Stay in a Count's Manor house in a charming local village. Enjoy NATURE and CULTURE ACTIVITIES. Transylvania’s Authentic Charm We offer one excursion or activity per day according to the schedule below, which is included in the 'All Inclusive' price. Tours and activities start after breakfast, between 10–10.30 in the morning. From April to October, bear watching is possible at an extra charge in the evenings.
Monday Trying out your Skills at Traditional Crafts and a Day at the Manor Craftsmen on the estate will help you assemble and create your own small Transylvanian painted wooden item which you can take back home. Alternatively, the cooks will help you make our traditional Szekler Chimney Cake over open fire. Your own cake will then be served for desert or tea. The local blacksmith will show you how he beats hot iron into shape in his old smithy. Lunch at the guesthouse. 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 and dive into its clear waters in the summer heat.
Tuesday The Saxon Land: Viscri (Deutschweißkirch, Szászfehéregyháza) and Sighișoara (Schäßburg, Segesvár). Viscri is one of the best preserved Saxon villages and it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its fortified church is one of the most iconic Saxon fortified churches in Transylvania. The village itself was saved from decay with the help of international charities including the support of the Prince of Wales. You will visit his house which is now an educational centre for rural skills. Lunch in Sighişoara at a restaurant on the cobbled town square. Sighișoara is one of the seven major Saxon towns dating back to the 13th century and it is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is the alleged birthplace of Vlad Țepeş, 'The Impaler'. The old citadel dominates the newer quarters of the town from a rocky massif. You will visit the Citadel, the Clock Tower, the Monastery Church, some of the fourteen Guild Towers, and climb the Scholar’s Stairs to reach the restored Church on the Hill and the atmospheric Saxon cemetery.
Wednesday Walking around Miklósvár (Miclosoara) Walking is the best way to discover a new area. You will venture off from the manor park into the hills surrounding the village. Take along a walking stick available at the guesthouse, and binoculars to watch birdlife. According to the season you will find many wild flowers including orchids in spring, mushrooms in the forest in summer and autumn, and wild animal tracks in the winter snow. Picnic lunch in the countryside. The panoramic views provide a real feeling about the region you are visiting. You might feel transported into a novel of Jane Austen, Lev Tolstoy or Miklós Bánffy. Your hiking guide will provide plenty of historical details on this historical region of Transylvania called 'The Woodlands', which Miklósvár is located in.
Thursday Bran castle (Törzburg, Törcsvár) and Prejmer cistercian fortified church (Tartlau, Prázsmár). Bram Stoker immortalized Transylvania in his book 'Dracula', but never actually visited the region. Castle Bran, which has become synonymous with Count Dracula due to its dramatic aspect, towers dominantly on a crag overlooking the valley. Known as "Dracula's Castle', Bran was actually the summer residence of Queen Maria of Romania, with rather romantic interiors. Lunch in Bran. The amazing fortified church in Prejmer (Tartlau), was originally built by the Cistercian Order, and later fortified by an impressive system of ring-walls sheltering several storeys of chambers as a refuge for hundreds of people from the neighbouring villages. It has survived many a siege by the Turks and has retained most of its original character.
Friday The Pied Piper's Cave and Gorge Around 25 km to the north of Miklosvár lies the Almás cave in the gorge of the Vargyas river. In its large opening at mid-cliff, hundreds of human-shaped stalagmites of ice appear in winter. It is a place of many legends, and it is said that the Pied Piper surfaced here with the abducted children from Hamelin (who became the Saxon colonists of Transylvania). Picnic at the cave's entrance or outside. After crossing the river on several small bridges, we will explore the entrance of the cave with its impressive halls populated by colonies of bats (mostly in winter). For those interested in hiking, it is possible to climb the summit and walk through wild flower meadows with great panoramic views of the gorge. The climb is of medium difficulty.
Saturday The Land of the Szeklers The Székely (Szekler) people have their distinctive architecture, language and culture. In many of their villages, craftsmen still pass down their skills from generation to generation. We will visit workshops of weavers and wood-carvers, and an ancient, yet functional water-mill. The local cemetery reveals the old pagan custom of using totems rather than crosses on the graves. Picnic lunch at the fizzy mineral water springs and bath of 'Little Bacon'. The Szeklers are Hungarians, and your guide will help to communicate and explain the many peculiarities of this colorful part of Transylvania and of its people.
Sunday Horse and cart ride Explore the beautiful surroundings of Miklosvár by horse and cart. We will drive through this picturesque landscape of hills and valleys, wildflower meadows and forests. Local people can be seen working on their lands, using traditional methods and tools long forgotten in the western world. You will have views on the string of villages aligned along the river Olt that flows through the valley. Drinks and picnic / barbecue at lunch in a picturesque spot. During the trip you will have the chance to watch wildlife as well as sheep- and cow-herds on the pastures. The Lesser spotted eagles of Transylvania (famous for their diet of frogs), storks, bee-eaters and many other birds might appear in the skies. During the spring / summer season wild flowers and butterflies are making your day more colorful. In winter, heartened by hot mulled wine, you might follow tracks of bears and wolves in the snow.
Some of our tours are weather permitting, hence we might change or tailor them if necessary.
Stay in the guesthouse of a Prince surrounded by stunning landscapes. Enjoy NATURE ACTIVITIES.
Transylvania’s Authentic Charm We run one guided tour per day for every day of the week. Guests are guided as a group.
Monday Walk to the high pastures. This is a longer walk up to the pastures from where beautiful views and scenery unfolds. Picnic stop for lunch.
Tuesday Walk to George's meadow. This walk is particularly interesting for wild flowers and ancient farming techniques. Strip farming allows to grow a great variety of different crops in small spaces on the village's south-facing slopes. Sceneries and hay-fields are magnificent. Picnic stop for lunch.
Wednesday Horse & Cart ride to the shepherds. You will drive to the pastures where the shepherds milk the sheep at noon. Taste fresh sheep's cheese before the barbecue at lunch. On the way back you will stop at the spring and taste natural fizzy mineral water.
Thursday Forest Walk. This walk leads through less used tracks in the forests.Sometimes you can meet deer, boar or other inhabitants of the woods. Picnic stop for lunch..
Friday Trying out your skills at traditional crafts. Lunch at the guesthouse.
Saturday Village Day. Discover what remains of the glass manufacture, visit the two chapels and the old fire shed, the volcanic gas exhaust, the mineral water bath, get inside the local courtyards and stables, taste the varieties of local herbal teas, etc. Lunch at the guesthouse.
Sunday Horse & Cart ride to the charcoal burners. This is a longer ride to the outskirts of the next village, in beautiful scenery. Barbecue lunch close to the river. On the way back you can stop at the charcoal burners and invite them for a sip of your caraway brandy if there is some left after lunch.
Walks are medium in difficulty, 4-10km long and cover up to 150m in difference of altitude. Guests carry their own portions of picnics. Horse & Cart rides are on waggons without springs, so it can be a bit rough and shaky. You can get on and off the cart and walk alongside whenever you wish. Barbecue for lunch.
A guide will accompany you and point out features of the wildlife and of the surroundings. You can pick mushrooms and herbs, dry them at the guesthouse and take them back home in little canvas bags. The guide also carries a repellent against wild animals and dogs if need be.
The schedule is set and cannot be changed.
In July and August, 'All Inclusive' guests can also make hay with the locals, instead of the daily tours and at no additional cost. In the summer heat you can also freshen up in our mineral water bath!
Extra Activities (including our Unique Horseback Riding Trips in the Carpathian Mountains) In addition to the daily tours, we offer a choice of extra activities for a fee: At the nearby village of Sepsikőröspatak / Valea Crișului we offer riding lessons, hacking and day-rides: Lessons for both adults and children on horses and ponies (45 min.), hacking (1,5-2 hours), and day-rides (3 h with picnic). Transfers (1/2 h one way) are available. Please book in advance!
We also operate 5-day trail rides in the region, please inquire by email for details and see below for more information: Enjoy Transylvania’s historical landscape of endless rolling hills adorned by wild flower meadows, forests and tiny villages, set against the backdrop of the Carpathian mountain range. This may well be Europe’s last riding heaven! The concept of our treks is to introduce our guests right into the heart of our culture – where horses have kept their original role. The ride is led through unmarked terrain, over hills and through forests, connecting one small village to another by unnoticeable tracks used by horses and carts. Up to 8 riders are led by 2 local guides. The small groups (often made up of a number of people who have booked separately ) make for friendly and interesting riding. We also often run private rides for closed groups of up to 12 riders who know each-other. The full trail ride takes 5 days in the saddle, a shorter 3-day version and day-rides are also possible. The rides have often been described as a Tolstoy-esque experience,
Bicycles are for rent on the property (without guide). 10 EUR / person / day (5 bicycles are available on site).
Milking cows (mostly for children) in a stable in the neighborhood. Milking time is usually around 7-8 PM. 5 EUR / occasion. We operate a wildlife hide on the property which can be visited by bicycle with a guide at dusk or at dawn between April and October. 'Al Fresco' Sunset Dinners are offered in the warm season (May–September) in the surrounding hills are being offered for a minimum of 4 participants at an extra charge: • By horse & cart to George's meadow on the other side of the village (45 EUR /person, includes dinner ,no drinks included) • By foot on the hill above the house, (35 EUR /person, includes dinner, no drinks included)
Rainy Days If the weather is too wet, you can try your skills at simple traditional crafts or prepare a special local cake under the shelter of the barns and covered terraces.
Felting with wool.
Carving walking sticks from hazel branches
Sewing little canvas bags for dried herbs and mushrooms
Baking the traditional Szekler pipe (or chimney) cake 'Kürtős Kalács'
You can keep and take home the results of your skills, and the cake will be served for dessert at dinner!
Winter Activities In case of snow (altitude approx. 800m), instead of our regular activities we can also offer:
Cross country skiing with our guide (please bring your own equipment!)
Snow-shoeing. Follow the tracks of wild animals such as wolves without sinking into the snow. We have 3 pairs of snow-shoes on site including 1 for the guide.
Horse-drawn sleigh ride. In winter we swap the cart for a sleigh, and provide blankets and mulled wine for the journey. An experience reminiscent of Dr. Zhivago...
Sledges. The hills on the property are an ideal playground for sledging. We have 2 sledges for 4 persons at the estate.
The Prince of Wales hopes that his guesthouse will encourage more people to visit Transylvania and in this way promote sustainable development. Proceeds from the guesthouse go to The Prince of Wales Foundation in Romania, member of The Prince's Charities.