuseni Mountains are not the ideal region for agriculture, most of the land is open grassland. Outside the villages, there are no fences because people still herd the cattle or sheep.

Because there are no marked trails for horse riding, we give you a good description of the road that you have to take and we can provide the GPS coordonates. Because it is way more interesting to ride the horse over the meadows then over the forestry roads we indicate where and what directions you have to take and where to end up. It is impossible to prepare a complete detailed road description over the fields, but we work with landmarks so that it easy to find your way back.

Your accommodation is reserved for you. You sleep in guestrooms in typical farms. Each guesthouse has one or more bathroom, some guestrooms have private bathrooms. Your guest family will serve you a typical warm dinner in the evening. In the morning there is a continental breakfast and for noon a lunch packet. Your luggage will be transported from farm to farm.


You will get your horse for the duration of the trip. There are no restrictions for the numbers of kilometers you ride, you can make an extra trip after arrival if you feel for it. The only thing we ask is that you respect the horse, take care of it and don't take unnecessary risks. Riding experience is a must for at least one of the participants.
At the farms there is a stable for the horse as well. You will have to take care of your horse and equipment and the owner will help you out to stable the horse and show you where water and food is for the horse. 


You can combine trips as well. The horse riding trip can be easily combined with the horse and wagon trip because we use the same trails and accommodations. This works well when some members prefer to ride, the others can make the same trip with horse and wagon.






You can watch a short video clip by clicking the link:






We've included a special page about the Apuseni Mountains: click here







6 day program: the Kalotaszeg trail.    


5 nights, 4 days riding. The trail goes through the hills of the ethnic Hungarian homeland "Kalotaszeg". Trails over country roads, wagon tracks and a lot of open grassland.



Day 1: arrival and introduction in Stana.



Day 2: Instructions and trip under guidance in the surroundings of Stana. Distance 12-16km, 4-5 hours riding.




Day 3: Trip over open pastures, small patches of forest and  along country roads and wagon tracks to the ethnic Hungarian village Sancraiu. Distance 20km, 4-5 hours riding.




Day 4: Trip to Risca. Trip along wagon-trails, country roads and open pasture. You cross the village Valeni where you can visit the beautiful fortified Romanesque church. It goes further over a large open  plateau to the settlement Fonogea. From there you descend along a small river to the village Risca , a Romanian village at 1000m altitude. Distance 16km. 5 hours riding.




Day 5: Trip back to Stana. You leave Risca and ride along the village Cristesti to Manastireni over wagontracks, open meadows. From here it goes over Bica, Horlacea and Saula back to Stana along open pastures and country roads. Distance 30 km.(6-7 hours riding)




Day 6: trip ends after breakfast.






11 day program: the mountain trail


10 nights, 9 days riding. The trail goes through the homeland of the ethnic Hungarians and further through the mountains to the nature park Apuseni. You go completely around Lake Fintinele.




Day 1: arrival and introduction in Stana.




Day 2: Instructions and trip under guidance in the surroundings of Stana. Distance 12-16km, 4-5 hours riding.




Day 3: trip to Risca. Trip along wagon-trails, open pasture and country roads. You can make a stop to visit the lovely wooden Orthodox church in Bica. You cross the village Manastireni, an ethnic Hungarian village with a beautiful fortified Gothic church.  You climb over a very large plateau with open meadows to the settlement Fonogea and descend along the river to Risca a Romanian village in the mountains at 1000m altitude. Distance 30km. 6-7 hours riding.




Day 4: Trip to Rusesti, mostly over country roads and dirtroads. You leave the village Risca to Dealu Mare and Lapustesti (church has a nice painted interior) from where you descend a 7 km long winding road to the village Rusesti where you stay in guestrooms. In Rusesti is a watermill. Distance 16 km. 5-6 hours riding.




Day 5:  Trip to Marisel. From Rusesti you have to climb to one of the highest settlements of the Apuseni Mountains, the village Marisel at 1200m. You’ll have beautiful panoramas.  There is an altitude difference of 600m between the 2 villages. You ride over open pasture, country and dirt roads. You sleep in the village Marisel in guestrooms at a local farm. Distance 10 km. 4-5 hours riding.




Day 6:  From Marisel you follow the ridge to the village Poiana Horea. It is a nice trip through the forest and along small rivers. You enter now for a few days the nature park Apuseni. You ride over wagon trails and along small clearings. You won't see a house for 10km. You stay in guestrooms the village Poiana Horea, a harvesters settlement in the middle of the forest. Distance 25 km. 6-7 hours riding.




Day 7:  Trip to Doda Pilii. You leave the village Poiana Horea and follow the river upstream. It goes over the 1400m high Scoruset hill and through the forest to the lake Fintinele near the village Smida. From there you go to Doda Pilii where you sleep in guestrooms. Trip along country roads and dirt roads.  Once in a while and open clearing in the forest. Distance 18 km. 5-6 hours riding.




Day 8: From the village Doda Pilii you go up the mountain to the village Dealu Botii. It is a nice trip over dirt roads, open pasture and through the forest with nice panoramas over the Lake Fintinele. From there it goes to the Ruginoasa hill and you descend to the village Scrind where you stay for the night in guestrooms. Distance 23 km. 5-6 hours riding.




Day 9: Trip to Sancraiu. It goes back over the Ruginoasa hill, with a descend over a large open pasture with beautiful views over the Calata Valley. From Margau it goes to Bociu and further to Sancraiu. The last part of the trip goes over immense pastures through a strange eroded landscape. Distance 20 km. 6-7 hours riding.




Day 10: Trip from the village Sancraiu over Horlacea and Saula back to Stana. Again a trip through the Kalotaszeg region, lots of open grassland, wagon tracks and scattered forest. Distance 25km. 5-6 hours riding.




Day 11: Trip ends after breakfast





Horse back riding lessons and / or training:


If you're not sure about your ability to ride horse during a several day-trip, we offer now the possibility to learn and ride from Stana:


The program: 

Mihaela or her husband Ludovico will stay with you during the 5 day stay. You stay in the beautifully restored guesthouse Iringo in Stana.

(rooms with private bathroom)

Daily you will have a 4-5 hour program where you will learn to improve your horse riding abilities and learn how to handle the horse in difficult or unexpected situations. The first 2 days you will stay mainly in and around Stana, later on you will make longer trips in the surrounding region.




the horses

Most of the riding horses are Hutsul horses. This is a typical Romanian breed, coming from the Bucovina region, near the Ukrainian border.

The Hutsul was already in the 17th century mentioned in written documents.
It is a relative small but robust horse. Height between 139 and 151cm.
Weight between 380-420kg.
Color: dark red-brown, chestnut, black or gray.
Character: very easy going, lively and with lots of energy. 
The horse is strong and especially adopted for mountain regions. It isn't fussy about food and resists all types of weather.

Other horses are mixed breed, with dominant Lipizaner blood.

The saddles we use are typical English riding saddles
The authentic Hungarian saddles are very light, but als strong and very comfortable. On top of the saddles comes a sheepskin. You can try such a saddle during your stay







blue trail = Kalotaszeg trail

red trail = mountain trail

the guesthouse in Stana



Price  trips: 


6 day program: the Kalotaszeg trail. (5 nights, 4 days riding)


Adults: 545 Euro per person (minimum 2 persons), 

Single traveller: a supplement has to be paid for single room occupancy and luggage transport.


Price includes: Accommodation in full board, horse and saddle, instructions and guidance day 1,2, luggage transport.


11 day program: the mountain trail (10 nights, 9 days riding.) 


Adults: 895 Euro per person (minimum 2 persons) 
< 12: 225 Euro, Children below 3: free

Price includes: Accommodation in full board, horse and saddle, instructions and guidance day 1,2. luggage transport.


Extra days: for all programs you can stay extra days.


Single traveller: a supplement has to be paid for single room occupancy and luggage transport.



Horse back riding lessons and / or training:


6 day program: (5 nights, 4 days riding)


Adults: 595 Euro per person (minimum 2 persons), children, if accompanied by parents: 445 Euro

Single traveller: a supplement has to be paid for single room occupancy and guidance.


Price includes: Accommodation in full board, horse and saddle, instructions and guidance for 4 days.




How to get there: (for links to airliners etc, click here)

Direct flights from London- Luton, Paris- Beauvais and Dortmund to Cluj Napoca with Wizz Air. 

There are also direct flights between Paris- Beauvais or Rome and Cluj Napoca. (Blue Air)

Lufthansa operates a direct flight between Munchen and Cluj Napoca.

We arrange further transport between Cluj Napoca and Stana.


Flights to Budapest (regular airlines and low-cost) and train to Huedin: there are trains departing the airport Ferihegy at 08.43 (arrival Huedin at 15.47) and 13.43 (arrival Huedin at 20.39) 

(The trains depart at new trainstation at airport terminal 1 and you have to change trains in Szolnok, time between trains is somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes)

Train connections: see at  

We arrange further transport between Huedin and Stana.


Back to Cluj Napoca: we arrange transport, or by train there are hourly trains between Stana and Cluj Napoca. If you have an early flight, we'll offer accommodation in Cluj Napoca.


Back to Budapest: train leaving Huedin at 07.16 arrives at 12.16 and train leaving Huedin 11.24 arrives 16.16 at the airport.