Vashlovani Horse Adventure

Georgia Georgia: (IT-GECA02)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/Asia_Georgia_Vashlovani_Adventure.aspx

Introduction
Georgia Georgia
Ride off the beaten path into the extreme wilderness of south-eastern Georgia.

We start our riding adventure in the village of Kasristskali – one of the most remote villages between grain-fields and a semi-desert area. From there, we follow the Iori river, and reach Takhtitepa mud volcanoes.
The rest of the tour also includes many interesting sights such as old monasteries with beautiful frescos and the colourful mountains and lakes of Mravaltskaro.

Every day you will discover something new thanks to the changing landscapes as well as a wide variety of flora and fauna (over 700 different rare plants and more than 46 different mammals live in this area).

Accomodation

Accommodations
This is a wilderness ride, so you will be staying in a mixture of guesthouses and camps.
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 3 nights in tents and 4 nights in guesthouses. Most of the guesthouses have Wi-Fi access and facilities are shared.

Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1: Guesthouse in Kasristskali
Night 2: Camp in Bughamoedani
Night 3: Camp in Pantishara
Night 4 & 5: Guesthouse near Dali Dam
Night 6: Camp in Sabereebi
Night 7: Guesthouse in Udabno

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
Single rooms are not available on this trip. Sometimes, participants might have to share rooms with 2 or 3 other participants.


Meals
All meals are included from lunch on Day 1 to lunch on Day 8.

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
During the ride, we will go mostly at a walk. However, we will also have some opportunities to trot and canter each day (about 2-3 km per day). Because this ride takes place at a slower pace, people with very little riding experience can participate as long as they feel comfortable staying in the saddle for long hours.

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 and well adapted to the riding environment.

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 entire trip goes alongside the border between Georgia and Azerbaijan, therefore we will need to get registered at the border police department at the beginning of the trip and we will pass various checkpoints along our route.  

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 drive you to Kasristskali, where we will have a short introductory ride (about 2 hours).
Dinner and overnight at a local guesthouse - very basic (shared bathroom facility) but warm welcome!
Meals included: Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Guesthouse in Kasristskali

Day 2: Kasristskali to Bughamoedani
We start riding south-east towards the Mijnikure bungalows, located on the Alazani riverbank (Vashlovani National park). Along the way, we will pass the groves of hundreds of years old Pistacho & Juniper trees.
Once in Bughamoedani, we get registered at the border police and continue riding with the northern view of an unusual shaped chain of badlands (semi-desert) and the snow-capped Greater Caucasus Mountains, behind them.
Riding approx. 30 km (6 hrs)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight camping in Bughamoedani


Day 3: Bughamoedani to Pantishara
This morning, we head west towards Samukhi valley, a semi-desert area and the driest plain in Georgia. The Palin is used as winter pasture for Tush shepherds and every now and then we’ll pass farms, sheep herds and of course famous Caucasian shepherd dogs.
Riding approx. 35 km (7 hrs)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight camping in Pantishara


Day 4: Pantishara to Dali Dam
This will be our longest riding day because of lots of stops at the border police camps. The route goes alongside the river Iori, a natural borderline with Azerbaijan, and the main water source for the area.  
After a long ride, we’ll reach the Dali dam and our guesthouse - opportunity to take shower and evening dinner.
Riding approx. 48 km (7 hrs)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Guesthouse near Dali Dam


Day 5: Ride to Takhtitepa mud volcanos
After breakfast, we get back in the saddle and cross the river Iori to visit the Tchatchuna Managed Reserve. There, we will see the Takhtitepa mud volcanos, an inorganic natural monument and an area with lots of different sized whitish knolls with flat tops that beat and bubble. Gas and mud are constantly released from the volcano holes.
Riding approx. 30 km (6 hrs)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Guesthouse near Dali Dam


Day 6: Dali Dam to Sabereebi 
Today, we start riding early and make our way west, towards Sabereebi monastery. During the first half of the day, we’ll ride alongside the river Iori and its groves. Around noon, we will cross the river to the western bank and continue riding in the dry semi-desert area until we reach our campsite, near a rock-hewn Georgian-orthodox monastery complex ruins.
These areas also provide a great winter pasture ground and every now and then we’ll come across huge herds of sheep.
We’ll pitch camp in this beautiful environment and enjoy our last chance for night sky watching. 
Riding approx. 35 km (6 hrs)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight camping in Sabereebi


Day 7: Sabereebi to Udabno
We start the day by a visit of the monastery complex to better explore the 9th-10th century frescos. We then continue riding westward. Along the way, we come across many nomad camps and farms. 
Our ride ends in the village of Udabno – a Soviet time village in the middle of the semi-desert area populated with eco-migrants from the Svaneti region.
Riding approx. 42 km (7 hrs)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Guesthouse in Udabno


Day 8: Udabno to Mravaltskaro lake and hills & Tbilisi
In the morning, we drive to Mravaltskaro lake to see the colourful hillocks and enjoy the last morning hours in the semi-desert. It is a dry area with extensive hillocks, plateaus and steep slopes with sparse vegetation. It was named "Colorful Mountains" after the various coloured hillocks formed with a sedimentary rocks. The coloured and striped mountains reflected in the nearby blue lake create an amazingly impressive spectacle.
We will then head back to Tbilisi in late afternoon (on the way, we stop at a winery for wine tasting).
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 Vashlovani Horse Adventure

Rates include:

Accommodations, All meals, Wine tasting on Day 8, Local transfers, Support vehicle & 6 riding days with English speaking guide

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescription US$
    A
    20218-day trip, AP$1560
    • Group discount, pp (6-9 pax)($380)
      Group discount, pp (10-12 pax)($585)
      Small group supplement, pp (2 pax only)$335
      Solo rider supplement, pp (1 pax only)$1760
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 10/17 - 10/24 8d / 7n 8-day trip, AP 3 /12 Reserve
A 2021 10/31 - 11/07 8d / 7n 8-day trip, AP 3 /12 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.