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Tusheti Mountain Trails

Overview

These adventurous treks on horseback take you through the heart of the Tusheti national park in the Caucasus mountains and riding over passes of 3,000m high. The scenery is spectacular and you will feel as though you are riding on top of the world. Drop down into flower-filled meadows and camp besi…

Highlights

  • Stunning mountain landscapes and glorious views
  • Remote camping far from the normal tourist trail
  • Pack horse supported with the whole herd coming along
  • Ride steep, narrow trails on sure-footed local horses
  • Learn about the local people and cultures

Essential Facts

  • 3 itineraries available
  • Max 8 riders per group
  • Average of 5 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 100kg / 220 lbs / 15 stone 10 lbs

Description

These adventurous treks on horseback take you through the heart of the Tusheti national park in the Caucasus mountains and riding over passes of 3,000m high. The scenery is spectacular and you will feel as though you are riding on top of the world. Drop down into flower-filled meadows and camp beside mountain streams. Meet local nomadic Tush people who spend their summers in the high mountains and their winters in the valleys.

These trails offer a fantastic insight into Tush people and the Georgian culture. Paganism was still present in this region until the middle of the 20th century and many pagan altars remain. The locals still honour some of the divinities, such as Otchpintre (God of nature) and Elia (God of weather).

Your guide is French but has lived in Georgia for many years and speaks fantastic English. She lives as the Tush nomads do, spending her summers in the mountains and moving her horses to lower ground for the winter. She knows many of the families you will meet and can introduce you to their way of life. Her knowledge of the history and culture within the region is astounding and she will regale you with tales around the camp fire.

The trails are not fast, as all your belongings and camp equipment and food are carried by the horses. This is an expedition into wild and remote areas where few people, never mind tourists, venture. You do not need to be a particularly skilled rider, but you do need to be in control, in balance and fit. Some of the paths are very steep and technically challenging, so this ride is not for those with a fear of heights, but you can certainly trust your horses to carry you safely. There are some sections where you have to dismount and lead your horse - mainly downhill, but occasionally on particularly technical uphill sections.

The itineraries are very similar, except that one is longer than the other so ventures deeper into the mountains - on this trail you cross additional high passes and so you need to be fitter and have prior mountain experience. In the autumn it is also possible to join the transhumance when the horses are moved from their summer pastures to their winter valleys - for this ride you must be an experienced rider and there is no set itinerary so please contact the office if you require more information.

Cathy from Far and Ride has been lucky enough to ride here and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Horses & Riding

Tack

Georgian saddles are simple affairs made of a solid wood tree over which a cushion is strapped for comfort. Your belongings are packed in bags and tied to the back of your saddle. Bridles are simple snaffles, many made of rawhide.

Horses

Local mountain horses.

The horses are all born and raised in the mountains. An oddity of these rides in Georgia is that the whole herd accompanies each ride, so foals and youngsters will run alongside their mothers who may be loose or may be carrying some packs/luggage. This enables the young horses to develop their knowledge and skills across the steep terrain so that when they become riding horses in later life they are already as nimble as mountain goats! It is a privilege to ride within the herd and watch the youngsters stretch their legs across the flower filled meadows.

Riding

There are 3 itineraries:

  • Wild Tusheti is a trail ride
  • Tusheti Ride is a trail ride
  • Tush Villages is a trail ride

Ages

Due to the rustic nature of this trail, it is not suitable for children, however teenagers who are used to camping trails can be accommodated.

Health

You must be fit and healthy. You are riding at altitude and there are some long sections on foot as well.

Weight

100kg / 220 lbs / 15 stone 10 lbs

Food & Accommodation

Food

All meals are included, except for alcoholic drinks on the final night, which is in a restaurant in Tbilisi (you can choose and buy your own).

Breakfast consists of bread, butter, eggs, cheese, jams, honey with tea/coffee. Lunch is usually a picnic and will include bread, cheese and salads. Dinner will be Tush specialities which can be cooked over an open fire. They will be based around plenty of vegetables as well as pasta, rice and buckwheat. Chicken and fish may be possible on some days but does not carry well on the pack horses.

At the start of the trail there are many fresh fruits and vegetables, such as delicious peaches and watermelons, ripe tomatoes and cucumbers, but there is no way of replenishing stock along the route, so the last few days will consist of pasta, cheese, rice and tinned products which can be carried on horseback. The same applies to the wine - Georgian wine is delicious, but once you have drunk what the horses have carried (in plastic containers), then there is no more wine until you return to civilisation - your guide tries to carry an adequate amount but it is not limitless.

Potatoes, cheese and sometimes meat can be bought from herdsmen/nomadic families in the mountains if you come across them.

Accommodation

You stay in a hotel in the centre of Tbilisi at the start and end of the trail. Once leaving the city, you spend a night in a local house with a family, in two or three large rooms with up to six beds in each room.

Accommodation is rustic once you are on the trail! Some nights are in two-man tents with no facilities, others are in basic houses high in the mountains, with one toilet for the whole group and no showers. The ride is very remote and these are the best accommodation options available - you are well and truly off the beaten track. Each nights camping is close to a river so you can bathe/wash if the weather is appropriate, but we recommend taking plenty of wet wipes too.

Single accommodation is not an option on the trail as all belongings are carried by packhorses and there is limited space for extra tents. However, you can pay extra for a single room for the two nights in Tbilisi if you wish.

Itineraries

Wild Tusheti Basic / Tented accommodation.

Tusheti Ride Basic / Tented accommodation.

Tush Villages Basic accommodation.

Other Activities

There are many beautiful sights to see along the route, with remote villages, defensive towers and churches to visit.

This is primarily a riding trail, but non-riders who are fit and active walkers/hikers could join the trail on foot. There may be times when non-riders need to sit on a pack-horse to cross a river, but if you are fit for mountainous hiking then you could join as a non-rider.

Travel

There are no direct flights from the UK to Tbilisi, but the most popular route with one stop is with Turkish Airlines via Istanbul. Flights do tend to arrive very late at night or early in the morning, but you are collected from the airport and transferred straight to your hotel to rest. You may wish to add an extra night at the start to recover from the flight and explore the capital city.

Airport transfers are included provided you arrive after midday on Day One and depart before 20:00 on the final day. If you arrive earlier than this or depart later, then a private transfer is possible for an additional cost.

Testimonials

Katrine K., Aug. 27, 2019

Interesting, challenging, fun, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.... Favourite memory? The last camp in the wild. Extremely serene and untouched, amazing view from both sides of tent. Quite a tough climb to get there. Felt completely at peace. Horses? Yes I rode the lead mare, the loveliest horse with extreme mountain skills. We were accompanied by her 3 month old foal - both lovely! Guides? Audrey is amazing. An inspiration for anyone thinking of following a dream.


Jennifer B., July 23, 2019

An excellent holiday - such an experience to go to remote mountains. Audrey is amazing the way she organises and masterminds the whole trip. We were so lucky to go.


Leah J., Sept. 24, 2018

I felt very privileged to be on this trip and to venture places you can only get to on horseback and in a fascinating part of the world. The scenery had an immensity to it that will stay with me for a long time. Favourite memory: Galloping across a meadow on what felt like the top of the world. Food: I still don't know where Audrey kept pulling out new ingredients from after so many days into the trip!


Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1 - Arrival in Tbilisi

Riding: No riding.

You will be met on arrival at Tbilisi airport and transferred to your hotel. Flights usually arrive late/midnight so you may wish to add an extra day/night to recover.

Please note that transfers are only included if you arrive after midday on Day One or into the early hours of Day Two. If you arrive before midday (or very early in the morning on Day One) then you are advised to book a hotel night for the previous night so that you have somewhere to go on arrival. We can do this for you. We can also organise a taxi to meet you and transfer you to the hotel for c. 20 euro.

Day 2 - Tbilisi - Kakheti - Laliskhuri

Riding: No riding.

You will be collected from your hotel at 10:30am and driven to the Kakheti region. This historical region contains some interesting sites which you can stop and view en-route. Firstly you visit Shumta - there is Old Shumta (three churches from the 6th and 7th century) and New Shumta (a church and nunnery from the 16th century with well preserved frescoes). You visit New Shumta only and then continue by road to Telavi which is the main city within the Kakheti region. Here you have c. 1 hour to walk around the colourful market or perhaps visit the fortress of King Erekle II.

After a picnic lunch you are transferred to Tsinandali where you visit a historic winery which once belonged to the 19th century aristocratic poet, linguist and wine-maker Alexander Chavchavadze (1786-1846). You visit both the beautiful house and the gardens.

Your next stop is Gremi - once the capital of the Kingdom of Kakheti in the 16th and 17th centuries and a lively trading town on the Silk Road, it was destroyed by Persian armies in 1615. The town never regained its prosperity and the kings transferred their capital to Telavi in the mid 17th century.

Eventually you reach Laliskhuri, a small village at the foot of the Caucasus mountains. Here you are welcomed by a Tush family and spend the night in their home. Before/after dinner you will re-pack your belongings into waterproof sacks which can be carried by the pack horses - your remaining luggage will stay here for safe-keeping until you return from your riding trail.

Day 3 - Laliskhuri - Tusheti

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

After breakfast you set off in a 4WD vehicle into the Tusheti region but ascending the path which was carved into the rocks after the second world war. You drive over Abano Pass at 2,926m which marks the border between the Kakheti and Tusheti regions and offers  spectacular views across both. Eventually you reach Omalo, the main village with the Tusheti national park at 2,000m. Continue by road to Dotchu.

Your destination, Gogrulta, cannot be reached by car and so you meet the horses at Dotchu and unload the vehicles. After loading the pack horse, your back-up guide takes them steeply uphill to Gogrulta, whilst you ride for c. 2 hours on a longer route to get to know your horses. The view from the top is spectacular. Your accommodation for the night is a typical village house which has few comforts but is very authentic.

Day 4 - Gogrulta

Riding: 6 hours

Depending on the weather conditions, you either ride to the mountain village of Illiurta or to the lost villages, or up to a beautiful pass. If conditions are favourable, then you start by descending for 40 mins before climbing uphill to a beautiful crest from where you will get your first outstanding panoramic view of the region. Continue on foot for c. 1 hour downhill to cross the river and then ride back uphill through the lost villages of Tusheti until returning to Gogrulta for a second night.

Day 5 - Gogrulta - Gometsari

Riding: 6 hours

Leave Gogrulta behind and ride up another crest from where you have great views. You spend the whole day riding on the roof of the Caucasian range at 3,000m (highest point being 3,200m). Your camp location is decided on the day, depending on local weather conditions but will be at an elevation of c. 2,500m.

Day 6 - Gometsari - Zovata

Riding: 6 hours

You start the day on foot, descending for c. 30 minutes. Continue riding through Gometsari valley and then cross another pass into Zovata valley. Today you will need to mount and dismount many times for some technical sections.

Day 7 - Zovata - AZ Valley

Riding: 6 - 7 hours

Ride uphill more than 900m elevation to a pass which leads to the beautiful AZ valley. Ride alongside the river through some very wild landscapes. You may have to dismount a few times before reaching camp which is beside the river.

Day 8 - AZ Valley - Saidumlo

Riding: 6 hours

Ride up a third pass, ascending 800m. Once at the top you walk down through some beautiful gorges before riding down into the valley and setting up camp near Saidumlo.

Day 9 - Saidumlo - Pirikiti Valley

Riding: 6 - 7 hours

Ride to the Pirikiti valley which contains several Tush villages. The first inhabited one is Girevi. Visit Parsma and ride through Tchecho and set up camp between Parsma and Dartlo near the river. There are some difficult passages today, with some pathways carved into the rock alongside the ravine. You should have some previous mountain experience to complete this itinerary.

Day 10 - Pirikiti Valley - Omalo

Riding: 6 - 7 hours

Visit the village of Dartlo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and ride up the Mirgvella pass to Omalo, arriving late in the day. You can visit the fortress and some other places of interest. Spend the night in a traditional Tush house in Omalo. NB. Depending on weather conditions you may overnight in Omala, Shenako or Gogrulta.

Day 11 - Omalo - Laliskhuri

Riding: No riding.

Say your farewells before being transferred back downhill to Laliskhuri. You will welcome the shower and being reunited with your luggage and clean clothes!

If time allows you can visit the complex of Alaverdi - built on the site of Pagan worship, this cathedral was built in the 6th century and then re-built in the 11th century. It was the highest cathedral during the Soviet Union period and the architecture is typical of the region.

Dinner and overnight with the family in Laliskhuri again.

Day 12 - Laliskhuri - Tbilisi

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast you are driven back to Tbilisi, aiming to arrive in the early afternoon. You are then free to explore the city, which is surprisingly chic and interesting. Dinner is in a local restaurant where your guide will choose specialities for you to try. You can choose your own wine this evening from some wonderful Georgian vineyards. Overnight in a hotel.

Day 13 - Departure

Riding: 1 hours

You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home, which is likely to depart in the early hours. Transfers are included providing your flight departs before 8pm. Many flights depart in the early hours (c. 3am) and this is fine on Day 13, but you'd have to pay extra for the transfer if your flight departed in the early hours of Day 14.

NB. The itinerary may have to alter depending on mountain and weather conditions but always with your best interests at heart.

Accommodation

Two nights in a hotel in Tbilisi
Two nights in a guesthouse in Laliskhuri
Two nights in a typical house in Gogrulta
One night in a traditional house in Omalo
Five nights camping

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

You should be an intermediate rider who is balanced in the saddle and has some previous experience of riding in the mountains. There are some technical sections where paths are carved into rocks and you may need to mount/dismount many times. There are also sections of walking on foot each day so you need to be fit.

Minimum group size 4
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

Aug. 1, 2021 - Aug. 13, 2021

Aug. 18, 2021 - Aug. 30, 2021

Sept. 4, 2021 - Sept. 16, 2021  (Confirmed to run)

Sept. 18, 2021 - Sept. 30, 2021

July 3, 2022 - July 15, 2022

July 18, 2022 - July 30, 2022

Aug. 2, 2022 - Aug. 14, 2022

Aug. 20, 2022 - Sept. 1, 2022  (Will only run if Azerbaijan ride doesn't confirm)

Sept. 5, 2022 - Sept. 17, 2022  (Will only run if Russia ride doesn't confirm)

Pricing

2021/2022
Sharing
£1940 $2695 €2275
Included 12 nights accommodation in shared rooms/tents, 7 days of riding, all meals, all drinks whilst on the trail & airport transfers on set days.
Not included Flights, travel insurance, drinks on the final night, transfers not on set days, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2021/2022 - Airport Transfer £17 $24 €20
Paid to Far and Ride
Transfer if arriving/departing outside the group timings (per car)
2021/2022 - Extra hotel night in Tbilisi (sharing) £85 $119 €100 per night
Paid to Far and Ride
If you wish to extend your stay before/after the ride - Twin/Double room
2021/2022 - Extra hotel night in Tbilisi (single) £64 $89 €75 per night
Paid to Far and Ride
If you wish to extend your stay before/after the ride - Single room
2021/2022 - Single Supplement £56 $78 €66 per night
Paid to Far and Ride
Single rooms only available for two nights in Tbilisi
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1 - Arrival in Tbilisi

Riding: No riding.

You will be met on arrival at Tbilisi airport and transferred to your hotel. Flights usually arrive late/midnight so you may wish to add an extra day/night to recover.

Please note that transfers are only included if you arrive after midday on Day One or into the early hours of Day Two. If you arrive before midday (or very early in the morning on Day One) then you are advised to book a hotel night for the previous night so that you have somewhere to go on arrival. We can do this for you. We can also organise a taxi to meet you and transfer you to the hotel for c. 20 euro.

Day 2 - Tbilisi - Kakheti - Laliskhuri

Riding: No riding.

You will be collected from your hotel at 10:30am and driven to the Kakheti region. This historical region contains some interesting sites which you can stop and view en-route. Firstly you visit Shumta - there is Old Shumta (three churches from the 6th and 7th century) and New Shumta (a church and nunnery from the 16th century with well preserved frescoes). You visit New Shumta only and then continue by road to Telavi which is the main city within the Kakheti region. Here you have c. 1 hour to walk around the colourful market or perhaps visit the fortress of King Erekle II.

After a picnic lunch you are transferred to Tsinandali where you visit a historic winery which once belonged to the 19th century aristocratic poet, linguist and wine-maker Alexander Chavchavadze (1786-1846). You visit both the beautiful house and the gardens.

Your next stop is Gremi - once the capital of the Kingdom of Kakheti in the 16th and 17th centuries and a lively trading town on the Silk Road, it was destroyed by Persian armies in 1615. The town never regained its prosperity and the kings transferred their capital to Telavi in the mid 17th century.

Eventually you reach Laliskhuri, a small village at the foot of the Caucasus mountains. Here you are welcomed by a Tush family and spend the night in their home. Before/after dinner you will re-pack your belongings into waterproof sacks which can be carried by the pack horses - your remaining luggage will stay here for safe-keeping until you return from your riding trail.

Day 3 - Laliskhuri - Tusheti

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

After breakfast you set off in a 4WD vehicle into the Tusheti region but ascending the path which was carved into the rocks after the second world war. You drive over Abano Pass at 2,926m which marks the border between the Kakheti and Tusheti regions and offers spectacular views across both. Eventually you reach Omalo, the main village with the Tusheti national park at 2,000m. Here you visit the fortress and then continue by road to Dotchu.

Your destination, Gogrulta, cannot be reached by car and so you meet your horses at Dotchu and unload the vehicles. After loading the pack horses, your back-up rider takes them steeply uphill to Gogrulta, whilst you ride your horses on a longer route for 2-3 hours to allow you the chance to get used to them. The view from the top is spectacular. Your accommodation for the night is a typical village house which has few comforts but is very authentic.

Day 4 - Gogrulta

Riding: 6 hours

Depending on the weather and mountain conditions you will either ride to the lost villages, or up to the crest. The crest is only accessible in clear weather and the pathway is quite strenuous at the start. You begin by descending for 40 mins and then ride uphill to the crest for a beautiful panoramic view of the region. Then walk on foot downhill for one hour, cross the river and ride back through the lost villages of Tusheti to Gogrulta for a second night.

Day 5 - Gogrulta - Koklata

Riding: 6 hours

Leave Gogrulta behind and ride up a ridge from where you have spectacular views over the Gometsari valley. You ride through a small village called Illiurta and continue riding to the end of the valley where you set up camp in Koklata.

Day 6 - Koklota - Naraicho

Riding: 6 - 8 hours

Ride up to Naraicho pass which offers incredible views. Along the way you will pass a village where only two houses are still inhabited. Once on the ridge you continue riding along the crest at 3,000m for most of the day, dropping to 2,800m to set up camp.

Day 7 - Naraicho - Omalo

Riding: 6 hours

Ride back up onto the Naraicho crest and continue some distance before descending. The views over the Pirikiti Valley are incredible. Walk downhill to Omalo and visit the fortress before setting up camp.

Day 8 - Omalo - Gogrulta

Riding: 6 - 7 hours

Ride through a number of small villages and over another high pass to reach Gogrulta and complete your circuit in the mountains. Overnight in the rustic house as on the third night.

Day 9 - Gogrulta - Laliskhuri

Riding: 1 hours

A short ride from Gogrulta back to the road and after your farewells you are transferred back downhill to Laliskhuri. You will welcome the shower and being reunited with your luggage and clean clothes!

If time allows you can visit the complex of Alaverdi - built on the site of Pagan worship, this cathedral was built in the 6th century and then re-built in the 11th century. It was the highest cathedral during the Soviet Union period and the architecture is typical of the region.

Dinner and overnight with the family in Laliskhuri again.

Day 10 - Laliskhuri - Tbilisi

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast you are driven back to Tbilisi, aiming to arrive in the early afternoon. You are then free to explore the city, which is surprisingly chic and interesting. Dinner is in a local restaurant where your guide will choose specialities for you to try. You can choose your own wine this evening from some wonderful Georgian vineyards. Overnight in a hotel.

Day 11 - Departure

Riding: No riding.

You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home, which is likely to depart in the early hours. Transfers are included providing your flight departs before 8pm. Many flights depart in the early hours (c. 3am) and this is fine on Day 11, but you'd have to pay extra for the transfer if your flight departed in the early hours of Day 12.

NB. The itinerary is flexible and may have to be altered depending on conditions in the mountains, but always with your best interests at heart.

Accommodation

Two nights in a hotel in Tbilisi.
Two nights in a guesthouse in Laliskhuri.
Three nights in a traditional village house in Gogrulta.
Three nights camping.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

You need to be an intermediate rider who is comfortable for long hours in the saddle and balanced during steep ascents/descents. The pace is not fast due to the terrain and pack horses, but there are occasional opportunities to trot/canter on some days. It is important to be fit as you have to dismount and lead your horse over tricky sections and for some long descents.

Minimum group size 4
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

June 5, 2022 - June 15, 2022

June 18, 2022 - June 28, 2022

Pricing

2022
Sharing
£1520 $2110 €1780
Included 10 nights accommodation in shared rooms/tents, 5 days of riding, all meals, all drinks whilst on the trail & transfers on set days.
Not included Flights, travel insurance, drinks on the final night, transfers if not arriving on set days, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2022 - Additional hotel night in Tbilisi (shared) £85 $119 €100 per night
Paid to Far and Ride
If you wish to extend your stay before/after the ride -Twin/Double room
2022 - Additional hotel night in Tbilisi (single) £64 $89 €75 per night
Paid to Far and Ride
If you wish to extend your stay before/after the ride - Single room
2022 - Airport Transfer £17 $24 €20
Paid to Far and Ride
Transfer if arriving/departing outside the group timings (per car)
2022 - Single Supplement £56 $78 €66 per night
Paid to Far and Ride
Single rooms are only available for the two nights in Tbilisi. No supplement is charged if you are willing to share.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.

Day 1 - Arrival in Tbilisi

Riding: No riding.

You will be met on arrival at Tbilisi airport and transferred to your hotel. Flights usually arrive late/midnight so you may wish to add an extra day/night to recover.

Day 2 - Tbilisi - Laliskhuri

Riding: No riding.

You will be collected from your hotel at 10:30am and driven to the Kakheti region. This historical region contains some interesting sites which you can stop and view en-route. Firstly you visit Shumta - there is Old Shumta (three churches from the 6th and 7th century) and New Shumta (a church and nunnery from the 16th century with well preserved frescoes). You visit New Shumta only and then continue by road to Telavi which is the main city within the Kakheti region. Here you have c. 1 hour to walk around the colourful market or perhaps visit the fortress of King Erekle II.

After a picnic lunch you are transferred to Tsinandali where you visit a historic winery which once belonged to the 19th century aristocratic poet, linguist and wine-maker Alexander Chavchavadze (1786-1846). You visit both the beautiful house and the gardens.
You finish your sightseeing with a visit to Alaverdi cathedral. This cathedral for pagan worship was built in the 6th century and rebuilt in the 11th century. It was the highest cathedral during the Soviet period and the architecture of the edifice is typical of the region.
Eventually you reach Laliskhuri, a small village at the foot of the Caucasus mountains. Here you are welcomed by a Tush family and spend the night in their home. Before/after dinner you will re-pack your belongings into waterproof sacks which can be carried by the pack horses - your remaining luggage will stay here for safe-keeping until you return from your riding trail.

Please note: the toilet is a long-drop (hole) in the back garden. There is one (shared) bathroom with a hot shower. Rooms are dormitory style.

Day 3 - Laliskhuri - Tusheti

Riding: 1 - 2 hours

After breakfast you set off in a 4WD vehicle into the Tusheti region but ascending the path which was carved into the rocks after the second world war. You drive over Abano Pass at 2,926m which marks the border between the Kakheti and Tusheti regions and offers  spectacular views across both. Eventually you reach Omalo, the main village with the Tusheti national park at 2,000m. Continue by road to Dotchu.

Your destination, Gogrulta, cannot be reached by car and so you meet the horses at Dotchu and unload the vehicles. After loading the pack horse, your back-up guide takes them steeply uphill to Gogrulta, whilst you ride for c. 2 hours on a longer route to get to know your horses. The view from the top is spectacular. Your accommodation for the night is a typical village house which has few comforts but is very authentic (no electricity, no running water, no bathrooms - the toilet is a long drop (hole) which serves the very small village).

Day 4 - Gogrulta

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Ride out from Gogrulta on a circular day ride which returns to the same village house. Depending on the weather and mountain conditions you either ride to a lost village or over a high pass to a mountain crest. 

Paganism was still present in the Caucasus region until the middle of the 20th century and many altars still remain in Tusheti, with some divinities such as Otchopintre (God of nature) and Elia (God of weather) still honoured.

Day 5 - Gogrulta

Riding: 7 hours

Another full day ride out from Gogrulta and returning to the same village house. Depending on weather conditions, today you ride to an amazing crest at 3200m high for spectacular views of the region. Return by the same route.

Day 6 - Gogrulta - Koklata - Jvarboseli

Riding: 6 hours

Ride up to a village called Iliurta, one of the few villages where a church has been built. Enter the Gometsari valley and ride up to Koklata which overs beautiful panoramic views of the valley. Overnight in a guesthouse with shared bathrooms and showers.

Day 7 - Koklata - Nataicho - Dartlo

Riding: 6 - 8 hours

Ride up to Naraicho pass for more stunning views. On the way up you'll pass a village where only two houses are still inhabited. The pass is at 3000m and you then drop downhill on foot as it's a difficult path. Remount and ride to Dartlo, a village which has UNESCO World Heritage status. Your guesthouse has shared bathrooms and showers.

Day 8 - Dartlo - Shenako

Riding: 6 hours

Ride to the end of the valley, passing through several villages and discovering the last valley and the village of Shenako. Shenako is one of the few villages where a church has been built. Overnight in a guesthouse with shared bathrooms and showers.

Day 9 - Shenako - Omalo

Riding: 5 hours

Ride to Omalo and the upper village to visit the fortress. Spend your final night in Tusheti in a guesthouse located in the lower part of the village, with shared bathrooms and showers.

Day 10 - Omalo - Laliskhuri

Riding: No riding.

Say your farewells before being transferred back downhill to Laliskhuri. You will welcome being reunited with your luggage and clean clothes!

Dinner and overnight with the family in Laliskhuri again (with one shared bathroom with shower, and a long-drop toilet in the back).

Day 11 - Laliskhuri - Tbilisi

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast you are driven back to Tbilisi, aiming to arrive in the early afternoon. You are then free to explore the city, which is surprisingly chic and interesting. Dinner is in a local restaurant where your guide will choose specialities for you to try. You can choose your own wine this evening from some wonderful Georgian vineyards. Overnight in a hotel.

Day 12 - Departure

Riding: No riding.

You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home, which is likely to depart in the early hours.

Accommodation

There is no camping on this ride and you have a solid roof over your head each night. However, the accommodation is basic and you will have shared/dorm rooms at most of the houses.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

You need to be at least an intermediate rider with experience riding across technical terrain, particularly mountains. You need good balance. There are some opportunities to trot/canter on this trail but it is still a slow ride.

Minimum group size 5
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

June 18, 2022 - June 29, 2022

Pricing

2022
Sharing
£1970 $2740 €2310
Included 11 nights accommodation i shared rooms, 6 days of riding, all meals, all drinks on the trail & transfers on set days.
Not included Flights, drinks on final night in Tbilisi, transfers not on set days, travel insurance, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2022 - Airport Transfer £17 $24 €20
Paid to Far and Ride
Transfer if arriving/departing outside the group timings (per car)
2022 - Extra hotel night in Tbilisi (shared) £85 $119 €100 per night
Paid to Far and Ride
If you wish to extend your stay before/after the ride - Twin/Double room
2022 - Extra hotel night in Tbilisi (single) £64 $89 €75 per night
Paid to Far and Ride
If you wish to extend your stay before/after the ride - Single room
2022 - Single Supplement £56 $78 €66 per night
Paid to Far and Ride
Single rooms only available for two nights in Tbilisi.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.