Horseback riding in the wild, at Odai
Adventure level: ♥♥♥
Traditional venue: ♥♥♥
Local food: ♥♥♥
Bucharest – Brezoi – Odai – Bucharest
Recommended duration: 3 days
Available: spring, summer, autumn
We found this special place in the Carpathians and we want to share it with nature lovers. It is called Odai – Chambers and it is a medieval Romanian settlement still inhabited. The little houses are one, two, even five kilometers apart and the hamlet looks like in 1500. We use the fire to cook, water from the well to shower and we forget about our phones.
Our hosts are our coaches for horseback riding; they learned by themselves since they were 3 and 4 years old and now they can also do jumps and stunts. While they are teaching us how to deal with the horses, they also teach us about patience, balance and protecting nature. In medieval times, the villagers that had houses on the Olt riverside were forced to find fertile land on the mountain slopes. The meadow of the river was too narrow and the invaders were greedy. They cleaned all the southern slopes bathed in sunlight, and instead of the beech and pine forest appeared a village – Odai. People used the small houses for 6-8 months per year, for the crops and for breeding livestock and they returned to their houses on the riverside in winter.
We do the same, by going there in the spring, summer and autumn to learn how to ride a horse and how to live a simple and connected life. We have 6 horses (Murgu, Fulger, Sasha, Paco, Breazu and Dochia) and we learn more about them and horseback riding each day.
The tours have usually three days. On the 1st day we leave Bucharest early in the morning and reach the mountains around noon. We get to Odai for a healthy traditional snack (plum brandy, bread and bacon) and then we meet the horses. We start by getting to know them and by cleaning them, we continue with the basics commands (Start!, Stop!, Left!, Right!) and we test our strength for mounting and dismounting the horse. We have our first journey on the horse and we come back for dinner, starring at the stars and singing at the campfire.
On the 2nd day we experience a longer route with the horses, trying our talent with trot and, maybe, gallop if we feel ready. We also practice the basics: Start!, Stop!, Left!, Right!, mount, dismount, lead the horse.
On the 3rd day we have a last journey with the horses and we say goodbye to the mountains and the lovely people that hosted us.
To be safe and benefit the most out of the experience, we need a good physical condition (jogging, fitness, swimming at least twice a week), trekking shoes and trousers. We will provide the riding chop.
Services included in the package
- English guided service
- Horseback riding guiding and tours
- Accommodation at a traditional, ecological mountain lodge
- Traditional, local food
- Transport by personal air conditioned car for up to 3 persons/hired minivan for larger groups, all parking fees and fuel
Activity level: medium