Kakheti Horse Drive

Georgia Georgia: (IT-GECA01)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/Asia_Georgia_Kakheti_horse_drive.aspx

Introduction
Georgia Georgia
Twice a year, Tush people collect their livestock and move them from winter to summer pasture (or reverse). It is the lifestyle that their ancestors have lived for centuries. However, every year more and more people leave their traditional way of life and go to the big cities. Join our horse drive to discover this unique way of life and connect with nature

During this riding tour, you will cross stunning landscapes and valleys of two completely different national parks (Vashlovani National Park & Tusheti National Park) at the Northern and Southern edges of the Kakheti region. Ride across grain fields, vineyards, villages and the great Caucasus Mountains. You will not only admire breath-taking landscapes but also experience the genuine Tush nomadic way of life, which is part of our ancient history and culture.

You will be riding with a free running herd of horses from the semi-desert area of Vashlovani to the summer pastures in the mountains of Tusheti. Endless, unspoiled nature awaits you and your horse, with huge glaciers shimmering at the horizon, far from all tourist crowds.
In addition to your days on horseback, you and your fellow riders will go on an exclusive sightseeing tour to some of the most famous attractions in the Kakheti region.

Accomodation

Accommodations
This is a wilderness ride, so you will be staying in a mixture of guesthouses and camping.
During the tour, all luggage will be loaded in one of the 4x4 cars and transferred to the overnight accommodation or campsite.

Description
You will spend 4 nights in tents and 4 nights in guesthouses. Most of the guesthouses have Wi-Fi access and bathrooms are usually shared.

Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1: Camp in Vashlovani Nature Reserve
Night 2 Camp in Dedoplistskaro
Night 3: Camp in Kitaani 
Night 4 & 5: Guesthouse in Alvani 
Night 6: Camp in Abano
Night 7: Guesthouse in Omalo
Night 8: Guesthouse in Tusheti

Camping
We provide tents (2p or 3p MSR Elixir) and non-inflatable sleeping mats. You need to bring your own sleeping bags.
We carry a shower tent (cold water). Because our camps are set up in the wilderness, there are no washrooms and you will need to dig a hole in the ground.

Room Occupancy
In case solo riders are willing to share a room the single supplement can be waived.


Meals
All meals are included from lunch on Day 1 to lunch on Day 9.

Alcoholic drinks are not included but you are welcome to bring your own.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to most dietary restrictions with prior notice.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Riding Pace & Terrain
When riding through wheat fields and vineyards, the pace will be mostly at a trot, canter, and sometimes even gallop. As soon as we start ascending towards the mountains, the pace will be slower (mostly at a walk).

Horses
We use Tushetian Horses – a relatively small breed measuring between 140-150 cm. They are friendly, easy-going, surefooted, trustworthy, tamed and used to walk long distances on mountainous rocky footpaths as well as in the semi-desert of Vashlovani NP.

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary- subject to changes

Note: This itinerary is an example of the itinerary planned but it is only an example and may be changed at your guides discretion if they consider changes necessary due to weather or other local conditions. The described itinerary is for the spring drive from winter pasture (Vashlovani National park) to the summer pastures of Greater Caucasus Mountains (Tusheti). The Autumn drive is exactly the same in reverse.

Note that it is sometimes possible to customize the program upon special request (price will be calculated accordingly).

Day 1: Arrival
After being picked up from Tbilisi you are transferred to Dedoplistskaro (about 4 hours drive), where you have some time for lunch and to visit the local bazaar.
Then, we will register everyone at the Visitors’ Centre of Vashlovani Nature Reserve.
This afternoon, you will go on a 2 hour introductory ride.
Meals included: Lunch & Dinner
Overnight camping in Vashlovani Nature Reserve

Day 2: Vashlovani Horse Farm to Dedoplistskaro
We start the day by gathering up the herd. You can sense the happiness of the free-running horses as we are heading towards the highland. Our ride takes us through the grain fields of Shiraki plain which is considered as the "barn of Georgia". The terrain is soft and you’ll enjoy cantering along the road between the wheat fields. Breath-taking view of the greater Caucasus mountain range lie beyond the wheat fields.
Riding approx. 50 km (5 hrs)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight camping in Dedoplistskaro

Day 3: Dedoplistskaro to Kitaani
After leaving camp, we ride alongside the villages of Kakheti (Ozaani, Arboshiki, Anaga, Kitaani...), Georgia's primary wine region.
Riding approx. 55 km (7 hrs)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight camping in Kitaani


Day 4: Kitaani to Alvani
This will be our last day riding among the beautiful vineyards and lowland villages. We finish the day with an exciting sightseeing tour of Alaverdi monastery.
Riding approx. 55 km (7 hrs)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at a Guesthouse in Alvani


Day 5: Sightseeing (no riding)
Today, the horses will rest before we start heading to the mountains. This is the perfect opportunity for us to explore some historical and cultural sites of the region. In the morning we'll visit Ikalto and Alaverdi monasteries. In the afternoon we'll have late lunch and wine tasting at a small family winery.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at a Guesthouse in Alvani


Day 6: Alvani to Abano
After breakfast, we leave our guesthouse and head towards the mountains, riding along the banks of the Stori River. 
Riding approx. 45 km (7 hrs)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight camping in Abano

Day 7: Abano to Omalo
We start the day by ascending towards the highest drivable pass in Europe: Abano pass (2930 m). As we move higher, the landscape gets rougher. We can see how the vegetation is changing into lush green colors, created by rich soil and water.
We take our lunch break at Abano pass. Then, we start our descent towards Tusheti, a truly fascinating and mystical place. While descending from the pass, we will have to dismount and lead our horses.
It is a peaceful and beautiful experience to see the horses enjoy their freedom as we leave them on the Omalo Plateau and continue our trip with our riding horses. Tonight, we stay in Omalo village.
Riding approx. 35 km (6 hrs)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at a Guesthouse in Omalo


Day 8: Tusheti Valley
Today's ride lets us discover one of the valleys of Tusheti. After exploring Shenako and Diklo villages we will head back to Omalo. Tonight, we enjoy a goodbye dinner with the farmer and his crew.
Riding approx. 25 km (6 hrs)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at a Guesthouse in Tusheti


Day 9: Departure
Breakfast and transfer to Tbilisi (approx. 6-hour drive).
Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch



Non riders
Non riding companions are welcome to join this tour and will follow the riders in the support vehicle. Please inquire about rates (non riding activities not included).


Rates and Dates for Kakheti Horse Drive

Rates include:

Accommodations, All meals, Wine tasting on Day 5, Local transfers, Support vehicle & 6 riding days with English speaking guide

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescription US$
    A
    20219-day trip, AP$1705
    • Single supplement (if required)$160
      Group discount, pp (5-7 pax)($365)
      Group discount, pp (8 pax)($565)
      Small group supplement, pp (2 pax only)$600
Gratuity:
A 10% gratuity is added on your invoice.
%

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy
Gratuity: 10 %

Transfer and Other Charges:



 Description
2021 Group transfer from/to Tbilisi Airport available - inquire for rates
- to be paid locally
2021 Non-rider discount - please inquire

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2021 06/04 - 06/12 9d / 8n 9-day trip, AP 3 /8 Expired
A 2021 10/13 - 10/21 9d / 8n 9-day trip, AP 3 /8 Reserve

Dates Note: Departures can sometimes be confirmed with less than 3 pax (small group supplement applies)

Rates do not include:

Airport transfers, Alcoholic drinks & Gratuities

Other Info
Meeting: Tbilisi
Airport: Shota Rustaveli Tbilisi International Airport (TBS)
Transfer: Tbilisi Airport

Climate:
                                                    Telavi area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

42

45

53

64

72

79

85

85

76

65

54

46

Average Low Temperature (°F)

28

30

36

46

53

60

65

64

57

48

38

31

Average High Temperature (°C)

6

7

11

18

22

26

29

29

25

19

12

8

Average Low Temperature (°C)

-2

-1

2

8

12

15

18

18

14

9

4

0

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

4

5

6

9

11

10

6

6

6

6

5

4

Source: NOAA


Seasons

Georgia can be divided into 2 distinct climate zones. The west of the country, along the coast features a humid Mediterranean climate, while the rest of the country, in the interior benefits from a dryer continental climate. The Caucasus Mountains allow to moderate the climate in the plains.
The mean annual precipitation varies from 300 to 600 mm in eastern Georgia.

Spring (April to May) is one of the best times to visit because it is usually dry and temperatures start warming up. However, you should keep in mind that nights can still be cold in the mountains.

Summer (June to August) in Georgia can be hot but there is generally a pleasant breeze in the mountains, preventing it from being unbearable. You should be aware that there are some risk of rain at the beginning of the season.

Autumn (September & October) is an amazing time to visit as you can still benefit from mild weather a few precipitations. Moreover, the fall colors are splendid in the mountains.

What To Bring:
During the trek your main luggage will be transported by car. Please use bags or suitcases that are easy to handle. The horses are equipped with small saddle bags.

What to Bring
• Personal medication: ointment, blister plaster, anti-allergy, diarrhea, pain killer
• Flashlight / headlamp
• Water bottle
• Good Raingear
• Comfortable riding clothes for hot and cold weather.
• Trekking or hiking boots/shoes
• Sports shoes / flip-flops
• Sun hat, sunglasses, sun protection
• Mosquito repellent
• Sleeping bag/inflatable sleeping mat (we can give you foldable non-inflatable mat)
• Cushions for sitting outdoors

We also accept any kinds of horse riding and horse care equipment (used or new) that you do not wish to use anymore.