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Georgia Horse Ride Through The Caucasus TOP007 14 

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Georgia Horse Ride Through The Caucasus

Georgia has some of the world’s most spectacular mountains and some very fine horses making it a perfect location for a one-week horse adventure. But that is not all. By travelling into the Tusheti region, an isolated and immensely characterful part of Georgia with the Tolkeinesque towers, flower-strewn meadows and spectacular snow-capped peak, we are sure to have a cracking adventure, all the while experiencing Georgia’s unrivalled hospitality.


  • Riding through the Caucasus – wild flowers beneath your hooves
  • The historic old town of Tbilisi
  • The untouched valley of Tusheti
  • Homestay in the mountains with a Georgian family
  • More UNESCO sites than you could shake a stick at!


Day 1: Georgia Horse Ride starts in Tbilisi
Today is arrival day and you will have time to do some early exploring of Tbilisi.

Day 2: Tbilisi – Mtskheta – Telavi
The tour will start after breakfast at the hotel. We will visit the ancient capital and religious center of Georgia – Mtskheta – where we will see the historic Jvari Monastery (6th century) and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th century) – both UNESCO World Heritage sites. After lunch at an open air restaurant, beside the river, we will transfer to Telavi where we will visit a local farmer’s family to get to know the Georgian way of winemaking. Here we also see a unique 300-year old wine cellar and taste wine straight from the clay jars kept under the ground. Overnight in Telavi in a guesthouse with shared toilet and shower but stunning views over the valley.

Day 3: Telavi – Omalo – Shenako – Diklo – Shenako – Omalo
After an early breakfast we will drive in jeeps across the flat agricultural plain that faces Telavi before climbing up towards the 3,000m Abano Pass where the road deteriorates. After a brief stop on the top admiring the epic views we will continue down the other side and after about 5 hours, reach the pretty village Omalo, where we will spend the next two nights. After some lunch at our guesthouse we will meet our horses and go for our first ride, to visit the centuries-old villages of Shenako and Diklo. This will be a wonderful introduction to the region as we hack through the pristine pine forests and out onto the open steppe. At Diklo we will take a walk through the village to see how the Georgians of the region live and look out at the frontier of both Chechnya and Dagistan. In the late afternoon we will return to Omalo where a traditional Georgian meal awaits us.

Day 4: Omalo – Lake Oreti – Omalo
After breakfast we will saddle up and head out on a wonderful days ride, east out of Omalo. First the journey will take us down over some lush open pasture before climbing through the forests towards the high summer grazing. As we emerge from the trees, literally just a few kilometers from the frontier with Dagistan, we will come to the small glacial lake, Oreti. Here we will have lunch whilst looking back across the valley to Omalo, before heading back to the guesthouse.

Day 5: Omalo – Verkhovani Village
Prepare yourself for one of the rides of your life. Today we ride out of Omalo, high into the stunning Caucasus Mountains. At first the trail takes us deep into a forest of pine before leading out onto a high Alpine meadow. Higher and higher we will climb, away from the tree line and up towards the distant ridge. After lunch we will walk the horses down to the old jeep trail, after remounting we will head on through the valley, fording rivers and passing small villages before arriving in the tolkinesque hamlet of Verkhovani in the late afternoon. And what a treat is in store here, as we stay for the night in one of the old watchtowers, for which the region is famed. Dinner will be served by the family of our charming host, Anzori Kritiuli, and plenty of famous Georgian wine and perhaps even some chacha will be served.

Day 6: Verkhovani village – Parsma – Dartlo
Another day of epic mountain riding as we travel on the old herders trail passed Dadikurta, the highest village in Tusheti and the second highest in Europe (the highest being in Svaneti), and up to a 3,000m ridge. Here the whole of the snowcapped High Caucasus stretch out before us like some giant fortress wall, guarding some long forgotten land. From here we will have a fairly long walk with the horses down to the river where we will have lunch before riding first through the picturesque village of Parsma and onto Dartlo. Dartlo is a little bigger than the other villages – which are really just hamlets – and so here we will again stay in a small local guesthouse, meet more locals and enjoy more of their fabled hospitality.

Day 7: Dartlo – Omalo
After breakfast we will visit one of the shepherds of the region who will show us the ancient art of cheese making. After this we will ride, or if you prefer walk, up to the old village, which sits spectacularly on a ridge high above, before continuing on our journey back to Omalo. We will stop for lunch in one of the most beautiful spots imaginable and arrive back in Omalo late afternoon where we will visit a small local museum in one of the watch towers in Upper Omalo. Our last night in Tusheti will be spent around a campfire, with the horsemen and others from the village.

Day 8: Omalo – Telavi – Tbilisi
Early morning we will begin our journey back to Tbilisi with a 7½ hour drive, back over the Abano Pass, and on to Telavi where we’ll have lunch. From here we’ll crack on to Tbilisi, arriving mid-afternoon. Hopefully there’ll be time to have a quick sightseeing trip to the Old Town, and – for those that want it – a trip to the famous sulphur baths, after which Tbilisi is named. The shops are open quite late too, if you need to buy some last minute souvenirs. We’ll enjoy our last night’s dinner together in town.

Day 9: Tbilisi
The tour ends early this morning at the hotel.

More Details

Additional Trip Notes:
Start point: Tbilisi, Georgia
Finish point: Tbilisi, Georgia

Hotel (2nts)
Watchtower (1nt)
Guesthouse (5nts

As an overall ethos, wherever possible we aim to use characterful accommodation that enhances the overall travel experience, not just offers a bed for the night. This can obviously vary dramatically from country to country and from trip to trip. On this particular trip we will be in a good 3* hotel in Tbilisi and for the rest of the tour we will be in guesthouses; where the facilities may be basic and shared. That said, the accommodation on this trip is very much part of the experience and there will be a chance to stay in a watchtower overlooking the Tusheti Valley! Please note that the accommodation mentioned in the itinerary is intended as a guide only and is always subject to availability.

Breakfast – 7
Lunch – 7
Dinner – 7

On this Georgie Horse Ride tour we will use minibuses, 4WDs and of course a horse.

The Greater Caucasus range moderates local climate by serving as a barrier against cold air from the north. The relatively small territory covers different climatic zones, which are determined by the distance from the Black Sea and by altitude. The climatic zones are ranging from humid subtropical to snow and glaciers.

In the spring and autumn the weather can be very changeable ranging from 10°-23° – often in one day. In the summer, you can expect temperatures to be 5-10°more. Please prepare for all eventualities, including rain.

Riding Ability:
You should be able to ride to an intermediate standard, and be able to control a horse in open country at walk, trot and canter. The ride is not a fast ride as for the most of the time we are travelling through mountains, however, there are occasions where the more adventurous among you can have a good canter.

As all the riding will be in the mountains you should have a reasonable sense of balance as it will help the horses navigate the narrow switch-back paths. You should be reasonably fit, in a decent state of health and be comfortable riding for 7 hours a day. There will be points during the trip where you will have to get off and walk downhill with your horse.

Types of Horses:
The horses used for the trip are local Arab horses and are between 13hh and 14hh.

The saddles are traditional saddles (the likelihood is that you will never have ridden in a saddle like it before!). The saddles are designed on a Russian Military saddle and you will ride quite long. They are very comfortable and most horses will be ridden in a basic snaffle bridle. There are no saddle bags and therefore it’s worth bringing a small bag that you are either tie to the saddle or carry on your back as well as a water bottle that you can clip to the front of the saddle.

Weight Limit for Riding:
Maximum weight limit is 90kg, although heavier riders will be considered subject to their riding ability and there may be a surcharge to have two horses available. Please do not hesitate to contact the office to discuss this further.

Safety when Riding:
Although we understand that a large part of the fun of horse riding holidays is the freedom you derive from riding wild and free over magical terrain, we would like to point out that this form of holiday can be hazardous and it is important you follow a few basic rules:

  • Firstly you must be a competent rider, if you are not sure if your level of riding skill is sufficient for the particular trip you are signing up for, please contact the office for advice.
  • We strongly recommend that you wear a hard hat – at least while you get used to the horses. Accidents can happen to anyone at any time particularly while both horse and rider are sussing each other out. A hard hat can be the difference between a minor accident and a very serious problem. Please note that your insurance may not cover you for an accident if you are not wearing your hat.
  • Concentrate – particularly over tricky terrain. It is all too easy to get carried away with the scenery, the adventure and the ongoing conversations. Remember you are riding and take care.
  • Until you are sure of your horse’s demeanor, try to keep at least a meter apart.
  • Pass messages back.

And if you do all that and use your common sense, all should be fine and you will have a fabulous horse-bound adventure holiday.


Departure date: 5 August 2017

Duration: 9 days

Price from: £1,625 per person

What is Included?

  • Full services of the tour operator’s tour leader with local guides and drivers meal plan.
  • All transport as outlined in the itinerary.
  • All accommodation
  • All entrance fees, as per itinerary

What is not Included?

  • Visas (if applicable)
  • Local airport taxes
  • Tips (always optional, but some guidance will be given in the predeparture information pack you’ll receive after booking)
  • Beverages other than drinking water & any costs of a personal nature
  • International flights to/from the start/finish of the trip
  • Airport transfers


“This operator is a multi-award winning adventure travel company specialising in small group tours and tailor made holidays to some of the most extraordinary destinations across the Indian sub-continent, Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa, South East Asia, Latin America and Europe. We love their unique, original itineraries – whether they are for small group travel or individually created for tailor made clients – allowing you to take journeys that venture beneath the surface of the region.

They don’t source itineraries from other agents, nor do they run the same tour over and over (thus creating a ‘tourist circuit’, spoiling an untouched region). Instead, they rarely run any group tour more than a couple of times a year and they are on routes they have discovered for themselves, to give a truly authentic, off-the-beaten-track experience.”  

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