Reins Of Freedom

Tusheti Equine Adventure: Delving Into Europe's Secluded Wilderness On Horseback
2,384 From
USD

Overview

Difficulty
Comfort
Destinations
Tour type
July — September
Period
13 days
Duration
4-7
Group
16+
Age
GT013
Program code
  • An unforgettable itinerary for horse lovers seeking pristine nature
  • Explore Wild Tusheti, Georgia's remote gem, unreachable by road and isolated in winter
  • Retrace the authentic migration routes of shepherds on horseback
  • Embrace the expedition spirit, disconnect from the grid, and savor local cuisine
  • Delve into the Tush way of life and their age-old customs and traditions
  • Witness Tusheti's legendary beauty, featuring towering mountains and deep valleys
  • Experience a true escape, surrounded by nature without modern distractions

Embark on an expedition-style journey through the most remote regions of Europe, designed for those seeking to escape the stresses of modern civilization and truly connect with nature. This exceptional horseback trek offers a chance to unplug and detox, as you will be without cell phone reception for several days.

Experience the untouched beauty of Tusheti, a historical region now nestled within the modern Kakheti administrative region of Georgia. As you explore its secluded landscapes, far removed from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, you can get a taste of the rich past this area possesses. Immerse yourself in local culture and cuisine, savoring traditional Georgian dishes and Tush specialties prepared daily using organic, locally sourced ingredients. This once independent territory, brimming with ancient customs and a unique identity, invites you to a journey that transcends time, reconnecting you with nature and history.

Please note that this adventure requires good physical and mental fitness, and some mountain experience is recommended. Participants must have adequate insurance coverage for accidents, medical assistance, and mountain rescue.

Our main guide, a woman with 17 years of experience in the Greater Caucasus and Tusheti, will lead the journey. Her knowledge and expertise will ensure a safe and insightful exploration of this extraordinary region.

Throughout the trek, we must be self-sufficient, as provisions will not be available once we leave the Kakheti region. Our horses will carry your belongings, so pack lightly and responsibly. Upon arrival at Laliskhuri, you will receive two waterproof bags for your essentials, with any unneeded items remaining behind.

As we traverse these remote landscapes, be prepared for challenging terrain and long stretches of walking downhill. Our experienced guides will prioritize safety and may adjust the itinerary if necessary to ensure a secure and enjoyable journey. The horse trek will primarily be conducted at a leisurely pace due to the significant altitude changes.

Join us on this unforgettable adventure as we disconnect from the modern world and immerse ourselves in the serene, untamed beauty of the Georgian Caucasus Mountains.

Gallery

Itinerary

1
Day 1 photo: Welcome to Tbilisi

Welcome to Tbilisi

Our team will meet you at Tbilisi airport and escort you to your hotel for some rest.

Route

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2
Day 2 photo: Discovering Kakheti: A Journey Through History, Culture, and Wine

Discovering Kakheti: A Journey Through History, Culture, and Wine

Meeting point at 10:30 am at your hotel in Tbilisi. We'll embark on a journey to explore the rich and diverse Kakheti region, known for its historical sites, winemaking, religious significance, and stunning landscapes. Our tour begins with a visit to Shuamta, which consists of two distinct sites. We'll explore New Shuamta, a 16th-century church and nunnery, boasting well-preserved frescoes.

Next, we head to Telavi, the main city in Kakheti. You'll have 40 minutes to an hour of free time to wander its colorful streets, visit the local market, and marvel at the fortress of the last king of Kakheti, Erekle II. After a quick picnic lunch, we continue to Tsinandali, a village renowned for its historic winery and estate, which once belonged to the 19th-century aristocratic poet, linguist, and winemaker Alexander Chavchavadze (1786-1846). We'll tour the elegant house and its lush gardens, constructed in 1835.

Our final stop for the day is the magnificent Alaverdi Cathedral. Originally built on a pagan worship site dedicated to the moon, the cathedral was established in the 6th century and rebuilt in the 11th century. Once the tallest cathedral in the Soviet Union, it is now the second tallest in Georgia, standing at 51 meters. The cathedral showcases the region's distinct architectural style.

We'll then head to Laliskhuri, a quaint village nestled at the foot of the Caucasus Mountains, where a warm Tush family will welcome us for dinner and an overnight stay. Here, we'll prepare for the upcoming expedition.

Route

Visited Attractions *

Included

3
Day 3 photo: Tusheti Ascent: Gogrulta and the Great Caucasus Range

Tusheti Ascent: Gogrulta and the Great Caucasus Range

After breakfast, we'll embark on a thrilling 4WD journey to the Tusheti region. The path, carved into the rocks after World War II, takes us over the 2,926m high Abano Pass. This pass marks the border between the Tusheti and Kakheti regions, offering breathtaking panoramas of the surrounding landscapes. We'll arrive in Omalo, the main village of Tusheti, situated at an altitude of 2,000m within the Tusheti National Park. Here, we'll visit the local fortress before continuing to our final destination, Dochu.

Since Gogrulta is inaccessible by car, we'll meet our horses in Dotchu and begin our 2-3 hour ride to the village. While the packhorses take a shorter route, we'll familiarize ourselves with our riding companions on a longer, easy trail. Gogrulta, perched atop a small summit, boasts spectacular views and a truly authentic experience. The accommodations are simple and rustic, reflecting the traditional Tush way of life. Short trots or gallops are possible during the ride. We'll enjoy dinner and an overnight stay in Gogrulta.

Route

Visited Attractions *

Included

4
Day 4 photo: Pagan Roots and Tusheti's Lost Villages

Pagan Roots and Tusheti's Lost Villages

Paganism persisted in the Caucasus region until the mid-20th century, with many altars remaining in Tusheti. Divinities such as Otchopintre (god of nature) and Elia (god of weather) are still honored. Most Tush people lived here year-round until the construction of the road, which led to a gradual migration.

Based on weather and mountain conditions, as well as the riders' skills and confidence, we will ride either to Iliurta, the lost villages, or up to a beautiful pass. For the pass option, the pathway is quite strenuous at first. We begin by descending for 40 minutes before riding up to a stunning crest that reveals the region's first breathtaking panorama. Then, we walk down for about an hour, cross the river, and ride up a very steep incline back to Gogrulta. There may be one opportunity for a trot/gallop, depending on the chosen route. Dinner and overnight in Gogrulta.

Route

Included

5
Day 5 photo: A Day on the Roof of the Caucasus Range

A Day on the Roof of the Caucasus Range

We ride up to a crest that offers stunning panoramas of the Tusheti region. Throughout the day, we explore the "roof" of the Caucasus range, reaching elevations around 3,000m (9,842ft) with the highest point being 3,200m (10,499ft). Our campsite will be determined by the weather conditions and will be situated at a high elevation of 2,500m (8,202ft). Trotting and galloping will not be possible during this part of the journey. Dinner and overnight in tents at the pass to Gometsari valley.

Route

Included

6
Day 6 photo: Descending into the Gometsari & Zovata Valleys

Descending into the Gometsari & Zovata Valleys

We begin the day on foot, descending the hill for around 30 minutes. As we continue through the valley, we'll approach a pass and reach Gometsari in the early afternoon. Our journey takes us further into the Zovata valley. Please note, mounting and dismounting will occur several times during this leg of the expedition. Trotting and galloping will not be possible. Dinner and overnight in tents at the pass to Zovata valley.

Route

Visited Attractions *

Included

7
Day 7 photo: Ascending the Pass & Exploring the Az Valley

Ascending the Pass & Exploring the Az Valley

We ride up more than 900 meters (2,952 ft) to a pass that leads us to a stunning valley. Once at the pass, we follow the river through a landscape of untamed beauty. At times, we may need to walk. Trotting and galloping will not be possible. We set up camp near the river for the night. Dinner and overnight in tents at the Az Valley.

Route

Included

8
Day 8 photo: Conquering the Third Pass & Descending to Saidumlo

Conquering the Third Pass & Descending to Saidumlo

We ride up to a third pass, ascending 800 meters (2,625 ft) in elevation. Once at the top, we walk down along striking gorges, occasionally needing to dismount and walk. We continue our descent to the valley and set up camp a short distance further near Saidumlo. Trotting and galloping will not be possible. Dinner and overnight near Saidumlo.

Route

Included

9
Day 9 photo: Exploring Pirikiti Valley's Tush Villages

Exploring Pirikiti Valley's Tush Villages

Today, we ride into the Pirikiti Valley, home to several Tush villages. We'll first visit the inhabited village of Girevi, then continue to Parsma and ride through Tchecho. Our camp will be set up between Parsma and Dartlo, close to a river. Some passages during the day may be challenging, as the pathways are carved into the rock along a ravine, so mountain experience is required for this part of the journey.

Route

Included

10
Day 10 photo: Exploring Dartlo & Omalo: UNESCO Heritage and Ancient Paganism

Exploring Dartlo & Omalo: UNESCO Heritage and Ancient Paganism

We visit Dartlo, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Depending on the weather and our riders' fitness, we may choose to ride along the ridge, or return via the Ghele pass, ultimately arriving in Gogrulta. Paganism persisted in the Caucasus Region until the mid-20th century, with many altars still remaining in Tusheti. Divinities like Otchpintre (god of nature) and Elia (god of weather) continue to be honored. The Tush people lived here year-round until the construction of the road prompted them to leave. We spend the night in a traditional Tush house. Dinner and overnight stay are in Gogrulta.

Route

Included

11
Day 11 photo: Returning to Laliskhuri: Comfort and Local Hospitality

Returning to Laliskhuri: Comfort and Local Hospitality

We drive back to Kakheti, arriving in Laliskhuri by the end of the afternoon. You'll appreciate the chance to enjoy a shower! We share a meal with the local people, savoring the warm hospitality. Dinner and overnight in Laliskhuri.

Route

Included

12
Day 12 photo: Back to Tbilisi: Free Afternoon and Farewell Dinner

Back to Tbilisi: Free Afternoon and Farewell Dinner

We drive back to Tbilisi, arriving in the early afternoon. You'll have a free afternoon to explore the city at your leisure. In the evening, we'll gather for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Dinner and overnight in Tbilisi.

Route

Included

13
Day 13 photo: Farewell and Departure

Farewell and Departure

Today, we'll transfer you to the airport for your departure. Wishing you a safe journey and cherished memories of your Tusheti horse riding expedition.

Route

Included

Our tour program's list of attractions is a guide, not exhaustive. Unlisted sites may be visited, and listed ones might be viewed from a distance. Conditions like operating hours, weather, or local rules may affect access. Thank you for your understanding.

Departures

July 1, 2024 — July 13, 2024 GEL 6,735 USD 2,384 Guaranteed
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July 19, 2024 — July 31, 2024 GEL 6,735 USD 2,384 Guaranteed
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Aug. 2, 2024 — Aug. 14, 2024 GEL 6,735 USD 2,384 Guaranteed
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Sept. 7, 2024 — Sept. 19, 2024 GEL 6,735 USD 2,384 Guaranteed
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