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Customised trips in a budget.
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Customised trips for you.
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Customised trips in a budget.
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  • along all trails you'll enjoy beautiful views, here the village Valeni
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  • dates can be chosen any time between the 1st of May and the 31st of October
  • self guided trip - for more information on self guided trips: Click here

This is an individual hiking trip especially created for the Johan's Green Mountain area in the Apuseni Mountains. You will be traveling on your own with a fully detailed trail description and maps. Groups can vary in size, start from 2 people and go up to 8 people. The donkeys will be caring your luggage for the duration of your hiking trip. This system works best for families with children or seniors. We provide one donkey per adult person. We we also provide you with special bags where you can put your possessions which then will be mounted on a wooden frame. There for you won't need a backpacks, your entire luggage will be stored in these bags. The donkey is not the stubborn animal most people think it is. On the contrary, they like company and are very sweet. If you treat your donkey well, you will have in him or her a helpful partner during your trip.

You'll be spending your nights in different places, mainly at farms and guest rooms. All the accommodation provided have full sanitary conditions. The houses in Rasca, Belis and Sancraiu even have en-suite rooms. Every evening you'll be enjoying traditional Romanian meals. The Apuseni Mountains offer a fantastic nature display with the occasional picturesque village. During your trip you'll be walking on forestry tracks or secondary roads.

On the first day of your trip  will receive an induction on how to handle and travel with your donkey, how to store your luggage, how to be aware of it's needs. The next day you'll be sent on a short round-trip around the farm to see if everything goes well with your donkey and so your proper hiking trip will commence as of the next day. The farmers through out all the locations you'll be visiting are well instructed and will help you out with anything you might need to know before setting off with your donkey.
The donkeys are all rented from local shepherds and so are very friendly and provide an extra income for the community. This ways the activity of these donkeys are not restrained to tourist use, they lead the healthy life specific of Romania's free range farms.

Not being trained especially for it, the donkeys here in Romania don't encounter as many tourists and have to be "guided" along the trails which means you have to "control" the donkey. You could more or less compare this with walking the dog of a friend or neighbour. Just like any other dog it'll follow you if you know how to  be the one in control, the trick being that you are unfamiliar to him so you have to make sure you provide him with guidance. However this doesn't mean that children can't guidance a donkey. Once the donkey knows who is in control, they are friendly and calm and will walk long distances without any problems.

We have a special version of a 2-week trip for families with small children, where you stay more than one night in a location to save you walking long distances everyday. See further down: "15 day program: family trip".

We offer three different trips: a 7- day trip, a 9- day trip and a 14-day trip. Each trip may be customised for less or more days.

 

THE 7-DAY PROGRAM:

"The Somesu Cald Trail"

DAY 1: Arrival and acquaintance in the village of Rasca where you'll be spending the first night in a guest room. The village has an altitude of 1000 metres. Depending on your arrival time we can introduce you to your donkey and give you further instructions.

DAY 2: Along with your instructor you'll go on your first trip with your donkey. It’ll be a short round trip in the village to test out traveling with a donkey. You'll return to the same guest family for the night. This trip is 15 kilometres long: 4-5 hours of hiking.

DAY 3: Hiking trip to the village of Rusesti. You'll leave your guest house and walk through small farms on the plateau near the Somesu Cald Gorge. From the settlement of Lapustesti (church has a nice painted interior), you'll descend on a 7 kilometres long winding road to the village of Rosesti. From here on there are just a few kilometres left to the village of Rusesti where you'll spend the night in guest room This trip is 16 kilometres long: 6 hours hiking, 120 metres of climbing and 500 metres descending.

DAY 4: From Rusesti you'll have to hike to one of the highest settlements of the Apuseni Mountains, the village of Marisel which rest 1200 metres high. Here you’ll experience stunning panoramas. There is an altitude difference of 600 metres between the two villages. You'll spend the night in the village of Marisel at a local farm. This trip is 12 kilometres long: 650 metres of climbing, 100 metres descending and 5 hours of hiking. 

DAY 5: Hiking trip to the village of Belis. You'll walk between the two farms through the widespread village of Marisel. After which you descend to the Fantanele lake, a large hydro lake built on the confluence of the Somesu Cald and Belis rivers. this trip is 15 kilometres long: 315 metres of climbing, 345 metres descending, 5-6 hours of hiking.

DAY 6: Hiking trip to Rasca. You'll be walking through small farms, hay and grassland. You pass through the Rasca-Plej settlement then head back to your guest house. This trip is 12,5 kilometres long: 170 metres of climbing, 340 metres descending, 4-5 hours of hiking.

DAY 7: Breakfast and end of trip.

THE 9-DAY PROGRAM:

"The Wedding Veil Trail"

DAY 1: Arrival and acquaintance in the village of Rasca where you'll be spending the first night in a guest room. The village has an altitude of 1000 metres. Depending on your arrival time we can introduce you to your donkey and give you further instructions.

DAY 2: Along with your instructor you'll go on your first trip with your donkey. It’ll be a short round trip in the village to test out traveling with a donkey. You'll return to the same guest family for the night. This trip is 15 kilometres long: 4-5 hours of hiking.

DAY 3: Hiking to the Belis village, you'll be hiking through small farms, farmland, hay land and small patches of forest. This trip is 12,5 kilometres long: 170 metres of climbing, 340 metres descending, 4 hours of hiking.

DAY 4: Hiking to Rachitele. A trip through the huge evergreen forest north of the Fantanele lake. You'll spend your night in a guest house. This trip is 18 kilometres long: 250 metres of climbing, 640 metres descending and 6-7 hours of hiking.

DAY 5: Round trip to the Wedding Veil Waterfall. The 30 metres tall waterfall was named after a myth which stated that a soon-to-be wife threw herself into the waterfall after her fiancé left her the night before the wedding. The waterfall lies in the Stanciu valley and you'll walk through field and the occasional small. This trip is 18 kilometres long: 730 metres of climbing, 730 metres descending, about 5 hours of hiking for a shorter round trip and 7 hours of hiking for the longer round trip.

DAY 6: Hiking trip to the Sancraiu village. You'll be reach an altitude of 1200 metres on Ruginoasa hill and descend with a rewarding panorama's over the Calata valley. You'll go through the villages Margau and Bociu. This trip is 20 kilometres long, 405 metres of climbing, 600 metres descending, 7 hours of hiking.

DAY 7: Hiking trip to Manastireni. You'll be hiking through open grassland in the heart of the Kalotaszeg region, homeland of the ethnic Hungarians. There are some beautiful churches along the trail. The reformed medieval fortified church in Valeni and the wooden Orthodox church in Bica. This trip is 15,4 kilometres long, 390 metres of climbing, 290 metres descending, 5-6 hours of hiking.

DAY 8: Hiking trip to Rasca. You leave Sanraciu village and make your way back to Rasca where your trip started. Your hike will be over a huge open plateau with a descent along the Rasca River. This trip is 12 kilometres long, 350 metres of climbing, 120 metres descending, 4-5 hours of hiking.

DAY 9: Breakfast and the end of the trip.

THE 14 DAY PROGRAM:

"The Mountain Trail"

Families with children are very enthusiastic about this trip because they get the opportunity to milk the caws, make traditional cheese, work the fields and gather vegetables used to prepare their meals, cut grass, play with the farm animals. The kids really do learn a lot from this trip.

DAY 1: Arrival and acquaintance in the village of Rasca where you'll be spending the first night in a guest room. The village has an altitude of 1000 metres. Depending on your arrival time we can introduce you to your donkey and give you further instructions.

DAY 2: You will be given your instructions and set off on your first trip with your donkey. It’s only a short round trip to the surrounding villages Rasca de Sus and Rasca Ples to test how well you'll travel with your donkey. You'll then return to the same guest family for the night. This trip is 12 kilometres long, 300 metres of climbing, 4-5 hours of hiking.

DAY 3: Your first proper hiking trip to Rusesti. You'll leave Rasca village and make your way to Dealu Mare and then Lapustesti (church has a nice painted interior) from there you have a 7 kilometres long descent on a winding road leading to Ruseti village where you'll be spending the night in your guest room. This trip is 16 kilometres long: 120 metres of climbing, 500 metres descending, 6 hours of hiking.

DAY 4: You leave Rusesti and hike to have one of the highest settlements in the Apuseni Mountains which is the Marisel standing at an altitude of 1200 metres. You’ll be enjoying an extraordinary view. You'll be spending the night in the village of Marisel at a local farm. This trip is 12 kilometres long: 620 metres of climbing, 100 metres descending, 5 hours of hiking.

DAY 5: Roundtrip around Marisel or rest day. You can go on a relaxed trip through the village to the Racatau Valley. Marisel is a very long village with farms scattered all over the huge plateau. This trip is 14,5 kilometres long, 5-6 hours of hiking, 500 metres of climbing and descending. You may also enjoy to the farm activities, milking tha caw, making butter and cheese and then a cheese pie or a pie with jam.

DAY 6: You leave Marisel on a road that goes over a ridge to the Belis village where you're also going to spend the night. You'll be hiking through the idilic farms of the Marisel village. You will then reach the Fantanele lake, a large hydro lake built on the confluence of the Somesu Cald and Belis Rivers. This trip is 15 kilometres long: 315 metres of climbing and 345 metres descending, 5-6 hours of hiking. 

DAY 7: Hike from Belis to the Smida, Doda Pilii settlement where you'll spend one night. To get there you will hike through a plateau that will give you a stunning view over the Dealu Botii village. From where you'll see the Fantanele lake as well and on the other side of it the settlement: Giurcuta de Sus. This trip is 18 kilometres long, 6 hours of hiking with 400 metres of climbing,320 metres descending. 

DAY 8: Hiking to Rachitele. You hike up to Dealu Botii over looking the Fantanele Lake. You'll hike further on through Ruginoasa hill from where you descend into Rachitele. You'll be walking through open grassland and through the forest. You'll be spending two nights in Suciu guest house. This trip is 18 kilometres long: 300 metres of  climbing, 400 metres descending. 

DAY 9: Roundtrip without your donkey to the Rachitele Waterfall. The waterfall is an impressive 35 metres and lies about 6 kilometres outside the village, in the Stanciu Valley. It'll be a nice trip along the Stanciu Valley and back through small farms and forest. This trip is 20 kilometres long: 730 metres of climbing and 730 metres descending. About 8 hours of hiking.

DAY 10: Trip to Margau crossing Ruginoasa hill. You'll spend the night in Margau. this trip is 12 kilometres long, 405 metres of climbing and 450 metres descending. About 5 hours of hiking.

DAY 11: Hiking trip to Sancraiu. You leave Margau and hike over the Ruginoasa mountain. You pass through the villages of Margau and Bociu. You'll spend the night in Sancraiu, an ethnic Hungarian village.There is an impressive fortified reformed church dating back to the 13th century. This trip is 10 kilometres long, 100 metres of climbing, 350 metres descending, 3 hours of hiking.  

DAY 12: Hiking from Sancrai to Manastireni. Hike through the ethnic Hungarian region Kalotaszeg to the village of Manastireni. You'll walk through the Valeni village which just like Sancraiu is an ethnic Hungarian village. From Valeni you hike over to Bicawhere you visit it's historic wooden orthodox church with painted frescoes and eventually reach Manastireni, another ethnic Hungarian village again to see is it's famous church from the 18th century. You'll spend the night in a guest room here. This trip is 15,4 kilometres long, 390 metres of climbing, 290 metres descending, 5-6 hours of hiking.

DAY 13: Hike to Rasca. From here you hike up the road back to Rasca, where you go back to the Tripon guest house. This trip is 12 kilometres long, 500 metres of climbing, 5-6 hours of hiking.

DAY 14: The trip ends after breakfast.

THE 14 DAY PROGRAM:

"The Family Trail"

Families with children are very enthusiastic about this trip because they get the opportunity to milk the caws, make traditional cheese, work the fields and gather vegetables used to prepare their meals, cut grass, play with the farm animals. The kids really do learn a lot from this trip.

DAY 1, 2, 3: Arrival and acquaintance in the village of Rasca where you'll be spending the nights at the farm of the Matis family. The village has an altitude of 1000 metres. Depending on your arrival time we can introduce you to your donkey and give you further instructions.

In Rasca you can walk with the children to a small river and maybe let them play in the forest. You can spend these days picking mushrooms or berries from the forest and help the owner of the house to make jam. At the farm the children will have a lot of fun as they get to play with the animals: the caws, pigs, turkeys, chickens, dogs and cat. Some people might enjoying spending their time the kitchen, helping with the cooking and baking, gathering traditional recepies.

DAY 4, 5, 6: Walk to the Rusesti village where you'll be spending the next 3 nights. The hike takes you through the settlements of Dealu Negru and Lapustesti and down to the Somesu Cald river, along a 6 kilometres winding road. The farm in Rusesti is located at the banks of a small river. On the farm there are cows, pigs, chickens and a horse.

The children can play in and around the river or in the forest. Further upstream, before the river enters the village, there is a wild fascinating narrow gorge. Also the owner will walk with you to have a special experience at the ,,valtoare” (the oldest traditional wooden whirlpool from the world - used here for washing traditional carpets). 

This trip is 15 kilometres long, 100 metres of climbing, 500 metres descending.

DAY 7, 8, 9: Hike to the village Marisel. A short walk, but with a climb of 600 metres. At the start of your tip you'll walk along a mountain ridge. The second part takes you through houses and farms of the village. Marisel is one of the highest settlements in the West Carpatians. You can walk to a mountain river, through the woods, or just stay at the farm. There are pigs, cows and chickens. Also, you may milk the caws and make cheese and butter together with the owner of the guesthouse. It will be a fantastic experience! In the afternoon you will prepare the traditional pies with the fresh cheese you made. This trip is 10,5 kilometres long, 630 metres of climbing, 100 metre descending, 6-7 hours of hiking. 

DAY 10, 11, 12: Hike from Marisel to Belis. The first part of your hike takes you through small farms and is followed by a descend through the forest till the spectacular dam on Fantanele lake. From the lake you have an easy hike to the village of Belis where you'll spend the night in a guest house. You can walk with the children to the lake, although the lake is generally cold, during the summer months the water warms nicely up in the inlets. To the north of Belis lies a large forest where you can pick berries with the children or just enjoy the su. This trip is 15 kilometres long, 250 metres of climbing, 300 metres descending, 6-7 hours of hiking.

DAY 13: Trip from Belis back to Rasca.

Roundtrip around Marisel. You can go on a nice trip around the village. Marisel is a very long village with farms built all over the huge plateau. It is an easy hike which gives you lots of time to see the people go about their daily chores. Back in Rasca you can let the children play at the farm. This trip is 12 kilometres long: 300 metres of climbing, 100 metres descending, 4 hours of hiking.

DAY 14: The trip ends after breakfast.

Prices:

7-day program (6 nights)

788 Euro/person (min 2 persons) Children under 12: 499 Euro, Children under 3: free.

9-day program (8 nights)

896 Euro/ person (min 2 persons) Children under 12: 580 Euro, Children under 3: free.

2 weeks program 14 days (13 nights)

996 Euro per person (min 2 persons) Children under 12: 520 Euro, Children under 3: free.

Family Trail 2 weeks program 14 days (13 nights)

1128 Euro pro person (min 2 persons) Children under 12: 500 Euro, Children under 3: free.

Price includes: accommodation in full board (breakfast, lunch packet, warm dinner), 1 donkey per adult person, special bags, description, tourist info.

Extra donkey: 25 Euro/day. (this for families with children that want to ride on the donkey. A special helmet mountain bike type- for children might be useful).

Extra night: 45 Euro/person in full board, children under 12: 26 Euro 

Extra night in Rasca (without donkey) 40 Euro/person in full board, children under 12: 22 Euro

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

 

Discover the unspoiled landscape of our Carpathian Mountains! Enjoy to hike with our friendly donkeys, it will make for a funny trip. The donkey will be carrying your luggage to make everything easier for you.

The donkey trip is our special active holiday program. You will hike through Johan's Green Mountain, Apuseni Mountains in the Whestern Carpathians.

How to get there:

(for links to airliners etc, click here)

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

Lufthansa operates a direct flight between Munchen and Cluj Napoca.

We arrange any further transport.

or:

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

(The trains depart from the newly built train station at airport's terminal 1. You have to change trains in Szolnok, waiting time between trains is somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes)

For train connections: see at http://www.mav-start.hu/english/index.php

We arrange futher transport from Huedin to Rasca and Rasca to Huedin at the end of your holiday.

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

Back to Cluj-Napoca: There are hourly trains between Huedin and Cluj-Napoca, or we can arrange transport by car.