Activities

We run one guided tour per day for every day of the week. Guests are guided as a group.

  • Carpathian Squill (Scilla drunensis), Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: count Kalnoky.
  • Pheasants Eye (Adonis aestivalis), Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: count Kalnoky.
  • Grasses at Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: count Kalnoky.
  • Euphorbia, Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: count Kalnoky.
  • Prince Charles and Count Kalnoky hiking on ancient wood pasture grounds, Transylvania
  • Bear sighting near Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: count Kalnoky.
  • Zalan property, Transylvania. Photo: Count Kalnoky.

Monday

Walk to the high pastures. This is a longer walk up to the pastures from where beautiful views and sceneries unfold. 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

Walk with the ponies. 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!

  • Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis), Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: count Kalnoky.
  • mushroom at Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: count Kalnoky.
  • Royal scything contest 2015, Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: Arnold Musat.
  • Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: count Kalnoky.
  • Nettle-leaved bellflower (Campanula trachelium), Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: count Kalnoky.
  • Storks on haystacks, Transylvania. Photo: count Kalnoky.
  • Count Kalnoky and Prince Charles at the Royal Scything Contest 2015, Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: Arnold Musat.
  • wood pile for burning charcoal at Zalan, Transylvania

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 desert 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 including bears and 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.

Extra Activities

In addition to the daily tours, we offer a choice of extra activities for a fee:

PRICES

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 enquire by email

Bicycles are for rent on the property (without guide).

10 EUR / person / day (5 bicycles are available on site).

  • Endemic Transylvanian Blue Eyes, hepatica transsylvanica, Zalan. Photo: count Kalnoky.
  • Nuthatch with hazel nut, Zalan, Transylvania
  • Riding at Zalan, Transylvania
  • Red squirrel pilfering a walnut from Prince Charles Cottage, Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: count Kalnoky.
  • Transylvanian Black Naked Neck chicken in Zalan. Photo: Gabor Xantus.

Milking cows (mostly for children) in a stable in the neighbourhood. 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. Bears can often be watched, as well as other large mammals like boar and deer. Price: 50 EUR if successful (bear), 20 EUR if no-show.

In the warm season (May–September) 'al fresco' sunset dinners 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 (dinner price +20 EUR / person)

• By foot on the hill above the house, accompanied by a pony to carry the load (dinner price + 10 EUR / person)

  • Wild strawberries, Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: count Kalnoky.
  • Lower Cottage, Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: count Kalnoky.

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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.